Ultimate Guide to Trendy Hardwood Floor Stain Colors in 2020

Welcome to our informative guide on hardwood floor stain colors in 2020! Choosing the right stain color for your hardwood floors is a crucial decision


Welcome to our informative guide on hardwood floor stain colors in 2020! Choosing the right stain color for your hardwood floors is a crucial decision that can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your space. In this article, we will explore the latest trends in stain colors, helping you make an informed choice that suits your style and preferences. Whether you are looking for a timeless classic or a bold and modern statement, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and discover the most popular hardwood floor stain colors for 2020!

Table of Contents

Understanding the Impact of Hardwood Floor Stain Colors

When it comes to hardwood floors, stain colors play a significant role in the overall aesthetic appeal of your space. The right stain color can enhance the natural beauty of the wood, create a warm and inviting atmosphere, and even make a small room appear larger. On the other hand, the wrong stain color can make your floors look dull, mismatched, or out of place. It is crucial to choose a stain color that not only complements your existing décor but also reflects your personal style and preferences.

The Importance of Considering Lighting and Décor

Before diving into the latest trends in hardwood floor stain colors, it’s essential to consider the lighting conditions and existing décor of your space. Natural and artificial lighting can significantly impact how stain colors appear. A stain color that looks rich and warm in a well-lit showroom might appear entirely different in your home with limited natural light.

Similarly, take into account the existing color scheme and furnishings in your space. If you have vibrant walls and bold furniture, a stain color that contrasts or complements these elements can create a visually stunning effect. Conversely, if you prefer a more minimalistic and neutral look, opting for a stain color that blends seamlessly with your current décor can provide a timeless and elegant appeal.

Popular Hardwood Floor Stain Colors for 2020

Now that we have covered the importance of considering lighting and décor let’s explore the popular hardwood floor stain colors that are trending in 2020:

1. Classic Ebony: Ebony stain offers a deep, rich, and luxurious look. It works exceptionally well in modern and contemporary spaces, adding a touch of sophistication and elegance. Pair it with light-colored walls and furniture to create a striking contrast.

2. Gray Wash: Gray wash stain has gained immense popularity in recent years. It offers a versatile and modern look, effortlessly blending with various design styles. Gray-stained floors can make a small room appear more spacious and provide a contemporary flair to any space.

3. Warm Walnut: Walnut stain is a timeless choice that never goes out of style. It adds warmth and richness to your floors, making them appear cozy and inviting. Walnut stain works well with both traditional and modern interiors, offering a versatile option for any homeowner.

4. Honey Oak: Honey oak stain brings a touch of warmth and natural beauty to your floors. It complements a wide range of interior styles, especially those with rustic or country aesthetics. Honey oak stain can create a cozy and welcoming ambiance, reminiscent of a cabin in the woods.

Remember, these are just a few popular stain colors for 2020, and the right choice depends on your personal taste and the overall look you wish to achieve. Experimenting with sample boards and consulting with flooring professionals can help you make an informed decision.

Tips for Choosing the Right Hardwood Floor Stain Color

Choosing the perfect stain color for your hardwood floors can feel overwhelming with so many options available. To help you make the right decision, here are some valuable tips:

1. Consider the Wood Species

Different wood species react differently to stain colors. Some woods, like oak or pine, have a more pronounced grain pattern that can affect how the stain color appears. Lighter woods may also absorb stains differently than darker woods. It’s essential to consider the characteristics of the wood species you have before selecting a stain color.

2. Test Samples in Your Space

Before committing to a particular stain color, it’s crucial to test samples in your own space. Stain colors can look different depending on lighting conditions, wall colors, and the overall ambiance of the room. Apply small samples of different stain colors to a hidden or inconspicuous area of your floor to see how they look in your specific environment.

3. Consider Durability and Maintenance

While the focus is often on the aesthetic appeal, it’s important to consider the durability and maintenance requirements of different stain colors. Lighter stain colors may show scratches and wear more easily, while darker stains can help to camouflage imperfections. Additionally, some stain colors may require more frequent cleaning or touch-ups. Take these factors into account when choosing a stain color.

4. Seek Professional Advice

If you’re unsure about which stain color to choose or need expert guidance, don’t hesitate to seek help from flooring professionals. They can provide valuable insights based on their experience and help you find the perfect stain color that suits your style and requirements.

5. Consider Long-Term Trends

While it’s important to choose a stain color that reflects your personal taste, considering long-term trends can be beneficial if you plan on selling your home in the future. Opting for a timeless and versatile stain color can appeal to a broader range of buyers and potentially increase the value of your property.

By considering these tips and taking the time to research and explore different stain colors, you can make an informed decision and choose a hardwood floor stain color that you’ll love for years to come.

Maintaining and Enhancing the Appearance of Stained Hardwood Floors

Once you have chosen and installed the perfect stain color for your hardwood floors, it’s important to take proper care to maintain their beauty and extend their lifespan. Here are some tips for maintaining and enhancing the appearance of stained hardwood floors:

1. Regular Cleaning and Dusting

Regular cleaning and dusting are essential to prevent the buildup of dirt, debris, and scratches on your stained hardwood floors. Use a soft broom or a microfiber dust mop to remove dust and dirt particles. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or rough materials that can damage the stain or the wood surface.

2. Promptly Clean Spills

Accidental spills can happen, and it’s crucial to clean them up promptly to prevent stains or damage to the stain color. Use a soft cloth or paper towel to blot spills immediately. Avoid rubbing the spill, as it can push the liquid deeper into the wood grain.

3. Use Protective Mats and Rugs

Place protective mats or rugs in high-traffic areas, such as entryways or hallways, to prevent wear and tear on your stained hardwood floors. These mats can catch dirt, moisture, and debris before they reach the floor surface and cause damage.

4. Avoid Excessive Moisture

Excessive moisture can be detrimental to stained hardwood floors, causing the wood to warp or the stain color to fade. Wipe up spills promptly, and avoid using excessive water or wet mops when cleaning. Use a damp mop or a specialized hardwood floor cleaner specifically designed for stained floors.

5. Schedule Regular Maintenance

Consider scheduling regular maintenance for your stained hardwood floors to keep them in top condition. This may include professional cleaning, buffing, or refinishing as needed. Consulting with flooring professionals can help you determine the appropriate maintenance schedule for your specific stain color and wood type.

6. Protect from Sunlight

Direct sunlight can cause the stain color to fade over time. Consider using curtains, blinds, or UV-resistant window films to protect your stained hardwood floors from prolonged exposure to sunlight. Rearranging furniture periodically can also help prevent uneven fading.

By following these maintenance tips and taking proactive steps to protect your stained hardwood floors, you can ensure that they continue to look beautiful and last for years to come.

Exploring Alternative Options: Stain vs. Natural Finish

While stain colors can add depth and character to your hardwood floors, some homeowners prefer the natural beauty of the wood to shine through. Here, we will explore the differences between stain and natural finishes to help you decide which option is best for your space:

1. Stain Finishes

Stain finishes involve applying a color tint to the wood, enhancing its appearance and providing a desired hue. Stains come in a wide range of colors, allowing you to customize the look of your hardwood floors to match your style and preferences. Stains can also help to conceal imperfections and create a more uniform appearance.

However, it’s important to note that stains can alter the natural color of the wood, potentially making it appear different from its original state. Stains also require periodic maintenance and refinishing to preserve their color and protect the wood.

2. Natural Finishes

Natural finishes, on the other hand, involve applying a clear coat or sealant to the wood without altering its color significantly. This allows the natural beauty of the wood to shine through, showcasing its unique grain patterns and characteristics. Natural finishes are often preferred for their timeless and classic appeal.

While natural finishes require less maintenance compared to stained floors, they are not as effective at concealing imperfections or providing a uniform appearance. Natural finishes can also be more susceptible to scratches and wear, as there is no added layer of color or protection.

Choosing Between Stain and Natural Finish

The choice between stain and natural finish ultimately comes down to personal preference and the desired aesthetic for your space. Consider the following factors when making your decision:

Style: Stains offer a wider range of color options, allowing you to customize your floors to match your décor and style. Natural finishes, on the other hand, provide a more traditional and timeless look.

Wood Characteristics: If you have hardwood floors with unique grain patterns or distinct features, a natural finish can help accentuate their beauty. Stains may obscure some of these characteristics.

Maintenance: Stains require periodic maintenance and refinishing, while natural finishes generally require less upkeep. Consider your willingness to invest time and effort into maintaining the appearance of your floors.

Longevity: Stains can help protect the wood from wear and tear, potentially extending the lifespan of your floors. Natural finishes may require more frequent refinishing to maintain their appearance.

Ultimately, the choice between stain and natural finish depends on your personal taste, the existing décor of your space, and the level of maintenance you are willing to undertake.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Choosing the right stain color for your hardwood floors is an important decision that can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your space. By considering factors such as lighting, existing décor, wood species, and personal style, you can make an informed choice that reflects your preferences and enhances your home’s aesthetic appeal.

Remember to test samples in your space and consult with flooring professionals for expert advice. Consider long-term trends and the durability and maintenance requirements of different stain colors to ensure your floors remain beautiful for years to come.

Whether you opt for a classic ebony, trendy gray wash, warm walnut, or cozy honey oak, each stain color offers its own unique charm and character. Additionally, don’t forget to take proper care of your stained hardwood floors through regular cleaning, prompt spill clean-up, and the use of protective mats and rugs.

Lastly, if you prefer the natural beauty of wood to shine through, a natural finish might be the ideal choice for your floors. Natural finishes provide a timeless and classic look, allowing the unique grain patterns and characteristics of the wood to take center stage.

Ultimately, the decision between stain and natural finish depends on your personal taste, the existing décor, and the level of maintenance you are willing to undertake. With careful consideration and proper care, your stained or natural finished hardwood floors will undoubtedly add warmth, beauty, and value to your home.

Additional Considerations for Hardwood Floor Stain Colors

1. Room Size and Lighting

When choosing a stain color for your hardwood floors, consider the size of the room and the lighting conditions. Lighter stain colors can make a small room appear more spacious and airy, while darker stains can add warmth and coziness to larger spaces. Similarly, rooms with ample natural light can showcase the beauty of lighter stain colors, while rooms with limited natural light may benefit from richer and more vibrant stain colors.

2. Existing Woodwork and Furniture

Take into account the existing woodwork and furniture in your space when selecting a stain color. If you have other wood elements, such as trim, cabinets, or furniture, you’ll want the stain color for your floors to harmonize with these elements. Consider choosing a stain color that complements or matches the existing wood tones to create a cohesive and visually pleasing look.

3. Personal Style and Preference

Ultimately, your personal style and preference should guide your choice of hardwood floor stain colors. Consider the overall aesthetic you want to achieve in your space. If you prefer a more contemporary and modern look, you may lean towards cooler-toned stain colors like grays or whites. If you have a more traditional or rustic style, warmer stain colors like browns or reds may be a better fit. Trust your instinct and choose a stain color that resonates with your personal taste.

4. Longevity and Timelessness

While it’s important to stay current with the latest trends, it’s also essential to consider the longevity and timelessness of the stain color you choose. Trends come and go, but hardwood floors are an investment that should last for many years. Opting for a stain color that has proven to be timeless and versatile can ensure that your floors continue to look beautiful and relevant even as design trends evolve.

5. Professional Assistance

If you find it challenging to make a decision or want expert guidance, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from flooring professionals. They have extensive knowledge and experience in selecting the right stain colors for various spaces and can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on your specific needs and preferences.

By considering these additional factors when choosing hardwood floor stain colors, you can make a well-informed decision that not only enhances the beauty of your space but also reflects your personal style and stands the test of time.

Experimenting with Unique and Custom Stain Colors

1. Custom Stain Mixing

If you have a specific vision or want a truly unique stain color for your hardwood floors, consider exploring custom stain mixing options. Many flooring professionals and manufacturers offer the ability to create custom stain colors by mixing different stains together. This allows you to achieve a one-of-a-kind color that perfectly matches your desired aesthetic.

2. Color Enhancers and Glazes

In addition to traditional stain colors, you can also experiment with color enhancers and glazes to add depth and dimension to your hardwood floors. Color enhancers are specially formulated products that enhance the natural color of the wood, making it more vibrant and rich. Glazes, on the other hand, provide a translucent layer of color that can be applied over a base stain color to create unique effects such as antiquing or highlighting the wood grain.

3. Bleaching and Whitewashing

If you prefer a lighter and more contemporary look, bleaching or whitewashing your hardwood floors can be a great option. Bleaching involves removing the natural color of the wood, creating a blank canvas for a lighter stain color or a clear finish. Whitewashing, on the other hand, adds a white or gray wash to the wood, allowing the natural grain patterns to show through while still providing a light and airy appearance.

4. Accent Stain Colors

Consider using accent stain colors to add interest and focal points to your hardwood floors. This can involve applying a different stain color to specific areas, such as borders, patterns, or inlays. Accent stain colors can create a unique and eye-catching design element, allowing you to showcase your creativity and individuality.

5. Inspiration from Nature and Design

Look to nature and design for inspiration when choosing unique stain colors for your hardwood floors. Take cues from the colors found in natural elements such as stones, flowers, or foliage. Additionally, draw inspiration from interior design trends, artwork, or even your favorite fashion pieces. By thinking outside the box, you can create a truly personalized and awe-inspiring look for your floors.

Remember, experimenting with unique and custom stain colors requires careful planning and consideration. It’s advisable to consult with flooring professionals who specialize in custom staining to ensure that the desired results are achieved and that the stain color is compatible with your wood species and finish.

By exploring these options and thinking creatively, you can transform your hardwood floors into a work of art that reflects your unique style and personality.

Considering the Environmental Impact of Hardwood Floor Stain Colors

1. Water-Based Stains

Water-based stains are an environmentally friendly option for hardwood floors. These stains have a lower VOC (volatile organic compounds) content compared to traditional oil-based stains, which means they release fewer harmful chemicals into the air during application and drying. Water-based stains are also easier to clean up, as they can be rinsed off with water and soap.

2. Low VOC and Zero VOC Stains

Low VOC and zero VOC stains are another eco-friendly choice for hardwood floors. These stains contain minimal to no volatile organic compounds, reducing the release of harmful chemicals into the air. They are formulated to have low odor and are considered safer for both human health and the environment.

3. Sustainable Wood Sources

When selecting hardwood floors, consider choosing wood from sustainable sources. Look for certification programs such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) that ensure the wood is harvested responsibly, protecting forests and wildlife habitats. Using sustainable wood helps to support responsible forestry practices and reduce the environmental impact of your flooring.

4. Reclaimed and Recycled Wood

Another eco-friendly option is to choose reclaimed or recycled wood for your hardwood floors. Reclaimed wood is salvaged from old buildings, barns, or other structures, giving it a unique character while reducing the demand for new wood. Recycled wood is often made from post-consumer or post-industrial materials, reducing waste and promoting resource conservation.

5. Environmentally Friendly Finishes

In addition to stain colors, consider using environmentally friendly finishes for your hardwood floors. Choose water-based or low VOC finishes that have lower levels of toxic chemicals. These finishes provide a protective layer over the stain color, enhancing durability and longevity while minimizing environmental impact.

6. Proper Waste Disposal

Dispose of any leftover stain, paint, or other materials responsibly. Follow local guidelines for hazardous waste disposal to prevent harmful substances from entering the environment. Many communities offer recycling or disposal programs for hazardous materials, ensuring they are handled and treated appropriately.

By considering the environmental impact of hardwood floor stain colors, you can make choices that contribute to a healthier home and planet. Opting for eco-friendly stains, sustainable wood sources, and responsible waste disposal practices can help minimize your carbon footprint and create a more sustainable living environment.

Budget Considerations for Hardwood Floor Stain Colors

1. Stain Costs

When considering hardwood floor stain colors, it’s important to factor in the cost of the stain itself. Stains can vary in price depending on the brand, quality, and quantity needed for your project. Research different stain options and compare prices to find one that fits within your budget without compromising on quality.

2. Professional Installation

If you plan on hiring professionals to install or refinish your hardwood floors, remember to include the cost of their services in your budget. The complexity of the job, the size of the area, and the condition of the existing floors can all affect the installation cost. Obtain multiple quotes from reputable flooring contractors to ensure you’re getting a fair price.

3. DIY vs. Professional Application

Consider whether you have the skills, equipment, and time required to apply the stain yourself. While DIY staining can save you money on labor costs, it’s important to weigh the potential risks and drawbacks. Improper application can lead to uneven color distribution or damage to the wood. If you’re unsure about your abilities, it may be worth investing in professional application to achieve the best results.

4. Maintenance and Refinishing Costs

Keep in mind the ongoing maintenance and refinishing costs associated with hardwood floors. Stains may require periodic maintenance to retain their color and protect the wood. Over time, the floors may also need to be refinished to restore their appearance. Consider these future expenses when budgeting for your hardwood floor stain color.

5. Long-Term Investment

While hardwood floor stain colors require an upfront investment, it’s important to consider the long-term value they bring to your home. Hardwood floors are known for their durability and timeless appeal, which can increase the resale value of your property. Investing in a high-quality stain color and proper installation can be a worthwhile investment in the long run.

6. Financing Options

If the upfront cost of staining your hardwood floors exceeds your budget, explore financing options that may be available to you. Some flooring companies offer financing plans, allowing you to spread out the cost over time. Before committing to any financing agreement, carefully review the terms and interest rates to ensure they align with your financial goals.

By considering these budget considerations when selecting a hardwood floor stain color, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial capabilities and goals.

Finalizing Your Decision and Enjoying Your Newly Stained Hardwood Floors

1. Review and Compare Options

Before finalizing your decision on a hardwood floor stain color, take the time to review and compare all of your options. Consider the factors discussed throughout this article, including lighting, existing décor, personal style, and budget. Look at swatches, sample boards, or even visit showrooms to see the stain colors in person. This will help you envision how each color will look in your own space.

2. Seek Second Opinions

If you’re feeling uncertain or torn between a few stain colors, don’t hesitate to seek second opinions. Share your options with friends, family, or interior design professionals to get their input. Sometimes an outside perspective can provide valuable insights and help you make a confident decision.

3. Trust Your Instincts

Ultimately, trust your instincts when choosing a hardwood floor stain color. You know your personal style and preferences better than anyone else. If a particular stain color speaks to you and feels right for your space, go with it. Remember, you’ll be the one living with and enjoying your newly stained hardwood floors, so it’s important to choose something that brings you joy and satisfaction.

4. Prepare Your Space

Once you’ve decided on a stain color, take the necessary steps to prepare your space for the staining process. Remove furniture and items from the area being stained, and cover any remaining furniture or fixtures to protect them from potential splatters or damage. Follow any instructions provided by the flooring professionals or stain manufacturer to ensure a smooth and successful staining process.

5. Embrace the Transformation

As the staining process unfolds and your hardwood floors transform, embrace the excitement and anticipation of seeing the final result. Once the stain has dried and the floors are ready for use, take a moment to appreciate the beauty and impact of your newly stained hardwood floors. Enjoy the warmth, character, and elegance they bring to your space.

Remember, stained hardwood floors are an investment that can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. Follow recommended cleaning and maintenance practices to preserve the beauty and longevity of your floors. Regularly clean and protect your stained hardwood floors to ensure they continue to enhance your space for years to come.

Congratulations on making the decision to stain your hardwood floors and best wishes for a successful and satisfying experience!

In conclusion, choosing the right stain color for your hardwood floors is a significant decision that can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your space. By considering factors such as lighting, existing décor, personal style, and budget, you can make an informed choice that reflects your preferences and enhances the aesthetic appeal of your home. Whether you opt for a classic stain color, trendy option, or even a custom blend, the possibilities are endless. Remember to properly maintain your stained hardwood floors to preserve their beauty and durability.

It’s important to weigh the environmental impact of stain colors and consider eco-friendly options such as water-based or low VOC stains, sustainable wood sources, and responsible waste disposal. Additionally, budget considerations should be taken into account, including the cost of stain, professional installation, maintenance, and long-term investment. By carefully considering all these factors, you can make a decision that aligns with your style, values, and financial goals.

Ultimately, trust your instincts when choosing a stain color and seek second opinions if necessary. Once you’ve made your decision, prepare your space and embrace the transformation that stained hardwood floors bring. Enjoy the beauty, warmth, and elegance they add to your home. Congratulations on embarking on this exciting journey of enhancing your hardwood floors with the perfect stain color!


As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, Everett Potter is a travel writer and journalist known for his expertise in luxury travel and adventure. However, it's important to note that biographical information may change over time, and there may be updates or developments in Everett Potter's career that I am not aware of. As of my last update, Everett Potter has contributed to various publications, including Forbes, The New York Times, and Travel + Leisure. He is recognized for his insightful travel articles, reviews of upscale destinations, and adventure-focused travel writing. His work often reflects a passion for exploring unique and off-the-beaten-path experiences. To obtain the most current and accurate biographical information about Everett Potter, I recommend checking recent articles, his personal website, or official social media profiles where he may share updates about his career and experiences.


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