Matching old and new floors

Q: I currently have carpet in my living room and hardwood flooring in my kitchen as well as my nook. These areas are connected. What I want to do is take the carpet out of my great room and put hardwood flooring. I would like it to look like it was done at the same time.

Is this possible?

A: You might be able to come close in matching the color, but to get an exact match is just about impossible. It may help to install, stain, finish the new floor, and then apply a coat over the entire floor area, new and old.

New hardwood doesn’t match old floor

Related Q: We just recently added an addition to our kitchen. A hardwood flooring company came in and wove the new hardwood into the existing floor. We had Swedish finish applied.

The hardwood he used does not match the color of the existing floor. Our home is 20 years old and we knew we couldn’t get an exact match, but we now have a yellow existing floor and a red floor on the addition. Is there a way to correct the coloring to get somewhat of a match?

A: I can understand a ‘yellow’ old floor. The finish has ambered somewhat with age. But when you say the new floor is red, it makes me think they used a grade of oak one step below what you had. Also, Swedish finish is non-yellowing and clear which not only verifies that but also means you would never have a close match with your old floor. At this point, would you be willing to have the entire floor area sanded and stained, perhaps golden oak, which is close to natural? That will at least help the color to look more uniform.

New wood lighter in patched floor

Q: I patched in a 50 yr old red oak floor with new red oak boards. When we sanded and stained everything the new boards came much lighter. Any ideas?

A: This is not a surprise. Water popping the wood before staining opens the grain and helps better penetration and a bit deeper color. While I am not a big fan of more than one coat of stain you could try a second coat on the lighter wood to see if it would help at all.