Matching darker, older floors with bright new floors

Q: After sanding down our 50-yr. old hardwood, we put 3 coats of poly on them and they turned out great. However, we decided we wanted to put the same hardwood in our kitchen. So we bought unfinished white oak, sanded it after installing, and then put 1 coat of poly on. It does not match the colour of the old hardwood which is much more orange.

Some people have said to put a 3-6 inch “border” in between the 2 such as staining a strip a darker colour in order to separate the differences. Would you recommend trying to stain the new wood a completely different colour?

A: Wood gets darker with age so the 50 year old oak would be expected to be different. You might elect to stain the new floor, but don’t expect a perfect match. Perhaps better to stain the old and new floors together. Your flooring contractor can best advise you and perhaps make some stain samples.

Similar Q: After finishing [polyurethane] the floor we noticed that the new oak hardwood flooring is lighter than the old oak flooring. How can we make them match?

A: This is absolutely normal and to be expected. Give it 30-50 years to age. Sorry but it takes time. Otherwise, stain all the floors. Any difference then would be slight.