Dark grain

Q: I just had my pre-finished red oak floor refinished with what should be the same color (gunstock) and 3 coats of oil-based poly. The wood grain is so much more noticeable than it was in pre-finished form, and I don’t like it as much. Will this difference fade some over time and will the ambering of the poly affect it?

My installer says in 2-3 months the grain will not look as dark. Thank you for your response.

A: You simply cannot duplicate on site what is done in a factory setting with machines. If he did a good job sanding and staining, the colour is nice and even and the finish is smooth, you should accept that, in my view.

In the factory, each board is run down the line, sanded by machine, and water based stain and polyurethane (both of which dry very quickly) are sprayed on, buffed and cured under ultra violet light. With on site sanding and staining, the heavy grain of oak will absorb the stain much darker since it is the softer part of the board. Perhaps you should have gone “natural” rather than stain?