Staining small area

Q: I purchased some oak hardwood flooring. I used an orbital sander on the floor. It’s a pretty small area. I do not notice any scratches on the floor. I’m wondering if this will suffice for me to start staining.

A: I would suggest water popping the floor to achieve the most even colour depth. Water popping is simply wetting the surface (not soaking it) which opens the surface of the floor to allow better penetration of the stain. Apply stain after the floor has thoroughly dried.

Also see our recommendation to hire a pro.