Color of course, is a subjective preference. In my mind's eye, my new kitchen had dark floors. The original ceramic tile (besides missing grout and being badly cracked, photo click here) was light in color and showed every spill and speck of dirt. The hardwood underneath was dark, but in very bad shape (photos & problems here.) The new pine plank floor, in it's natural state was light, and looked clean and bright on the floor. Problem was, neither Dan nor I liked it that way. To stain it darker though, is one of those decisions we were hesitant about. Paint is one thing, it's color can be changed if it doesn't work out. Stain cannot.
Still, my kitchen wanted those darker floors. This is odd for me because I'm all about light, though I admit the solid white kitchen we started with (photos here) annoyed me, because I'm all about color too. The problem is that a dark surface absorbs light, especially a dark non-reflective surface. Dark is also said to give the illusion of smaller, while white expands, but good grief my kitchen is really small no matter what. No sense trying to pretend it's not. What I noticed in the hundreds of model kitchen photos I looked at, was that the "success" of dark cabinets and floors, was based on their finish. Those with a flat finish appeared dark and close and I didn't like them. Those with a glossier finish worked for me, because they reflected light, brightening up the kitchen tremendously, while still giving the "look" I was going for.
So here's the stain job, a view from the back door ....
We were really happy with it when we were done. I love how it "aged" the floor, giving it the rustic old farmhouse look we were going for.
I did not get any photos of the process, because it took the two of us working in a coordinated and timely manner. Dan applied the stain and I wiped up the excess. Since we managed this floor is warm weather, it didn't take all that long to dry, unlike the dining/living room floors, which took forever to dry in December!
Next step, applying the polyurethane (click here to go to that post). Doing the floor seems like a turning point. The last of the old will be gone, and the rest of the new can now commence.