vintage oak parquet flooring in basketweave layout
The oak parquet in my dining room — natural stain.

A reader recently wrote to ask, “What color stain would be most appropriate or authentic for a mid-century oak floor?” Drats, I cannot find the email. And, I am not academically sure what the correct answer is. I would guess… a “natural” stain.

Natural meaning – virtually no color. Matte or gloss finish. Gloss, though, would show more scratches. When we refinished the oak parquet floor in our dining room, above, the floor guy said, “All the old floors were done with a natural finish.” We chose matte finish and have been very happy with it. Our oak is getting a nice golden hue as time goes on. Under all the carpets, it’s a lighter color — the sunlight is affecting the color.

I think I may consult with some mid-century historic homes to discern the proper academic answer. But meanwhile: Readers — what do you think? What are you finding in your homes, with original wood floors, including what may have been hidden underneath carpet that’s been there for ages? What is the “authentic” color for mid-century oak flooring?

CategoriesFlooring
  1. DIANA LEWIS says:

    Maybe do the lower level in the lighter color you want,, but do a couple of ”bands of color” around the perimiter of each room using the color stain from upstairs

  2. Sharon says:

    I love the Zinsser, spelling?, Amber shellac, also available in clear, that I became aware of here. Lowes and Home Depot were both carrying it a year ago.

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