Dreaming of revamping your hardwood floors? Much more than a detail, choosing the right wood floor stain color can significantly impact the finished look of your room and even tip the scales of your home’s ambiance. What a captivating allure a red or cherry stain can add to your lighter woods like maple or cherry! Or perhaps a gray or white-washed finish to perfectly encapsulate that sought-after modern feel! The myriad of choices can be as inspiring as they are intimidating, with the potential to truly transform your space.

Don’t fret! We, at California Flooring & Design, are here to navigate you through the ocean of options and help land you on the captivating shore of your wood floor design dreams. As San Diego’s trusted hardwood flooring connoisseurs, we bring our wide spectrum of expertise, from classic favorites like Jacobean and Provincial to trending shades fresh on the 2023 design scene.

But what are the top picks for the best wood floor stain colors this year? Here’s a brief snapshot to give you a headstart:

  • Classics: Jacobean, Provincial, Antique Brown
  • Trending Dark Shades (2023): Espresso, Driftwood
  • Trending Light Shades (2023): Pine, Birch

Infographic showing the top wood floor stain colors for 2023 - best wood floor stain colors infographic pillar-3-steps

Delve into our guide to learn more about these trending colors and how to choose the absolute best wood floor stain colors tailored to match your design style, light setting, room decor, personal preferences, and the type of wood on your floor. You may also want to consider our floor staining services that bring out the timeless beauty of your hardwood while ensuring durability and longevity. No carpet has ever brought the kind of charm and luxury that a beautiful and effectively-restored hardwood floor can. Let us help you make the right choice for your magical home makeover.

Understanding Wood Floor Stain Colors

Before delving into the best wood floor stain colors for 2023, it’s crucial to understand what wood floor stain colors are and how profoundly they can affect your room’s overall look.

Wood floor stain colors are essentially pigmented treatments applied to the wood surface to alter its natural color, highlighting the grain pattern and adding depth and richness to the overall appearance. It’s like applying makeup to your floor; it can enhance its natural beauty, conceal its blemishes, and create an entirely new look.

The impact of the stain color on a room is significant. It can set the room’s mood, influence the perception of space, and either unify or contrast with your overall design. For instance, a dark stain can give a room a sophisticated, formal look, while a light stain will make a room appear airy and spacious.

Choosing the Right Stain Color

When it comes to choosing the right stain color, several factors come into play. The type of wood, your interior design style, and your furniture are all key considerations.

Different types of wood respond differently to stain. For instance, oak floors take stains exceptionally well, while more unique wood types like mahogany, walnut, cherry, or maple are often best left in their natural state. These wood strains don’t take stain as well, and they’re full of natural beauty that many people try to emulate with stain (source).

Your interior design style will also significantly influence your stain color choice. Light stain colors are perfect for minimalist or contemporary design trends, while mid-toned brown shades work best with rustic farmhouse styles. Darker browns and reds lend themselves to elegant, moody designs.

Lastly, consider your furniture. The stain color should complement your existing furniture and decor. If you’re keeping your existing furniture, you’ll want to find a color that compliments what you have. Get stain samples from your flooring professional to compare them in person with your furniture.

At California Flooring & Design, we understand the importance of choosing the right stain color for your hardwood floors. We’re here to guide you through the process, offering our expertise and a wide range of color options to ensure you find the perfect fit for your home.

The Process of Staining Hardwood Floors

Choosing the best wood floor stain colors is only one step in the journey to having beautiful hardwood floors. The actual process of staining the floor is just as crucial. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help you understand how it’s done.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Stain Hardwood Floors

  1. Preparation: The first step is to ensure the floor is clean and smooth. Any dirt or rough patches can affect how the stain is absorbed. We recommend a thorough cleaning and sanding of the floor to prepare it for staining.

  2. Applying the Stain: Once the floor is ready, the stain is applied evenly across the surface. This can be done using a brush or a cloth, depending on the type of stain and personal preference.

  3. Wiping Away Excess Stain: After the stain has been applied and given some time to be absorbed by the wood, any excess stain is wiped away. This prevents the stain from drying on the surface and creating an uneven finish.

  4. Drying: The stained floor needs to be left to dry for a specified period, usually around 24 hours, before any finish can be applied.

Importance of Testing Stain Samples

Before committing to a particular stain color, testing samples on a small, inconspicuous part of the floor is a must. This allows you to see how the stain reacts with your specific type of wood and how it looks in your home’s lighting. A stain can look very different in the store than it does in your home.

Water Popping and Stain Saturation

One technique we use at California Flooring & Design to ensure better stain saturation is water popping. This process involves dampening the wood with water after the initial sanding. The water causes the wood fibers to swell, allowing the stain to penetrate deeper and provide a richer, more consistent color.

From choosing the perfect stain color to the application process, we’re committed to helping you achieve stunning hardwood floors that elevate your space. Our team of experts is always on hand to guide you through each step, ensuring you’re delighted with the final results.

Top 3 Classic Wood Floor Stain Colors

Wood floor stain colors can dramatically change the look and feel of your room. They can bring out the natural grain and beauty of your hardwood floors, adding depth and richness to your space. The best wood floor stain colors can also complement your home’s decor and style.

Jacobean: A Timeless Elegance

Jacobean Stain - best wood floor stain colors

First on our list is the classic Jacobean stain. This dark, rich color is a popular choice for homeowners looking for a timeless and elegant look. It is a versatile stain color that works well with both traditional and contemporary décor styles. Its deep hue can add a sense of warmth and sophistication to any space. Jacobean is particularly striking on oak hardwood floors, where it brings out the natural grain patterns beautifully.

Provincial: The Perfect Balance

Provincial Stain - best wood floor stain colors

Next up is Provincial, a medium-brown stain that strikes the perfect balance between light and dark. This classic stain color offers a warm, inviting tone that enhances the natural beauty of your hardwood floors. It’s a versatile choice that complements a wide range of interior design styles, making it a popular choice among homeowners. Provincial is a particularly good choice for homes with plenty of natural light, where it can help create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Antique Brown: Rich and Luxurious

Antique Brown Stain - best wood floor stain colors

Finally, we have Antique Brown, a rich, dark brown stain that brings a sense of depth and luxury to any room. This classic stain color is perfect for those looking to create a traditional or rustic aesthetic in their home. It’s particularly effective on darker woods like mahogany or walnut, where it can really bring out the depth and richness of the wood. Antique Brown is also a great choice for rooms with less natural light, where it can help create a cozy, intimate atmosphere.

Choosing the right stain color for your hardwood floors is a decision that should not be taken lightly. It’s important to consider your home’s style, your personal taste, and the type of wood you have. We at California Flooring and Design are here to help guide you through this process and ensure you end up with the perfect stain color for your hardwood floors.

Top 2 Trending Dark Wood Floor Stain Colors for 2023

As we delve into the year 2023, we are noticing some distinctive trends in the realm of hardwood floor stain colors. Two dark stain colors, in particular, are making a prominent appearance in many homes, and for good reasons. These trending colors are Espresso and Driftwood. Let’s take a closer look at why these are becoming the best wood floor stain colors for many homeowners.


The first of our top trending dark wood floor stain colors is Espresso. This rich, almost black color has been a popular choice for both furniture and flooring over the years. Its popularity isn’t waning in 2023; in fact, it’s becoming even more sought-after.

Espresso is almost black, but it carries dark brown undertones, which make it easy to pair with most colors. This stain color adds a dramatic touch to any room while still maintaining a warm undertone. It’s particularly popular among homeowners who prefer a contemporary interior design style. The Espresso stain effectively camouflages wood grains, giving the floor a more uniform and modern appearance.

As a result, we are seeing an increased demand for Espresso stained floors in 2023, as homeowners seek to create a more distinctive and stylish interior.


Driftwood is the second dark stain color that is trending in 2023. Unlike Espresso, Driftwood carries a cooler tone, leaning towards the gray spectrum. It’s a unique color that offers depth and character, making it an ideal choice for homeowners who want to add a touch of individuality to their interiors.

Driftwood stained floors give off a weathered and rustic vibe, reminiscent of beachfront homes. This stain offers a balance between modern style and rustic charm, making it a versatile choice that can complement a range of interior styles.

Additionally, Driftwood stained floors work exceptionally well with cooler color schemes, such as blues, grays, and greens. They provide a unique compromise for homeowners who want a dark floor but don’t want to commit to the intense depth of Espresso or True Black.

At California Flooring and Design, we are always staying on top of the latest flooring trends to provide our clients with the best options. Whether you prefer the warm richness of Espresso or the rustic charm of Driftwood, we can help you achieve the perfect look for your home.

Top 2 Trending Light Wood Floor Stain Colors for 2023

Lighter wood floor stain colors continue to hold their ground as a popular choice among homeowners. Their natural look appeals to those aiming to achieve a bright, minimalist design. Let’s take a look at the top two trending light wood stain colors set to take center stage in 2023.

Pine: A Traditional Charm

Pine is not just a type of wood but also a popular stain color. With its wide range of shades, Pine offers homeowners a plethora of options. From a traditional look to a more timeless hue, Pine embodies a versatile charm. A more beige shade of Pine is especially trending for its ability to add to your home’s resale value, compared to the golden yellow that can sometimes seem outdated.

In 2023, we predict that this beige Pine stain will be a popular choice among homeowners looking for the best wood floor stain colors. It strikes the perfect balance between maintaining the wood’s natural look and adding a touch of elegance.

Birch: A Unique Allure

Next on our list is Birch, a stain color that is rapidly gaining popularity. Similar to Pine, Birch is also a type of wood that lends its name to a stain color. The light tone of Birch stain is perfect for those who prefer a subtle yet unique look for their floors.

Birch is a light wood with a fine grain, making it an excellent choice for those wanting to maintain a light and airy feel in their rooms. The stain color enhances the natural characteristics of the wood, resulting in a floor that is both beautiful and durable.

Here at California Flooring and Design, we believe in providing our clients with the most stylish and high-quality options for their homes. Whether you’re leaning towards the classic charm of Pine or the unique allure of Birch, we’re here to guide you through the process and ensure you select the best wood floor stain colors for your space. Stay tuned to discover more about customizing your wood floor stain color in the next section.

Customizing Your Wood Floor Stain Color

One of the beautiful aspects of wood flooring is the opportunity for customization. While there are many pre-made stain colors available on the market, you also have the option to create a unique shade that perfectly fits your taste and home decor. Let’s delve into how this process works and how you can explore custom stain colors for your hardwood floors.

Creating Custom Stain Colors

The process of creating custom stain colors involves mixing different stains together to achieve a unique shade. This allows you to tailor the color to your specific design needs and preferences. As Beth highlighted in a discussion on hardwood floor colors, it’s absolutely possible to mix stain colors together to get the look you want. We suggest finding a color closest to what you desire, then experimenting with different mixtures until you find the perfect match.

The goal is to create a color that you’ll love for years to come, as re-staining your floor can be a time-consuming and costly process. We recommend testing the custom color on a small, inconspicuous spot on your floor or on a sample piece of wood. This will give you an accurate idea of the final look before committing to staining the entire floor.

Exploring Custom Color Options

At California Flooring and Design, we offer a wide variety of stain colors, providing endless possibilities for custom combinations. Whether you’re aiming for a warm, brown tone, a rich, dark hue, or a light, minimalist shade, we can help you create the perfect custom color for your hardwood floors.

Beyond color, the type of wood and its grain pattern can also affect the final look of the stain. Different types of wood absorb stain at different rates, which can influence the richness and depth of the color. Therefore, consider the type of wood you have when customizing your stain color.

In conclusion, customizing your wood floor stain color allows you to have a truly unique and personalized hardwood floor. It’s a creative process that offers a world of potential, letting you achieve a look that is uniquely yours. As your trusted partners in hardwood flooring, we’re here to guide you through this process and ensure that you’re delighted with the final result.


We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article, exploring the top 7 best wood floor stain colors trends for 2023. To recap, the classic shades of Jacobean, Provincial, and Antique Brown continue to be popular choices for their timeless appeal. For those seeking a more contemporary look, the darker and dramatic hues of Espresso and Driftwood are trending this year. And if a light and natural aesthetic is what you’re after, the stain colors of Pine and Birch are the ones to watch.

Choosing the right stain color for your hardwood floors is an essential decision. It can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your home, enhancing its aesthetic appeal and, in turn, its potential resale value. It’s not just about following trends; it’s about understanding your personal style, your home’s existing decor, and how different stain colors can complement these elements.

At California Flooring & Design, we understand that every home is unique, and every homeowner has different tastes and preferences. That’s why we offer a wide range of stain color options, and we’re always here to provide expert guidance to help you choose the best wood floor stain colors for your home.

We are committed to delivering not just quality products but also exceptional customer service. Our 5-year product guarantee is a testament to our confidence in the durability and beauty of our hardwood flooring offerings. Whether you’re looking for a classic or contemporary look, we have the expertise and the selection to help you achieve your dream floors.

We invite you to explore our hardwood floor colors further and get in touch with us for any queries or assistance you may need. We look forward to helping you transform your home with the perfect hardwood floors!