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Valor Home Services

Common Hardwood Flooring Stains – Pt. 1

Depending who you ask (even in the wood flooring industry), there are many different definitions for the words “stain” and “discoloration.”

Let’s go to the USDA’s Wood Handbook for an official take:

“…a discoloration in wood that may be caused by such diverse agencies as microorganisms, metals, or chemicals. The term also applies to materials used to impart color to wood.”

In other words, for better or worse, stains make your wood floors change color.

There are many different causes of the nasty stains you DON’T want, and at Valor Home Services, it’s our priority to get you real information you can act on. Take a look at any stains or discoloration on your wood flooring and consider the possible causes below. There are so many common causes that we’ll be writing about this in two parts, so if you’re not convinced after reading this list, either schedule a consultation with us or come back next week to see part two with other possible causes of stains.

Mineral streaks or deposits

Mineral streaks show up on your hardwood floors as lines, spots or even bands in the wood that can range from light gray to tan, or even olive green, brown, purple, black or blue. These are naturally-occurring and (for some homeowners) are considered to add value to the visual appeal of wood floors.

These stains are often left alone until a floor is refinished, and even then they can be kept.

Sticker stains (aka shadow stains)

What we call sticker stains are spots of discoloration on the face of a board where a “stacker sticker” was used when the lumber was stacked in the factory. These “stickers” are actually thin strips of boards put between boards to separate lumber and let air circulate through.

This kind of stain shows as a brown or blue mark right where the wood came in contact with the sticker. These stains cannot be sanded out, so you can be strategic in how they’re placed if you’re installing a new wood floor.

Stains from moisture

Both wood and finish will change color if exposed to moisture. We’ve all seen these stains at someone’s home, especially in O’Fallon and surrounding areas where humidity climbs so high in summer (and snow gets tracked onto wood floors in the winter).

Fortunately, these stains can be buffed or refinished out in most cases.

Iron stains

Wood tannins can react with water and iron where iron is present in materials used to manufacture the floor that aren’t properly cleaned before finish is applied. These stains can also form around iron objects like metal buckets and flooring fasteners.

These stains can generally be buffed or refinished out.

Getting stains fixed can sometimes mean a repair, and sometimes mean a full refinish. One of our brand promises here at Valor Home Services is to keep your projects on budget, however, so if you contact us you can rest assured we will not sell you a full refinish if you don’t need one.

Schedule an appointment with us right here on the website to get a consultation started.