A Great Grey Day

A Great Grey Day

Weigh all the finishing options before selecting grey hardwood flooring

007By definition, grey is: Of a neutral tone, intermediate between black and white. It has no hue and reflects and transmits only a little light.

This line from the dictionary does little to explain the dramatic, contemporary looks grey flooring can create in a room.  But discerning homeowners  frequently are choosing it for their walls and floors in everything from tile to hardwood.

The grey porcelain tile photos in the post are from a bathroom with a zero-entry shower. The shades of grey and white throughout the room are a popular look.Trend or fad?

Somerset room_specialty_greystoneA growing trend, or fad, nationally toward grey hardwood floors – particularly maple and birch — stands out a little more because it isn’t yet seen every day by the average homeowner here in the Midwest. Featured in this post is a photograph of Somerset plank maple flooring, prefinished – meaning at the factory before installation — in the color, Greystone.

Putting grey stain on Maple can be a little tricky because of the way this wood absorbs the stain, so you are likely to also see some brown tones.  The mechanics of this process are not of concern unless you are a homeowner who prefers a square-edged plank flooring that is stained and finished on-site.

Testing for the right shade of grey

Stain color can be tested in advance so you achieve the perfect shade. A waterborne polyurethane likely will be used over that as an oil-based urethane will produce undesirable yellowing, not to mention unhealthful chemical fumes that will linger for months.

Another option is a grey-tinted, plant-based oil finish. It will be very matte, and less likely to show scratches. This won’t appeal to the homeowner who wants a shiny finish.

018But the natural oil finish offers advantages.  In addition to hiding scratches, this floor is spot-repairable. When this finish begins to show wear, the worn area can be easily re-coated without sanding and refinishing the whole floor.

A word of caution though. Few U.S. flooring contractors are experts in applying natural oil finishes, so be sure to consult one who is. ©


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