Refinishing Red Oak Hardwood Floors to Look Like White Oak Floors

One thing we are finally able to check off our ‘To-Do’ list is refinish the hardwood floors! The upstairs had original red oak flooring. While I was excited the house had hardwood floors, I didn’t like the stain color. It was very worn in the living room with a chunk missing on one plank. You can see in the picture below, the lighter spots, where it was really worn.

While we were having the floors refinished, we also had the black marble hearth removed and replaced with hardwood flooring. We replaced all the baseboards and shoe molding as well.

Choosing a Stain

We want a light and airy feel to the house, so I picked out two stain colors from Minwax (our contractor’s preferred brand). I chose Minwax Oil-Based Natural 209 and Simply White 275. The contractor also used only polyurethane in one spot as another alternative – which is what I thought I would end up going with.

Immediately I knew I liked the middle sample over the other two.

L: Satin polyurethane M: Simply White stain R: Natural stain

Simply White is what we used with a satin polyurethane. The Simply White stain made the floor match the freshly sanded natural floor, that we loved.

It took a full week for them to be finished, Sunday – Sunday, with the contractor here everyday. Shout out to my wonderful in-laws for letting us crash their house while all this was happening!

Before & After Photos

There isn’t much more I can say about hardwood floors being refinished (since we didn’t do them ourselves) so I’ll leave you with some pictures of the process and the finished results.

Finished but still wet from the polyurethane. This is when I started to panic because I didn’t want them this shiny!
Once they dried, I was like 😍🤩🥳

Close up I took when trying to decide on window treatments

Cost Breakdown:

  • Baseboard & Shoe Molding Materials: $1500
  • Contractor Labor: $4800 (this included all the materials needed for the refinishing)

Total: $6,300.00

So far, we have finished a full bathroom remodel (still waiting on a few small things to come in…). We had sheetrock installed downstairs last week, from it being torn out due to the plumbing/water damage we had.

The house is VERY much still a work in progress. With 2 toddlers and a teenager, we don’t have a ton of spare time other than after they go to bed at night. Eventually we will get things feeling normal again!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission – at no extra cost for you.


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