Refinishing the Maple Kitchen Floor


March 9, 2014 by Sarah

If you recall from way back in the kitchen design post, I briefly talked about the possibility of replacing vs. refinishing the maple kitchen floor.

After getting a couple estimates we decided to have them sanded and refinished in a natural tone.  I do love a good dark stained floor, however, since the floors in the rest of the house are light we didn’t think it would look right.  Also, maple flooring does not take stain as well as other woods, and I didn’t want to chance any horrible surprises. The amber seal coat helped to make the floor slightly darker than if we would have just used a clear finish.

refinishing old maple flooring

I was pretty nervous about how it would turn out since it was not in the greatest shape.  There were some water damaged areas that I knew would not come out so I was not expecting perfection (which it totally fine with me–this house is 100yrs old so it comes with the territory). To our surprise, it came out better than we thought it would.

maple kitchen floor

There are indeed a few water-damaged areas that could not be helped, but it would have been pretty expensive to have it every water damaged board replaced. After the cabinets and everything else are in I don’t think they will stand out much at all.

hardwood floor water damage

I do have some experience sanding and refinishing floors myself, but it was not the most pleasurable of experiences truth be told. The 90degree+ days without air conditioning may have had something to do with it perhaps, but I thought it would best be left to the professionals this time around.

I was really pleased with the work Bob from Pete’s Hardwood did at our old place, but he recently increased his minimum charge so it ended up being way more than I wanted to pay.  We got another estimate that we were happy with and Brian The Floor Man came with a lot of good reviews in the neighborhood.

He came in on Monday morning and had the whole thing done by Tuesday night. It was amazing.  Sanded the floor and put down the first coat on Monday and came back to do an additional 2 coats on Tuesday.

He was very receptive to my requests to use an amber tinted seal coat (to make it darker without staining it) and waterborne finish so it wouldn’t harm the cats, or us for that matter, while it cured.


The cats were extremely annoyed that we would not let them downstairs while Brian was working on the floors, and naturally they wanted to get in there ASAP.

ikea kitchen cabinets

For the time being we have them covered in red rosin paper while we finish the rest of the work (cabinets, countertops, tiles, etc) so they don’t get damaged. Of course, as soon as the floors were done I had to start bringing the cabinets in, and Adrian got to work installing the undercabinet LED lights.

undercabinet lighting 2

I for some reason don’t have any other decent photos of the new floor, but I will post some as soon as the paper comes back up.

What do you think?  Would you have attempted a dark stain or kept it natural? Or would you have gotten rid of the floor completely and put in tile?  What type of floors do you have in your kitchen or what do you wish you had? Holla at me.

4 thoughts on “Refinishing the Maple Kitchen Floor

  1. meryl rose says:

    Because the rest of your floors are lighter, I totally agree with going lighter in here. I personally love the same flooring all throughout one space – I don’t like it when the foyer has tile, the living room has carpet, the dining room has hardwood and the kitchen is back to tile – it feels so chopped up. Our house had linoleum tile in the kitchen, but because everything is all on one level in our house and the kitchen isn’t very big I really wanted the same flooring throughout, so we installed hardwoods in the kitchen almost 5 years ago now (holy jesus).

    Yours look AWESOME. I can’t believe how quickly things are already coming together in here!

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks M! I totally agree with the different types of flooring in one area. Your kitchen is awesome. I will be lucky if mine turns out half as good as yours.

  2. tboard says:

    I redid a hardwood floor once. it looks amazing, but it was hard work, and I don’t want to do it again. I rented the equipment to do the job at Pete’s and got a free lesson. . . I am getting ready to have the maple floors in our kitchen redone by a pro.

    • Sarah says:

      I don’t blame you! I was a big money saver when I rented from Pete’s at the old house, but after doing it myself once I vowed to never do it again. Best left to the pros! Give Brian a call–he was great and reasonably priced!

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Sarah&Adrian @ StPaulHaus

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