Renovation Progress – Major Developments and Floor Stains

Well, things are moving along with our renovation progress and we are now looking at floor stains.

Seriously, it’s all happening so fast that I barely have time to sit down and write!  If you missed my last post, be sure to hop over and read all about our half wall situation.  Now, let’s take a look at the latest developments…

Kitchen renovation progress:

One day last week…within a two hour time frame, the appliances, cabinets and fireplace stone were delivered!

Early the next day, the guys didn’t waste any time unpacking them…

Renovation Progress - kitchen cabinets

 Yes, it was like Christmas morning!

Renovation progress and floor stain decisions

Before long, my white kitchen dream was becoming a reality!

After a couple days, it already looked like this!

Renovation progress – floor stains:

Then the floor guy arrived with a variety of Minwax stains.  As you can see, he tested a large square for each color.  This gave us a better idea of how each stain color would look on our red oak floors.

Renovation Progress - floor stain options for red oak

Also, he advised us to go with an oil based floor stain.  Apparently, the oil based is the “traditional” way to go.  It is supposedly more durable but it takes longer to cure.

The floor stain colors above are as follows…(listed top to bottom).

  • Early American
  • Provincial
  • English Chestnut
  • Special Walnut
  • Espresso
  • Special Walnut (didn’t get good coverage on this first try)

Of course, they all looked beautiful.  Needless to say, I haven’t committed yet!

Floor stain examples for red oak

(From left to right is Special Walnut, English Chestnut, Provincial and Early American).

Originally, I thought I would go with a lighter color, (you know – the golden retriever fur).  Though, my neighbor just used English Chestnut stain in her home and I loved how it turned out.  Of course, I had to give that some consideration.  So, at one point it was English Chestnut vs. Provincial stain.  Now, I think we are leaning towards the two stains on the right – Provincial and Early American.

Below, is a better view of the island which is what I am comparing them to:

Minwax Early American vs. Provincial Floor Stains for red oak

So, here we have Early American vs. Provincial stain.  In my opinion, the Early American floor stain matches in color but the Provincial picks up the darker tones mixed in the island….so difficult!

And I have to think about how the color will look throughout the house.  As you can see, the guys are sanding and refinishing the stairs as well.

Renovation Progress - Sanding Staircase

I must say, we were pleasantly surprised when we removed the runner to see that the stairs really hadn’t faded that much in 16 years.  For some reason I thought they had, but I guess they were always on the light side.  It made me relieved that we chose to do finished-on-site floors throughout the house.  Over the years, the pre-finished floors we had in our living room and dining room faded terribly.

Here is what my living room floor looked like right before we tore it out…

And this room doesn’t even get a lot of light!

Oh, and speaking of light…

Kitchen Renovation Progress - Cabinet Lighting

They installed the under cabinet and upper cabinet lighting.

One night, I think I stood in here for an hour, just staring at the room.  Literally, it’s my favorite thing yet!

We are definitely moving along with our kitchen renovation progress!

Now, I just have to push myself to make some decisions.  For me, the floor stain is a tough one because the hardwood will be almost everywhere!  And I may have gone a little wild on my granite selection…a bit out of my comfort zone.  I’ll fill you in on that next time…

Any thoughts on the hardwood floor stains?

Honestly, I would love your input…take another look:

Minwax Floor Stains on red oak - Special Walnut, English Chestnut, Provincial and Early American

Here are the floor stain colors in order from above:

(1) Special Walnut   (2) English Chestnut   (3) Provincial   (4) Early American

If you are following the renovation progress in order, next I’m sharing all my granite choices.

**Renovation Updates:

Yes, I’d say this kitchen renovation is moving along!

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Kitchen Renovation Progress and Floor Stains - Special Walnut, English Chestnut , Provincial and Early American


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  1. I absolutely LOVE your cabinets. Everything is coming together, I can see where it's almost like Christmas. I have Provincial stain on my island and flooring. I love the color, not too dark, not too light. Looking forward to seeing more of your journey. fondly ~ Lynne~

  2. You already know we have provincial. Love it. However, I will say it looks lighter in our home. And just FYI, my oldest has always loved dark floors. Swore she would install dark hardwoods when and if she ever purchased a home down the road. Two weeks into her new apartment with dark laminate floors and she told me, "I will NEVER have dark floors as long as I own a dog". She then proceeded to say she thinks her neighbors probably already thinks she is a crazy woman vacuuming daily, sometimes twice!! LOL

  3. Wow, your kitchen is going to be so beautiful, Shelley! My choice for stain would be Early American, because it seems to have a bit of red making it look warmer. I always go for warmer tones, but that's just me.

  4. Love love love your new cabinets Shelley…your kitchen is going to look AMAZING!! Now with the flooring I'm going to be no help because I like both the Early American and the Provincial! Oh and I love the new window over your sink with the transom.

  5. Oh, wow, Shelley! Your kitchen is looking so incredible. That floor color is a tough decision. I am sure either one will be fine.

  6. The kitchen looks great! I think the less red you can pull from the stain for the floor the better but still have a bit of warmth so it goes with the other flooring that has a bit of red in it I used Early american mixed with provincial on my cypress which also unfortunately has red undertones but these stains helped mellow that! SO either one of those should be great!

  7. Shelley, how exciting!!! I love your cabinets and the color of your island! This is really coming along. Can't wait to see what you chose for flooring – I think your top two are gorgeous!

  8. Your kitchen is beyond amazing. LOVE those white cabinets and dark stain for the floor. just beautiful!

  9. It looks stunning! Love everything. My flooring choice would be Early American, but I don't think you could go wrong with either of those.

  10. It looks fabulous, Shelley!! The cabinets are gorgeous and love the island color. I can't believe how quickly it is coming along Excited to see your floor color choice…know it will be beautiful!

  11. Looks gorgeous! We finally selected our flooring color. Such a big decision that's a huge part of so many rooms, so I know how challenging it is. Good luck! Can't wait to see more.

  12. Oh my gosh, it is looking beautiful and if I was buying new cabinets those would be on the top of my list, they are gorgeous!!! I love the lighting! Lucky you, I am so happy for you. I like the Early American stain the best.I love watching this unfold! xo Nancy

  13. Visiting from the Relished Roost! Just had to stop by to see the gorgeous transformation of your home. Choosing just the right stain for those beautiful floors is so challenging, any one of them will be stunning!Jemma

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