my existing flooring

I am planning to change a room that has laminate flooring to a room that has 3/4" hardwood flooring. The rest of the adjacent rooms and hallways all have hardwood flooring 3/4".

Initially I planned to use prefinished hardwood but after contacting minwax, I decided against it as prefinished hardwood cannot have any polyurethane applied to it easily and is difficult to sand. To get a closer match, I change my plan...

My plan is now to purchase unfinished wood flooring and then finish it myself in this room. The hardest first step is determining if I have red oak or white oak flooring. I think I have red oak as this was popular in the Long Island area long ago, but it's really hard to tell.

The next issue, is how to actually finish the wood to get this color match.

I planned to put the floor down and then finish with this polyurethane product for floors which has an amber tone, but I'm not sure if this produce a close enough orange-y effect.

polyurethane with Amber tone

Any advice would be much appreciated!

  • Can you get access to a cut end of the existing wood? I believe the appearance of the grain can help discriminate between white and red oak. Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 22:48
  • I will vote for rift sawn red oak. Consider doing a contrasting wood in that one room?
    – Matt Yates
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 18:38
  • FYI - wood identification from a picture is hard enough that it's explicitly off-topic at Woodworking.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 16:24
  • White and red oak have distinct grain patterns, but this photo isn't of high enough quality to tell.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 13:00

2 Answers 2


It's impossible to say for sure from your picture since it is already stained. But generally speaking the approach to this is trial and error with scrap pieces. You'll want to make sure the piece of totally dry before comparing the colour and it can look quite a bit different when wet.

It's unlikely you will get an exact match even using the exact same product since wear and tear and UV take their toll on floors. The only way to get an exact match across both floors is to refinish the old and new with the same product.


I've done patching in on a floor that was white oak, with red oak which was available. The difference is not that stark depending on whether it's a staggered patch-in or a linear section. That said, I stained ours with Dark Walnut and you'd have to really look to tell the difference.

As the previous answer specified, you'll have to experiment. A suggestion also, you might consider satin vs. gloss to avoid being blinded by your own floor. That's a personal preference to be sure, but I think it might also reduce the noticeability of any color differences.

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