How to stain laminate floors

Updated November 21, 2016

Laminate flooring has gained popularity due to its low-maintenance track record. It's become the affordable option for those wanting a beautiful wood floor on a budget. After applying a stain, the laminate floor takes on all the beauty of a hardwood floor, minus the hassle. The range of colours is as varied as traditional wood products, and the staining process is the same as for wood. There are no special methods, and a beautifully stained laminate wood floor is possible over the course of a weekend.

Sweep and damp mop the floor. Give the floor a few minutes to dry before continuing.

Tape off any edges that could get stain transferred inadvertently. Dip a rag in the stain product and begin wiping the laminate floor. Move the rag with the grooves of the wood to maintain even colouration.

Pull the rag in towards you, away from the corners and edges. Work in small sections to produce the best results.

Wipe the excess stain off of the laminate flooring, using clean rags. Allow the stain 24 hours to soak in and set well.

Apply a water-based urethane surface finish, using a natural-bristle brush. Finish off the edges and corners, using a foam application brush for better control. Allow to dry per label instructions.

Buff or lightly sand the surface when it is completely dry. Wipe the dust from sanding away with a damp cloth.

Apply the final finish layer, using the natural-bristle and foam brush. Let the floor dry completely. Remove the tape and throw it away.


Having a second person helping with this project trims down the workload quite a bit. One person can apply the stain and the other can wipe off the excess.


Wear safety glasses and gloves when working with these chemicals. Keep the area well ventilated.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Laminate floor stain
  • Rags
  • Water-based urethane finish product
  • Natural-bristle brush
  • Foam application brush
  • Sandpaper
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