Asked on Feb 15, 2020

Can I use deck stain on subfloors?



I just bought a house and very strapped for cash. If I rip up the carpet and stain the subfloor could I use a deck stain? If so would I still need to apply polyurethane?

12 answers
  • Gk
    on Feb 15, 2020

    Hello Alicia! if you want to rip up your carpet and stain the plywood subfloor I would just use regular wood stain and then poly. If you are strapped for cash and have a local Restore you may be able to find used cans of stain there that could cost you a fraction of the price. You want the poly over the floor to protect the wood. Or if you rip up the carpet and can clean the floor really well from all the dirt and grime left behind you could use just the poly.

    on Feb 15, 2020

    Do you know what your subfloors are made of?

  • Chloe Crabtree
    Chloe Crabtree
    on Feb 15, 2020

    Use any stain and and they polyurethane over it to protect the wood.

  • Linda Sikut
    Linda Sikut
    on Feb 15, 2020

    Hi Alicia,

    I would not recommend using deck stain inside your home. Most deck stains contain chemicals to prevent mold and mildew that can be toxic when trapped inside a home. It would be better to use regular wood stain. However as GK stated, look for a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in your area or you can completely skip the stain and just use poly, depending on the look of the floor once it's cleaned. Wishing you the best.

  • Nan W.
    Nan W.
    on Feb 15, 2020

    Alicia: I would also NOT use outdoor materials for inside!!

  • William
    on Feb 15, 2020

    I would not use deck stain inside the home. There are some crucial differences between exterior and interior wood stains, so they are not to be used interchangeably. Deck stains incorporate preservatives and pesticides that indoor stains lack. Exterior deck stain products often incorporate additional chemicals, such as fungicides, that may be unsafe for interior use. They are formulated for better durability, but produce fumes that simply aren't appropriate for an indoor environment.

  • Morgan McBride
    Morgan McBride
    on Feb 15, 2020

    what does the subfloor look like? It seems like it would be rough.

  • Simple Nature Decor
    Simple Nature Decor
    on Feb 16, 2020

    I think you can, Stain is stain. Try a small section and see how it comes, if yo have any paint you can also paint it. here is a post on painting

  • Redcatcec
    on Feb 16, 2020

    I would strictly follow to the cautions on the product, keep the outdoors products outdoors and indoor usage ones indoors. There are reasons for this that are described on the containers, if used improperly there could be disastrous results, as William said. Otherwise the manufacturer cannot support the product and it could be a health risk when not used as directed..

  • Vimarhonor
    on Feb 16, 2020

    Hello I would suggest calling the manufacturer in your can of outdoor stain. Many stains may contain chemicals because of the outdoor exposure. This may contraindicate the usage indoors in your home. The best and safest way is to contact the manufacturer and see if it is an option.

  • Betsy
    on Feb 21, 2020

    Hi Alicia: Yes, I'm sure you can, but I'd sand the sub floor to make sure that there are no splinters and yes, I'd use something over it that wasn't really slippery. Try Varathane Clear Satin Water-Based Interior Polyurethane. When you put it on, use a good quality brush and use at least 2 or 3 coats if it was a high traffic area. The water based doesn't smell like the oil based, and is easier to apply. Just be careful that you don't make air bubbles. They won't come out, so go slow. The brush marks will even out. Good luck

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