We are about to refinish about 1700 sq. feet of contiguous maple flooring and add maple treads to an adjacent staircase. The floor is currently a natural color, and a couple of decorator types have suggested we stain it darker. Most of the flooring contractors, however, advise that it will stain unevenly. Researching on the net, I learned that water popping may help the stain take more evenly. Does anyone have any experience with staining maple to a medium brown tone or suggestions about whether it is a good idea to do so?