Light vs. Dark: Which Floors Will You Choose?
Dec 01, 2021
Light vs. Dark: Which Floors Will You Choose?
When shopping for new hardwood floors, one of the first ways to narrow your search is to ask yourself if you want your floors to be dark or light. Whatever you think you know about light and dark floors, it’s probably only scratching the surface. Maybe you believe dark hardwood floors would make your space feel too small, or you’re worried you’d spend all your time cleaning your light hardwood floors to keep them looking brand-new. We’ll take you through all the factors you should consider when deciding between light or dark floors.
Getting Started: Finding Your New Light or Dark Flooring
First, you may not know as much about hardwood flooring as your local Flooring America expert, but your initial preference between light wood and dark hardwood floors is probably an excellent place to start. Think about interior design trends that you are repeatedly drawn to, which will give you a good idea of your taste in flooring. Next, look at the existing style of your home. While new hardwood floors are one of the higher home improvement costs, if you don’t have room in the budget to update the rest of your space, choosing a wood floor that works well with other elements already in your home might be a good idea.
The next step is to evaluate how much natural light there is in the space where you will update your flooring. If it’s naturally darker, with fewer windows to let light in, then lighter hardwood floors may help brighten up your space. If the room is already naturally bright, you may have the opportunity to choose a more striking dark hardwood floor. Most people believe dark floors make a room look smaller, and light flooring make a room look bigger. To some degree, that is true, but since there’s more wall space in each room than floor space, wall colors greatly impact the overall look of the room size-wise. Darker floors are better suited for larger rooms and open floor plans.
Another seemingly unrelated factor to consider is how often you clean your floors. Light hardwood flooring can hide small flaws, dirt, and debris, but anything larger will be very noticeable. Dark hardwood flooring, on the other hand, can require less maintenance since dirt tends to blend in more - but keep in mind they will still need to be swept often as dust and pet hair shows up easily on dark floors. So, consider your personal cleaning habits when deciding between light and dark floors.
Still deciding between light vs. dark flooring? Check out more of the pros and cons for light colored floors and dark colored floors:
The Pros of Light Hardwood Floors
Opens up your space: Lighter wood colors make a space feel bigger than it actually is. This is because light colors bring in natural light and airiness to a space.
Your decor as the focal point: Floors with a lighter color are beautiful but subtle. This means that your light wood floors will allow your furniture, eclectic decorations, and wall colors to stand out more.
Matches most design aesthetics: Light woods can match or complement several different design styles. Whether your go-to style is rustic, modern, or traditional, light floors will go with it!
Easy to clean: Light flooring hides dirt and small flaws, making it easier to maintain.
A casual feel: Light hardwood floors offer a more casual look, making them perfect for low-maintenance and cozy homes.
The Cons of Light Hardwood Floors
Too light: Floors that are too light, especially in a room with light-colored walls, can wash out the space completely. This is especially true for rooms with a lot of natural light.
More fading: Certain light flooring, including lighter hardwood floors, can fade faster than their darker counterparts.
Avoid two lighter colors: If you choose to put a light floor in your kitchen, be sure it goes well with your cabinets because if you have light wood cabinets and light flooring, they may not mesh well together and wash out the space.
The Pros of Dark Hardwood Floors
Warmth and ambiance: Dark floors bring richness and contrast to a room. This adds a layer of warmth that will make your furnishings stand out more, especially if they are lighter in color.
Less prone to fading: Dark flooring, especially dark hardwood flooring, is less prone to fading than lighter floors. This makes them ideal for rooms with lots of natural light.
Increased resale value: Dark floors are a popular flooring trend; because of that, they help increase the value of your home when you go to sell it.
Versatile: Dark floors have a versatile appearance that complements any decor style and can help ground larger rooms.
A sophisticated feel: Depending on the decor in your home, dark flooring can add an elegant feel to any space. Darker floors tend to be more luxurious than lighter flooring.
The Cons of Dark Hardwood Floors
Smaller spaces: Darker floors can make a room feel smaller than it is, so it is important to have light-colored walls to offset this.
No hidden debris: Dust, dirt, and debris are more visible on dark colored flooring, meaning you’ll have to clean them more often. A daily sweep and weekly mop can keep the floors cleaner and keep the visible debris down.
Scratches: If you are a pet parent, remember that scratches are more apparent on dark floors. There are scratch-resistant dark flooring options, though!
Find Your Style
Still not sure whether a light or dark floor is right for your home? Try Flooring America’s simple My Floor Style tool to easily preview how light and dark floors will look in your room. You’ll get an accurate visualization of any beautiful floor you want, right in your own home with no surprises.
Visualize Your Flooring Dreams
Want a preview of how new floors will look in your home? Try our room visualizer, My Floor Style. Upload a photo of your room, select your style preferences, and get a virtual look at each different flooring style. With My Floor Style, there are no surprises. Only beautiful new floors.