Selecting the right hardwood floor color for your home is never as easy as it looks. One color may look amazing at the store, but the lighting and interior design in your home can make it appear completely different. Once your hardwood floor color and finish have been installed, it will be years until they are changed. Due to this, it is important to choose the right hardwood floor color before you spend the time and effort installing hardwood flooring.
The first step in the process is to decide if you want light or dark floors. While both options are beautiful, they have different requirements in terms of maintenance and cleaning. In addition, you will want to make sure that the hardwood flooring matches the interior design and ambiance of your home.
Dark Hardwood Floor Color Options
In recent years, dark wood floors have become a major trend in new properties. The refurbished flooring and vintage material fads have made dark wood highly sought after. From old plantation floors to rich, heart pine boards, dark flooring is coming back in style.
The nice thing about dark woods is that they can work with a number of other colors and designs. You could mix them with earth tones for a bohemian or a natural look. Combined with bright, vivid colors, dark wood floors contrast beautifully for a vibrant living room or dining room. No matter what type of color pallet you want, dark woods can match just about anything.
While many people believe that dark wood is inherently formal, it can actually be used for a comfortable, relaxed interior. If you stain your floors with a darker color, it will make them appear aged like vintage wood. When choosing dark wood flooring, you can use a wood that is naturally dark like walnut or cherry flooring. It is also possible to choose a light-colored floor like oak and stain it to be darker. Basically, you can choose whichever wood fits your budget and style and stain it to match the color that you want.
What Are the Downsides to Darker Floors?
Depending on how sensitive you are to cleanliness, you may want to choose different types of flooring. Throughout the years, children, dogs and general wear can cause scratches to appear on the floors. This process is entirely normal, but it will cause your dark wood flooring to look scuffed up over time.
Fortunately, the scuff marks only affect the hardwood floor finishes that you use. Unless the finish has worn away or something heavy scratches the floor, the scuff marks are unlikely to affect the wood. Due to this, your best option is to choose a flooring that is easy to touch up. There are pre-finished flooring options available that allow you to touch up the finish without having to sand the floor. This simple product makes it easy to remove the dirt, wear and tear that normally happen in daily life.
Places Where You Should Never Use Dark Hardwood Floor Colors
Dark woods have a tendency to make a small room appear even smaller. As a rule, you will want to use a wood that is at least 8 inches wide. In addition to having fewer seams, the wider board will help to balance out the dark color. You may also want to avoid using dark hardwood flooring next to cabinets or furniture that contains dark wood. It can be difficult to get the woods to match up perfectly, and too many dark colors can overwhelm the room. Instead, it may be better to pick cabinetry that contrast with the flooring.
Light Hardwood Floor Color Options
Another option for hardwood floor colors can be found with light wood floors. Strip oak floors have been one of the most popular light wood solutions for the last three decades. These colors work with a variety of interior designs and can be modified to create different looks. In general, floors that have a white finish will match almost any décor. For a different option, light burlap-colored floors can give you the same ambiance without having to install a floor that is actually white.
Beautiful oak and maple floors are some of the most popular light hardwood floor color options available. While these may be the most common, hickory is a gorgeous alternative that is reasonably priced. Unlike dark wood flooring, you will have to select a wood that is already light in color. While you can try staining the wood, it is much easier to start with a hardwood that is already light-colored.
What Are the Downsides to Light Hardwood Floor Colors?
If you want a very light, white finish, it can be difficult to achieve. In some cases, you may have to stain light floors, paint them and add a custom sealer to make sure that the flooring maintains a white color. In addition, you have to be careful to use the right finish to get a whiter tone. Eastern white pine and maple floors should use a clear-based finish to get a light color. If you use an oil-based finish on these floors, they can end up looking yellow.
Places Where You Should Never Use Light Hardwood Floor Colors
In reality, there are very few places where you cannot use a light wood. Light wood floors make it harder to see dust, dirt and debris, which makes them ideal for high traffic areas. In terms of maintenance options, you will want to apply the right sealer to your floor. As long as you have a sealer on your light woods, they will be protected from any spills or scuff marks that occur during daily life.
There are numerous wood types, stains and colors available for your home. Ultimately, your decision is determined by the type of ambiance you want and the lifestyle you live. While light floors hide dust and dirt better, dark wood floors provide a vivid contrast within your home. Take some time to consider the type of wood that matches your interior design because the hardwood flooring could be in your home for decades.