Nov 29, 2023 | Flooring Canada
When shopping for new hardwood floors, one of the first ways to narrow down your search is to consider if you want light or dark wood floors. Whatever you think you know about dark vs. light hardwood 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. The dark floors vs. light floors question has been an ongoing debate, but we're here to guide you through all the factors that you should consider when deciding on your hardwood floors.
First, let's address the question everyone's been asking: Is it better to have dark or light wood floors? The simple answer is it depends! Both flooring shades come with a different set of pros and cons, but ultimately the choice lies in your personal preferences and interior design taste.
You may not know as much about hardwood flooring as your local Flooring Canada expert, but your initial preference between light wood and dark hardwood floors is probably an excellent place to start. Flooring durability and lifestyle needs can be guided from there. 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, choose a wood floor that works well with other elements already in your home—or even opt for wood look vinyl or laminate—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 wood flooring. It's commonly believed that dark floors make a room look smaller, and lighter-coloured flooring will make the space feel bigger. To some degree, that is true, but since there’s more wall space in each room than floor space, wall colours 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 show up easily on dark floors. So, consider your cleaning habits when deciding between light and dark floors.
Can't make up your mind between light and dark floors? Check out more pros and cons between the two:
Opens up your space: Lighter wood coluors make a space feel bigger than it actually is. This is because light colours bring natural light and airiness to a space.
Provides a nice canvas: Floors with a lighter colour are beautiful but subtle. This means that your light wood floors will allow your furniture, eclectic decorations, and wall colours 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.
Looking "washed out": Floors that are too light, especially in a room with light-coloured walls, can wash out the space completely. This is especially true for rooms with a lot of natural light.
Fading: Certain lighter hardwood floors can fade faster than their darker counterparts. If you're worried about fading, consult with our Flooring Canada design professionals and they can guide you to products with fade-protection finishes.
Pro Tip: Avoid two lighter colours. 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.
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 colour.
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.
Making a space feel small: Darker floors can make a room feel smaller than it is, so it is important to have light-coloured walls to offset this.
No hidden debris: Dust, dirt, and debris are more visible on dark-coloured 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. We do carry pet-proof, kid-proof scratch-resistant dark flooring options, though!
Still not sure whether a light or dark floor is right for your home? Try Flooring Canada's online Room Visualizer tool to easily preview how dark vs light wood floors will look in your space. Or, you can order flooring samples in the comfort of your home to get an accurate visualization of any beautiful floor you want, with no surprises.