Light vs Dark hardwoods – The pros and cons

Thankfully, when it comes to hardwood floors, there is no one-size-fits-all. Some people prefer light woods and some people prefer dark woods.

What’s right for your friend may not be right for you or your home. And, if it’s your house, you get to choose.

No floor is perfect. There are trade-offs, and only you can decide which factors are most important to you and your family.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing the color of your hardwood floors:


Dark floors are very trendy right now. They make a bold statement and bring out the look and feel of your furniture. They work great in open and well-lit rooms, offices, kitchens, and studios. You may not always see these colors in areas like a dining room and bathroom. There is a reason for that. Dark floors make rooms dark. If you need better light in your room, this can be easily remedied by painting the walls with a lighter color. Darker floors also have higher maintenance. Dust and scratches can be more easily seen than with lighter wood color. They require more cleaning more often. If this is not a problem for you and you are looking for a bold, high contrast look that makes your decor stand out, then a dark-colored floor may be just the right thing for you.


Light-colored floors are timeless, classy, and easy to decorate around. They are very versatile with any floor space, ceiling height, and lighting. Because of the low visibility of scratches, light-colored floors are good for homes with pets. They can also make any room look brighter and feel bigger. These lighter tones can seem boring and blend in with the background but they do have a feel that works in all rooms and does not go out of fashion. If you want your lighter shade of flooring to stand out more, look for a wood that has a strong texture and color variations in the planks.


No matter what floor color you decide to go with, samples will be your best friend. Most stores and online merchants offer them for free. Take advantage of that and get some samples. A picture or display may look nice but your home will not be under the same professional lighting. Placing a sample on the floor in direct sunlight, moonlight, and under your home lighting or matching it up with your current furniture will give you a much better idea of the end result. You can also use the room designer for comparing floor colors.