When you’re choosing the color of your hardwood floors and you’re deciding between light and dark wood floors and flooring treatments, there are a few things to keep in mind. As is the case with everything else, there are certain pros and cons to choosing dark hardwood floors over lighter variations. This list goes for darker stains and species alike.
Pros of dark hardwood floors
- Dark floors are modern, on trend, in style. Dark floors are generally more popular and more contemporary looking than lighter hardwood floors, depending on the treatments applied to the flooring.
- Dark floors pair well with certain interior design choices. If you have light colored walls, for example, a dark floor might be a good choice to provide some well-needed contrast.
- A dark floor hides certain imperfections. If your floor is old and has a bunch of imperfections (e.g. gaps in floor, water stains, knots), a darker stain will often cover up imperfections better than a lighter one. It will also camouflage any gaps in between the planks much better than a lighter floor would.
Cons of dark hardwood floors
Of course, there are also a few cons to choosing dark hardwood floors and/or stains. Here are just a few, as well as some solutions you can use to counteract them.
- Dark floors show more dust and dirt than lighter floors. However, there are a few ways to minimize the amount of dust showing on the floors––namely, using a satin/matte finish rather than a glossy one. Plus, matte finishes are stylish right now, so that’s an added bonus.
- Dark floors show scratches more readily than lighter floors. However, you can avoid this by screening/buffing every 3-4 years. You can also opt for a prefinished floor, which will have a factory-cured finish that is more difficult to scratch than a typical, site-finished urethane finish.
- Dark floors can make a small space look smaller. However, the extent to which you’ll experience this effect depends on the wall color and can often be counteracted with good interior design choices.
The final word on dark hardwood floors
Ultimately, the choice you’ll make between a darker and a lighter floor will come down to the kind of household you run and your specific needs and wants. Do you want a sleeker, modern look and if so, are you willing to trade that for the convenience of having a floor that would be easier to maintain?
If you anticipate having a lot of foot traffic that might scuff up the floors, or you have young children and/or pets in the house, these are all things indicating that you might want to lean in the direction of a lighter floor rather than darker one. However, if you’re going for a more contemporary look, darker floors are usually a good choice. You can minimize the amount of scuffing/scratches by choosing a prefinished hardwood floor.