You already know that hardwood flooring adds value, beauty and long-lasting appeal to your home; the question is: do you go with a dark or a light hardwood? From kitchens to living rooms to hallways, hardwood flooring is an ideal choice for many homeowners. Let us help you in your decision between light and dark, and why dark may be the best choice for you.
Dark Hardwood Hides Imperfections
If you have a high-traffic area, or have children and pets, dark hardwood is a great choice because it masks many imperfections such as scratches, dings, and other marks. It also hides dirt, which is great if your family tends to track in soil from outside when they come in and out.
You Can Create Contrast
Dark hardwood is great but it can be overpowering and, well, dark. It can make small spaces feel even smaller, so dark hardwood is usually best for larger rooms. One way to keep your dark wood from being too heavy is to contrast it with a light and airy wall color and accents. You need to consider the balance of color and light, which means your walls and accents need to be neutral in order to add contrast.
You may also want to consider adding more overhead lighting, or even more natural light. Choose lighter window treatments or even no window treatments at all to let in as much sun as possible.
They Add Value
A hardwood floor adds value to your home, offering a look of quality and elegance. Dark hardwood floors are even richer and more elegant looking, which comes in handy when decorating a study, office or formal dining room, for example. They may not be best for a kids’ playroom or basement, unless you’re going for a richer look; in those cases, lighter may be better.
Dark hardwood usually translates to a higher property value, commanding more interest in buyers as well as a higher price.
Dark Wood Brings Out Richness of Grain
Dark hardwood tends to draw out the richness of the wood’s grain, augmenting its natural look and giving your spaces an interesting visual appeal.
You Get Style and Space With Dark Hardwood
Dark hardwood floors gives any room a classy look. You can further that appeal by using accessories to create an overall look that adds character to your home. Because hardwood floors offer elegant patterns and lines, you can experience a more dramatic impact with this tone.
It’s Less Susceptible to Fading
Dark wood actually won’t fade as much. Why? It absorbs light, so you don’t have to refinish it as you would have to for a lighter floor.
It’s More Realistic Looking
When you think of natural hardwood out in the wild, your mind may automatically go to a darker, richer tone rather than the almost bleached effect of lighter hardwood floors of today. Dark wood is warmer and classier, lending a consistent stylistic appeal.
Dark Wood is Easy to Maintain
It’s no secret that dark wood floors cover up dark stains. They’re durable and can stand up to a lot of abuse, too. The only thing that may stand out on a dark wood floor is shedding pet hair.
Light vs. Dark Hardwood
If you’re still on the fence about which tone to go with, consider these benefits of each.
Light Hardwood Floors
Light hardwood flooring is chosen by many homeowners for its bright, modern and natural appearance. Light hardwood floors can really open up a room, creating a more spacious feel while augmenting the presence of natural light. Benefits include:
- Easy maintenance and cleaning: Light hardwood hides pet hair and dust better than dark wood.
- Elongates your space: Lighter wood makes your home feel bigger because it accents natural light, resulting in an optical trick that makes it a great solution for small spaces.
- It’s classic and polished: Light hardwood offers a classic, polished floor that pairs well with any style, paint, wallpaper or furnishings.
Dark Hardwood Floors
Dark hardwood flooring is gaining in popularity, offering a rustic sheen that boosts the value of your home. Benefits include:
- Long-lasting color: Dark hardwood absorbs sunlight; light hardwood will reflect it. That means that over the years, dark flooring will result in less chance of sun damage and fading, keeping its dark polished look longer.
- Natural appeal: Dark hardwood draws out the wood grain’s richness, giving it a natural and stunning look that is unmatched with any other tone of wood.
- High property value: Yes, light and dark hardwood flooring boost your home’s market value, but incorporating a darker grain will lead to greater rewards. If you want to get top dollar for your home in the near future, consider adding dark hardwood so you can command a higher asking price.
Factors to Consider
When deciding between dark and light hardwood floors, take these factors into consideration:
- Cabinet color: Instead of matching your cabinet and flooring color exactly, go with a different yet complementary hue. Got light wood cabinets? Your best bet is to install dark hardwood floors for depth and dimension.
- Occupants: Think about who will be using the floor. If you have pets or young children, you can expect more scratches and scrapes, as well as more dirt, debris and dog hair. You may want to choose light hardwood in this case.
- Home style: If the style of your home is older and more rustic, go with dark hardwood flooring. This is great for classic, period homes that would benefit from the elegance of dark wood. If, on the other hand, you have a modern, minimalist or contemporary home, lighter wood may be the better choice in keeping with that style.
Contact Designer Wood Flooring
Still need some help deciding on dark vs. light hardwood? Our designers can help. Just contact us today to schedule your consultation and quote.