Should I Install Light or Dark Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floors are known not only for their durability and ease of maintenance, but also their aesthetic versatility. Available in both airy light shades and rich darks, there isn’t any room that won’t benefit from the appeal of hardwood floors. 

If you’re looking to install hardwood flooring, you might be wondering what color is best. There are pros and cons to each option, so it will depend on your unique situation and the room being renovated. 

Here are a few things to consider when choosing between light and dark hardwood floors: 

Advantages to Dark Hardwood Floors

Dark hardwood floors create a classic, natural look. This style has been around for a while, making it timeless and easy to complement with furniture and decor.

This is also probably the reason why dark hardwood floors correlate with a higher property value. They are a safer long-term investment if you are planning on reselling your home in the future. 

Another benefit to dark hardwood floors is that they hide dirt and grime better. This will allow you to go longer in between mopping, dusting, and vacuuming. On the other hand, however, scratches and dents will appear more noticeable on dark hardwood floors. 

Because dark floors absorb sunlight, they are less prone to fading. This makes them a good choice for rooms with lots of natural lighting. Beware that dark hardwood can sometimes make a room appear smaller, but with the right interior design, this can have a warm and cozy effect. 

Advantages to Light Hardwood Floors

In contrast, light-colored hardwood floors can make a room feel bigger, brighter, and more inviting. The reflected light creates the illusion of expanded space. 

Light hardwood floors create a clean and modern look that can be matched with many different styles. This is the perfect option for those who enjoy subtle unique touches and letting their furniture speak for itself. 

They are the better choice if you want a floor that will hide dust, footprints, and light pet hair. Dents and scratches also tend to be less noticeable, but on the flip side, dirt and mud will stand out more starkly against the light color.

Things to Consider When Choosing 

Light and dark hardwood flooring options typically cost about the same amount, so your budget should not be a dealbreaker. Instead, consider the following things when choosing the color of your hardwood floors:


  • Color of furniture and fixtures: You want to pick flooring that matches your furniture and other fixtures, such as the cabinets. However, don’t try to match the tones identically, because too much monotone can wash out a space. Aim for colors that compliment each other. 
  • Style of your home: Consider how your flooring will fit with the style of the rest of your home. Do you prefer a modern look or something more classic? Is there natural lighting in the room? Are you trying to enlarge the space or make it more snug? 
  • Purpose of the room: How the room is used will affect how well the floor will hold up over the years. Flooring installed in the walkway or playroom, for example, will tend to get dirtier and more susceptible to damage.
  • Cleaning needs: Finally, you should think about your own needs when it comes to maintaining a clean home. For example, if you own a white pet, a light colored hardwood is going to let you skip the vacuum for longer.


Hardwood Floor Installation in Maryland

If you’re looking for professional hardwood flooring installation services in Maryland, look no further than Atlas Floors!

We have over 30 years of experience designing, installing, and repairing hardwood floors. Our experts can help you navigate your options and find the perfect selection for your home and your budget.

Ready to begin your project? Call Atlas Floors today!

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