wood floors

Dark vs Light Hardwood Floors: Which Is Right for Your Home?

Two in three Americans cite wood flooring as a desired feature of their dream home. If you're ready to take the leap and upgrade your space, you may be wondering what types of flooring are best for your space.

Here, we're going to compare dark vs light hardwood floors and look into which is best for your needs. Read on to learn the basics of installing new flooring you love.

The Benefits of Light Hardwood Floors

Light hardwood is uplifting and instills positive feelings in everyone who sees it. Some common light-colored hardwood options include:

  • White maple, which creates a great neutral floor
  • White oak that has a nutty wood color with dramatic grains
  • Red oak that features these same grains with salmon undertones
  • Birch, one of the warmest woods that has blond outer edges and amber segments in its red-brown undertones
  • Ash, which comes in a wide range of hues

Airiness and Natural Light

Light hardwood flooring is popular for several aesthetic reasons. Its hue creates an airy feel in any space and looks amazing under natural light. Because of natural light enhancement, it makes spaces feel bigger and more luxurious.

This makes it ideal for smaller homes or rooms with limited space. It's also perfect for locations that have a lot of windows. You want natural light to bounce around, and this is an effective way to establish that.

A Subtle Feel

In addition to expanding your space by accenting natural light, light-colored hardwood is subtle in its sophistication. It provides great color and accentuates any space, but it lets your other decor shine as the main event.

This is because the classic simplicity of light hardwood draws the eyes to the things around it. You'll be able to show off your favorite art pieces without detracting attention from them. The same applies to patterned wallpapers and even quality furniture.

Flexible Styles

Dark hardwood is heavy and only works well with certain styles of home decor. This isn't true of light hardwood flooring because of its diversity.

There are traditional and modern options with a polished shine that gives your home a flawless look. There are unpolished and natural planks for rustic aesthetics and minimalistic heavy-grained boards for antique looks.

A Cleaner Look

Light hardwood hides a lot of dust and dirt that darker hues won't. This is because every anomaly stands out starkly on a dark brown or black surface. It will just blend in with tan or light gray hues, which means that you don't need to clean your flooring as often.

Dark Hardwood Flooring Advantages

Dark hardwood is often regarded as sophisticated and elegant. It provides a classy and high-end vibe to any home. Some popular choices include:

  • Black walnut, which comes in a soft dark chocolate hue
  • Teak, which has a tight grain that makes it both durable and attractive
  • Birch, which has a lot of color variation and straight graining
  • Mahogany, which has striking red undertones and a high-end reputation
  • Red oak, which is lighter but contains the same gorgeous red hues as mahogany

Increased Property Value

Hardwood floors generally have about a 70% to 80% return on the original investment. Some types of flooring can increase its overall value by 5%.

Darker grains usually have a higher value than light ones, though light flooring also provides a high ROI. This is because dark flooring is currently the most popular option available, so people will choose it over other options. If you plan to sell your home sometime, this is a benefit to consider.

Depth and Contrast

Dark hardwood flooring is rich and elegant. Because of this, it provides a lot of visually appealing contrast in any room. Furniture and artwork will pop when set against it, especially if you also use dark wooden cabinets, tables, and chests of drawers.

Natural and Long-Lasting Hues

The color of dark hardwood looks extremely natural even when it's polished and finished. This makes sense when you consider how stark the grains are. Strong graining makes hardwood appear as realistic and natural as possible because people notice these textures and lines when they view natural wood.

Plus, the elegance and contrast are long-lasting. Dark hardwood floors don't fade frequently and will last for several decades when well-maintained.

Cozy and Homelike

While light hardwood makes a space appear bigger, dark hues have the opposite effect. They ground the space and make it feel smaller and more comfortable. This is ideal for those with large rooms in their home that feel too spacious.

Dark vs Light Hardwood Floors: Which Should You Choose?

Those who want to make their space look bigger or have a lot of windows should generally opt for light hardwood flooring. If you have a modern or contemporary aesthetic, this is also the way to go. It makes your space seem bright and up-to-date.

Light hardwood flooring is also ideal for those with dark furniture and accents. It creates contrast in these instances and brings out the best in your design scheme.

Dark hardwood is better for those who want to create an all-natural, elegant look. The hues are deep and rich, which makes them a great way to accentuate antique and rustic spaces. If you want something that looks heavy and old-timey, dark hardwood will provide an air of sophistication.

Those with light-colored furniture and walls should also opt for dark hardwood. You'll have the best-balanced look available when you do this.

You also should opt for dark hardwood if you want an easier time touching up than light ones. Even if you get dents and dings, you can use a special stain marker to get rid of flaws. You can't easily do this with lighter hues.

Start Upgrading Your Flooring Today

Now that you know whether dark vs light hardwood floors are right for your space, it's time to get in on hardwood flooring trends ASAP. National Floors Direct is committed to helping homeowners choose and install the perfect flooring for their tastes. Get a free in-home estimate to begin planning your project.