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Choosing the Best Hardwood Color for Your Space

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Choosing hardwood flooring for your main floor or bedroom is an important decision. But now you have to decide on the color. This is also an important decision to make, because hardwood color is not something you can easily change like the color of your drapes. So how should you approach this important matter? Let’s start by reviewing some pros and cons of light and dark hardwood, and then go over some other factors you should consider. And, as always, you are welcome to stop by our flooring store in Sykesville, MD to speak with one of our flooring consultants.

Light Hardwood vs. Dark Hardwood

  • Light-colored wood generally shows dirt, hair and dust much less than dark wood. This means you could get away with longer periods between vacuuming.
  • Lighter wood also makes dents and scratches less noticeable than dark wood. Because all wood is light-colored inside, deep scratches will show more contrast on a dark surface.
  • Dark colors generally make the space look smaller, and lighter colors visually enlarge a room. This is something to consider depending on how big your space is.
  • Lighter flooring will also reflect more light back into the room, making your overall space brighter. Darker flooring, on the other hand, may absorb heat from the sun and discolor faster.
  • Darker wood is generally better in hiding imperfections, such as gaps, unevenness and knots. Light-colored hardwood shows off the grain of the wood very well, so it’s important to use high-grade wood to ensure a good look.

What’s the style of your home?

Not all homes have a distinct style, but many proudly call themselves Tudor, Victorian, modern, traditional, bohemian, art deco, and many other words. If you are going for a specific look that reflects a specific style, then this choice will determine the type and color of flooring you install. You can look at the pictures of various interiors designed in your preferred style to get ideas for hardwood colors. However, you don’t have to stick to the rules with this one. It’s your home, so it’s perfectly fine if you put your own twist on a classic design.

Do you have a large family?

While it’s not true for everyone, it’s safe to say that most large families have busy schedules and create lots of movement in the house. If you have more than 5 combined human and animal family members, you would want flooring that can stand up well to wear and tear. A big factor in this case will be the type of wood—you want to go with the harder, more durable one. But color also plays a role, so you may want to keep the floors light, so that they don’t show scratches, stains and dents as much.

Do you have other types of wood in that space?

Both light and dark hardwood goes well with most types of furniture, but you may want to be careful if you have other types of wood around. For example, you might have a mahogany dining room set or dark oak doors, trim and crown molding. Your floor color options are to contrast, match or complement. Unless we are talking about wooden trim, staircases and other major accents, matching is typically not necessary. If you are worried about how wooden furniture will play with your dark or light hardwood, keep in mind that you can always place an area rug under the furniture to provide a transition.

What do YOU prefer?

At the end, it all comes down to your personal preference. If you really want that dark ebony or jacobean stain, then go with it. In love with the look of natural wood? We are sure you can make it work! Floor color alone, while important, is not the only factor that determines the overall look and feel of your space. If you feel like the hardwood color isn’t what you expected, you could repaint the walls to make your space more cohesive.

And remember that the colors you see on your phone or computer screen may appear slightly off. It’s best to shop for hardwood flooring in person, as well as take a few samples home to see how it will look under your lighting. Stop by our Maryland flooring showroom to see the different flooring options for yourself!


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Visit the Genesis Showroom

Stop by our Design Center Showroom and see thousands of samples and get expert flooring advice. We showcase a huge selection of the best brands, colors, and styles. Our expert staff will consult with you to advise which flooring options will work best for your living space, type of room, lifestyle, and budget. Call or stop by our Sykesville, MD Flooring Showroom.We are open Monday 9am-6pm, Tuesday - Friday 9am-8pm, and Saturday 9am-4pm. We are closed on Sunday.


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