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Dark or Light Hardwood Floors: Factors to Consider

Dark or Light Hardwood Floors: Factors to Consider

6 minute read

Is it time to install or replace dark or light hardwood floors for your renovation project? Do you know the factors that make a lasting difference in your space's final look and feel? Before committing to a final design, let's explore what you need to know about light and dark hardwood flooring.

A surprising number of variables can influence how functional and appealing a flooring option is in each unique home or business. These factors can include the amount of foot traffic in the area, the exposure to light, the shade and tone of the flooring, and much more.

With the right information at your fingertips, you can feel empowered and prepared to finalize your design.

Kempas wood flooring options are ideal for those looking for a natural and warm hardwood flooring tone. The Harper Floors customer service team is ready to answer any questions you have about our products and how they can impact your overall design project.

Why Does It Matter?

Choosing the perfect hardwood color is important because you want to look around your home and find joy in what you see. Of course, many factors come into play when looking for the best shade of hardwood for your installation project.

Dark or light hardwood floors can provide warm or cool tones to help you achieve your interior design goals. Additionally, your flooring color and tone can help accentuate the overall aesthetic of your favorite rooms in several ways, including hiding common imperfections, such as:

  • Scratches
  • Dirt
  • Pet hair
  • Sun damage

You should also know that different colors can significantly impact how a room feels, the emotions the space emulates, and how you perceive the area. Colors can convey cleanliness, luxuriousness, or simple comfort — all depending on the final color scheme of your design.

For example, brown and tan colors create a sense of connection with nature, while golds and reds lend a romantic and intimate theme. Light grays and cool undertones can bring peace and a sense of calm, while warm undertones can bring sunny feelings into a space.

Explore the pros, cons, and some of the best ways to use dark or light hardwood floors to update and beautify your home or business. These tips can help you make a final decision for your upcoming design project.

Choosing Dark Hardwood Floors

What species and stains count as dark hardwood flooring? Thanks to staining advancements and flooring engineering processes, you can darken virtually any natural hardwood grain to your preferred shade. Some dark-tone flooring favorites include the following selections:

  • Tigertail - European Oak
  • Brazilian Teak
  • Acacia Golden

Of course, the surrounding furniture or wall colors can impact the contrast of darker flooring, making it seem lighter or darker depending on its surroundings. You can always ask for a sample of your favorite dark tones to see how they might look in your space.


Installing a dark floor in your space offers several benefits. For instance, dark hardwood floors or a delightfully dark stain can provide:

  • Warmth and sophistication
  • An intimate atmosphere
  • Rustic appeal
  • Visual weight and contrast

In addition to the above design elements, darker shades are more forgiving of installation errors like gapping between planks. You can create a cozy and comfortable space that brings country scenes to mind with dark flooring shades.


On the other hand, dark hardwood flooring may be susceptible to showing flaws like:

  • Wear and tear in foot traffic paths
  • Dirt and debris build-up
  • More obvious scratches and dents

In addition, you may find yourself cleaning darker flooring options more frequently to keep the area free of visible dust and footprints. This need is especially true if you have pets with lighter-colored fur that sheds quickly or heavily.

Best Applications

Dark hardwood floors are ideal for large spaces that require visual weight to portray sophistication and comfort. These floors can often bring warmth visually and physically as dark tones absorb more light and heat. In addition, dark tones are ideal for contrasting or complimenting light cabinetry and furnishings.

Using Light Hardwood Floors

What should you look for in a light hardwood floor? Ashy blonde tints and luxurious golden tones are popular choices in homes and commercial spaces, but this category can include other options like:

  • Acacia Natural
  • Saltair - European Oak
  • Artesia - European Oak

Consider the coordination or contrast of light hardwood flooring options with your current or future cabinetry and other wooden furnishings. Using too much of a similar wood grain or tint in one area can become visually monotonous and boring.


Are you struggling to choose between dark or light hardwood floors? Do you know what advantages lighter hardwood tints can bring to your space? Light wood floors offer the following benefits:

  • Brightening a small room with limited light
  • Hiding dust and pet fur to reduce cleaning frequency
  • Disguising scratches in high-traffic areas
  • Creating a more modern aesthetic

Light hardwood colors are ideal for practical, active households and commercial buildings with a lot of foot traffic. The lighter tones can also lend a more neutral background for various contrasting design elements in your space.


Of course, choosing lighter-tone hardwood flooring also comes with a few drawbacks. These disadvantages can include the following:

  • Prone to sun damage
  • Reflecting too much light

Thankfully, you can choose from a wide selection of hardwoods with special UV-resistant coatings to help protect your flooring for a longer lifespan and a better return on your investment in renovating and updating your space.

Best Applications

Light hardwood floors are an ideal option for rooms with low light availability or areas that experience high activity levels. Of course, depending on your design goals, you can always use lighter hardwood tones to highlight and contrast darker elements in the space.

In all honesty, there is no wrong decision when it comes to choosing your ideal hardwood floor. The ultimate goal of renovating and reinventing your space is to convey your style or brand message. Every individual has a different vision of what will be the most pleasing design.

Consult Us for All of Your Hardwood Flooring Needs!

Are you looking for a knowledgeable and reliable flooring sales team that can answer your questions quickly and thoroughly? Our team is always available to provide information, guidance, and support through every step of the consideration and purchase process.

At Harper Floors, we offer highly personalized service and factory direct pricing to simplify your experience and maximize your project savings. Some of the benefits of working with our dedicated team include the following:

  • Fast flooring sample delivery
  • Convenient online shopping
  • Cost-effective products and shipping procedures
  • Simple return process (shipping fees apply)
  • Exceptional customer service

Are you a homeowner, interior designer, or builder looking for high-quality flooring options? Harper Floors provides an excellent variety of hardwood and vinyl flooring that will exceed your expectations and lend practicality and simplicity to your residential or commercial renovation or installation project.

Call 1-888-807-2704 to speak with a hardwood flooring specialist about your goals, or explore our product pages for inspiration.

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