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Light stain hardwood floors versus dark stain hardwood floors

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Thankfully, when it comes to hardwood floors, there is no one-size-fits-all. Some people prefer light woods and some people prefer dark woods.

some factors to consider when choosing the color of your hardwood floors:

  • What do you like, what do you prefer?

  • What is the style of your home? What is the style of your decor?

  • Do you have a busy household? Do you have pets?

  • How often do you clean? How particular are you when it comes to dirt showing?

  • What are the sizes of the rooms? How much light do you get? What colors are the walls (and/or will you be changing the paint color)?

  • What goes best with your furniture? What color are your cabinets goes best with them?

Both dark and light floors work very well, and only you can choose which is best for you and your home. Dark floors tend to be more stylish and hide imperfections while light floors tend to show dirt less and last longer.

The lighter the floor, the better it is at hiding household dust. That’s because most dust is light-colored by nature. Those light-colored dust bunnies blend into the flooring and it becomes less visible. Unless you have a dark-furred pet, light-colored flooring hides pet fur better as well. Unless it’s a tumbling tumbleweed of pet fur, it won’t be highly visible.When it comes to those small scratches and scuffs, light flooring is more forgiving as well. The wood underneath the stain is light-colored, so it hides nicks and gouges better. But fail to install your floors properly and cupping and gaps will be very much on display.Another consideration that factors into the floor darkness or lightness decision is the size and scale of the room the flooring will be installed in. Is this a small cozy den or an open-concept living and dining area? How high are the ceilings? These factors will help you determine the scale of the room.

The best way to decide if a light or dark-colored floor is right for you is to sample the flooring before you make an investment. Having physical samples of the floors can allow you to see how lighting (fluorescent, artificial, or natural sunlight), dust, and other factors affect them. You’ll also get a feel for how the color looks with your furniture, cabinets, and wall colors.

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