Dark vs. Light Hardwoods

While there are plenty of current flooring trends on the market, an age-old debate for many hardwood buyers is choosing between dark or light woods. Both have great advantages as well as some disadvantages, but picking out a hardwood stain is really just a matter of personal preference. Consider these factors if you are having trouble choosing. 


Darker woods often provide a richer tone to a room and can become a statement against neutral walls and furniture. The dark color also emphasizes the wood’s natural grain, making it feel more luxurious and expensive. On the other hand, lighter woods is slightly more versatile and can match several different colors and styles. It is also more timeless and a safe option if you don’t want to lose resale value. 


Just like tinting a car window to protect your seats from heat and fading, dark hardwood floors absorb sunlight rather than reflecting off of it. This doesn’t mean that your dark hardwoods won’t fade, however. Both types of flooring are subject to fading, but simply adding an area rug can protect your floors from harmful light. 


Dark hardwoods tend to show dust, dirt, and light-colored pet hair more so than light hardwoods. You may have to vacuum and sweep more frequently than usual, but this also keeps your floors clean and durable. Light hardwoods do a better job of shielding those elements from your vision, making it a better option for families with pets and a fast-paced lifestyle. 


Both hardwoods will show scratches and dents if the damage is large enough, but dark hardwoods might be more noticeable. Usually, the wood underneath the dark stain is much lighter in color, therefore the contrast is more jarring than light hardwoods. 


If you are covering a large space or open concept house with hardwoods, dark flooring is great at making the area feel homier and inviting.  On the opposite side, light flooring really opens up small spaces to make them feel bigger. Consider what rooms in the home need new floors, and which effect you want to achieve. 

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between dark or light hardwoods. Each provides its own pros and cons, and each will improve your home’s overall aesthetic. If you would like to see our selection of dark and light hardwood floors, come by the Flack’s Flooring showroom, where you can walk around and feel the floors before you buy!