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Dark Vs. Light Floors: The Pros and Cons

December 9, 2020

If you are considering adding hardwood floors to your home, you have a few decisions to make. Most people consider style their number one priority, but did you know there are vast differences between dark and light hardwood floors? It’s essential to think about the pros and cons of both and what would work best for your lifestyle and household. 

Here are the pros and cons of both dark and light hardwood flooring. 

Dark Hardwood Flooring 

Dark wood flooring is made of woods such as mahogany, cherry, and oak and can give a room a rich and visually appealing look. After all, homes with dark hardwood floors have higher property values. But some disadvantages come with choosing dark hardwood flooring for your home. 

The Cons of Dark Hardwoods 

  • Cleaning/ Damage – Unfortunately, dark hardwood floors show scratches, hair, and dirt more than light-colored flooring. Consider how many pets you have or plan to get and who will be responsible for taking care of the floors if you want them to last and look their best. Also, consider the size of your household and the activities that you like to enjoy indoors. 
  • Price – Because darker colored flooring is stained, it may cost more initially. Expect to pay a bit more for dark hardwood floors than you would for a lighter shade. 
  • Small Space – Something you should consider is the size and layout of your room(s). Dark hardwood floors can cause a place to appear smaller, and extra furniture, dim lighting, and bright wall colors don’t help.

Dark Hardwoods: The Pros 

  • Positive Visual Aspect – Dark floors have light-absorbing qualities that light floors do not. These characteristics make colors pop, adding a particular design element to larger rooms. When paired with the right furniture and accents, dark flooring adds a beautiful depth and contrast. 
  • Hide Imperfections – While dark flooring doesn’t hide scratches and dirt, it does hide imperfections such as gapping, staining from water damage, and knots. These kinds of defects are much less noticeable when your flooring is dark in color. 

Light Hardwood Flooring 

Light hardwood flooring is commonly made from woods like pine and maple and can give a room a relaxed, light, and airy feeling. First, let’s go over the cons. 

The Cons 

  • Style – You’ll have to be a bit more selective with other design elements in your home, such as cabinet colors. Light flooring won’t pair well with light wood cabinets, so consider changing them up to a darker tone. 
  • Imperfections – Gaps, water stains, and knots will stand out much more than if you had dark-colored flooring. While this isn’t something you should be worried about initially, it is something to consider down the line. 

The Pros 

  • Concealing Dirt/ Damage – Lighter-colored wood has a real advantage here. It can hide dirt, scratches, and dents much better than dark wood. If you have pets, kids, and an active household, this is a great reason to go with light floors.
  • Easy to Clean/ Visually Appealing – Light hardwood floors are easier to clean than dark ones. They can expand your space, creating the look of a bigger room, and your decor will be sure to stand out. 
  • Long-Lasting – The last pro is that light-colored floors are easier to maintain. They won’t need to be screened or recoated as frequently. 

Now that you know a bit more about both dark and light hardwood flooring let the 12th & Oak team help you choose your dream floors. Just contact us