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Dark vs. Light Hardwood Flooring

Those of you on the hunt for the perfect hardwood floors are going to run into the question of whether you want dark wood or light for the finished product. This question requires an answer that goes far beyond color preference. There are practical advantages and disadvantages to each that you need to be aware of as well. Let's take a look:

Dark Wood

Options: Mahogany, walnut, cocobolo, wenge, ebony, cherry

Pros: Dark hardwood flooring is a great choice for those who desire a classic, warm aesthetic for their home. These floors create a stunning contrast to light walls and furniture for an overall luxurious look. Their beauty tends to last longer than light woods too. Because they absorb light rather than repelling it, dark woods don't fade as quickly as their counterparts.

The striking appearance of darker hardwood floors has a monetary benefit as well. Due to their popularity, these floors can boost the resale value of your home!

Cons: The biggest disadvantage to dark hardwood floors is that they make anything on them more visible. By this we mean light-colored debris, scratches, dust, and dirt show up plainly, so you won't be able to get away with too much here. They also tend to make rooms look smaller, so they are not a great option for tight spaces.

Light Wood

Options: Pine, poplar, maple, oak, ash, bamboo, birch, Douglas fir

Pros: Light hardwood floors open up a room to feel large, light and airy. Their neutral tones make them versatile with most any color scheme, making it the perfect choice for people who are unsure or their style or who like to change things up often. Even better, they can brighten small or gloomy rooms that don't have a ton of light, especially if they have a glossy finish.

If that wasn't enough to convince you, maybe the fact that dust, pet hair, and damage is easy to hide with these floors will. You can get away with skipping a day of sweeping if you need to without worrying about the mess showing. Because of this, light hardwood floors are a nice option for busy families or pet owners.

Cons: While dust and hair is easily hidden, grime and mud isn't on light hardwood. Dark hardwood floors can conceal some of this kind of mess, but light hardwood floors can't quite stand up to the challenge.

As we mentioned earlier, light hardwood floors also deal with the issue of fading quickly. Additionally, some softer varieties wear down more noticeably than more durable types of wood, leaving you with the task of refinishing or staining them more often. This can be avoided to a degree by doing your research and picking a durable wood that will last as long as you need it to.


No matter what kind of hardwood floor you get, make sure it's installed correctly. The perfect color will mean nothing if it's marred by warping or poor installation. Call us today for a quote and let's make your flooring experience amazing!

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