Deciding between light or dark floors

Light Floors Vs. Dark Floors: Which Is The Best Choice In Your Home

Hardwood floors are a popular investment for homeowners hoping to improve their property value and add elegance to their home. They’re long lasting, durable and timeless. Hardwood floors have been installed in homes for hundreds of years, and they may continue to exist in homes for hundreds of years to come. According to Supreme Hardwood Floors installation of hardwood floors is a large investment in the future of your property. 

When you decide it’s time for new floors there’s another important decision to make, what color floor you want. Not all hardwood floors look the same. The color of stain, encapsulated beneath sealer, can impact the appearance and performance of your hardwood floors. Stain color can even change how buyers perceive your home when the time comes to buy. Knowing the difference between light and dark colored hardwood flooring can help you decide which type is right for your home. 

Dark Flooring

Until just a few years ago, light- and medium-toned hardwood floors were common in homes, while dark hardwood floors were not. This shift to dark stain is noticeable, in more ways than one. Dark floors make a statement. Furnishings stand out from the inky, rich, velvety darkness underfoot. Light is reflected off it, adding interesting visual details throughout the house. 


  • High resale value. Dark hardwood flooring is in style. It makes your home easier to sell and also boosts your home’s resale value.  
  • Shows off the furniture in the room. Dark hardwood floors have a way of contrasting with lighter colored furnishings. Think of your furniture as notes on a page, standing out in staccato against your dark floors.
  • Makes rooms seem taller and more spacious. Lighter painted walls against dark floors makes rooms seem taller, airier and more spacious.


  • Heats up in sunlight. Dark floors absorb sunlight and can get warm in summer. It helps if your windows are modern and made from low-e glass, so take that into consideration.
  • Shows scratches and dirt easily. Scratches in dark flooring can be obvious and unsightly, so you’ll need to protect your floors, especially in high-traffic areas. Dirt and dust  also stand out against dark hardwood; dry mop regularly. 
  • Not all woods accept stain well. Some hardwoods, like maple, don’t accept stain well.  Dark stains applied to these woods tend to be blotchy and uneven. If you currently have hardwood floors in your home and would like to refinish them in a darker color, be sure to check the type of wood first to see if it will be able to hold a darker stain.   

Light Flooring

Next to dark colored flooring, bare-naked flooring (with no stain at all) is possibly the next most desirable hardwood color in residential settings. Why? It’s beautiful and practical at the same time. Light hardwood is luminescent – equal parts cheerful, bright and attractive. It’s a color commonly chosen by homeowners with small children and pets who are likely to scratch their floors. It’s sensible as well as elegant. 


  • Less likely to show scratches. Light colored hardwood flooring is less likely to show scratches than its dark-colored counterpart, so you’ll spend less time fretting over the state of your floors. 
  • Requires less cleaning. Homeowners with dark colored floors often follow their children and pets around the house cleaning up dirt, dust and footprints. Lighter colored floors simply show that less.
  • Contributes to a lighter, brighter interior environment. Light hardwood floors have emotional lightness that goes beyond color. They also contribute to a lighter home interior at night, when the sun goes down.


  • Less likely to match with modern styles. Dark colored hardwood floors are highly sought after by home buyers because they match modern styles. Lighter hardwood floors don’t have that same appeal to many buyers, but buying quality hardwood can help. Use a discerning eye when choosing your hardwood floor and stain type.
  • Overexposure. In rooms with many windows or sunlights, too many light surfaces can leave the room feeling glaring and bright. 
  • Show damage more easily. Knots and stains are more obvious on lighter hardwood floors, so take care of them to ensure your home looks its best.  

Which Kind of Floors Do You Want?

The flooring you choose for your home can impact the way you live, how you feel when you’re at home, and how much money you make when your home sells. Install quality flooring to improve your home’s value and your quality of life. Dodgson Floor and Window Coverings can help. Contact us today to get started with your new flooring purchase and installation.

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