How to Choose between Light and Dark Wood Flooring


Over the years, wood has been one of the most popular flooring materials and is extremely sought after even in today’s modern homes. Its inherent aesthetic appeal, durability, and style are difficult to duplicate. This highly preferred flooring is available in natural bamboo yellows and the lightest shades of whites to the deepest of mahogany and rich ebony colors.

Choosing between a light and dark wood flooring material can be extremely difficult because both are incredibly beautiful. Therefore, you must take certain practical aspects into account before making a choice. Please remember that both these types have their own pros and cons. A clear idea about these benefits and shortcomings will make your job much easier.

Pros & Cons of Light Wood Flooring:


  • The most important benefit of light wood floor is that it can brighten up any living space. Therefore, this is a good choice for relatively smaller spaces.
  • Compared to dark hard wood, light wood tends to reveal less dirt and are relatively easier to maintain.
  • Ideally suited for homes with pets because the scratches and footmarks are more difficult to notice compared to dark wood.


  • This type of flooring must be matched properly with the surrounding home decor. Otherwise, it may not be visually pleasing because of too much of contrast.
  • Some specific types of light hardwood such as white ash and beech don’t hold up well in areas that have too much traffic. Therefore, the right species must be selected for these areas to ensure resilience and durability.
  • As far as the current trend is concerned, light wood flooring appears to be out of favour. However, there is no denying the fact that these choices are largely subjective.

Pros & Cons of Hard Wood Flooring:


  • In general, dark wood flooring is considered to be the warmer, heartier, and the more elegant compared to its lighter counterpart.
  • Offers extraordinary versatility and can easily complement a wide range of decors and colors. It pairs easily with light color decors to provide excellent visual contrast.
  • Stained dark wood floors are extremely popular because of the natural pattern of grains in the wood is showcased by them. Creating such visual delight is not possible in lighter options.
  • Compared to lighter alternatives, dark wood flooring is less susceptible to fading because it absorbs more light. As a result, these floors require less frequent refinishes compared to that of light wood flooring.


  • Surface abrasions are more prominently visible on darker surfaces. Therefore, dents, scuff marks, and scratches can pose a serious concern for these floors.
  • May not be the best choice for rooms without much natural light because dark floors generally have a dimming effect on the overall floor.
  • In some cases, dark wood flooring can make the room appear smaller than its actual size. However, this issue can be solved by being a little creative in terms of furniture arrangements and wall color.

Keeping these pros and cons in mind, consider the following factors before making up your mind.

Room Size: As discussed earlier, dark flooring tends to make rooms look a little smaller. This is not a problem if your room is large enough. However, if the room is small, a dark wood floor may make it look even tinier. On the other hand, a light wood floor can make a smaller room appear more spacious. Therefore, before taking any decision, weigh- up the drawbacks and advantages very carefully.

Availability of natural light: Rooms with dark coloured flooring look naturally darker compared to the ones with light wood flooring. This is not really a matter of concern if the room is meant to be used as a cosy lounge for spending cold winter days or a dining space where you plan to create a special ambience using candles. However, the lack of natural light can be problematic for a kitchen or home study.  On the other hand, light coloured flooring may be an issue for spaces with loads of natural light, such as conservatories.

Room Style: Before opting for your preferred wood flooring, you must also consider the style of your existing furnishing. In case you are looking to provide a new look to the room by replacing all your furnishings and accessories, it is much easier to plan everything in accordance with your flooring preference. Otherwise, it makes sense to select your flooring based on the style and color of your existing paintings, rugs, furnishings, etc.

Floor Cleaning Regime: Compared to light coloured floors, dust and dirt is more clearly visible in dark wood floors. Therefore, before opting for dark wood, please be mindful of the fact that this entails a strict and regular floor cleaning regime.

Purpose of the Room: Each house has rooms that are primarily for guests and are cleaned more often than other rooms. Therefore, dark wood is probably a better choice for these rooms. On the other hand, the rooms where we spend most of the time are more susceptible to dents, scratches, and stains. Installation of light hardwood floors in these rooms will ensure that the imperfections are less visible.

If you are still not sure which way to go, please feel free to contact us and set up an appointment with one of our flooring experts. We can also help you with a wide selection of flooring choices with finishes and styles you can be proud of.