Installing new hardwood flooring is a major investment, which makes choosing the right one even more daunting, especially for a wood-floor newbie. Is oak better than walnut? What’s the deal with warm tones? Is a light floor a recipe for disaster? I went straight to the experts to find out what homeowners should know.
Here are 5 tips to help you decide how to choose a hardwood floor color for your home.
1. Install Light Colors In Small Rooms
If you’re installing custom woodwork in a smaller room, consider a lighter color. Light-colored wood floors will, in most cases, make the room appear larger. This is because it will make space seem open and airy. Two examples of this are beige or off-white hardwood. They’re also versatile when it comes to decorating the rest of the room. You can add lighter colors to your window treatments and decor or deflect sunlight. Or, you can add darker pieces for contrast.
2. Dark Colors Add Sophistication
In recent years, exotic woods and darker colors have become a trend. As mentioned, bamboo is an eco-friendly, exotic option that tends to be darker in color. Make no mistake, darker woods add sophistication and elegance. But, they’re not for every home. In many cases, darker floors make rooms look smaller. But, it’s very common to install it in the kitchen and bathrooms.
3. Patterned Wood
If you like the shabby-chic rustic look, patterned wood may be a fit for your home. Parquet is one type that’s been a mainstay in the category. The different shades complement many different styles and decor. But Parquet isn’t the only patterned wood. Reclaimed wood planks are also popular. These have a natural variance in their colors which leads to a richer texture. Some wood has darker knots than others.
Keep the Bigger Picture in Mind
If you do decide on a patterned wood, think of the big picture. While it may look rustic and have character in your living room or family room, it may be a little unsettling in a kitchen. You may think there’s a spill or stain when it’s only the wood’s natural color. This shouldn’t make or break your decision, but you should take it into consideration if you use softer lighting in your kitchen.
4. Consider The Sunlight
Natural light can change the appearance of wood flooring throughout the day. If you’re installing wood in a room with a lot of sunlight, it will look different in the daytime than it will at night.UV rays can also damage the wood time. In some woods, it will bleach it while it can darken others. Make sure you ask your flooring specialist how sunlight will affect your wood. If your heart is set on a particular material and color, you can limit the sun’s exposure with window treatments.
5. Take Samples Home
The only way you’ll know if you like a color — or don’t — is to take a sample home. Make sure you take samples of all the colors you’re considering. Set them up in the rooms you’ll install them in. For the first couple of days, keep them apart from each other. Then, bring them closer to compare side by side. Put them near your furniture so you can picture how it will look with your decor. Move them closer to windows and light sources, too. You’ll get an idea of how the sunlight affects the wood’s color throughout the day.