Pros and Cons of Dark Hardwood Floors

dark hardwood floors

Why to Choose or Not Choose Dark Hardwood Floors

When thinking about the Pros and Cons of Dark hardwood floors, it is helpful to think about the style of furnishings you already have or plan to buy, How much foot traffic the room gets, the effect upon the brightness and size of the room, and floor maintenance.

The Pros: Style of Furnishings

Dark colored floors can create a classic look that teams well with light-colored or neutral walls. For a trendy and more colorful atmosphere mix these floors with intense wall colors – think butter yellow or ruby red – combined with dark skirting boards. Consider these key points:

  • Dark hardwood flooring works well to create a rustic feel where the grain of the floor can be replicated by using textured décor accessories.
  • With darker hardwood floors you can create a powerful contrast with your vertical surfaces such as baseboards, cabinets and stair risers.
  • A living room or family room can be transformed into a cozy relaxation area where dark wood floors are complemented by a warm color palette.

If you’re planning a complete room re-look whereby you’re replacing every piece of furniture and every accessory, you’ll be able to plan according to your dark floor choice. However if you already have your furniture, rugs, paintings and so on, you’d do well to invest the time it takes to piece together the overall look of the room with a dark wood floor.

To help you do this, you could use one of the many free online room planner tools to upload pictures of your existing furnishings, and pair them with dark hardwood floors. This exercise might seem over the top, but by pulling together the main elements of your room with dark flooring options, you’ll get a great idea of the impact that a dark hardwood floor will have upon the room.


A great benefit of darker hardwood flooring is that it tends to score higher on the Janka Hardness Scale (the higher the score, the harder the floor), so you can rest assured that your dark wood floor will hold up to the impact of shoes and furniture much better than lighter woods.

Hardwood Flooring GuideThe Cons: The Effect Upon the Brightness and Size of the Room

Dark hardwood flooring will make your room look darker than a light colored floor. If the room does not get a lot of natural light, the dark floor will have more of an impact upon the brightness. You can counteract the darkening somewhat with light walls and furnishings.

Also, dark hardwood floors will give the illusion of a smaller room; how much of an impact depends on the size of the room. If the room is really large to begin with, the impact of dark hardwood flooring will be minimal. However, with a smaller room, the impact may be significant.

Floor Maintenance

Pet hair, dirt, dust, and food crumbs will stand out more on a dark floor, so depending upon your tolerance, you may end up dusting the floor more often.

In summary, when making the decision to go with dark hardwood flooring, the style of your existing room furnishings or furnishings you plan to buy, the durability of the floor, the effect upon the brightness and room size, and floor maintenance are all considerations to take into account.

The flooring specialists in St. Louis, MO at Just Around The Corner can provide you with the information you need to make a decision that is right for you, as well as samples for you to take home, allowing you to see first-hand how dark hardwood would look in your room(s).

Key Takeaways

  • Keep in mind your home accessories when choosing between a dark or lighter colored floor.
  • Dark hardwood flooring often offers more durability.
  • Consider that you may need more maintenance on dark hardwood floors due to its tendency to show dirt, dust, pet hair and food crumbs.

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