Dark wood floors have been trending the last several years and continue to grow in popularity. Dark floors are favored by both, owners of traditional plantation style homes and modern uptown condos. They can be used to create a formal, rustic or casual look and can be paired with a mix of colors and fabrics. Popular color stains to create this effect are dark maple, espresso and Jacobean.

Dark floors tend to work better in larger homes and homes with larger rooms and open floor plans. So, if you want the illusion of a larger room, a dark color hardwood may not be the best choice. Rooms with dark colored walls or low ceilings look best with lighter colored floors as well. The size board you use can change the feel of a room; for smaller rooms, don’t use planks less than 8″ wide.

If the appearance of dog hair, superficial scratches, small dents and lint bother you, a darker floor may not be ideal as everything that falls on the floor shows, just like a dark colored car. Instead, go with a more natural colored hardwood in a matte finish.

Light colored hardwood floors are a staple and you can find them just about everywhere. Natural or light colored floors can be a great option for smaller homes and condos/co-ops and town houses, especially those with less light. They are very versatile, go with about anything and provide the illusion of space. You can start with a light wood species like Ash, Oak or Maple and seal it with a clear natural finish to gain the effect.

Light colored floors are easier to maintain since debris and dust are harder to see. Possible light colored stains to consider are golden oak, fruitwood or natural.

The potential draw back with light colored hardwood floors is the finish you choose. If you finish the floors with an oil based product they will turn yellow. In spots where direct sun hits the floor, it can change the floor to an yellowish-orange color.

When choosing the best hardwood flooring for your home personal preference is very important, but should not always be a deciding factor. The room size, style and existing colors should be given proper consideration.