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While the overall look and feel of hardwood flooring is unmistakable in any home, the options you have for creating a distinct look are nearly infinite. Not only can you choose from dozens of different types of wood and hardness levels, but wood flooring can be stained to nearly any shade imaginable, making your home look either timeless or trendy; casual or elegant; airy or cozy.

One of the first decisions you’ll make when choosing hardwood flooring for your home—and one that stumps many homeowners—is choosing between light and dark hardwood flooring. Is one more preferable than the other? Is one more stylish? More durable? The best answer really depends on a number of factors, including room size, your décor and even your personal style. That said, if you’re undecided, answering the following questions should give you some sense of direction.

Do You Have Pets and/or Children?

Pets and small children can definitely have an effect on the long-term look of your floors. Pet toenail scratches show up more easily on dark hardwoods; so do scratches from scooted chairs or toys being dragged across the floor. If you’ve got little ones or furry family members living at home, you might want to go with a lighter shade to mask those inevitable scratch marks. If you do prefer a darker shade, we might recommend going with a hand scraped or distressed finish where scratch marks blend in more easily.

How Often Do You Clean?

Believe it or not, family housecleaning patterns can play a role in determining the shade wood floor that’s best for you. If you keep a neat and tidy home and you don’t mind cleaning your wood floors frequently, you might do very well with a rich, dark shade of hardwood. On the other hand, if you prefer a lower-maintenance home, you’ll probably enjoy a lighter color of flooring. The reason? Dark floors show every speck of dust and dirt. Lighter floors don’t.

What Does “Home” Feel Like?

This may seem like an abstract question (and it is), but what feelings come to you when you think about home? Do you envision a place that is warm and cozy, or bright and airy? Is it a quiet retreat or a gathering place for friends and family? The color of your hardwood flooring will play a large part in making your home feel like home to you. Generally speaking, dark, rich hardwood floors can make small rooms feel cozy and larger rooms feel more elegant. Lighter hardwoods tend to reflect the light and make rooms feel brighter, airy and more spacious. (One common home selling strategy is to put lighter floors into the bedrooms to make them feel larger.) Choose a shade of hardwood that you think will create the best sense of home as it feels to you.

What’s in Style Right Now? (And Does It Matter?)

Some style-conscious homeowners want a look that makes their home feel “current” in line with today’s design trends. So which is more in fashion right now—light or dark hardwood flooring? The answer is both. In 2019, designers are leaning toward the extremes of light and dark flooring, while the middle “brown” shades are less in vogue for the moment. That said, unless this is an investment property, you’re the one who is going to have to live with these floors after your fashion-conscious friends go home. Thus, we recommend choosing a shade that is more in line with your personal tastes. After all, wood flooring tends to be timeless, no matter which shade you choose. If you happen to make a style choice in wood flooring that isn’t “cutting edge” today, the good news is it probably will be in a few years.

Whether you prefer light or dark hardwood flooring, Renaissance Hardwood Floors provides unmatched craftsmanship in making sure those floors will stand the test of time. For a free estimate in Tulsa, Jenks, Glenpool, Bixby and throughout Green Country, give us a call at 918-298-4477.