Getting your hardwood flooring right the first time is essential.  If you can imagine that it’s possible the floors will outlast you, you’ll understand the need to install something that you like and are willing to live with for the long term.  That said, if you’re wondering how to decide between light and dark hardwood flooring, you shouldn’t worry too much, you can always strip and sand them down to the original colour and re-stain them as you see fit.  It’s not the simplest job in the world, but it’s also far from impossible.  But for the various arguments for dark versus light, read on.

The Look Of Cleanliness

There’s no doubt that dark floors show dirt much easier than lighter floors.  If this truly bothers you and you’re not one to be sweeping your floors on a daily basis, then you might opt for a lighter coloured floor to help keep your sanity.  This will be especially important if you have kids or pets as they will naturally add to the dirt levels throughout the house.

The Size Of The Space

If you’re working with a smaller space, lighter floors can make it look bigger while darker floors may reduce the perception of size.  However, even smaller spaces can incorporate darker flooring without becoming claustrophobic by simply lightening the colours used on the walls.  Dark floors work especially well in large, open plan rooms with lots of natural light.

Contrasting With Furniture And Cabinetry

Luckily, both dark and light flooring usually goes well with most types of furniture and cabinets.  The one exception is trying to match red tones with each other.  But if you have light coloured furniture or kitchen cabinets, dark flooring is a great contrast.  And similarly the other way around.  If your furniture or cabinetry is white, you can’t go wrong with floor colour.

Kids And Pets

If you have kids and pets, you might find it easier to maintain lighter looking floors.  The reason for this is that darker floors show dirt and scratches much more easily than lighter shades.  The chances of scratches and dents in the floor will be much higher with children and pets compared with an adult only household.  And although these can be repaired, you might find your time better spent with your children than on your flooring.