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Choose hardwood floors that fit your activities and decor

May 08, 2014

Hardwood FlooringThe color of hardwood floors that people choose for their homes can be one of the most important parts of their decorating plans. Whether they choose dark, elegant hardwood floors or a homey, traditional look like Anderson's Gnarly Plank collection, the selection can have an impact on other aspects of their home design.

Many people choose light or dark wood tones based on what they prefer, but they may not realize the wood stain they select can greatly influence the overall look of a room. In addition, the finish - high gloss or matte, for instance - should be considered in conjunction with a room's color scheme. Each has a unique look.

Dark versus light
With dark hardwood, homeowners will have a rich, sophisticated palette to match to colors, fabrics and wood furnishings. Because dark wood tends to absorb light, it's less susceptible to fading. It also allows home decorators to accent the dark wood tones with lighter colored furnishings that can offer great contrast in a room design. 

Light hardwood floors also have attractive qualities. They can brighten a room that doesn't get much natural light, and they're versatile enough to fit traditional or contemporary design styles.

Wear and tear also doesn't show as much on light woods as it does on dark floors. That makes a lighter hardwood shade a good choice for rooms with lots of foot traffic and activities, like a kitchen or family room. Parents of young children won't have to worry as much about their kids scratching the finish because marks caused by playing with toys on light hardwoods aren't as visible.

Consumer preferences
Whether they choose light or dark wood tones, it's clear that consumers prefer hardwood floors to other flooring types. In a national survey, the National Wood Flooring Association found that most real estate agents are able to sell homes with wood floors faster and typically at higher prices over homes with carpeting and other flooring choices.

In fact, wood floors are among the home design features that consumers have on their wish list when they're looking for a new home, Zillow reported. They tend to give a more spacious feel to a room, which emulates the open design concept that many prospective home buyers want in homes these days. Hardwood floors are also easy to clean and, unlike rugs and carpeting, don't hold onto dust that can aggravate allergies and respiratory conditions like asthma.