Dark Vs Light floorboards – which is better?

Dark Vs Light floorboards – which is better?

June 28, 2018 0 By sanzida

When it comes to hardwood floors there really is no right or wrong, it’s completely down to each individual. Some people like a dark wood floor while others prefer a lighter wood option. What’s right for you and your house may not be right for your friends or neighbours homes. The good thing is it’s YOUR house and you can choose the floor you want. Only you can decide on the right floor for you.

Before you even start looking here are a few things to consider.

  • What do you like?
  • What is the style of your home?
  • What is your home’s décor like?
  • Do you have pets?
  • How often do you like to clean?
  • What colours are your walls?
  • Do you plan to change the colours of your walls?
  • What are the sizes of the rooms?
  • How much light do you get in a room?
  • What will go best with the colour of your furniture?

As with everything – there are pros and cons to light or dark floorboards.

Light hardwood floors in general do not show as much dirt and dust as dark floors do, but if you want a dark floor perhaps go for one that is a shade or two lighter. A satin finish also doesn’t show dirt, dents and scratches as much, satin is also a more stylish finish.

You can also choose to leave your shoes at the door this will keep your floors cleaner while helping to preserve your hardwood floor for longer.

All hardwood floors will dent and scratch but a dark hardwood colour does tend to show the scratches more. The main reason for this is that most wooden floor species are light and if you scratch through a dark wood stain it shows more of a contrast with the wood underneath. A light coloured floor when scratched simply still shows a light coloured floor.

If you have dogs, then a light coloured floor is a better option simply as they show scratches less. Light coloured floors are great too for high traffic areas.

Dark floors can make your area look smaller while light floors make a room look larger, however it’s in combination with the walls and furniture that will give the impression that there is less or more floor space. Dark floors do look better in larger homes and homes with large rooms and open plan flooring. If you do like dark floors but are worried that it will make your space look too dark, you can consider going a lighter colour on the walls and/or adding more overhead lighting, a skylight or a glass front door.


What floorboards look best?

Choosing new floors for your home can be confusing, there are a range of flooring options including tiles, carpets, floorboards, lino, laminates and more. Once you have decided to use floorboards things can get even harder, choosing the right floorboard for your home is both an important and major decision.


Timber floorboards usually come in 5 general groups of colour – creams, darks, lights, reds and browns. While it may sound simple enough, choosing the colour group you want to use will go a long way in helping you narrow down the species of timber you need. Cream and light coloured floorboards help create a feeling of space in a room and are great for small rooms. Try and pair a cream coloured floorboard with smaller skirting boards to *lengthen* the size of your room.

Brown coloured floors make a room feel more modern by contrasting light coloured walls with wooden fixtures such as door frames and window sills in a matching colour.

Red and dark coloured floorboards bring your home a classic look and are perfect when matched with dark coloured walls and vintage leather furniture.



There are three main types of grades used to define floorboards – select grade, standard grade and character or feature grade. The grade is simply used to define the level of natural wood features that can be seen in the floors.

Select grade has been processed so there is very little variation between the floorboards, while they are different they will have a uniform grade of wood features and colours. This type of grade is great for achieving a minimalistic look and for covering a large area of flooring.

Standard grade floorboards are manufactured to highlight characteristics of natural timber – this can include spirals and veins within the wood grain to allow for greater diversity between planks.

Character grade or feature grade contains a higher level of the natural characteristics and patterns of timber. These characteristics can include knots, fire damage, veins and even evidence of insect travels. This grade is truly unique and is often combined with other floorboards to create stunning floorboard features.


Timber floorboards in general have a thickness of 14 – 19mm and they come in widths between 60mm and 220mm in a variety of lengths. When it comes to decorating, thinner planks will make a room look larger. Thin floorboards are a great way to integrate living areas and make a space seem larger. If you have a kitchen or dining area combined with a family room, thin boards will give you the feeling of more space, however thin floorboards in a room that is already large might make it look bigger and cluttered.

Wide floorboards 130mm and wider look great in reds and browns and the size and look of darker floorboards will give your home a more rustic look and feel making any room more inviting.

It’s a good idea to keep the same width floorboard from room to room and make sure they are laid in the same direction.

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