Hardwood Floor Colors: how to Choose - Tamalpais Hardwood Floors

choosing a color

Picking the right color for your hardwood floor in the past was fairly simple as colors were limited. If you’ve already decided that a solid hardwood or engineered hardwood floor is the right kind of floor for your home, then you know that the options are endless from European Oak to Hickory. All these different species of hardwood come in a vast range of color tones. For example, Tamalpais Hardwood Floors has about  220 different flooring options. It grouped into seven different hardwood floor colors including clay, black, dark grey, elegant brown, golden, light grey, natural and white stained floors. Click here to watch more hardwood floor colors examples. Making the right color choice can seem overwhelming, however, here are some suggestions to help you.


Imagine the bigger picture

Start by imagining the big picture. Don’t choose your hardwood floor colors based on an empty room. Take a look at the room in a whole considering ceiling height and size of the room, color and texture of walls and furniture, and also the style of the home. If you want to emphasize some design furniture, use natural hardwood floor colors. That will create a neutral canvas and allow your furniture to take center stage.

woodline alpine hardwood floor colors

This kitchen/ living area has high ceilings, modern furniture and the space is large and roomy. It is nicely complemented by this rustic, European Oak, wide-plank floor with beautiful big knots.

Hardwood floor colors and room size

Light, dark or natural? The color of the floor has a strong impact on how the room is perceived.


Beautiful flooring is something desired by many and when you have a large open area. The main element of that area is going to be the flooring. You should consider deep colors for your open rooms. This will allow the character of the floor to shine through. A dark floor “swallows” a lot of light, but it also creates a sense of warmth. It usually translates the room into a more formal look.  While dark tones of colors tend to make large rooms seem smaller. It makes them a lot more cozy. Black and dark tones are a popular choice for artists’ studios, modern and chic interior.

Light and natural

Consider a light-colored floor and walls to create an impression of space in tiny rooms. A light wood floor reflects the light and adds space to the room. It helps to avoid making a smaller room with low ceilings appear too dark and dense. Lighter, natural floor colors have the ability to really open up a room, without you having to throw out half of your furniture.

hardwood floor colors

The light-colored hardwood floor and walls makes the room look bigger and takes advantage of the light that shines in.

Complement and contrast

Choose hardwood floor colors that creates a contrast with your walls and decor. The highest value of contrast would be black against white. Although, pulling that into a more neutral color palette will bring an elegance to your final design.  If you have a soft or light wall color choose dark or medium toned hardwood floors. Light wall color can emphasize the richness of dark toned hardwood floors.
hardwood floor colors

The darker hardwood floor perfectly contrasts and complements with the office’s light walls and built-in shelves.


Your style

Remember to also take into account your personal style. This will make you feel at home. When choosing a hardwood floor colors, consider style, personal preference, lifestyle, and the home’s construction. Think about how you interact with the materials and elements in your home. Such things like the family’s tendency to keep shoes on in the home or how often the dog runs down the hall after the kids may be principal. 

Type of space

Assess the space and how your daily activities affect your floor. One of the first things you should consider is the type of space. Is it your working place or your bedroom?  Remember, your floors make up a large area of your home and will have a significant impact on the overall design. You want something that not only grounds your room, but also blends your decorating style cohesively together. 

A darker and black hardwood floor colors can look modern and luxurious, while a natural floor looks more classic.


The effect of colors

The way you decorate and the colors you choose for your floor and walls, will all have a huge impact on the atmosphere in the room. Light colors will give the space a sunnier, happier feel. Shades of yellow stand for optimism and fun, while white and light beige will give the room a sense of openness and purity. Want to keep your interior peaceful and cool? Then go for timeless grey tones. An interior dominated by brown colors, will have a very natural and rustic feel, while black stands for luxury and class. A black floor also gives the room a powerful and dramatic edge, full of contrast.



Always bring home hardwood floor colors samples to view them in your own light. See how they look alongside your walls and furniture. Make sure you judge the samples at different times of the day with different lighting. Use daylight and artificial light. A floor sample color at night, in artificial light, will give you a very different impression than during mid-afternoon in the natural sunlight.

How to choose between favorite samples

Take a second to think about what kind of light you want for your new floor. A kitchen you walk in and out all day long or a bedroom that’s night-only. Every room type has its own unique lighting. Select three wood floor samples to take home. More than three samples can confuse your final selection, rather than helping to narrow it down. Slide the samples next to the baseboards in your room. Step back to see how they look against the walls and woodwork.  Position the samples next to adjoining floors and beside furniture pieces. Leave the room for a few minutes and come back to view the samples. This is how you can get your initial reaction upon entering the room. Choose your least favorite of the three floor samples. Continue to observe the remaining two hardwood floor colors samples until you decide which is your favorite.


If you are going to install a new hardwood floor make sure you are aware how to choose your hardwood floor colors. Tamalpais Hardwood Floors has 28 years of hardwood flooring experience providing services in San Francisco Bay Area and Marin. Tamalpais Hardwood Floors not only install hardwood floors but provide maintenance and other flooring services. Don’t hesitate to  contact us and we will help you with picking the right color for your space.

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