Wood Floor Color Selection

October 4, 2015
I want to replace carpet with wood in my condo. I like darker wood tones; however, my condo does not get sunlight and is dark. The woodwork is also dark with reddish tones. Also want to replace tile in kitchen with wood. I cannot change the woodwork or kitchen cabinets.

I have attached photos of my condo with samples I brought home from the flooring store. My favorite is the middle sample in the first picture, but I am afraid it is too dark. The lightest sample could work, but it contrasts with the dark baseboard. Should the wood floor match the baseboard? Sure would appreciate advice from any of you experts. Which sample do you like the best or are there other options? Please note -- There are not many choices where I live unless I spend a small fortune.

Comments (39)

  • treeclimber5

    I would pick the same one (middle in the first pic). The middle one has both yellow and red tones in it, while the one on the left is very red/orange and the one on the right is very yellow.

  • homey2403
    I loved the middle floor sample at the flooring store, but when I brought it home, it was dark. I attached photos of my dining room to give an example of how dark it actually is. Some of the other rooms are even darker. This is a real design dilemma.
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  • havingfun

    okay, from the top again. I like floor sample number 1 best, because it feels more complete, not so rough and tumble, my second favorite would be the one you chose (#2). If it were not so many blotches of color it might well be my favorite. having dark on the base of your room is basic and fairly traditional. To lighten the room I would do things like use more lights, remove wood blinds and go with sheers, brighten the paint. maybe brighten the rugs?

  • homey2403
    To lighten my condo, I definitely need to get brighter window furnishings. My area rug is also dark and overwhelming. Your ideas make a lot of sense. I will really think about and visualize your suggestions. I wish I was more talented when it comes to home decorating. Thank you so much!
  • acm

    I would pick the lightest one -- in addition to tone (which I can't judge well on my monitor), you want to get some contrast between your kitchen cabinets and the new floor, to keep from feeling like you're inside a wooden box. Try to go several shades lighter (or darker) than your cabinet color -- the rest will be ok.

  • halcyonbear

    I would go with the middle one that you originally liked. The others read really red/yellow, and once your whole floor is covered with such a warm color, you might not be so happy with it.

  • Lisa DiPaola
    Middle one compliments the cabinets and seems "richer" in color.
  • Lorellei Sullivan
    I have flooring very similar to the darker floor and have no regrets at all.
  • boogsie

    Yes middle sample it looks great with your cabinets!!!

  • Florinda Peschisolido

    the one on the left, in the first picture would be my first choice, 2nd choice is the one in the middle. Forget the lighter tones.

  • Nicole Soter Chwala

    I love the variation in the middle one. Some light some dark. You'll never be out of style then!

  • Geneviève

    On the last photo I prefer the last one one the right ,it picks up to colour of the cabinets.

  • ravensmom13

    First of all, your condo is gorgeous!! Your choice of furnishings is very "upscale" looking....and I also LOVE dark wood !!! That said, the following is MY OPINION only.....I am going to make a guess here, and say you probably work and are gone most of the day??? When you return home, it's evening, and time to turn the lights on anyway !! Going out on a limb again, and "guessing" that perhaps your dining room does not get used for meals very much ( you have stools at the counter ).....and if you DO use your dining room, it would probably be sometime in the evening when you would put the LIGHT ON over the dining table anyway !! LOL....Personally, the dark area rugs over the cream looks fantastic and lovely....do NOT put wood in that area....leave it as is......IF.....IF you MUST, absolutely MUST choose a wood floor for the kitchen work area, I think the one YOU like ( middle sample in first picture ) would be the one to choose....it compliments the cabinetry the best...................HOWEVER......there is a REASON that light tile is in there.....it CONTRASTS the cabinets nicely so they are the "star" of the show, and ANY amount of light ( natural or overhead ) is going to "bounce" off the LIGHT TILE and provide more light naturally.......................have you just purchased this condo recently?? If so, I would advise you to NOT do anything until you have lived there for about a year....get used to how it "works" in different types of daylight.............it appears to be a "first floor" unit, so you NEED those blinds for privacy.....do not get rid of them!! It appears to me that you have a 3-panel screen in a corner of the dining room?? The picture is dark, but it seems to be too close to the color of the walls to stand out and provide a contrast....just my opinion.....I would replace the screen with a shade-loving "tree" about 5 feet tall....the green would add color against the light walls, the tree would "mimic" the ones just outside your windows, and it would "cozy-up" the room....just a thought.......let us all know what you decide and post some "after" pictures, please!! Congratulations on your new home!!!

  • PRO

    based on the first picture i would pick the middle.

  • katiesielke
    I like the lighter one. The middle one looks to much like the cabinets and the first one does nothing for the cabinets, in my opinion. I like the contrast of the lighter wood and the darker tones in the wood bring out the color of the cabinets.
  • PRO
    Cancork Floor Inc.

    If you can, work with the middle sample (the first photo) AND paint out the trim. The dark trim is aging the space and helping it to stay dark. Once that is done, go ahead and get some LIGHT AREA RUGS...you are going to need them.

    You have dark furniture/rugs on WHITE flooring. You are about to reverse that and turn it into dark furniture on dark floors with LIGHT rugs. This inversion will help you see your furniture when the lights are off.

    You have excellent furniture for WHITE floors...you will find this will change as soon as you add in a natural or midtone wood floor. You will find your furnishings are very, very dark. To stop that from happening: light area rugs!

  • mrey999

    Absolutely the first one. It is the only one that contrasts with the cabinets and trim without compromising the style of your condo.

  • SandyC.
    I don't know where you live, but there have to be more choices than three! I would keep your floors as light as you possibly can, unless you want to refurnish your condo. Your cabinets, dining table and chairs, kitchen stools, trim work, rugs, furniture are all dark, dark, dark. Dark floors are going to make your space very cavelike, unless you are willing to change everything else. Lighting makes a huge difference. If you don't get a lot of natural light, you may want to add some more recessed lights and lamps. Lightening your window coverings and painting all your trim white will help as mentioned, but I would not get dark floors with your existing finishes.
  • PRO
    Ross Design Inc.

    I would definitely go with the lightest. It would provide a nice contrast to the wood cabinets, showing both to advantage. It would also better reflect the light coming in. Unlike carpet the wood will have a gloss sheen, so you will be getting a noticeably brighter space.

  • sandradclark

    Go with the lightest flooring you can get. I would look at some samples of oak floors. The darker the flooring, the harder it is to keep it looking clean. Follow Cancork Flooring's advice.

  • PRO
    Johnson Design Inc.
    I would go with the lightest wood tone. The other two colors are too close to the cabinet color. Hope that helps!
  • astillmak

    I think the tile is great here as mentioned above by ravensmom13 and (her) advice is solid based on years of moving and living. However, also based on moving and living, if you are using manufactured flooring that clips together the light tones may show when dirt gets trapped between the groves and then you have an outline of dirt on every plank. This happened to me a few years ago but I'm not sure if this is still an issue. Do some research on this. If you have to go wood go dark. It does not go in and out of style like lighter woods seem to do. Good luck and have fun!!!

  • SandyC.
    Light wood tones have been in style always. I have two hundred year old rental homes, both with the original natural finish hardwood floors. They're unbelievably beautiful.
    Maybe the above poster was referring to bleached light floors, but light natural hardwood is timeless.
  • bfit12

    Go for the Middle one. Perfect for the cabinet. Besides they complement each other very well, going darker on the floor make the room more classy.

  • S M
    None of those... A lil more darker shade would look better
  • teamaltese
    Just be aware that very dark or very light flooring will show every tiny mote of dust and dirt, and you'll be wanting to dust the floors constantly. A wood with some visible graining and movement will not show dust as much. Yes you still have to clean them, of course, but you won't be compelled, as a neighbor of mine is with her dark floors, to dust them twice a day.
  • homey2403
    All of your comments have been very helpful. As I stated in my original post, I love the middle, darker floor sample, but it will be too gloomy for my condo. What a shame! The different and varied tones goes very well with the cabinets also. I could paint the woodwork, get lighter furnishings and provide more lighting, but I don't think that will do the trick.

    On the other hand, the blonde or lightest sample would provide more contrast with woodwork and cabinets. It also goes better with my darker furnishings. However, it is not providing the "wow" factor for me.

    Many of you have said that dark wood is more classy, richer looking and popular. I do agree and this is tearing my heart out. I guess I will have to keep searching for more options, but it will not be easy. I need some serious help. Next week a decorator will come to my home with more samples and I will post some more photos. I will look forward to hearing your comments. I am so glad I found the Houzz internet site.
  • Nancy Walton

    Painting the woodwork white will go a long way to lightening up your space. The stained wood is very dated. I would go with the lightest wood for that reason also.

  • Nancy Walton

    Change out the dark blinds for white blinds. Or, better yet, do away with the blinds and go for something like Roman shades you can pull up during the day.

  • homey2403
    Painting the woodwork would make a big difference, but I like my woodwork and my kitchen cabinets. The kitchen cabinets are cherry and the doors, although are stained dark, are very rich looking. I am definitely thinking about replacing the dark blinds with white ones though. I do not want to block the view of the woods and it is beautiful watching the changing colors with the different seasons. I need some privacy; that is why plan to stay with the blinds so I get both privacy, but still can see the scenery.
  • sunnydrew
    I like the one in the middle of your very first picture . It has more variation in the colors, so it give you more option for paint and future new counters.
  • SandyC.
    Okay, so you are never going to get a consensus here. It's fun for people to throw out their opinions, but I think you are very wise to get professional help. May I suggest you hire an interior" designer" rather than a decorator. A decorator, especially if she is working for a retail vendor( think Ethan Allen) is not a trained professional, but a salesperson.
    She will not only help you with your floor covering choice, but can give you lighting, furnishing tips. A designer has access to many vendors you are not seeing, as you said there are limited choices. She will work with your budget and get you the most bang for your buck!
  • nulek
    Biiiiiiiigggggg No for the kitchen floor.
    I'm cook everyday and the wood floor can't handle it. Lol
  • smileythecat

    The lightest one for sure.

  • Mandy Vess

    I would choose the lightest so the rooms aren't too dark.

  • Susan Smeltzer

    I think the kitchen floor looks fine as is. Save the money and go on vacation. ;)

  • patrinkac
    Is the kitchen floor vinyl or hard surface?
  • fupge2013

    I would go with the middle sample in the second photo. The others are too dark and dark shows dust like mad.

  • PRO

    We would suggest the lightest/natural oak example in order to create a form of contrast between the fixed units and the floor!

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