Home Decor Help
- Samar Bolis

How to Choose Wall Colors for Light Hardwood Floors

Whether little or big, giving your dream home a certain feel you desire goes beyond just the curtains, furniture, runners, or floor mats. One of the toughest decisions to make in a home is deciding and planning out an interior decor that suits your taste and blends excellently. It requires a lot of brain work and possibly countless trials and errors but with several considerations and a carefully planned out guide you can spice up your home admirably. 

Wood flooring is employed in several homes as part of the interior design; it is manufactured from timber and used as flooring. Both light hardwood and dark hardwood floors are great options serving desired purposes depending on choice. More importantly, deciding which one to go with depends not just on your preference but on your walls as well.

Color is an essential factor. Whether it is the color of the drapes, walls, furniture, rug, and even floors, it takes the application of art and science to make the right choices and achieve the perfect color coordination and if you decide to opt for wood flooring, it is necessary to ensure there is a proper blend with your walls.

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Light Hardwood floors vs Dark Hardwood floors

Wall Colors for Light Hardwood Floors
trendy living room design in Other with beige walls and light hardwood floors
  •  Light hardwood floors are easier to clean and maintain and dirt on dark hardwood floors. It is easier to spot dust, crumbs, white marks, and anything light or white. These stains are camouflaged on light hardwood floors but very obvious on hardwood floors. This is because the dirt contrasts with the dark background of a dark hardwood floor.
  • Neither the light hardwood floor nor the dark hardwood floor is preventive of scratches or unaffected by it but light hardwood floors hide these flaws just fine. Dark hardwood floors show very obvious marks. Light hardwood floors are the right wood flooring if you own pets or have kids.
  • As with most light and neutral colors, light hardwood floors visibly expand your living area by allowing in reflecting more natural light. This contrasts with the absorbent feature of dark hardwood floors which has a directly opposite effect; making your living area seem small and confined. Although this could be an advantage, it all depends on what you prefer in your home.
  • Dark Hardwood floors also notably have an edge over light hardwood floors. While light hardwood floors may hide stains and marks just fine, dark hardwood floors make the water stains and numerous knots less obvious.
  • Dark Hardwood floors have the most resale value and they are somewhat more popular. Dark stain colors include dark walnut, espresso, and antique brown.

How to get Light colors for Hardwood floors

Wall Colors for Light Hardwood Floors
trendy open concept family room design in San Luis Obispo with white walls

   There are three components involved in determining the right shade of light hardwood floors for you;

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  1. The species of hardwood
  2. The stain
  3. The finishing

Species of Hardwood; hardwood species include 

  • Aspen
  • Red pine
  • Aromatic cedar
  • Ash
  • Alder
  • White pine 
  • White oak
  • Walnut
  • Soft Maple
  • Basswood
  • Beech
  • Butternut
  • Cherry
  • Hickory
  • Knotty pine
  • Larch
  • Poplar
  • Mahogany
  • Red birch
  • Red oak
  • Quarter sawed red oak
  • Quarter sawed white oak
  • Hard Maple
  • Teak
  • Spruce
  • White Birch
  • Yellow Birch
Wall Colors for Light Hardwood Floors
Modern living room idea in San Francisco with beige walls and a ribbon fireplace

Exotic wood options that could also be used for flooring include; Wenge, Bamboo, etc

Stain; whether you intend on making your hardwood floor darker or lighter, different kinds of stains are available that make this process achievable. The species of wood would affect how your hardwood floors turn out as some woods require much more stain, and others a little less or more. Stains include; jacobean, ebony, golden oak.

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Finishing; wood flooring finishing involves hardening oils, hard wax, etc.

Polyurethane(especially oil-based) is the most commonly used finish for wood floors as it is tough and resistant, looks better, and costs less. With water-based polyurethanes, you would need to coat about four or five times to get the same effect and durability as oil-based polyurethanes, this is because they are thinner and have low volatile organic compounds, and contain 30-35% solids compared to 40-45% solids contained in the oil-based. Despite the drawbacks, water-based polyurethanes dry faster, barely smell as bad, and are more friendly to the environment.

To get Light hardwood floors, the only way is by bleaching and after considering the three factors above, you can refinish your hardwood

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Refinishing Procedure; 

Wall Colors for Light Hardwood Floors
Elegant dining room photo in Grand Rapids with beige walls and medium tone hardwood floors
  • Sand the floors using a sanding machine. The essence of sanding is to ensure the hardwood would be smooth and receptive to the stain and/or finishing that would be applied
  • After sanding, the next step is the addition of stains. Since you’re trying to get a light hardwood floor, it is only ideal that you opt for lighter stains such as golden pecan. If refinishing to get darker shades, dark stains like royal mahogany would be suitable. Also, take note of the fact that wood comes in a variety of colors since it is a natural product. The color of your hardwood would determine just the right stain to use.
  • The third step is finishing. Polyurethanes are most suitable for this. Usually, the coating is done about two or three times. This aids in smoothening and enhances durability. Generally, oil-based polyurethanes are more preferred than water-based polyurethanes but while bleaching hardwood you might have to use water-based polyurethanes as some woods look better over time with a water-based finish. Also, water-based polyurethanes are a must-use for white-washed and grey-stained floors.

Best Wall Colors for Light Hardwood floors

Color coordination between walls and floors determines the beauty of your home. This is because they occupy the largest areas in any home. The walls of the floors and walls must complement each other.

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Shades of brown are the best blend for light hardwood floors. The right wall colors for light hardwood include;

  1. White
  2. Neutral colors
  3. Warm colors
  4. Cool colors
white wall colors for light hardwood

White; this works and blends with every shade of light hardwood and most white paints contain a tiny measure of different shades. Popular shades of white include;

  • Swiss coffee
  • Snow
  • White dove
  • China white
  • Decorator’s white
  • Super white
  • Mascarpone
  • Timid white
  • Simply white
  • Chantilly lace

This color is most suitable if your wood flooring has a cool tone.

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wall colors for light hardwood brown
wall colors for light hardwood brown

Neutral colors; beige, brown, grey, brown, and inclusively, white are all neutral colors. These colors give you a break from all the intensity provided by warmer, cooler, and sharper colors. At the same time, they complement other colors giving the surrounding a blend. Aside from color blending, they tend to make a room seem much bigger than it is and provide an airy feel. As opposed to the assumption by many homeowners that they are dull, neutral colors are just the perfect option for interior design as too many bright and loud colors could ruin your home. Although the space provided by neutrals is an illusion, it is effective. 

The darkest neutral colors are dark chestnut and cocoa. While making use of these darker shades of hardwood floors, ensure that the walls are no less two shades lighter.

Warm Colors; what is the hottest thing you can think of? The sun? Fire?

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Sand Colored wallpaper textures walls color for light hardwood floors

Although not as hot, colors also exude warmth and when they don’t, they remind you of what does, like yellow and orange which remind you of the sun when it rises and sets respectively, and red which reminds you of fire trucks.

These colors are sharper and easier to notice because the eyes see them with a wavelength (longer wavelength) different from cooler and neutral colors which is why they should be used and blended carefully. Other warm colors are derived from the mixture of these primary ones.

Warm wall colors are to be matched with floors that have light and cool colors. In other words, make use of striking wall colors and blend them with cool floors.

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Cool Colors; these colors are mostly related to things that remind you of nature – water, plants. These colors include blue, violet, and shades of green like dark green and genuine green. If your light hardwood has hints of warmth, you should settle for cool-colored walls.

Beautiful Rugs to go with Both Light Hardwood and Dark Hardwood floors.

basement with bar entertainment area light wood floor with white rug chaise lounge. What Color Rug Goes With Wood Floors
Rugs to go with Both Light Hardwood and Dark Hardwood floors

Colors bring life, and whether your wood flooring is light hardwood or dark hardwood, you would need to throw in a little spice by adding colors. 

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The use of rugs is a way of introducing something different but beautiful and the choice of color you decide to go with will affect or improve the look of your walls. Here is a little tip, use the palest shade of color in your rug to paint your walls. You can also represent colors in the rug with different accessories (e.g a throw pillow).

Best Paint Colors for Light Wood Floors

Dining room with brown curtain and hardwood floor

Wooden floors have maintained their trend for many years. This is because of the elegance and luxury they exude. They are amongst the top expensive and luxurious interiors. Despite the appealing and aesthetic look of wooden floors, the option of painting them a different color is quite common. Acrylic paints, water paints, and latex paints can be used to create something bright, unusual but beautiful still.

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Solid Wood Flooring Options

Plain wooden parquets hardwood

Paint used should be a shade and type that will withstand a palette of floor, walls, and ceiling. Plain wooden parquets are the right choice for interiors with contrasting pieces of furniture and brightly colored accessories. The choice of color differs with individual likes and preferences.

White colors on wooden floors are ideal for homes with modern furniture.

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Light Wood Floor Color Combinations

Wall Colors for Light Hardwood Floors
Minimalist living room photo in Calgary with beige walls, light hardwood floors

Color Combinations can be a problem, especially with wooden floors. A mix-match of several bright colors or colors that do not blend will not look unusual and unattractive. Also, it is a waste of time. When painting wooden floors with bright or warm colors, it is best to stick with accessories that have neutral colors. Achieving an excellent blend and balance between neutral and bright colors results in a very harmonizing and tasteful combination.

Patterned Colors of Wooden Floor

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Patterned Colors of Wooden Floor

Patterns used include the ‘Dalmatian’ pattern. 

A Dalmatian is a dog that has large and white short hairs and dark spots. If you have seen a Dalmatian, then it would be easier to get the idea of this pattern.

To achieve this, wooden floors are painted white and then stained with black.

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You could also decide to go ‘zebra’ and use stripes instead of dotted spots. Although the stripes could be either black or white.

  Another pattern is the square pattern. This gives the wooden floor an indeed unique look.

How To Choose The Color of Walls Based on the Color of Wooden floors.

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How To Choose The Color of Walls Based on the Color of Wooden floors

How many colors in total do you think exist? Every color has different and multiple shades and while you might love a particular shade of one color, you might detest a different shade of the same color. Also, you might have a favorite but it just might not suit the interior of your home. If you must blend, changes must be made. Looking at the long list of colors might not help your decision so it is best to start with your wooden floors. What color is your wooden floor? What color are your walls? If you want something irregular, search the internet for options that might suit your taste.

Kingdom of White

If you need a change and you have trouble deciding exactly what you want, here is what to do; think of the floors first.

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Decide the color you want your floor to have, next to the furniture then the windows.

When you consider each in this order, the decision-making process is a lot easier. By the time you have your floor in the color you want, you’re only a few steps away from deciding on the perfect blend.

Wall Paint Colors That Blend With White Deciduous Wood Floors

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Wall Paint Colors That Blend With White Deciduous Wood Floors

  While deciding on a particular color is personal, there are several basic tips to consider;

  •  Dark floors make the room gloomy. To adjust this, accent lighting directly on the ceiling is a great way to improve the look and make the room brighter.
  • Use neutral and light colors for the walls. In general, whatever flooring you decide on, ensure the color you use on your walls are shades lighter than the color of the floors.

White Paint

  This gives a clean and neat impression. You can decide to go for different shades, not exactly a bright one.

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Grey Paint

   This is softer than the white paint so if every shade of white seems too obvious for you, this is the next best option. Just like every other color, you can decide on a particular shade to go with.

   To decide on the best shades, it is best to use a color chart for comparison.

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How to choose the color of the Walls for Cherry wood

How to choose the color of the Walls for Cherry wood
  • Use simple shapes and white Colors.
  • Use color tones to create contrast. 

Blue paint

  This is a popular color for walls in homes. It is cool, cozy, and peaceful and can also be perfectly combined with hardwood.

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Green paint

   This color is very natural and since it is a warm color, it creates the perfect contrast while giving the tone of hardwood an excellent complement. 

Colors To consider When using Dark Parquet Floors

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Dark Parquet Floors

Before using a dark parquet floor, you should put into consideration the source of light. If barely enough natural light is allowed in, the next go-to option is artificial lighting.

Dark Wood Floor

    This is the perfect hardwood option if you prefer to use more colors. It is neutral and would blend in with almost any color.

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Walls of Flowers that look Attractive with oak

      Private homes are most likely to utilize oak parquet floors as they are a more suitable option.

Wall Paints for Red Oak

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     A combination of red oak with flowers such as apricot contributes to the creation of a warm effect. Blue and pastel colors are also suitable.

How to match Wall color with wood floor

     Texture, choice of material and type of wood would determine what colors to use and exactly how to combine them.

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Combine wood floors and colors and walls of intense colors

A combination of light or neutral colors and warm or intense colors is always a hack when trying to blend the walls and floors.

Studio Apartments all lights!

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Studio Apartments all lights

The activities assigned to particular rooms would also determine the colors you should work with. It is preferable to combine light tones in Mono or uni environments; this is simply one environment with the art of production.

The Opinion of Style when combining wooden floors and walls

    Materials, wood type/species, and colors determine various styles- whether contemporary or modern.

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When the texture of walls and floors is everything

     The texture is not just what you feel. It is also what is visually represented. Different color combinations and blends give different off illusions, opt for something visually rich in texture.

For Wallpaper Lovers

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If you are the kind to hang up prints here or there, it is important to be able to make your print fit right into the surrounding environment. Wallpaper can be counted as an accessory, you can choose a dull color for the print to match with the rug, floor or walls.

Best Wall Color Combination

 The best shades of colors depend not just on what your preferences are but also on the color of materials used. If your floor wouldn’t blend right with the colors you prefer, you might need to make changes like refinishing and repainting.

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Wall colors for light hardwood floors

 Aside from general neutral, cool and warm colors, specific wood types are more suitable for different shades of colors.

  • Orange-toned wood and blue 
  • Natural wood and shades of sunny yellow 
  • Pinewood and green

  In the application of hardwood floors, it is important to note elements of interior decorations.

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Elements of Interior design

  These elements comprise of 

  • Shape
  • Pattern
  • Color 
  • Lines
  • Light
  • Texture
  • Space 

Shape; a collection of lines forms a shape which in this case can be open, close, geometric or natural. A perfect mix match of these forms would give you your desired effect.

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Space; is a key component of interior design. If you give it a thought you would realize why. All the planning is done in a living space and without this space, you have no home so it is only right that this is considered first. This determines whether you can include an open-concept floor plan or you simply make do with what space you have. In this context, there are two types of spaces; the negative space and the positive space.

i. Negative space; this is a space that has an open-air feel.

ii. This is a space where the actual decor is contained; couch, kitchen island, dining table.

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To accomplish an awesome balance between both spaces it is important to take note of the height of the ceiling.

Lines; major types include 

i. Dynamic lines; angular lines, zig-zag lines, and curved lines are included in this list. They are responsible for stimulating movement, thereby drawing to other lines and patterns. 

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  ii. Vertical lines; these lines draw attention and making use of them requires giving your ceiling a little more attention. Too many vertical lines would make your living space feel right and confined. 

  iii. Horizontal lines; if you intend on expanding your space or initiating a wide view, you should make use of these lines but be such to fill the extra space to avoid a dull ambiance.

Light; just how colors indicate danger, fertility, royalty, safety, etc. In just the same way, different kinds of lighting are solely responsible for different moods -soothing, therapeutic, freeing, meditative, and so on.

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          i. Natural light; includes light from 

             natural sources. The position of 

             the windows and doors either 

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             blocks or allows a glow of the right

             amount of natural light into the

              interior space.

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          ii. Artificial light; since natural light is

              limited to a particular time and

               weather, it is most likely 

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               insufficient as lighting is also

               responsible for giving different

               parts of your interior a focal point.

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              This is where artificial lights come

                to play. Types of artificial light 

             Task lighting, ambient lighting and

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            accent lighting. These different

             have their assigned uses and 

            importance whether it is simply for 

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             vision during the nighttime or 

            decorative purposes.

Pattern; lines and shapes result in patterns. The lines come together to form a shape. Aside from the traditional use of patterns on walls, they can also be used on any surface and as long as they are used correctly, they would give off the desired feel.

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Color; as earlier mentioned, colors and light have roles to play in mood detection and messaging. Just like the red color could mean danger and the green color means fertility, peace, and freedom. 

Texture; simply put, is regarded as what you feel through touch and what is visually represented, captured by your eyes. There are two types of textures – visual texture and actual texture.

i.Visual texture; the whole point of interior decor is not just to improve moods. It is fabricated to look like something that might be there. Take faux stars, for example, accented on a tray ceiling, you do not have the solar system in your home but it gives off that feeling- that is the point.

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ii. Actual texture; this is basically how a material feels when you touch it. Slippery, rough, smooth, crisp – you decide.

Cost of Hardwood Floors

 The average cost of wood flooring ranges from $3 to $7 per square foot for materials and $3 to $5 for Installation/ labor.

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   For installation, the minimum cost is about $1,200 and the maximum cost is $11,100. The average cost is within the range of $2,311 to $6,115.

Installation Materials

  • Chalk line
  • Pull bar
  • Tape measures
  • Floor scraper
  • Rubber mallet
  • Chop saw
  • Tapping block
  • Level
  • Nail set
  • Drill
  • Table saw, circular saw
  • Air compressor
  • Drill bits
  • Spacers
  • Pneumatic Flooring
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar

How To Install Wood Flooring

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The best and most common way of Installation is by laying the wood planks parallel to the longest walls. This method has proven to provide the best results.

Wood floors should be laid to floor joist at right angles (i.e across them rather than between). Underlayment is important because it prevents hardwood floors from getting damaged by moisture, also it enhances the durability and stability of the hardwood in use.

The best underlay options for wood flooring installation are cork and foam.

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Flooring should also be between 6% and 9% moisture content. On that note, no wood moisture content should exceed 12%.

Deciding on the perfect interior for your home can be difficult, especially if you are trying to follow trends in which hardwood floors are a part.

Don’t get it twisted! There are two types of hardwood floors and in the presence of more than one option, you have to make a choice. The best hardwood floors are neither dark hardwood nor light hardwood. The best hardwood option is simply the one you prefer. It is your home, feel free to mix and match styles! 

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