Dark or light laminate flooring: which one to choose? - Happiness of home decoration (2023)

When it comes to choosing the right shade of laminate flooring in a room, it can be an important decision. There are many light and dark floor coverings out there, but deciding what works best for the space isn't always that easy. In this post we have summarized the key factors to determine whether dark or light laminate flooring is best for the rooms in your home.

Disclosure: We may receive commissions for purchases made through the links in this post.

Consider the overall style of your space when choosing laminate flooring. The best way to decide between dark laminate or light laminate is to consider the amount of traffic and the primary use of the space. The shade affects how often you clean or maintain the laminate. Also consider how to match the design features of the room with the shade of the floor, including:

  • Wall paint
  • cut color
  • prominent furniture or decoration
  • turn on

The color of your laminate floor can greatly affect the attractiveness of the room. When designing a room from scratch, think about the general theme you want to use and start with that. It's also important to consider other factors such as natural light and the decor of the home as a whole. Read on to learn more about deciding whether to go for dark or light laminate flooring.

Dark or light laminate flooring: which one to choose? - Happiness of home decoration (1)

Factors to Consider for Light vs. Dark Laminate Flooring

Dark or light laminate flooring: which one to choose? - Happiness of home decoration (2)

When considering what type of laminate flooring to use in your home, there are a few things to consider before making your purchase. Let's take a look at them.

(Video) Choosing the perfect floor color when shopping for a Hardwood, Laminate, Luxury Vinyl Plank or SPC

cleaning and maintenance

How often do you prefer to clean your laminate floors? And what kind of traffic will the rooms have on a daily and weekly basis? If you have small children or pets at home, keep this in mind as increased traffic can mean frequent cleaning and potential scratches or stains.

Dust and dirt build-up tend to show up more prominently on darker colored laminate floors. So if you have a high-traffic space, consider a lighter laminate to keep it looking its best between cleanings. Light floors hide dust and dirt.

While scratches are more obvious on darker laminates, the darker tones hide the filler colors used for repairs that would otherwise be conspicuous. Stain discoloration can also easily migrate to darker floors. While lighter laminate does not hide stains well, it does hide scratches or dents more easily.

Obviously, the visibility of damaged areas on the laminate is also affected by lighting and grain. Throwing a rug into the mix can simplify your cleaning schedule and reduce the risk of potential maintenance issues, preventing damage.

Color scheme bedroom

If the walls and furniture in the room are dark tones, a lighter shade of flooring will work best to bring out those colors. The opposite is true if the furniture or walls are light in tone. Consider mainly the walls and also the color of the surfaces.

You can use darker floors to create a more formal look for living rooms and offices, or a more relaxed look for entertainment areas. Dark shades complement a wide range of colors and patterns. If you have multiple types of fabrics, furniture, and accessories in a room, a darker floor covering can bring them together. However, dark hues can also make rooms feel a little smaller than they really are, making them less than ideal for small bedrooms and bathrooms.

Lighter laminate makes your rooms appear larger and more spacious. They allow you to create many different textures in a room, as their grain often stands out more than grains in darker tones. However, depending on other room factors like natural light, furniture, and wall color, light floors can wash out a room, making it feel less pleasant and more like an art gallery.

(Video) Flooring Selection | Interior Design

Furniture and decoration style

Many gray and cream laminate floors pair well with traditional or rustic decor. In fact, most of the lighter shades work well in modern decor too, meaning you won't have a problem finding furniture and accessories to go with it.

Medium and darker grains can work well in almost any setting, as darker laminate blends more easily into any decor or style. For example, cherry and mahogany laminate floors go great with modern and contemporary styles. Darker floors are more versatile overall and go well with both traditional and contemporary styles.

Think about the type of look you prefer for the room and the hues of the featured furniture or decor, including kitchen floor appliances.

Does laminate have to fit from room to room?

There are no immutable home decorating rules; it's about your personal preferences and tastes; There are no right or wrong answers here. And while you don't have to match laminate flooring in every room in your home, floors look best when they match.

When floors are coordinated, they usually complement each other well. This should be the overriding goal when it comes to moving flooring from one room to another. So feel free to mix and match things as you like. Here are some tips to help you coordinate flooring from room to room in your home.

Stick to three or fewer floor options

This does not mean three colors for the whole house, but only for adjacent rooms. Having more than three different types of flooring can make your home seem uncoordinated and busy. Try to create an intersection where the floor colors can meet to complement a neutral color. Each room or hallway can have its own floor color, but everything should be consistent with the overall decor or color scheme.

Decide what works best for each space.

Certain rooms in a house naturally lend themselves to dark or light floors. For example, rooms with natural light can work well with dark floors as the light can help open up the space and make the space appear larger. Gray or light floors work well in larger open spaces like family rooms, kitchens, or living rooms. It also helps to consider the mood of the room before deciding whether to go for a large dark or light floor.


Look at the colors

When purchasing flooring, try to establish continuity with specific color schemes. For example, if you have a dark blue rug in a bedroom, it might be best not to pair it with a bright white rug in the hallway, which can be quite unappealing to the eyes.

A softer transition color would be light beige or grey. It is better to avoid too contrasting colors when moving from one room to another. You can use neutral colors to create some distance between dark and light colors, allowing each room to stand out without disrupting the overall coordination of the home.

Consider your decorating plans

If you are installing the flooring in a room that has not yet been decorated (or painted), consider what colors you want the walls and furniture to be. Are you buying a dark sofa with light-colored cushions? Will the walls be painted a neutral color or a darker shade? Try to coordinate your flooring with the rest of the room to see if dark or light colors complement each other best once it's fully furnished and painted.

Do dark floors make a room smaller?

Dark or light laminate flooring: which one to choose? - Happiness of home decoration (3)

For the most part, yes, darker floors make a room feel cramped and smaller. This can be reduced if too much natural light enters the room through open doors or windows. You can also use cool tones on the walls to make the space feel bigger too. Here are some ways to make the spaces in your home appear larger:

become lighter

Install light-colored floors like bleached grays, natural wood tones, or off-white rugs to open up spaces and give them a grander look. They also help attract natural light from the windows and doors in the room.

Stick to one soil type

While this may seem limiting, in smaller homes it's common to make rooms appear larger. The smooth effect helps the home flow evenly, giving it a continuous and open appearance.

(Video) Inspiration: A guide to dark flooring

Install diagonal or parallel floors

Another common flooring trick is to lay planks parallel to the longest wall in the room. This helps free up a bit of space in the room, making it look more elongated.

Use larger tiles

Bathrooms are often the smallest rooms in a house. However, using larger tiles can help make your bathroom look larger than it actually is. For example, a 30" x 30" tile can help give your bathroom a more spacious look than a typical 16" x 16" tile, and it also helps if the bathroom has an east- or west-facing window.

Should the floor be darker than the walls?

It depends on your personal preferences. In general, interior design is quite interpretive, and the most important factor to consider is what kind of ambiance you want the rooms in your home to have. Floors do not necessarily have to be darker than walls. However, they can visually ground the space within a room and keep it from feeling too enclosed. However, darker floors are often preferred when the walls in the room are lighter.

What is the most popular laminate floor color?

Gray and white laminate floors are the most popular floor coverings on the market today. However, wood-like grains for laminate flooring such as maple, oak and cherry are always in demand and likely will be for the foreseeable future; You just can't have the all-natural feel of beautiful wood tones and grains. In addition, beige and brown floors suit almost any decor.

pack things

We hope the above pros and cons of light and dark floors can help you make the best decision for your home. Remember that when deciding on the type of laminate flooring for your home, it's best to consider the current decor of the room, including furniture and wall colors.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

What furniture color goes with gray floors?

(Video) Light Wood Living Room Decor

What is the easiest bathroom floor to install?


Should I get light or dark laminate flooring? ›

As a rule of thumb, darker-toned flooring will tend to make the overall surface area seem smaller while lighter flooring may give the impression of a larger area.

Are dark or light floors in Style 2022? ›

While light-colored floors are beloved for their ability to make a space feel bigger and more open, darker brown hues have become more popular ever since the pandemic hit. “We're seeing a steady trend toward cozier, more nostalgic spaces,” Bacher reveals.

Are dark floors more elegant? ›

Dark wood tends to provide a more modern and elegant look than lighter wood floors. If you have a traditional home and want a darker floor, opt for a smaller plank width that isn't so polished. This will show the wood grain more and give you a natural aesthetic.

What is the most popular flooring for 2022? ›

Finally, Vinyl and wood floors are seemingly the front runners for 2022 flooring top trends but, that doesn't mean carpet flooring won't make an appearance. Area rugs, carpet tiles, and frieze carpets are sure to be among the most popular styles this year.

Which Colour laminate flooring is best? ›

Whether you are installing it in your home office, living room, or even a child's nursery, grey laminate flooring is the perfect choice for a modern home. If you are a fan of experimenting with colors, dark grey wood flooring makes the perfect backdrop for introducing intense bold wall colors such as red and purple.

What Colour flooring is in for 2022? ›

Color and cool tones also make the list of flooring trends in 2022. Green, blue, dark brown, ashy white, and gray add to an airy feel in the home and leave so much to the imagination because of the options in flooring colors. Gray is the most popular when it comes to flooring colors.

What is the most popular wood floor color 2022? ›

French White Oak continues to dominate the market as the top choice for hardwood floors. This wood has been trending for several years, and is only getting more popular–so it makes sense that it has a place among the top 2022 hardwood flooring trends!

What flooring increase home value? ›

Hard surface flooring will give you the best return on investment, or ROI. Hardwood will be your best bet with the highest ROI since it's the long-standing preferred flooring choice. If you currently have hardwood floors, consider refinishing them if they need a little pick me up.

Will light floors go out of style? ›

Are Light Wood Floors in Style? The truth is that light wood floors will never go out of style. However, some shades are more popular than others. One reason is that they are neutral, offering decorators more options when finishing a room.

How do I choose a light or dark floor? ›

If you want a classic look that allows your furniture and decor to take center stage, light floors may be the best pick for you. If you want your floors to make a statement, dark shades can offer the impact you are looking for.

Are lighter or darker floors more popular? ›

Dark hardwood flooring is among the most popular styles. Its polished, rustic sheen makes for an unmatched quality look that will enhance the value of your home. With dark hardwood floors, you'll enjoy: Long-lasting color: Its color makes dark hardwood prone to absorbing sunlight, while light hardwood reflects it.

Do dark or light floors make a room look bigger? ›

You may be surprised to learn that dark wood flooring can help to make your room look bigger too. Darker flooring offers an inviting feel and opens up a space.

Should you put the same flooring throughout your house? ›

There is absolutely no need to change flooring from room to room. We often work with homeowners who feel the urge to pick a different flooring for every room of their home, but there is absolutely no need to do this. Your home will look best if you create one consistent look that travels from room to room.

What flooring does not go out of style? ›

Hardwood Flooring

Seriously... what's better than hardwood flooring? It's beautiful, it's durable, and it never goes out of style.

Which floor color is best? ›

What is the most popular floor color? It's unsurprising to us that the most popular color for floors is grey, and in particular, grey wood, like that shown above. Grey flooring is the ultimate neutral – easy to co-ordinate and color scheme around, dark enough not to show the dirt, and yet pale enough to reflect light.

What color laminate flooring is timeless? ›

What color laminate flooring is timeless?

What color laminate floor makes room look bigger? ›

What color laminate floor makes room look bigger?

Which laminate is best for home? ›

Which laminate is best for home?

What color of flooring is timeless? ›

The Best Timeless Flooring Options

For a classic look, choose mid-range tones that are not too light or dark. Opt for classic wood colors such as oak, maple, mahogany, pine or ash.

What color flooring is most popular? ›

Honey Wood Floors

38% of our experts say it's the most popular choice, and for several reasons. Honey-colored wood floors go great with just about any look - you can add cool colors to the walls or stick with light walls to really open up the space.

What is the most popular flooring right now? ›

Luxury vinyl has become our most popular choice for home flooring, and for many good reasons.As mentioned previously its waterproof, low maintenance, resilient, and is one of the most budget-friendly options, too!

What color wood flooring never goes out of style? ›

Mid-Tone. While both light and dark hardwood is currently on-trend, if you are looking for a classic finish, it is advisable to select a mid-tone wood, as this will ensure that it does not look dated over time.

What is the most popular wood floor color now? ›

Top 5 wood floor color categories:

Gray tones (light to dark) White-washes and tones. Honey & light brown tones. Walnut & dark brown tones.

Does laminate flooring decrease home value? ›

Whether laminate will increase or decrease a home's value will also depend on what flooring was there before. If the laminate replaces old, worn carpet or sheet vinyl, you could see a value boost.

Do home buyers prefer carpet or laminate? ›

What you should keep in mind is that today's average buyer prefers hard surfaces throughout the home, over carpeting. If you need to replace carpeting, vinyl/wood laminate is also the best choice if you're on a budget.

Are dark floors out of fashion? ›

Dark brown hardwood floors in particular never seem to go out of fashion, they are always trendy and still in style. There's something about the contrast between dark wood floors and bright, light walls, white kitchen cabinets, furnishing etc. that epitomize a sophisticated and upmarket style.

Is light flooring in trend? ›

Laminate is popular for both commercial and residential spaces, and that doesn't look like it will change in 2022. Next year, we expect to see home and business owners gravitate toward light wood and wide-plank laminate flooring.

Do dark floors make rooms look smaller? ›

Conclusion: While dark colors can make a space look smaller, it's important to remember that the floors are just 1 element of the room, and the color of the walls has a much bigger impact on space perception. And, as you can see, there are many other ways to make your space look larger.

What looks good with dark floors? ›

Gorgeous architecture always captures the eye.
  • Introduce More White. The simplest solution for working with dark floors is to add more white to your space through architecture, furniture, pillows, rugs, window treatments, and painted white cabinetry. ...
  • Contrast with Pale Wood. ...
  • Incorporate Cheerful Colors.
8 Jun 2015

What color flooring is best for a small house? ›

Light, Airy Colors

Lighter shades of colors, such as blue, teal, and earth tones are possibilities as well, giving a more open, airy, and uplifting vibe than darker shades. Blonde, light brown, or even whitewashed hardwood flooring can also make the most of this technique.

Should floor be darker than furniture? ›

Contrast is one of the core rules of any style or decor, so the easiest way to match furniture and floors is to go with dark furniture on light floors or light furniture on dark floors.

Should flooring be lighter or darker than cabinets? ›

If so, you might be wondering, Should wood floors be lighter or darker than cabinets? Luckily, there is no right or wrong answer here. Light-color hardwoods look excellent with dark wood cabinets, and vice versa. On the other hand, matching the colors isn't out of the question, either.

What color floor makes house look bigger? ›

A light-colored flooring such as light oak or a light-colored carpet will make the room appear brighter and more open. The same applies to the ceiling—use a light color or white to "open up" the space above. Increase the appearance of the size of the room by adding wall mirrors.

What thickness laminate flooring is best? ›

Laminate ranges from 6-mm to 12-mm and, as a rule, it shouldn't be less than 8-mm. If, however, budget is an issue and if your subfloor is level and debris-free, you might be able to get away with 7-mm; keep in mind that subfloor imperfections can telegraph to the surface floor, so make sure it's okay.

Which way do you lay laminate flooring to make room look bigger? ›

Laying your floors diagonally is one of the most effective ways to create a larger space. Diagonally laying floors tricks the eye into seeing the pattern in a different perspective, which also creates more visual interest.

What is the easiest floor to maintain? ›

Vinyl flooring is probably the easiest to clean out of all the options listed here and also one of the easiest to maintain. Also known as Cushion Floor, vinyl flooring is available at a good price and can take plenty of wear over the years, which is why many will come with a 15 year warrantee.

What is the best flooring for a kitchen and living room? ›

What's the Best Flooring for a Kitchen and Living Room Combo? Vinyl plank and waterproof laminate are the best flooring options here because they balance comfort and performance well. You won't have to worry about spills and a classy hardwood style is always a good look.

Does luxury vinyl plank decrease home value? ›

Even though it's not true hardwood, buyers will still appreciate the aesthetics and feel of these durable floors. This is what buyers really care about at the end of the day. So yes, installing new vinyl flooring in your home will raise your property value.

What flooring is most timeless? ›

Hardwood floors

Real hardwood flooring has been around all throughout history and right the way up until the present day, making it the most obvious choice for a timeless style of flooring. Wood will never look outdated in your home, so you don't have to worry about its timelessness being restrictive in any way.

What is the most luxurious flooring? ›

5 Types of High-End Flooring
  • Natural Stone Flooring. A natural stone floor is one of the most opulent high-end flooring because of its naturally shiny appearance. ...
  • Distressed Hardwood Flooring. ...
  • Exotic Hardwood Floors. ...
  • Luxury Vinyl Plank. ...
  • Mosaic Ceramic Tile.

What type of flooring do buyers prefer? ›

Which types of flooring do buyers look for? It's no surprise — hardwood flooring has long been the top choice for buyers and agents alike, and remains so in today's market.

What Colour flooring goes with everything? ›

Floors with a white finish go with almost everything. A light burlap-like color is a great choice because you still get a light floor, without installing a truly “white” floor. You can use a variety of wood species to create a light floor.

What color laminate shows less dirt? ›

Typically, lighter color woods show less dirt and dust.

Are light wood floors too trendy? ›

Are Light Wood Floors in Style? The truth is that light wood floors will never go out of style. However, some shades are more popular than others. One reason is that they are neutral, offering decorators more options when finishing a room.

Should kitchen floor be lighter or darker? ›

Dark floors are perfect for making a statement in a kitchen. The contrast between the floor and lighter walls or cabinetry can make the room feel very contemporary. Many people like darker floors to hide dirt or spills, but keep in mind that scratches will show up more clearly on a darker floor.

What is the best color for flooring? ›

What is the most popular floor color? It's unsurprising to us that the most popular color for floors is grey, and in particular, grey wood, like that shown above. Grey flooring is the ultimate neutral – easy to co-ordinate and color scheme around, dark enough not to show the dirt, and yet pale enough to reflect light.

What flooring makes a home look bigger? ›

Dark coloured wood floors will make your space look bigger if paired with the right wall colour. And a dark, larger plank wood flooring will make your small space look amazing! Cool colours recede and warm colours advance, so make sure you choose a cool colour for the walls, ceiling, trims and moldings.

What flooring looks cleanest? ›

What Floors Are Easiest to Clean?
  • Hardwood Makes It Look Easy. The enduring popularity of hardwood floors is for good reason. ...
  • Luxury Vinyl Cleans Up Nice. ...
  • Carpet Comes Clean. ...
  • Laminate = Low-Maintenance. ...
  • Need More Flooring Help?
15 Feb 2021

What is the most popular wood floor color for 2022? ›

French White Oak continues to dominate the market as the top choice for hardwood floors. This wood has been trending for several years, and is only getting more popular–so it makes sense that it has a place among the top 2022 hardwood flooring trends!

What is the most popular flooring at the moment? ›

Tile Flooring in 2022

Tile flooring is famous for its classic look, versatility, and practically indestructible composition. Because glazed tile is naturally waterproof, it is the only flooring option that you can use anywhere – bathrooms, kitchens, mudrooms, and more.

Will Dark floors make my house look smaller? ›

In a room that is very bright or light, the dark floor can actually make the lighter shades stand out, and even make the room seem bigger. The only time it definitely makes the room seem smaller is in small, dim rooms, particularly those without natural light.

What color floors are best for resale? ›

Dark hardwood flooring is in style. It makes your home easier to sell and also boosts your home's resale value. Shows off the furniture in the room. Dark hardwood floors have a way of contrasting with lighter colored furnishings.


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