28 February 2022

Is my room better suited to light wood or dark wood effect?

When it comes to flooring, wood is a great choice. It’s durable, it feels natural, and what’s more, it can finish any room to absolute perfection. It’s also an investment you won’t tire of quickly, which means excellent value for money over the years to come.

But deciding on installing any wood flooring, natural or engineered, is just the first piece of the puzzle.

As flooring experts, our team is often asked whether light or dark wood is best. Our answer is always the same – it depends. So, we’ve put together this short guide to help you make the right choice for your space.

Room type and size

When it comes to accentuating size, colour plays a huge role. Lighter-coloured boards work like magic here, somehow opening up even the tightest of spaces to make them appear bigger.

On the flip side, darker planks can draw a small room even deeper into itself and make it feel super-dingy. Dark wood can also drain any natural light from a room which is something to be wary about if your room is already on the dark side.

If you’re looking to lay boards in a small or poorly lit area, then choosing a lighter shade is usually the best way to go.

To further open your space, lay your wooden planks lengthways instead of widthways to elongate the room.

Footfall (or pawfall)

As you would with any flooring, you need to consider your residents. Not only the number of people but whether those people are on the young side – or perhaps not people at all. Small children and pets attract dirt and seem to drag it around with them – not great for your floor.

It’s not only the dirt you need to consider when it comes to kids, canines or kitties. It’s the stuff they carry around behind them. Plastic or wooden toys being dropped onto your floor will soon show damage, as will claw scuffs and scratches – not to mention hair.

If you’re looking at real wood options, it might be worth waiting until the little ones are a little older before investing. But if you can’t wait, lighter wood is better at hiding dirt and damage than darker wood.


Do you really have time to clean your floor daily? It’s OK to admit it – none of us wants to spend longer than necessary sweeping, mopping or scrubbing.

When it comes to keeping wooden floors looking clean, both dark and light wood shades are equally bad, so you might want to opt for a medium shade if cleaning isn’t your thing.

The same rule applies to areas where water spots are likely – in kitchens, bathrooms or even hallways where wet shoes are common. While you can’t escape water damage altogether, the discolouring will be less obvious with a medium shade.


Think about the furniture and décor in your room. Dark wood certainly makes a statement, but while it might complement your furniture today, it might not work with your future plans.

If you plan on changing your furniture in the next couple of years, you might prefer lighter wood.

Light wood can be stained or coloured more easily than dark wood, changing the look completely if needed.


The cost of wooden flooring will depend more on the materials used than the colour. Real wood is more expensive than engineered wood, and different types of timber will have different price points. Pine is often cheaper than hardwoods such as oak, maple or walnut.

Ultra-light wood flooring is extremely popular. However, it can take several coatings, including a stain, paint and sealer, to achieve an almost clear finish. All of these extras can very quickly add up, so it’s worth knowing about them before making your final choice.

Engineered wood or LVT is lower in cost, and the price will depend more on the quality than the colour.

Real wood versus LVT

If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to real wood, and you’re looking for something low maintenance, then LVT is a fantastic alternative. There are some amazing LVT options on the market that look so much like real wood it can be hard to tell the difference.

Need a little inspiration or advice?

There are hundreds of flooring manufacturers, suppliers and installers, so it can be hard to know where to turn.

At Beyond Flooring, our mission is to enhance your home or business with expertly fitted flooring. We only use quality products, and we offer a two year warranty on all domestic projects.

Not only can we help you select the right flooring for your space, we can take care of installing your product to the highest standards. We’re experts in installing engineered wood, real wood and parquet flooring.

If you need a little inspiration, check out our customer gallery, or visit our showroom. Our friendly team are always happy to help you select the perfect flooring for your home.

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