Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Dark Wood Flooring - The Scary Truth About Dark Floors
Dark wood flooring is a beautiful option for a home. Hardwood flooring comes in both solid and engineered planks. Likewise, dark wood flooring comes in a variety of styles and board widths. Dark wood flooring works great with many room colors. Dark wood flooring tends to offer a rustic look, while the lighter color wood products offer a more modern atmosphere. Wood flooring is prone to scratching, and the dark wood flooring products will show scratching more than lighter color wood products. If you purchase a dark wood floor, maintenance will be of high importance to protect the beauty of the hardwood.
Dark Wood Flooring - The Scary Truth About Dark Floors
What Are the Popular Looks in Dark Wood Flooring?
While the popular looks for dark wood flooring change from year to year, there seems to be themes that remain in style for several years. One of those themes that continues to remain popular are boards that are wide and long.
Dark wood flooring has many rustic and elegant looks, and wide and long boards bring a unique look to a home that customers love.
Another popular look that customers love, are products that are multi-tone in color. Hardwood that shows different tones hides scratching and dirt better, as well as provides a home with a wonderful and gorgeous looking floor.
When you have a floor that combines both wide and long boards, with different dark shades, it can be a very unique and beautiful looking floor.
Hardwood flooring continues to be a great product to add value to your home. Homeowners need to be careful with hardwood flooring, especially when it comes to getting water on the floor, Popular in both remodels and in new construction, hardwood flooring looks great in living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, family rooms and hallways.
Another popular dark wood flooring look is the rustic farmhouse design. Customers are enjoying products that show graining and imperfections. Dark wood flooring styles of this type, bring a unique look to a room space that helps develop that farmhouse feel and style.
Walnut is a very popular wood species for dark wood flooring products. Walnut is a very hard wood, and provides great durability to the floor, plus walnut offers the ability to offer multi-tone colors that give the floor a very unique and wonderful look.
We have a great article that talks about flooring trends, "Flooring Colors & Styles in 2021," that discusses not only the popular colors in hardwood, but also with carpet, vinyl plank, ceramic and in laminate. If you have a remodeling project you are looking to start, it is certainly worth the read.
When deciding on a dark wood flooring product for your home, one of the main starting questions to ask is: what type of product should you purchase: solid or engineered? As we will discuss in the next section, whether you get solid or engineered will depend on many factors. .
Which Is a Better Product, Solid Hardwood or Engineered Hardwood?
Solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring are two different products, made for different purposes. There are many factors involved with a flooring project that will need to be addressed, before you can determine the type of hardwood flooring that will be best for your project.
Solid hardwood flooring is made for level or above level installations. You cannot install solid hardwood flooring on concrete.
Solid hardwood flooring is a good option in two story homes, or for main floors in homes that have a basement.
One of the factors that you need to consider before deciding on a solid hardwood product, is the height of the other floors in your home. If you're doing a remodeling product, you will want to make sure you can match the height of the other floors that will connect to your new hardwood floor.
Likewise, you will want to make sure your baseboards and woodwork around your doors will be at the correct height. We always recommend getting a local flooring professional involved with a hardwood flooring project.
Engineered hardwood flooring is a great option for homes on a slab foundation. Even though engineered products are usually less expensive, they tend to be more durable than solid hardwood products, and in many cases, can be more scratch resistant than solid products.
Engineered dark wood flooring products usually offer wider and longer boards, and when installed properly, will not move as much as solid products. Throughout the calendar year, depending on the humidity and temperature, hardwood flooring will expand and contract after installation. With the different layers of engineered hardwood floors, the engineered products will move much less than solid products.
In general, the type of flooring (solid or engineered) used in a home remodel will depend not only on the conditions of the project, but also on cost. We have a good article, "How To Buy Flooring For Your Home," that discusses the correct way to buy flooring, get the best price, as well as the best product.
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Are Dark Wood Floors Good If We Have Pets?
While dark hardwood floor is beautiful and can add wonderful decor to your home, with the dark color, comes a challenge to maintain your floor, especially if you have pets.
Floors can take a beating, with dogs and cats in the home. In order to maintain your hardwood floor, homeowners need to use some common sense, and set-up guidelines for family members. Let's be realistic, if you have a 100-pound dog playing fetch inside the home, your floor is going to scratch and have a hard time holding up.
Dark wood floors are going to show scratches much more than a lighter color floor. Homeowners should keep their pets' nails trimmed and avoid too much of rough play on the hardwood floor.
Pet hair can be a real challenge on a dark wood floor. If you have a animal that sheds, plan on constantly needing to clean your floor.
The biggest issue with pets and dark wood floors is the scratching the dust, dirt and pet hair. The color of the product has nothing to do with the product durability. Rather, the color will make that product easier or harder to keep looking clean.
No matter what color of floor you have in the home, in order to keep your floors in good shape, homeowners need to establish strict guidelines for their family members when playing with pets.
The best type of dark wood flooring with pets in the house, would be engineered flooring. engineered hardwood will be more scratch resistant than a solid hardwood product, and engineered flooring will handle those occasional "pet accidents," better than a 3/4" solid plank floor.
We always recommend that you discuss pets with your local flooring professional. They can direct you to products that might work better for your household.
Are Dark Wood Floors Hard to Clean?
Hardwood flooring, in general, takes a little bit of work to maintain and keep clean, as compared to some other types of flooring.
All prefinished hardwood flooring comes with a factory finish, which usually does a remarkable job of protecting the floor. Each manufacturer has their own marketing name for their factory finish, as well as products that range in price from good, better to best. Check with your local flooring professional for more information on individual products.
When trying to maintain and clean dark wood floors, simple common-sense guidelines are always the best course of action.
When entering the home, take off your shoes. Shoes can track in dirt and dust, and can get small stones stuck on the bottom, which could potentially scratch your floor.
As an added precaution, place floor mats next to all outside doors.
Water and hardwood flooring do not get along. Never clean your hardwood floor with water and soap. Water can damage your floor and get into the floor cracks and cause mold and mildew.
Use felt pads on your furniture and chair legs. This is an extremely important maintenance protection tip. Using felts pads will prevent scratching and will give your floor added protection.
Make sure you use the proper padding underneath area rugs. The backing of many area rugs can damage your hardwood floor.
All hardwood flooring manufacturers will have a section on their website that discusses the proper cleaning recommendations for their floor. As a buyer, make sure to always follow those guidelines. Any deviation from these procedures, could potentially void the warranty.
Here are some basic cleaning tips:
Daily: Dry dust mop the floor to remove dirt and dust.
Weekly: Vacuum the floor, using a vacuum that is made with settings for hard surface floors.
Monthly: Review your manufacturers cleaning guidelines and clean, using their recommended floor cleaner.
What Are the Best Hardwood Flooring Products?
Each hardwood flooring manufacturer has their own good, better and best products. It is not possible to name certain products or companies as "better" than others. Rather, you need to look at flooring projects in a different way:
First, understand that each flooring project is different. Each project has its own challenges and goals. The first thing, as a homeowner, you need to understand is your project goal. For example, are you looking to remodel a home space that you'll be living in for the next 20 years? Or are you remodeling a space to sell your home? Understanding what you expect from the end result is a top priority.
Next, you need to understand and know your budget. Finding a great hardwood product will do you know well, if you can't afford it. Your version of "the best" product might be different than someone else that has a larger budget.
As the last step, you need to like the product. Once you have found a product that meets your budget and project goals, you need to like it. Don't pick "the best" product simply because it is recommended by a friend or family member. Choose your product based on color, style, durability and cost.
We have a good article, "How To Shop For Hardwood Floors," that walks you through this buying process. The article does a good job of explaining our buying procedure that will always get you the best price and product.
Keep in mind, that not every store sells the same products. In fact, most stores will go out of their way to sell different products. Stores are in a competition environment. The more unique items they have, the harder it is for their competition to match a price. It is always a good idea to shop around at 2-3 different stores before you make a buying decision.
Hardwood flooring is a wonderful purchase for a home. Buying hardwood can be an overwhelming project. Besides sorting through rows and rows of store display samples, a homeowner has to go through the hassle of the installation.
In order to simplify the process, homeowners need to start the shopping process with a plan in place.
Know your project goals
Know how much money you are willing to spend
Take your time in picking out your winning product
Ask questions about the installation.
Dark wood flooring is a wonderful option for a home. Darker colors are very popular and look great with most colors in the home.
Darker wood colors will show more dust and dirt, and they will show more scratching than lighter colors of hardwood.
If you have pets in the house, a darker color of hardwood will show more pet hair. If you own a dog that sheds, make sure you are aware of this fact.
You can purchase dark wood flooring in both engineered and in solid planks. Depending on the type of home you have (slab or wood sub-floor) will be one of the deciding factors on which type of product you should purchase. Floor height is also an important consideration when looking at hardwood flooring. A new hardwood floor needs to match the height of the other floors in the home.
In conclusion, it is always a good idea to enlist the help of a local flooring professional to assist with a hardwood project. Most stores will offer a free home measurement and project evaluation.
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