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Considerations for Choosing Stain Colors for Hardwood Floors?

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Modern styled small entryway

The color of a room determines the overall feeling you get when entering. Darker colors often symbolize drama and heavy contrast. In contrast, lighter wood colors are modern or contemporary.

Either way, the color of hardwood flooring plays a key role in the room’s ambiance. That being said, what factors should one consider when choosing hardwood floor stain colors?

Whether you’re adding floors to a new home or renovating, several factors must be considered when selecting hardwood stain colors. Every floor and material is unique offering a wide range of shades and styles. This article will assess the necessary considerations ultimately helping guide you in the right direction.

Understanding Your Hardwood Floor

Carpenter staining wood

Every type of wood differs in porosity. The size of the pores affects the rate of absorption. The larger the pores, the more color is absorbed and the stain appears rich in color. On the other hand, smaller pores mean less color is absorbed resulting in a lighter shade.

Before you choose a stain color, you need to know the characteristics of your flooring. This way, you can determine how light or dark the stain will appear after application.

For example:

  • Oak: takes on color very easily whether it is a light or dark shade
  • Birch: low density and absorbs well
  • Ash: light in color and has large pores making it easy to take various colors

While some wood species are easier to stain than others, it is important to know what you are working with before you begin. This helps determine the outcome of your flooring.

Level of Stain for a Room

Traditional Kitchen with wood flooring

When it comes to selecting stain colors for hardwood floors, consider the aspects of the furnishings. For example, paint and accents, furniture, and overall style. Keep the following in mind when selecting a stain color:

  • Light stains - add a clean touch, and brighten the space. Makes the room look larger.
  • Medium stains - easily matches with other wood accents and pairs well with traditional decor
  • Darker stains - very traditional and classic. It can be modern based on the type of furniture and decor.

Room Lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in how stain colors for hardwood floors appear. If the room has several windows with natural light, darker stains can add depth and warmth. For darker rooms, create an airy atmosphere with lighter stains like whitewash or even a clear coat.

Consider how much light your room receives and choose a stain color accordingly.

Modern and bright living room

Consider Your Lifestyle

It's important to balance aesthetic preferences with practical considerations, ensuring that your hardwood floors will look beautiful and remain in good condition over time. If you have a busy household, pets, or small children, darker stains may show scratches, dust, and dander a lot more than lighter shades. Alternatively, those small imperfections are easier to disguise with lighter tones and are easier to maintain in high-traffic areas.

Consider a stain color that complements your day-to-day life, reducing the need for constant upkeep.

Popular Color Choices

If you're looking for stain colors that are widely used, you can't go wrong with the following:

  • Gray: Works with rooms with either warm or cool tones.
  • Whitewash: Provides a casual feel and makes spaces appear larger and more open.
  • Dark Browns and Ebony: Stains like espresso and ebony create a rich, elegant ambiance and feel cozy and sophisticated, highlighting the furniture and décor.
  • Natural and Clear Coats: A clear coat or a very light stain accentuates the wood's original color and grain pattern, offering a timeless look that can adapt to any style changes in decor.

Here's a closer look at some of the favorite stain colors for hardwood floors in 2024:

Warm Honey

This color trend beautifully captures the essence of warmth and welcome in hardwood flooring. Rich and inviting, Warm Honey, particularly in Oak Cherry, exudes a sense of warmth that can instantly brighten up and open up any space.

Its natural hue offers versatility and can seamlessly complement an array of interior styles, from the rustic charm of a farmhouse to the clean, minimalist aesthetics of modern design. Warm Honey stands as a testament to the timeless appeal and adaptability of hardwood floors, ensuring a cozy ambiance that invites you in.

Living Room with new flooring


Notorious for its exceptional durability, this wood species enhances the beauty of floors as its dark tones mature, imbuing rooms with a cozy warmth and unique character. The incorporation of Hickory floors offers a compelling juxtaposition against lighter walls and furniture, captivating attention and positioning the floors as the central highlight of your home's design.

White Oak

The subtle grain and light coloring provides a versatile backdrop for a wide array of design styles, enhancing the natural light in a space and offering a sense of serenity and openness. Integrating white oak into your home allows for a fresh and modern look.


Known for its distinctive and varied tones, maple hardwood flooring offers an inviting aesthetic and its remarkable appearance serves as a bold statement for homeowners eager to showcase their floors as a focal point.

Varnishing floor


Choosing stain colors for hardwood floors can be a tricky endeavor but with the information above, you may find your search a little easier. Knowing the type of wood used in your flooring, keeping decor and style in mind, and always considering the lighting of the room are three keys to finding a stain color that won't end up needing to be redone anytime soon.

If you're in the market for a new hardwood floor and would like to talk to a professional to get more information, contact Bridgeport Carpet, Hardwood, & Tile.

Since its establishment in 1994, Bridgeport Carpets has been committed to prioritizing our customers, evidenced by our seasoned sales team and crews, many of whom have been integral to our operations for over a decade. Boasting the largest showroom in North Georgia, located in Alpharetta, we offer an unparalleled selection, featuring thousands of styles and colors to ensure you find the perfect match for your home.

Contact us today and let us help you get the perfect floors for every room in your home.