When purchasing hardwood flooring, you may wonder if all of your hardwood floors must be of the same material, color, or installed in the same direction. If you would like to purchase all new flooring or add to existing hardwood floors, we’ve found some expert advice on how to create both contrasting and matching layouts within your home.
For a cohesive hardwood flooring design, follow these guidelines:
- If possible, always opt to lay the same exact type, shape, and color in the same direction
- If impossible, opt for a different direction or bold pattern but of the same exact stain color
- Only opt for different colors of stain to create unique designs when highlighting a specific room or space.
What types of bold patterns should you use to highlight a space? Can you install different types of flooring next to hardwood? Does hardwood flooring need to match the baseboards? Continue reading for a full explanation of how to match hardwood flooring in your home!
Matching Hardwood Flooring Throughout the House
Whenever possible, matching all of your hardwood floors creates the most favorable effect. It not only ties the home’s decor together, but it creates the illusion of larger spaces.
Sometimes it’s not possible to match all of the floors. If you move into an older home with original floors, you might run into the problem of needing to replace warped or damaged boards. In this case, the product may be so old that it is no longer manufactured.
For the most cohesive layout, purchase flooring of the same material as the original flooring and refinish it in the same stain color. In this way, you keep consistency in the color of the flooring even when the patterns of how it is laid may be different. If you opt for a different type of wood, be aware that the stain may not look the same as it does on the original material.
Which Direction Should Hardwood Floors Run?
When all of your hardwood floors are the same, ensure that your hardwood flooring runs lengthwise with no transitions except for stairs. This creates an effect of making a room seem larger or longer. In this picture, the hardwood flooring highlights the length of the hallway:
Whichever direction you choose to lay your flooring, it will either widen or lengthen your space. While the picture above highlights the length of the hall, the picture below showcases the width of a grand hallway:
If your new flooring contrasts with the old flooring, take advantage of this opportunity to change the direction of your flooring to transition into a new space. The picture below shows this method in order to transition into a back room:
Utilize natural interruptions in the layout of the floor like steps to a different room or level in the house:
Bold Designs With Different Layouts
Depending on the style and size of your home, you may decide to draw attention to different spaces with your flooring. One way to do this involves turning the same type of hardwood flooring into a square shape to section off important spaces in the home like the foyer below:
Small, simple squares create an interesting but spacious design for a small room meant to look large:
Using the same color ties the design together while allowing the pattern of the flooring to highlight a specific room like a grand kitchen. To highlight a room, opt for bold designs like herringbone:
Bold Designs With Different Stain Color
In rare cases, you may choose to create an eye-catching design on your hardwood with different colors of stain. By doing this, you create artistic elements within a space to guide a person down a hallway or create a stunning grand room.
This pattern of color helps create movement down a hallway after walking through the front door:
In this picture, the color leads to the right, perhaps leading away from less flattering rooms like linen closets or the utility room:
What Flooring Looks Best Next to Hardwood?
If the hardwood flooring transitions to a space that leads to an outdoor area or a back door, tile may be the best option for durability. Pick a tile color and material that complements your hardwood floor. The two styles should look cohesive:
For high-traffic areas, you may also choose a blended option of laying hardwood around another durable material like concrete. In modern design, concrete make for an amazing option. You can stain the concrete as well as infuse it with inlaid designs:
Bedrooms normally contain cozier decor than the rest of the house. Due to their comfier atmosphere, a carpet may be a natural choice to install beside a hardwood hallway. Hardwood and carpet are the perfect complements to each other:
Kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms tend to have more moisture and spills. For these spaces, save some money by installing a stylish tile that coordinates with the hardwood living spaces. Tile can easily be cleaned up and stay looking fresh:
Should Hardwood Floors Match Baseboards?
If you would like to show the natural wood tone of your baseboards, you will want to match the baseboards to the flooring. Ensure the baseboards and flooring come from the same type of material and are stained with the same color.
If you prefer painting the baseboards, then choose a white, black, or neutral tone to contrast with the flooring and make it pop. Contrasting the baseboards with the flooring creates a cleaner, more modern effect. See an example with white baseboards:
Black baseboards draw attention to your floors and stand stark against lightly colored walls:
Use satin paint on your baseboards to make sure scrapes and marks appear less frequently.
Black Satin Paint
Are Dark Or Light Hardwood Floors Better?
Both dark and light hardwood floors have advantages, but one may be better for your space based on some key factors.
Dark Hardwood Floors
Pros of Dark Hardwood Floors:
- Hardly fade over time
- Existing knots in the wood look better with a dark stain
- Great contrast with lighter-hued decor
Cons of Dark Hardwood Floors:
- Scratches show up more
- Pet hair shows more easily
- Potential to make a room look more cramped
- More expensive to maintain
Aged Leather Dark Floor Stain
Light Hardwood Floors
Pros of Light Hardwood Floors:
- Hide pet hair and scratches
- Less expensive due to less maintenance
- Make rooms look larger and airier
Cons of Light Hardwood Floors:
- Don’t contrast well with the lighter decor
- Show knots in the wood more easily
- Fade more easily over time
Autumn Wheat Floor Stain
What Color Hardwood Floors Are Trending?
Due to the unwanted maintenance of keeping dark hardwood floors in pristine shape, most people opt for lighter stained floors. This is especially true for those with kids and/or pets. Not only so, but the trend shifted in recent years to darker-hued or more colorful decor, which helps contrast with lighter flooring.
Even with the added maintenance of darker flooring, some people still prefer it the most. It may be preferable for those in retirement with no pets or wealthier people who can afford to maintain a like-new appearance over time.
Can You Put An Area Rug On Hardwood Floors?
Placing area rugs on your hardwood floors helps protect them from being damaged. However, if you recently installed hardwood floors, be sure to wait three full weeks before placing your rugs on them. Also, purchase slip-resistant mats on which to place your rugs so that they don’t slide around.
Area rugs contribute to the visual cue of leading your guests to different spaces in your home. Placing area rugs strategically, like in the picture below, helps distinguish a foyer from a dining room and a living space:
Now You Know How to Coordinate Your Hardwood Floors
With this comprehensive guide, you now possess the information to create an optimal hardwood floor design, even in coordination with different types of flooring. No matter if you install the same flooring or all different types, you can achieve a beautiful design with the right color, wood type, and layout!