Good Questions: Which Color Wood Floor Should I Choose?

Good Questions: Which Color Wood Floor Should I Choose?

Maxwell Ryan
Jan 10, 2006

Hello AT,

So I've got the opportunity to put down wood floors in my apartment - the landlord will pay for (most of) the supplies (about $2000), I'll put in the labor. It'll have to be an engineered wood - there's no subfloor and I don't want to have to put one down.

I'm working toward a cozy modern look - a few early 20th century antiques here and there, but pared down and simple. The colors are tan and grey, with dark brown woods. Accent colors are red, dark orange, and a medium-intensity blue-green. The piece de resistance is my beloved long skinny kilim rug, which is dark red, dark brown, and burnt orange. The walls are white, and the apartment (sadly) is not very bright, although the windows are large. more below...

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Here's the question: which flooring? I want a wide-plank, single strip engineered floor. I'm leaning towards maple, because I like the open grain, and the pale stain seems to suit the overall look. But is this going to look terribly dated? The flooring guys say dark is all the rage.

I've become very dependent on the thoughts of all you aesthetic gurus around here - I'd really appreciate any advice. Thanks, Blue

Dear Blue,

the flooring guys are right, and we ourselves have stained quite a few floors dark in the past few years to great effect. A dark - either ebony or lighter brown - floor has a very warming, stylish effect on a room and shows off the furniture more. It is also a better fit with modern 20th century furnishings.

If you are hesitant to go for ebony, which is brown/black, then move towards the medium colors, but don't go blond light wood or with wood that shows a lot of knots and will give you a country kitchen feel.

Remember you want darkish, but WARM. Some darks are cool and don't have much red in them. We would avoid these.



Anyone else??

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