Best wall colors that will complement your gray flooring – gray hardwood, gray carpet, gray tile or slate, gray laminate or LVP
Gray floors have become very popular and super stylish over the years, so naturally, many of my customers ask my recommendations for the best paint shades for the gray floors or carpet. When you have very dark or very light floors, it’s easy to find paint colors that match (especially grays), but it’s a bit more challenging when you have gray as the base for you floors.
I’m going to give you my best suggestions here for colors that work, but please note that the best shades will vary based on the undertones of you gray floors, your ligthing and of course your taste. Please always test the paint shades in your own home. You can start with the paint swatches, but it’s best to get real samples after you’ve narrowed down.
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Try to avoid medium to light grays for the walls
Before I get started with the best paint color families to use, I want to warn you to stay away from gray paint colors when you have gray floors, whenever possible. Why? Well first, it’s just way to easy to pick the wrong gray. There are hundreds of grays and they each have their own undertones. And floors (especially natural wood) has a lot of variations and chances are they will clash.
Second, gray on gray is just too monochromatic and depressing (and boring). I mean seriously there is no better way to create a depressing atmosphere in your home. Think of the movie, “The Joy Luck Club” when one of daughters lives in a “home” like that – gray everything. It looked like a dungeon or prison and that’s how it felt to her. And, yes I have been in one of these homes in my local area – gray floors, gray walls and gray furniture. It was so depressing and unfriendly. I couldn’t wait to leave. Don’t do this!
Below I’ll share 1 exception to this rule.
Do you need any paint shade fan decks?
Amazon can help with that. It’s so much easier when you have the full color wheels and can see all of these in your own home (vs. going back and forth to the store MULTIPLE times).
Here are my top paint color selections for gray floors
1. Blues, especially blue grays (or dusty blues)
Blues are my favorite choice with gray floors. They are cool and soothing and almost always go with gray flooring. As long as you stay with a cool blue (light, mid or dark) you will be fine. So think blue blues (I made that term up) or blue grays (also called dusty blues).
Avoid aqua or turquoise blues as those have too much green in them.
My favorite blues from Sherwin Williams for gray flooring include:
- Upward (SW 6239) and it’s accompanying accent wall colors of Aleutian, Daphne and Bracing Blue
- Mild Blue (SW6533) – This is a light and subtle blue. Sometimes it’s perfect (especially with darker grays), other times it may look too washed out and similar to the gray flooring, so test them next to each other.
- Icelandic (SW6526)…goes with the next 3 and they can be used by themselves or as accent walls).
- Blissful Blue (SW6527) – The swatch below shows Blissful blue, and to the right, the lighter shade is Iceandic, and to the left, one shade deeper is Cosmos.
- Cosmos (SW6528)
- Rhythmic Blue (SW6806)…goes with the next 3 and they can be used by themselves or as accent walls)
- Wondrous Blue (SW6807)
- Celestial (SW6808) – shown below and the 2 lighter colors to the right are Rhythmic Blue (the lightest) and Wondrous Blue.
- Downing Slate (SW2819), an often overlooked color as it’s in the Historic Section. But this darker slate blue gray is very chic and stylish and perfect as an accent wall.
Of course whites will always work, especially if you want a light, clean and airy look. But be sure to stick with white whites or cool whites, No yellow or pink/peach undertones.
My top Sherwin Williams picks are Extra White (SW7006) and Pure White (SW7005), followed by Snowbound (SW7004). Generally a flat finish is best for this (if not, use matte. Same goes for the other colors, but it’s even more important with whites that reflect light…including the color of the floors).
Navy goes really well with gray floors. It’s super stylish right now. Navy can work well in man caves but sometimes it’s just too dark for a whole room. So I have 2 solutions for that. The first one is easy. Choose one of the above whites and then use a Navy for an accent wall.
The 2nd solution is use some sort of wainscoting or bead board on the bottom and paint that with a semi gloss white and then use navy on the top part of the wall. Alternatively you can use a white chair rail and do navy on the bottom third of the wall and navy on the top 2/3 (or vice versa).
Here are my favorite Navy shades that work well with gray flooring or carpeting:
- Commodore (SW6524) – this one is a bit bluer and less dark than your typical navy
- Dress Blue
- Salty Dog
- In the Navy
Related: 10 ways to decorate with navy
4. Green grays (or dusty greens)
I find that most of my customers are either into greens or blues, but rarely both. Some green work well with gray flooring, especially the gray greens. Think sage or pale greens with gray mixed in.
Avoid olive greens (as these are too yellow), minty greens, bright greens, forest greens, and make sure there isn’t too much blue or turquoise as these tend to look too bright and childish.
My favorite grayish greens to go with gray floors are:
- Sea Salt (SW6204) (my favorite as it’s light and so neutral)
- Sage (SW2860)
- Ancient Marble (SW6162)
- Livable Green (SW6176)
- Rainwashed (SW6211) (sometimes this is a bit too dark. If so, try Sea Salt)
5. Dark Gray
In general, I’m not a fan of gray on gray as it’s too monochromatic when paired with gray floors. But, sometimes doing 1 dark gray accent wall paired with whites on the other walls can really work. Use the whites I suggested above. You just need to find the right undertone, pending on the color of the floor.
So here are some awesome choices for dark gray dramatic accent walls:
- For a cool dark gray with subtle brown undertones, go for Cityscape (SW7067) or Grizzle Gray (SW7068) if you want even darker.
- For a cool gray (but not too blue), I’d recommend Software (SW7074) or Web Gray (SW7075) if you want even darker.
- For a warm gray, I’d try out Gauntlet Gray (SW7019)
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What about bright and wild colors?
Sometimes, people like to go wild with a pop color such as fuschia, bright yellow or bright orange. These colors are fun and often work best as accent colors for area rugs, pillows and/or 1 accent wall, so if that’s something that interests you, go for it.
Helpful tools if you are going to paint yourself
- Painting brush – this one costs a bit more, but it’s totally worth it. It will help you paint faster and more accurately. If you’re going to paint yourself, don’t skimp here. Incidentally, this is Amazon’s Choice as well.
- Painter’s tape – a must have. Use for all the trim as well as ceiling area
- Paint roller kit – this includes a tray. Use the brush for the edges and the roller for main areas of the wall (and ceiling).
- Drop cloths – Yes, you’ll need them for sure. Some people have some on hand, but often not enough if you are doing many rooms.
And, here’s a helpful video from Sherwin Willias with some super useful DIY painting tips. It’s just 2 minutes and covers types of brushes and painting techniques.
Sherwin Williams and Pottery Barn Painting tips for DIY homeowners
Concluding thoughts on best paint colors for gray flooring
I wanted to provide a breadth of paint shades that work with gray hardwood floors since flooring often covers multiple rooms and different people have different tastes. The one common theme you’ll find is that all the wall colors are on the cool side and that’s what tends to work best for gray floors.
Choose the paint shade that you like best, and that goes with your floors and that makes you feel the best. And, don’t forget to get testers.
Related painting and gray hardwood articles:
- Best bluish gray paint colors
- How to refinish hardwood floors gray…the right way
- 13 amazing gray hardwood floors you won’t want to miss
- Best white paint colors for trim and baseboards