11 Dark hardwood flooring options to transform your home into a stylish space
In case you haven’t noticed, dark hardwood floors are currently the most popular color, and they just keep growing in popularity. Dark woods add drama and they tend to go well with just about anything from white cabinets, to dark furniture. This is because dark hardwoods are cool toned, so they go with BOTH cool and warm paint colors. They are so much easier to decorate with compared to mid or lighter floors, and especially easier vs hardwood floors that have reds (or even red undertones).
So, if you’re looking for a color that is both stylish now and will work with future design trends, dark floors are the way to go. And, I want you to remember that if you have solid hardwood flooring, you can always and and refinish them in 10 to 15 years (if you choose).
Below, I’ve gathered some of my favorite dark hardwood floors. You can buy all of these online…just click on the pictures to find out more info on widths, species and prices.
And, if you already have hardwood floors and want to refinish them, check out this article on the latest stain color trends. In the article you can see pictures and the stain shades we use most often. And, at the bottom of this article, I have a few tips for selecting hardwood floors. I also included some recommended cleaning products for hardwood.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links. That means that if you buy them, I may earn a small commission. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.
11 Dark hardwood floors
Below are some of top picks if you’re looking for pre-finished dark hardwood flooring. Some of these are dark ebony, others are dark brown. And, there are a few with a wirebrushed effect so that they are a combo of black and white for a grayish effect.
Tips for choosing dark hardwood floors
Here are the key things to consider when selecting dark hardwood floors.. Oh, and in case you have questions about dark vs light hardwood flooring, check out this article. Also, you can click on most of these pictures to get more info about them.
1. Plank width
Wider planks make your room look larger (that’s just how our eyes work). When it comes to solid hardwood, the smallest width is 2 1/4.” Nowadays, most people do at least 3 1/4″ and it is amazing how much nicer these planks look. Usually the cost difference between these two sizes is inconsequential, and it is a no brainer which looks better.
5″ widths are even more popular, and most people prefer these even more. They look quite elegant and modern, but if you have small rooms, these may be a bit over powering. But, for mid and larger spaces, these look wonderful. 5 inch planks can cost more for the wood (in some cases, it’s a minor difference, in other cases, it’s more substantial, especially if it’s solid wood and select grade). And, bear in mind that if it’s solid hardwood you will need to nail and glue the planks, so you will pay a bit more for labor and adhesive. Some brands offer 4″ widths which is a nice compromise.
For engineered woods, you will typically see more wider widths, and engineered wood is more affordable in the wider widths.
2. Solid vs engineered
In general, I’m a big supporter of doing solid hardwood when you can as this gives you the ability to sand and refinish many times. But, engineered wood often works best for warmer and more humid environments and in homes or apartments built on a concrete slab. And, there are now many engineered products that can be sanded. You can read more about this here: solid vs engineered hardwood).
You will find that most wide whitewashed woods come in an engineered format since most people prefer wider planks when it comes to white floors. Prices get much more expensive on wider solid wood planks.
Please note that if you’re using solid hardwood that is 5 inches or wider, you’ll need to both nail and glue the planks (as they expand and contract more). This is a very common mistake that DIYers, novice handymen and general contractors make. So, don’t let it happen to you.
3. Gloss level
Most people prefer satin (low sheen) and even matte (no sheen) finishes now, It just looks better and more stylish. And, importantly, the glossier you go, the more dated the wood appears and the more difficult it is to maintain (i.e. shows dirt, scratches and dents more). Satin and matte finishes look better longer, and you won’t have to worry about each speck of dust.
4. Wood species
This is really a matter of preference. If you are starting from scratch, choose whichever you prefer (and works with your budget). If you already have wood in part of the house, I’d recommend you match what you already have – both for uniformity now and for uniformity later if you sand and refinish years down the road.
The most common species here in the US is red oak. Because of that, it tends to be less expensive, and you are most likely to find red oak on stair treads and banisters. Red oak has strong graining, which some people love and some people hate. One great thing about the graining is that it helps camouflage scratches and dirt a bit better (a great choice if you have a dog). If you don’t like the look of the graining, you’ll be happier to know that the darker you go, the less you see the graining. Mid toned woods show the grains the most and very dark and very light show the grains the least.
An alternative is to get white oak. White oak is similar to red oak, but a bit less grainy and a bit darker (and doesn’t have the pink undertones that red oak has). Also, white oak is a bit more resilient to water and a tad harder, so it’s a great option if you adding hardwood to kitchens and/or entryways.
You will also find some maples and birches in dark hardwood. These tend to be more expensive (as these woods are less abundant). They have the least graining. But, the stains come out a bit blotchy, so make sure you look at this before you buy…some love this, some hate it. And, there is hickory which is more rustic and has more color variation within the boards and across boards. It’s much harder than oaks or maples and tends to hide things more due to all the variation. This is a great choice if you have dogs and love the rustic look. Hickory often costs more, too.
- Most popular stain colors
- 2018 hardwood flooring trends
- Dark vs light hardwood flooring – pros and cons
- 11 Whitewashed hardwood floors
- 13 Gray hardwood floors
- 12 Fabulous Farmhouse hardwoods