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4 tips to help you choose the perfect light or dark flooring

05.2021

4 tips to help you choose between dark and light flooring

Choosing flooring can be a daunting task, not only because there are no many options, but also because it is such a fundamental element of the overall look of a home, particularly when it comes to colour. One of the toughest decisions can be whether to go for a light or dark floor colour as you are essentially also deciding upon style, atmosphere and even perception of space.

We take a look at the advantages of light and dark flooring and offer 4 simple tips to help you choose.

If you’re trying to choose between a dark or light floor, make sure you read our 4 tips to help you make the perfect choice.

The advantages of light-coloured flooring

A pale floor has a number of advantages, with the first being that it reflects and amplifies the light, making a room appear airier and lighter.

And, if you opt for a totally white floor, the entire environment will magically look cleaner and more orderly, one of the reasons it is so popular when it comes to bathroom décor.

There are also a number of variations of colour if you want to opt for a pale floor. Obviously, as we’ve just mentioned, there is the failsafe white and here it’s hard to go past classic Bianco Carrara marble, but there are also some wonderful warmer options, such as cream or the unconventional but elegant Silk Georgette®.

Another benefit is that light floors are extremely versatile as they work with almost any colour, giving you total freedom for designing the colour scheme of your walls and furnishings.

The advantages of dark-coloured flooring

There are also plenty of reasons to choose a dark floor. First and foremost, it creates an impact and never fails to be eye-catching.

A dark grey or black floor is ideal for the busiest parts of a home or areas such as hallways and kitchens, because dirt tends to be less visible, meaning you don’t have to be a slave to the vacuum cleaner or broom.

Falling into the dark category are brown and grey in their various shades, each with their own personality. For example, a rich deep brown, such as our Pietra d’Avola, or brownish-grey like our Gris du Marais® both exude elegance, while cooler or flatter greys are perfect if you’re looking for a more industrial look.

How to decide between a dark and light floor

There is no right or wrong or “best” choice when it comes to deciding between dark and light flooring, but there are 4 factors that you need to consider:

  • A room’s size and available light
  • The style of the house
  • Walls
  • Personal taste

The combination of these aspects will help guide you to making a winning choice, so let’s take a look at each of them in a little more detail.

Think about the room’s size and light

The first factor to take into account when choosing flooring is the combination of a room’s size and natural light, and here we can follow the rules of colour science, which holds that certain colours amplify light and others tend to absorb it, meaning that light and lighting must be designed on a space-by-space basis.

Getting down to specifics, pale colours reflect light, while darker tones have the opposite effect. As a consequence, if you’re furnishing or decorating a small or poorly-lit space, a light-coloured floor is called for, such as Stone Parquet in the creamy hues of Crema d’Orcia, a limestone that is a match made in heaven when it comes to enhancing light.

If you are working with a large room with plenty of natural light, you can be a bit more daring and experiment with darker flooring, such as Pietra d’Avola in a Lithoverde® finish. This will anchor the space and bring all the various elements together, at the same time as providing a striking décor identity.

What style are you looking to create?

When you’re decorating your home, you need to think how each element works with the style you are looking to achieve, and the choice of a dark or light floor will have a significant impact on that.

Generally speaking, softer tones, such as white or beige flooring, create a more traditional feel, so are ideal for more classic themes. One of our most popular materials in such cases is Crema d’Orcia in its simple honed finish.

If you’re looking for a more modern look, dark grey or tones approaching the black end of the colour spectrum are a refreshing choice as they tend to deliver a sense of exclusivity and design confidence. You can take those design credentials up yet another notch by opting for an elegant texture such as our Stone Tatami, an unconventional but supremely stylish flooring solution.

What will work with your walls?

Once you’ve factored in the size, light and style of a space, the next thing to think about before choosing your flooring is how it will work with other key décor elements. First and foremost are the walls as these, along with the floor, are the fundamental components that will influence the overall look.

In interior design, there are two broad categories when describing colour schemes, and these are tone on tone and contrasting. Whichever you choose will significantly impact the type of atmosphere you want to create in a particular space. For example, in a bedroom with white or pale walls, if you are trying to achieve a soothing, relaxing feeling, you should use colours from the light palette also on the floor.

However, in more dynamic spaces, such as the living room, you can be more adventurous with your flooring, perhaps going for a contrast of dark such as our Gris du Marais® in a Tratti texture against pale walls.

And of course, personal taste

Having covered the more objective aspects to consider when choosing your floor colour, there is one more thing to take into account and that is, of course, personal taste. At the end of the day, you are going to be living with it day in, day out, so no matter what the “rules” say, you have to be happy with it.

If, for example, you have your heart set on a dark floor, but the room is a little on the small side, or there is little natural light, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up on your preferred choice. Instead, you could minimise the risk of the space ending up feeling dark or oppressive by focusing on creating a perfect lighting solution that enhances the whole environment and makes it feel romantic, cosy or welcoming, depending on the effect you are after.

Even the choice of your light fitting can make a noticeable difference, with a designer piece such as a Farfalla or Silo ceiling light perfect for injecting that stylish flourish whilst also showing off your beautiful dark floor.

As we said earlier on, there is no outright winner or formula when it comes to deciding between a dark or light floor for your home. Before you choose, however, it’s important to find that perfect balance between what will work best for a particular space and what you like.

While there are some basic rules in interior design, much of it comes down to experience and experimenting so that you become confident with your choices. We’ve been designing materials for walls and floors for decades, always with the aim of creating beautiful, original environments. You will find galleries of inspiring interiors in the Textures section of our website, and if you have any questions, or would appreciate the input of one of our design experts, please just get in touch. We’d love to help!