Reader Question: Will dark floors make my room look smaller?

3122463922_34e23a27ac_mReader Question:

I am looking to replace my flooring in my living room and dining room. I really like the look of dark hardwood or tile but I am concerned that they will make my room look smaller. Do you  have any advice?


There are several factors that contribute to how small or large a room will feel.

Things to consider:

How much natural light and artificial light the room receives- A room can have white walls and white floors, but with poor lighting and no natural light the room will still feel small. With the right amount of natural and/or artificial lighting a room can have very dark floors and not feel small at all.

The color of the walls and ceiling – If a room has light to medium colored walls, you can afford to have darker floors without affecting how small or large a room feels. If a room has dark walls, this will make the room feel small regardless of what’s on the floor. (unless you have a lot of natural light!) Of course, if the walls are dark and the floors are dark without a lot of light – you can bet the room is going to feel smaller. Darker colored ceilings are going to give off a more intimate (a.k.a. smaller) feel.

The pattern of the floors – The pattern of a floor can affect the size of a room. Wider plank hardwood floors and larger format tiles will create the illusion of a room being larger because there are less visual lines for the eyes to intercept.

Being  a huge fan of dark floors, I must admit there are other things to consider. Darker wood floors tend to show scratches more and darker floors, in general, tend to show lighter soil like sand, sock lint and some pet hair.

It is important to take all of these factors into consideration when determining the best floor choice for your area. A helpful tool that you might find useful is the Virtual Room Designer found on our website. This tool allows you to change the floors and walls in different room settings in order to see what different combinations will look like. It’s a lot of fun to try darker walls with lighter floors, lighter walls with darker floors, neutral walls with neutral floors, etc.  To try it out, click here. You can even upload a photo of your room to try on different floors! When you’ve finished playing, save your rooms to your workbook so you can review them with your Pierce Flooring sales representative.

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