Dark Wood Flooring Inspiration

I’ve been searching high and low through my favorite social app, Pinterest, for dark wood flooring inspo to incorporate into our home. It’s been four years since we renovated our kitchen and one thing I didn’t anticipate doing was to refinish our floors. The other thing I certainly didn’t anticipate was how much I would dislike our floors. They were fine, I guess, for the most part, but honestly, the color/stain has been driving me crazy for quite some time since putting on an all white kitchen. It somehow clashes and I’ve been wanting to do something different. I want to give them a little more personality while at the same time enhance the overall look of the kitchen and adjoining rooms.

I’m glad we waited to do something about it because it’s given me enough time to peruse the myriad of floor stains and narrow down what I like. Mind you, we’re refinishing the entire first floor, not just the kitchen, so I’ve had a lot to think about. How would dark floors impact the rest of the areas? How would my furniture and decor style go with the new finish? I know it’s bold and honestly, a little scary to jump on such a contrast, but I’m convinced the end results will be exactly what we’re looking for.

Here are a few ideas I dug up that eventually helped me decide. If you notice, the style themes are pretty consistent; white cabinetry, lots of white moldings and trim and neutral tones throughout. The dark floors are a fantastic contrast to all the white and gives the rooms a dramatic but charming look.

These floor ideas vary slightly and are all absolutely fabulous. The second room with the dog, is perhaps the one closest to what I want to achieve, but with a little more shine.

The other floor finishes are gorgeous but I find them a bit dark for my taste, and He didn’t want that either. But I really do love how the dark stains, especially the middle bottom with black and white trim pops out at you, it makes quite an impact! I’m just not ready for that kind of change though. The one thing they all have in common is the beautiful vintage vibes you get from darker floors and I love that.

The one and only main point that I was adamant about was to try and avoid any stains/colors with reddish or yellow undertones. When finishing/refinishing wood floors you have to take into account the type of wood you either already have or want to install which makes a big difference in the aftermath. The wood will eventually dictate, for the most part, how the finished color will turn out.

Our floors are honey oak which naturally have a warm yellow tone. This kind of wood also tends to show lots and lots of grain. Once it is stained and polished, the ‘grain’ will provide a natural variation throughout that you don’t always get with all woods.

As you can see, these floor finishes vary slightly. My immediate choice was to go with Jacobean. I love the old-world tone which reminds me of the kind of flooring you generally find in older colonial homes. Coffee Brown is beautiful and really does mimic a subtle brown tone. But after much discussion we chose DuraSeal in Provincial. I think it’s a great compromise between the two and will be a great stain for our oak floors.

You wouldn’t know it by just looking at these swatches but according to our floor guys, and they are the experts, Jacobean and Coffee Brown stains are gorgeous but the end results are very, very dark, something we’re not quite ready for. I honestly can’t wait to show you how it all turns out, stay tuned.🤗


  1. Julie W
    01/13/2021 / 6:57 pm

    Hi Rosa: I’m glad you are getting to redo your floors into something you love. We did it too with the whole house 2 years ago and the kitchen at the same time. I think I remember telling you I felt nuts as I had to live somewhere else for months. Please please, once your floors are sanded to bare wood, do large test samples to make sure you like it in all the rooms in different light. Also, think about “water-popping” the floor. It enlarges the grain in oak floors so you get a much more even color as opposed to a more busy and variegated look. I had samples both ways and immediately went with water-popped for a calm and much more even color. That way, your floor is calm and doesn’t “fight” pattern-wise with the granite counters that we share. I had red oak floors existing and finished out the rest of the house in red oak as I wasn’t about to pull up the existing wood. Red oak as opposed to white oak is ruddy. I went with a medium brown stain that cuts through and nullifies the red. I felt Jacobean was too dark for me. I think I had a mix but would have to ask my floor guy. It doesn’t matter. Your samples in your house is all that matters. Love the color and finish of the picture you chose. Not shiny but a very soft sheen. It’s gonna be lovely!!

  2. Julie A.
    01/14/2021 / 6:44 am

    Rosa: Once our new hardwood floors were in, the floor guy put stain samples right on the wood in each room so I could make a good decision. I was able to see each sample in different light in a few rooms. I had existing red oak in part of the house and ripped up all the carpet and put red oak in the rest of the house. So, there was a reddish tone to contend with. I was able to pick stain that nullified the red so I would have a true brown. I also had the floors “water-popped”. It opens the grain so that you get a more even color saturation and less variegated and “stripey”. Oak floors have that pretty wood grain visible, but water-popping makes the color variations much calmer and more uniform. It was a slam dunk once I saw the difference. I didn’t want s busy pattern on the floor fighting with the Viscount granite counters we share. I am glad you are getting to do this and its going to be beautiful. Love the color and soft finish in the pic with the dog!

    • Julie W.
      01/15/2021 / 6:39 am

      Hey Rosa: Sorry for the “double submission”. I didn’t think my post on the 13th went through, so I wrote it again as best I could remember on the 14th. For whatever reason, my middle initial populated instead of “W” or just my full last name. So, I am obviously the same person. Hahaha I should come with a warning sign “experiencing technical difficulties”! Have a great day!

      • Rosa Diana
        02/01/2021 / 7:53 am

        No worries Julie, it happens. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your flooring experience as well, really appreciate!

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