Flooring: Choosing The Right Color


Whether you’re choosing carpet, hardwood or laminate flooring, there are color choices to contend with. In the case of hardwood and laminate options, colors will be lighter or darker wood stain options. In the case of carpet, the color world is you oyster.

The following guide will help you select the color that will look best now, and that will also blend with future design changes or potential remodels.

Choosing the Right Color For Hardwood or Laminate Flooring

For the purposes of this post, we are going to treat wood and laminate flooring the same. As a general rule, darker wood finishes show dirt, pet hair and other debris quicker than lighter floors. If you have a busy household, filled with kid or pet activity, you may want to keep your flooring options on the lighter side.

With that in mind, here are the steps I recommend for selecting hardwood flooring:

  • Visit the showroom with a few samples. When you head to flooring showrooms, bring a few samples of textiles and paint chips that are exemplary of your home’s design and color scheme. This will help you and the sales rep settle on a better selection of flooring samples. Choose your three favorites and stick with them. More than that and it becomes harder to make a choice.
  • Take the samples home. Once you get the samples, take them home and begin shuffling them around the perimeter walls, cabinetry or key furniture pieces they’ll be making contact with. See how different finishes and tones bring out different colors or aspects of your existing furnishings. Just like paint samples, you want to look at them in daylight, dim light and artificial light. Discard your least favorite right away.
  • Live with two. Unless one jumps out as your obvious favorite, live with the other two samples for a couple of days until you’re able to decide on one of them.

Choosing the Right Color For Carpet

In some ways, choosing your carpet color isn’t all that different from choosing hardwood or laminate flooring. The most dramatic difference is that your options are seemingly endless. Here are some steps for helping you choose the best one.

  • Permanent or temporary? How permanent do you want this decision to be? If you choose a carpet in a rich burgundy or forest green, that’s great. But it’s also important to remember that as your furnishings or fixtures change through the upcoming years, those colors may not work anymore. Also, if you think your home will be on the market anytime in the next 5 to 10 years, boldly colored carpet might turn off potential buyers, so do keep that in mind. The longer you plan to have the carpet in place – especially if it will be laid throughout the entire home – the more neutral you’ll want to go.
  • Choose samples and take them home. Choose carpet samples in your preferred colors and then take them home. View them under different light qualities. Wood varies a little bit under different lighting sources, but carpet colors can vary quite a bit due to the different fibers and dyes involved in their production. Start moving samples around against walls and furniture throughout the day and evening to see what you think and remove your least favorite options right away.
  • Consider flooring transitions. If you are selecting different carpets for different rooms of the house, rather than the same one throughout, consider the transitions from room-to-room. A color wheel can be helpful for this.

As always, you can contact Kristina Wolf Design for professional help with any interior design queries.

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