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Will Dark Floors Make a Room Look Smaller?

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Many homeowners naturally assume that they have limited decoration options when it comes to small rooms. They believe that dark colors will only make the room look even smaller including dark furniture.

Will Dark Floors Make a Room Look Smaller?

So it is true that dark floors make a room look smaller?

Dark floors won’t automatically give the impression that your room is smaller. Although a room overloaded with dark colors will absorb natural light and hence make the space look even smaller. However, the right combination of dark floors with other elements in your room can make the area look spacious.

When renovating a space or creating a new one, homeowners usually tend to shy away from choosing dark-themed floors or walls. This is because they have been told that it will only make their space look smaller.

In this post, we’ll go through how to genuinely open up your space and create a truly lovely little room with dark floors.

If you are considering selling your home in the future, then you should know that dark floors can increase the overall value of your home.

Do Dark Colors Make a Room Seem Smaller?

The short answer is no. It’s a myth. However, if you use too much of one color, it can create a feeling of heaviness in the space.

Moreover, psychological evidence suggests humans perceive darker colors as receding and lighter colors as advancing.

Studies on human perception of distance have consistently found that people perceive bright objects to be nearer than the same object in dark colors.

In simple terms, it means that if you paint your walls in a very dark color, they will appear to be further away than they are. On the other hand, if you use light colors, the walls will appear to be closer than they are.

While this effect is mostly used in visual arts, you can also use it to your advantage when designing your home.

Additionally, even though this has to do with walls rather than flooring, it is still a very crucial aspect when considering the significance of tone in a small space.

Lighter colors reflect light, giving the impression that the room is larger and airier. This is why bright colors are used to create this illusion. Dark colours, on the other hand, absorb light, which can make a room appear smaller.

Although this is a common belief, it is crucial to note that dark colors also vary with the light throughout the day. They will look different at different times, so you need to be careful when choosing your paint or flooring.

For example, a room that is painted black will look different in the morning than it does at night. In the morning, when there is more natural light, the room will appear lighter. However, at night, when there is less light, the room will appear darker.

However, one thing to note is that the size of a room is not dictated by light, but rather by the room’s edges, even though light in a room does help the area feel cozy and airy. If you approach it this way, you may make excellent use of dark floors in a tiny space.

Tips For Decorating a Room With Dark Floors 

When it comes to dark floors, there are a few decorating tips that you should keep in mind:

Brighten up the Edges of a Room

When using dark wood in your space, it is best to brighten up the edges of the room with light colors.

  • Use trim or molding in a light color – this will create a contrast between the dark floors and the light walls, making the room appear larger.
  • Brighten up the edges of a room by using mirrors – you can place them on the walls or in strategic locations, such as in front of a window. This will reflect the natural light and make the room appear brighter.
Will Dark Floors Make a Room Look Smaller? - use light wall colors to.makenit larger
Remember that the color of the wall and trim matters considerably more in a small room than the color of the floors themselves.

Use Furniture

While light walls will help make the room seem bigger and open, you can use furniture that compliments the dark floors to make the room feel cozy.

  • One way is to match the furniture with the floors. You can do this by choosing furniture that is made of dark wood or upholstered in a dark color.
  • Another way to make the room feel cozy is by using furniture that is a contrast to the floors. For example, if you have dark hardwood floors, you could use white furniture. Or you can also use light fabric, cushioning or accessories to make the room feel light and airy.
NOTE: Avoid using too much furniture as it will make the room feel cluttered.

Wide Window & Treatments

A large window is another element that expands any space. Although you can’t necessarily control the size of your window, you can certainly manage how you use window treatments.

To make the room appear larger and open, choose light colors for the curtains or drapes. Sheer curtains are an excellent choice for small rooms as they allow natural light to enter and make it appear brighter.

Moreover, you can also use Roman shades or blinds that can be pulled up all the way to let in maximum light.

Use Rugs

Rugs are an excellent way to add color and pattern to a room with dark floors. They can also help define the space and make it feel cozier.

When choosing a rug, make sure that it is the right size. It should be big enough to cover the entire space, but not too big that it feels overwhelming.

Moreover, it is important to choose a rug with a design that compliments the rest of the room. For example, if you have a busy pattern on the walls, then you will want to choose a rug with a simpler design.

Lighten Up the Ceiling

Another way to make a small room with dark floors appear larger is by lightening up the ceiling. You can do this by painting the ceiling a light color or by using light-colored fixtures, such as lights and chandeliers.

Additionally, many professionals believe that dark wood floors in high-ceiling rooms make the best combination. This is because the dark floors help to anchor the space and make it feel cozier, while the high ceilings make the room appear more open and airy.

What Are the Best Types Of Dark Wood Floors?

There are a few different types of dark wood floors that you can choose from:


When considering elegant dark floors, mahogany is the obvious choice. Even though it has a higher cost, if you can afford it, it is well worth it. It is extremely strong and lasts a lifetime. Moreover, it has a more traditional and rustic appearance that looks wonderful in a modern setting.

Managing floors - dark hardwood floors


Oak is another excellent choice for elegant dark floors. It has a lighter color, and more grayish tones, which can be a happy medium if you are hesitant to dive into a dark floor.

if you are looking for a more rustic, sort of vintage feeling, then red oak is perfect for you. It is extremely popular for giving a warm and welcoming feeling to any home.

Oak is a very popular hardwood that is well-known for its toughness and endurance. The major benefit is that it is not overly expensive, this especially works well if you’re covering a large area.


Walnut is another popular choice for dark wood floors. It is a little more expensive than oak, but it is definitely worth the investment. It has a deep, rich color that looks amazing in any space.

It is important to note that walnut floors are susceptible to scratches and dents, so if you have pets or small children, you may want to consider another type of floor.

Related Questions

Are Dark Wood Floors Out of Style?

No, dark wood floors are not out of style. They have been popular for many years and show no signs of going out of style anytime soon.

What Color Floor Is Best for Small Rooms?

There is no one color floor that is best for small rooms. It depends on your personal preference and the overall style of the room. For example, if you want to make the room appear larger, then you may want to consider a light-colored floor. If you want the room to feel cozy and intimate, then a dark-colored floor may be the best option.

Do Dark Floors Make Ceilings Look Higher?

No, dark floors do not make ceilings look higher. However, they can make the room feel more welcoming and cozy.

Will Dark Stain Cover Imperfections on Hardwood Floors?

Yes, the dark stain will cover imperfections such as scratches, dents, gouges, etc. on the floor. Moreover, it will also enhance the natural beauty of the wood grain and will make it look more attractive.

Should Floors Be Darker Than Walls?

It depends on your personal preference and the overall style of the room. Some people prefer to have darker floors because they feel it anchors the space and makes it feel more intimate. Others prefer lighter floors because they make the room appear larger and brighter. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what works best for your space.

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