Wooden flooring installation and renovation

How to Match Wall Color with a Wood Floor

The decision to remodel your home offers exciting opportunities, including updating your home’s colors – both walls and flooring. Although you can ask for guidance from an interior designer, understanding the essentials of color theory can help you make the best decisions.

Of course, everyone has favorite colors, and naturally, you want to use them in your home. Before you buy your flooring and paint for the project, learn how to match wall color with wood floor designs.

What Comes First? The Flooring or The Paint?

Choose your home’s new high-quality flooring and the shade of it you want to use. Always begin with the flooring because while you can easily repaint walls with a new color whenever you desire, changing the flooring after installing it requires either staining it a darker color or replacing it. Painting walls costs much less.

If you intend to add new flooring to a room with many windows or skylights, you can choose hardwood flooring of any shade. Even the darkest tones, such as mahogany and ebony, will work well in a bright, well-lit room. In rooms with few windows and no skylights, stick to lighter shades of hardwood, such as ash and white oak.

Matching Wall Colors with Wood Floors

Consider the many wall paint colors open to you since wood flooring offers options from white to black. Not every combination would coordinate well, though.

When building a color palette, you can coordinate or contrast colors or choose a neutral color scheme. Let’s look at what each of these options entails.

Determining Undertones

Wood, like human skin, features an undertone – either warm or cool. A cool undertone appears purple or blue. A warm undertone appears yellow, orange, or red.

Hold a piece of white paper, such as a plain piece of typing paper, against the flooring. This typically makes it simpler to ascertain the undertone.

Choose a wall paint color opposite the floor’s undertone for the best results. That means if the flooring contains warm undertones of yellow, orange, or red, the paint color should contain cool tones of blue or purple.

The Neutral Option

Neutral colors provide the safest option. That means choosing white, cream, or light gray paint for the walls. These neutral colors work with either warm or cool flooring.

Contrasting Paint Colors

When choosing a color for walls to complement hardwood floors, you use contrasting colors, typically. A pale blue wall paint like Behr’s Honest works well with a light yellowish hardwood like natural red oak.

Coordinating Paint Colors

Sometimes, you want to coordinate your flooring and walls due to personal preference. You may want a sunny yellow kitchen with natural hickory flooring. Keep the paint color within two to three shades of the floors.

Darker Floors, Lighter Walls

Consider using darker floors with lighter walls as an interior design rule. As the floor color darkens, this rule increases in importance. If you choose very dark flooring, such as ebony or an espresso stain on another hardwood, go with a much lighter paint color unless the room receives tons of natural sunlight.

White Ceilings

White ceiling paint offers the safest choice since it matches every color. That doesn’t mean you need to use flat white. Your home’s ceilings might work well with an off-white or pearlized gray-white. These lightest possible colors keep the room from feeling overwhelming.

Exceptions to the Paint Color Rules

Once you know the rules for flooring and painting, you can learn to flout them. If you dearly love forest green but have oak hardwood floors stained to a mahogany tone, painting all four walls your favorite green would create an oppressive room. However, using a barely-there pale green on three walls and painting the fourth wall forest green lets you experience your favorite color without the overwhelming darkness. This single accent wall could also feature a mural or wallpaper.

Create a palette of colors instead of choosing only a wall color. Select a trim color on the baseboards that fall between the wall, flooring, and ceiling colors. This lighter color helps open up the room and contrasts the main wall color.

Make a vast room appear more intimate by using a darker color on the walls, regardless of the hardwood floor’s darkness. If your home features an open flooring plan that makes the dining and living rooms appear as one continuous room, you can make it seem smaller by painting the walls darker.

Conversely, paint a very light color to make a small room feel larger. These ultra-light shades of paint work best with medium- to dark-toned flooring. For example, pearlized white walls with mahogany-stained floors offer an ideal contrast.

Preparing to Meet with Your Interior Designer

It’s one thing to think about the colors you like and to discuss them. Help your project by going into your first meeting with the interior designer you choose, prepared with photos of what you want. You can clip pictures from magazines or print them off the Internet.

To go a step further than that, clean the room you want to remodel, then take a photo of it. Upload it to the Behr Paint Visualizer to try out actual paint and stain colors in your room. This lets you see how various color combinations work together, and you can print photos of your room using the various combinations. This enables you to show the interior designer precisely what you desire.

Acquiring Materials to Get Started

Start your flooring shopping at From The Forest for the highest quality hardwood flooring available. Find flooring, molding, and trim all in one spot, then head over to your favorite paint store to pick up the wall colors you love.

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