With all of the hotly debated topics in the world today, it may surprise you that the home decor industry has one of its own.
Can you install two different hardwood floor colors in your home?
People have strong opinions one way or the other.
Designers will often tell you it’s one of the biggest faux-pas in the industry. They’ll tell you two different species, styles, or hardwood colors will be a decorating nightmare.
Yet some homeowners don’t mind at all.
If you move into an older home, the previous owners may have installed hardwood in select rooms. It’s in good shape, and you want to keep it. Yet matching it isn’t possible. The grain pattern no longer exists, and you can’t find the exact plank size and width. They don’t want to scrap quality hardwood for the sake of sameness throughout the living space.
And that’s where opportunity rises.
Different species mean different opportunity
Throughout the years, the hardwood industry has had standard manufacturing practices in place. The most common species for hardwood flooring include:
- Black walnut
- Red oak
- White oak
Chances are if you have hardwood already in place, it’s from one of these species of trees.
Of course, there are many other species available. Exotic hardwood has been an industry specialty for as long as hardwood flooring has been popular.
If you go back twenty, forty, or even sixty years ago, processing was different. What manufacturer you chose and the installer’s beliefs all dictated how your final flooring appeared. Each choice created its own unique characteristics and appearance, and it’s challenging to change that today without ripping it out.
If that’s not an option, you’re automatically on the road for having a different look and feel as you move from room to room.
Advantages of using the same hardwood throughout
In many cases, it makes sense to change out all of your flooring at the same time. It creates transition, flow, and provides a color palette soothing to the eye.
It’s a great way to harmonize everything about your living space.
It also creates less of a mess. Installing hardwood isn’t an “in and out” process. The planks will need time to acclimate to your home. Depending on whether it’s prefinished or unfinished, you may need additional time for staining, finishing, and curing. It’s much easier to do this all at once, get in, and spend the time necessary to do it right the first time.
It can also lead to cost savings by buying in bulk. In many cases, you’ll get a better price for ordering more product. The installer is there anyway; why not have them get the entire job done?
It’s hard to argue with these advantages. Which is why you’ll find a strong argument for sticking to one hardwood palette throughout your home.
But it doesn’t always make sense.
Two different hardwood floor colors can make a lot of sense
Just because you can find a lot of arguments about why one color, one floor, makes sense, doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you.
It’s your house!
And that alone is reason enough to use your own judgment when installing flooring.
The most common reason why people end up with more than one hardwood color and pattern in their homes is due to the cost. It can be expensive to install hardwood throughout your home. If that’s your ultimate goal, it often makes more sense to install it room by room.
That decreases the likelihood of being able to match up your flooring choices.
Hardwood fades as it acclimates to your home. Even buying the same brand, color, and pattern can be slightly off from lot to lot.
If the colors won’t match up, doesn’t it make more sense to move towards complementary colors instead of trying to match?
Tips for using more than one hardwood flooring style
If you’re adding to existing hardwood, instead of worrying about matching, use these tips to place two or more colors together.
Dark and light together
Instead of sticking with the same color hue, go to opposite ends of the spectrum instead. Dark hardwood can add intimacy to a room. It might be the perfect choice for a master suite. For a child’s bedroom, err on the side of light hardwood and light wall color to create a fresh, open appearance anyone will be comfortable “hanging out” in.
Complementary instead of match
People often take a selection of colors home, attempting to match existing hardwood as closely as possible. Choose a complementary color instead. Lay them side by side and determine which is most pleasing to the eye. Then use T-molding or wooden borders to separate rooms where it makes most sense – doorways are great options.
People are acclimated to running hardwood planks parallel to the way the room runs. Instead, what if you ran it diagonal across the space? Move away from a constant direction from one end of the house to another. Changing directions can be enough of a change to pull your eye away from the different colors, and focus more on the room design itself.
If you have a specific hardwood in place, you can use the same species, and refinish it to match the new flooring you lay into place. While it still doesn’t guarantee to absorb the new stain and finish in exactly the same manner, it’s the best way to attempt to gain the same color tone for all the rooms that have hardwood.
What’s your preference?
Ultimately, what you choose to install inside your home is a personal choice, and completely up to you.
If you’re not quite sure what to do, come in and use any of our sales associate’s knowledge to help you create a living environment you’re proud to call home.
With so many selections on the market today, there are easy ways to create the home of your dreams.
How can we help you select the right hardwood flooring for each room in your home?