Remodel & Renovate in 76244>Question Details

Mommabelle, Home Owner in 76244

which has higher resale value?dark or light hardwood flooring?

Asked by Mommabelle, 76244 Tue Mar 8, 2011

My husband and I are fixing to remove our carpet with hardwood. I love mahogany or cherry, but I was told that I should get a lighter wood since our cabinet is oak. We are planning to sale it here in a year or two. DOes dark wood gives you better resale value? which would buyer usualy go for? dark or light?

Help the community by answering this question:


Have a stager or interior designer help you.
In general darker colors during times of economic crises probably work better.
In times of excess the lighter colors might work more.
You might check out this blog post..…

or search around for more information on this idea. I know I've seen it before and trying to think back on times where there was excess or doom and gloom and it seems to have held true in my marketplace on a broad sense.
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 9, 2011
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
I am a Realtor that has worked with builders and interior designers. I had a new home listed once where the builder tried to match the stain color of the floor to the cabinets and trim. The house almost NEVER sold. We had a decorator come in to evaluate and said the house was mono-chromatic, in other words - boring! The floor should contrast the cabinets and not blend in. If your house has enough light - I would recommend going darker. I have had too many buyers pass on houses with the light floors lately - they feel it has a "dated" look.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 9, 2011
I am someone who is doing the same as the person asking this question, When I looked at wood samples laid on our floor, with samples from light to dark the one that popped out was the mahogany it looked so rich. The designer who was on the TV show redesigning rooms was asked this ? a couple years ago. He said that he liked the dark colors better because the make everything on the pop out. Years back I decided to try one room without sanding and just using a dark walnut varnish stain, just to see how I would like it. I turned out more that okay and did exactly what Nate had said it made things POP. This room had cream painted woodwork, Plum (off blue tones) painted walls, cream tiers bottom with upper valance ( plum. gray green mauve pattern roses on cream background. tiffany glass large ceiling light, clear crackled glass with pink, mauve, green, Added an area rug with same colors on a black background, a chair and gray green lamp. I had more contractors come in to do some job that was there specialty and they all would say, " Oh what a gorgeous room!" Now in 30 years of owning homes and having contractors come and go never, never, have I had men comment on anything. Years ago had to repaint our 2 story house and choose bright gray blue color with bright cream trim and taupe shutters on front. Post this I literally had strangers stop their cars and ring the bell to say how beautiful they thought the house looked, both men and women. 12 years later we repainted and kept the color. That year at a garage sale I was getting the same comments from people. So I most definitely won't change that when I decide to sell in a few years. Men especially don't comment on things like this to strangers unless the are really impressed. I would go with what your instincts tell you, after all Nate from that show gave the reason for it and you can pass that on to buyers. Karen
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 18, 2013
Would you mind sharing a picture?
Flag Mon Feb 10, 2014
Dark Hardwood Floors
Dark hardwoods floors are both dramatic and sophisticated, from elegant ebony to a ruddy cherry. Pair dark floors with light furnishings for a thoroughly modern combination. Use dark floors as a foundation for rooms filled with light-colored slip covers and area rugs.

Dark stains enhance a wood's grain.
Dark hardwood floors absorb light and are not susceptible to fading.
Many dark woods such as mahogany, walnut and African jatoba provide a rich sumptuous look providing an overall luxurious effect.
For floors that hide the dirt choose walnut or medium dark woods.
Natural clear finishes wear better than high gloss .
Certain woods, such as maple don't take stains very well. This may be a factor if you are refinishing floors as opposed to installing new.
Dark woods show dust and pet hair.
Scratches tend to show more on dark hardwood floors.
Light Hardwood Floors
Light hardwood floors offer a crisp modern look or a casual traditional feel depending on the space.

Light hardwoods are perfect in rooms that don't get a lot of natural sunlight.
Light hardwood floors make a room appear larger,
Light floors look cleaner longer and camouflage wear better than dark floors.
For a more contemporary look try beech or bamboo.
Unstained floors will darken faster than dark woods. Use a protective finish that incorporates UV protection.
Some light woods - white ash and beech are too soft for high traffic areas. Harder varieties - oak, maple, yellow birch are better for kitchens, and mudrooms.
With all this being said, either one will certainly enhance you home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 9, 2011
Yes, I agree with most answers, you need to go with what looks best in your home. What color wood is used most throughout? If the wrong color is used for new flooring , it can have terrible results in the overall look of the home, even if it's a beautiful color. I list and stage homes frequently in your area, I'd be happy to pop by and give you my 2 cents if you'd like. Most importantly, remember that the quality of the flooring is the highest priority...

Joni Baldwin, REALTOR, ASP
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 9, 2011
It truly depends on the current wood tones and style of your home and how they will compliment each other. Many floor companies will bring samples to you rather than you going to them and you will be able to see how the different wood tones compliment and enhance your home. If they don't come to you, you should be able to bring samples home to compare. the previous answers are all things to consider as well, as to installation, durability, what is higher maintenance etc...
Good Luck,
Cathy Schwandt
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 9, 2011
It will depend on personal taste of buyers. It is important get good quality wood and good quality installation .
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 9, 2011
Whatever color, make sure the flors sparkle and shine! Scrathes and signs of wear and tear are a turnoff.

By "lighter" color, if you mean the natural color of the oak, that is always a safe bet, Whatever you do, do not bleach the floors - that is very outdated.

Too dark might make a small room look smaller - so much depends on the size and style of the home.
So......When in doubt- go with the more neutral, lighter natural color!

Good luck........
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 9, 2011
Very dark, bleached, or grey are the hottest trends in flooring.
Flag Mon Oct 26, 2015
Don't think either one gives better resale value. Strictly based on your home's overall style. Consensus wise, most buyers I work with like mahogany but others say scratches/blemishes stand out more on dark wood. Your biggest consideration is not the color, but the quality. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 8, 2011
Hi Mommabelle

More important for the colors to match, rather than look odd.
Also bear in mind dark polished floors show dirt and footprints easy, and require
a higher maintenance.

More and more folks are going with medium tones, hand scraped hard wood floors
that are not too slippery.

Hope this helps. Also check some other home improvement ideas and energy saving
features at

Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 8, 2011
Dark wood is popular now but honestly you need to go with what looks best in your home. If you are going to keep your oak cabinets that are lighter will they look out of place? If upgrading the cabinets is not in the budget find out what will compliment them. It may make sense to get advice from a professional if you wanting to position your home to appeal to the majority of buyers.

Even doing that you can't appeal to every buyer... so go with what you like. You may as well enjoy while you are still living there.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 8, 2011

The difficult task here is to determine what value a Buyer would put on the color of the hardwoods.
In my opinion, you create the atmosphere most appealing to you and enjoy it! Buyers typically do
not show me any concern as to the color of hardwoods, they more concerned about the condition
of the floors. A great Buyer's agent is going to circumvent any cosmetic challenges by offering
solutions to the (potential) Buyer's concerns. It is like painting my walls, which I struggle with. I have
Buyers that bolt when they see the deep dark Texas red accent wall however I also have shown
the same home to a Buyer that just adores the color.
Do what you want. If you are selling 2 years from now, Buyer's are going to have more to be concerned
about than the color of the hardwood floor. Such as floor plan, location and price. Since your Listing Agent
would be taking pictures and advertising the home as is, the Buyer's that select your home to visit
will already know what shade of flooring is in the home.
Was this helpful?

Lucy A. Puniwai
(214)783-6416 - Cell
(682-224-8050 - Fax
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 8, 2011
I don't know that it makes a huge difference. I have seen both sell at high price points. I do think that lighter floors are better if there is limited light to the interior of the home. In limited light situations I think you will be better off with lighter floors.

If you decide to use darker floors, scraping them can have a great effect, especially in high traffic areas.

Best of luck on your remodel efforts!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 8, 2011

I'm with you on the mahogany. I think it's beautiful. In Wisconsin I work with many buyers and it is really about half and half right now. What I can say is that beautiful as it is, there is a trend to go with the darker floors right now, but I don't think it will be around to stay. I think it's going to become something that dates the home somewhere down the road. BUT, since you are planning to sell in the near future, you may want to check with your local buyer's agents and see what kind of feedback they are currently getting.

p.s. Some will say if you have oak woodwork you should stick with that. I'm not one of them. I love the look of an eclectic mixture of woods. Personally, I think it adds interest to a room.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 8, 2011
You're going to want to talk to a realtor in your area. They usually know what other homes typically have for flooring. They will give you a good idea on what to choose for flooring. My personal preference is also mahogany.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 13, 2015
That will be a personal preference of the buyer. Some people like it light some don't. The quality of the wood that you choose will determine the resale more than the color of the wood.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 5, 2015
I vote for light hardwood..Doesn't show the heel marks as much!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 24, 2015
To be honest, buyers are split. I know because I work with them in sanding and restaining their floors all the time.

The overall trend/preference right now is very dark followed by very light. And, in general reds are less popular - they are polarizing, so if you are looking to sell, I would stay away from them.

As many have mentioned, the most important thing is the style of the home, and there is no one right answer. If you have existing hardwood, then usually it's less expensive to natural (i.e. light) rather than a stain.

If you do solid oak, you are in good shape as a) it tends to be less expensive, b) it's broadly appealing and c) it can be refinished/stained to match virtually everyone's taste.

You may find this article handy.…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 27, 2013
In case this helps, I recently wrote this article on the pros and cons for dark vs. light flooring. It is a bit of a jugdement call.
Flag Sun Aug 2, 2015

The appearance and condition of any floor adds to the presentability of a home and contributes toward its sale but in terms of contributing to its value....this may be a stretch since it is considered as part of a homes normal maintenance.

Granted, whatever you put down should go well with and complement other existing areas. Our recommendation is to visit any flooring sales office and ask for their input....they will be able to provide you with good possibilities.

Additionally, if you are planning on selling soon, don't overlook the possibility of keeping it simple and replacing the existing carpet. It's possible that this may be the prefered choice of your future buyer. It's difficult to make BIG mistakes when you keep it simple.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 9, 2011
No opinion for fact the entire home needs be reviewed for colors and etc. Wrong color can look horrible
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 8, 2011
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