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Should Wood Floors Be Lighter or Darker Than Cabinets?

Since the color of wooden floors and cabinets complement each other while transforming the appearance of a room, thus, choosing the right shade for the wooden floors against the cabinets is essential.

Thereby, you may wonder whether the wood floor should be in a lighter or darker shade than the cabinets. So read below to find out thoroughly explained answers regarding and relating to this query. 

Should Wood Floors Be Lighter Or Darker Than Cabinets?

The color of wood floors can either be two-three shades lighter or darker than cabinets. And it depends on personal preference, the practicality of the room, decor and size of the room, and the amount of sunlight that enters that area so that a properly balanced ambiance can be created in the room.

Many of you still may have dilemmas in understanding exactly when wood floors should be either lighter or darker than the cabinets and what could be the possible advantages or disadvantages of having a lighter or darker shade wooden floor than cabinets.

Thus, here’s what you’re required to know.


Wood floors should be in a lighter hue when there are dark-colored cabinets because it creates an appealing contrast and makes the cabinets stand out. 

Also, when the area is a smaller one, the wooden floor should be lighter than the cabinets so that the area feels more spacious, airy, and bright.

Besides, if one wants to hide scratches on wooden floors, the floors’ hue should be lighter in comparison to the cabinets. 

But if the cabinets are light-colored, wood floors shouldn’t be in a lighter shade than the cabinets. 


Wood floors should be darker than the cabinets when a luxurious yet conventional decor is preferred to create a statement look in the room.

Plus, if the cabinets or the walls are in lighter hues, darker wooden floors are a must to create a contrast in the room to make it feel contemporary. 

However, if the wood floors are prone to get scratches often, darker wood floors shouldn’t be an option as scratches are more apparent.

Additionally, wood floors shouldn’t be darker than cabinets if the room is small as dark wood floors soak up light more and make the area look smaller. 

Is It Better To Have Light Or Dark Floors?

It’s actually great to have both light and dark floors, however, there are some factors that you consider. 

If your home’s interior reflects Scandinavian, mid-century contemporary, or industrial style, it’s better to have light floors as all of these interior styles use light/neutral color pallets.

On the contrary, it’s better to choose dark floors if your home has a conventional French Country, American Colonial, Asian style, or a revolutionary interior. 

Light floors are better suited in areas with indirect sunlight as direct bright sunlight can make the light floor finish fade away. Similarly, dark floors are more suitable in places with direct sunlight because the finish doesn’t fade away easily. 

Also, when you are wishing to coordinate with multiple decorating styles, have light color floors instead of dark floors. But if you wish to match with your cabinetries, better have dark floors. 

3 Reasons Why Floors Can Be Lighter And Darker Both With Cabinets?

The main 5 reasons that would clarify why floors can be lighter and darker both with cabinets have been explained before for you. 


In terms of practically, the floors can be lighter with cabinets if there is more foot traffic within the area or there are pets who scratches the floor because lighter wooden floors don’t really show scratches.

Also, to hide dirt and dust, floors can be lighter with cabinets in a room. 

Room Size: 

The floors can be lighter with cabinets if the room is smaller as light color floors create an illusion of a spacious room. On the opposite, in a bigger room with cabinets, the floors can be dark-colored.

Personal Style: 

Personal style plays the most important role here. If you want to have a contemporary, more relaxed, and airy style in a room with cabinets, floors can be a lighter color.

But If you want a more classic and luxurious atmosphere in any area with cabinets, floors can be in rich dark color. 

What Color Cabinets Go With Wood Floors?

There are unlimited color options for cabinets that match well with wood floors. Some very popular yet sophisticated color options among all of them are listed below, check them out. 


Being the brightest and universal neutral color, white color cabinets will blend the most suitably with wood floors, especially if the area is a smaller one or have less access to natural light.

White cabinets with wood floors add a minimalistic yet sophisticated vibe to the area. 


Gray is the other neutral color for cabinets that matches well with wood floors without exaggerating the look or creating imbalanced color coordination.

As wood floors have a warm tone, gray cabinets with warm undertones will complement it while the coolness of gray maintains the cool vibe. 


Brown color for cabinets is another flexible hue that perfectly pairs up with wood floors because they both have warmth, match the brightness, and the wooden floors have brown undertones. 

Red, Yellow, Or Pink: 

Red, yellow, and pink all 3 of them are loud colors options for cabinets that would match the wood floors if you want liveness in that area. 

Red toned cabinets have a colorful appearance like mahogany wood which feels organic with wood floors. The same goes will pink shades as they have red as undertones. 

And if you have light color wood floors, yellow cabinets will match it by adding energetic vibes. 

Blue And Green: 

Cabinets in blue or green color will harmonize with wood floors because both the blue and green hues are related to nature. 

Blue color has a cool temperature so bluish cabinets will blend and create a contrast with brighter wood floors. 

On the contrary, the green color having warmth, green cabinets will go well with darker wood floors. 

Natural Wood Stain: 

You can opt for natural wood stain as well, just paint the wooden cabinets in 2-3 shades lighter or darker than the wood floor. Besides, a rustic, countryside look will be created. 

How To Pair Wood Floor With Cabinets?

Even after deciding whether you want lighter or darker wood floors, pairing up the wood floor with cabinets may seem a struggling matter to you. Therefore, go through these easy tips added below to get help in this process. 

Stick To A Color Palette: 

Sticking to one color palette that has color with the same warm undertones as the wood floors while pairing up the wood floors and cabinets is the easiest and most efficient method. 

Work with 3 colors of similar undertones. There should be 2 dominant hues and 1 accent hue. For example, dark wood floors will pair up nicely with cabinets in gray color with a warm undertone, and good cabinet accessories as the accent color. 

Coordinate Or Contrast: 

You can either coordinate or contrast depending on your preference. For example, coordinate wood floors that have cool undertones such as blue, purple, etc. with cool-toned wooden cabinets such as maple or ash. 

Or else, you can choose contrasting colors to create a striking visual effect and to make the cabinets stand out on the wood floor.

For instance, if you have brown color wood floors with an orange undertone, pair up with blue cabinets because blue is a cool-toned and an opposite color. 

Adjust The Shades: 

In case you want to stick to the same shade for cabinets as the wood floor color, pair them up by adjusting the shade. The color of wood floors and cabinets should be 3 shades away at least from each other. 


If you can’t decide on pairing up the wood floors and cabinets, just choose any neutral color such as white, beige, cream, gray, tan as the color of cabinets and pair them up. 

Should You Install Floors Before Or After Cabinets?

Generally, you should install floors after installing cabinets because installing floors after setting cabinets assures about not having any floor damage while the installation of cabinets.

Besides, the fit of the flooring will be snugly enough against the cabinets. Plus, you will have the choice of buying fewer flooring materials as the floor doesn’t essentially need to run underneath the cabinets. 

However, installing floors after cabinets have some disadvantages too. The flooring installation process is more time-consuming and costly and you might require future renovations. As a result, many people prefer installing floors before setting cabinets. 

Final Thoughts 

The color of wood floors can be two-three shades lighter or darken than the cabinets’ color do that both the colors complement each other. Still, it depends on the style one wants to create in a room, the functionality, and the size of the room so that the room can have a color-balanced ambiance.