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What Color Rug Is Best for Dark Wood Floors?

By : The Rug Gallery 0 Comments
Living room with couch, chair, fireplace, and light colored rug on dark wood floor

Sam Presnell of The Rug Gallery discusses what color rug is best for dark wood floors.


John Maher: Welcome to the Rug Gallery with Sam Presnell. The Rug Gallery is an Oriental rug company and carpet store in Cincinnati Ohio. I’m John Maher, and I’m here with the owner of the Rug Gallery, Sam Presnell. Hi Sam.

Sam Presnell: Hi John.

John: Sam, today we’re talking about dark hardwoods and what rug color you should choose with that. Is that becoming a more popular trend now to have dark hardwoods as opposed to the light colored ones that we always used to see?

Sam: It is the most popular and the hottest trend going right now, and as far as flooring is—hard flooring—a lot of it is laminate or LVT, which is luxury vinyl tile, that looks like hardwood, or some ceramic surface. Most of the stuff that people are liking are darker tones, that’s really popular.

Choosing the Right Rug Color for a Dark Hardwood Floor

John: How can homeowners who have dark hardwoods choose the right rug color to go on top of that?

Sam: I’m a big believer in contrasting. You want to go to the opposite end. If you’re dark, you want to go light, if you’re light you want to go to dark so you get more contrast. I almost equate a rug as art, basically, when you’re doing a painting, you don’t want the frame to match the painting, you want the frame to stand off and complement the art. I think the same thing with the flooring. If it’s a rug, yes, you want that rug to be a contrast or a different lighter coloration, especially if it’s a dark flooring.

By lighter, it can be any spectrum of light, it can be a warm color, it can be a cool color, but something that will work with your color schemes that you like but on the lighter side. There’s lots of rugs out there now that are very soft and pale, we have rugs that we call washed out which means that they have a really almost…you don’t see a pattern to them, they’re almost like a white washed type of a look to them. Very cool. Then when you get on them you’ll see a little bit of pattern and texture to them as well.

What rug styles work well with dark floors?

John: Do certain styles of rugs work better than others on dark hardwoods? You just mentioned the sort of washed out patterns; anything else?

Sam: I think most of what I would call the “modern transitional” are going to be more of the colorings that are going to work best with these darker floors. Most, you know, traditional rugs, most of them are deep reds and deep blues. Those are classic traditional coloration.

A dark rug on top of a dark floor, it’s going to feel dark. I would say, yes, there are certain types of rugs, I would say more the modern, which could be a modern design or a transitional, which will be more of a traditional rug but colored lightly. Like I said, I like to use white washed rugs, things like that.

There’s also rugs called vintage rugs, which we’ve talked about in the past, that again appear very soft, light and worn out. They look very cool on dark floors. That’s pretty much it as far as dark floors go, John, I think that they’re very popular, I think you do want a contrast. A lot of people, when they put it…and everybody’s taste is different. To me, a dark rug, dark floor doesn’t sound appealing.

I think, experiment with a lighter rug. A lot of people are like, “I’ve got dogs, I’ve got kids, they’re a bunch of pigs,” whatever. Maybe don’t go to a white, or a lighter color, you’ll have to go to a light color or a very neutral color, something like that. There’s lots of other colors. If you go with things that have more pattern to them, that will hide soiling, spots, things like that, and be very practical as well.

How does a dark floor affect the way a room looks?

John: When you have dark colors like that on your floor, does it really affect the way that the room looks and is that one reason to maybe go with a lighter colored carpet on top of that dark floor, to just try to lighten things up a little bit?

Sam: Yes, I have got to say a dark floor has a richness to it, it’s hard to explain that, but there’s such a richness to a dark floor. I think it’s why it’s so popular. It does help everything else that’s lighter stand off on it. It’s a good idea to go as light as you can possibly handle and still have a little contrast to that dark floor.

John: All right, well, that’s great information Sam, thanks again for speaking with me today.

Sam: My pleasure, thank you.

John: For more information about Sam, The Rug Gallery and Oriental rugs and carpets, visit [], that’s rug gallery c-i-n-c-y dot com or call 513-793-9505. Make sure you catch the latest episodes by subscribing to this podcast on iTunes. If you can take the time to give us a review as well, we’d appreciate that. I’m John Maher, see you next time on The Rug Gallery.

Categories: Ask Sam, Rug

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