Wood flooring comes in a wide variety of profiles, colors and wood species. Homeowners need to decide which style suits their budget, interior décor and maintenance habits. One of the most important decisions to make involves stained wood flooring vs natural wood flooring, and this choice affects everything from the longevity of your wood floors to the atmosphere of your home. Consider your options by looking at the benefits of either side of this debate.

On Trend - Stained Wood Flooring

Do you frequently browse home design websites or flip through décor magazines? You’ll notice that the latest interior design trends lean heavily toward dark hardwood and engineered wood floors. This type of stained wood flooring provides instant drama in any room. Prefinished in an array of stain colors, dark stained hardwood offers a no-fuss finish that’s durable and affordable.

Staining wood floors also allows homeowners to mimic a certain type of wood. Are you looking for the atmosphere of a beautiful oak, but want a modern herringbone pattern? Choose a more flexible wood species with an oak-toned stain. Stain a lighter colored wood in cherry or opt for a walnut brown on something other than walnut. Stain colors offer more flexibility than natural tones.

Most designers agree that stained flooring offers more warmth than natural floors. Stain tends to bring out the wood patina and accentuates the grain, adding character and a cozy feeling in any space. Perhaps this quality makes stained wood flooring trendier in today’s contemporary marketplace, creating just the right combination of traditional and modern.

A True Classic – Natural Wood Flooring

While stained hardwood gains points for trendiness, natural wood flooring remains a perennial favorite. This type of finish allows for a clear coat finish, displaying the grain and patterns with boldness. When a rustic atmosphere is your goal, look at the natural brands or something with a very light stain that mimics the natural look of wood.

Natural wood flooring provides better reflection of light, making it an ideal choice for smaller rooms. Does your space have plenty of windows? Leaving the floor unstained will maximize that sunshine and make the room appear larger than it actually is.

Unstained wood floors also work well with darker accents, such as black window frames, darker railings or pickets and dark furniture. In fact, many designers suggest layering the wood tones in your room, ensuring that flooring, furniture, features and accessories come in different shades to provide depth. When all boast the same tones, the space may look washed out or drab. Consider using natural wood floors as a foundation for your visual layering.

What About Reclaimed Wood Floors?

Reclaimed wood flooring comes in both stained and natural states. Remember that this type of wood floor tends to be expensive and fairly limited in supply. If you need to match a batch of existing reclaimed wood flooring for the rest of your home, consider a light stain on the entire area (both reclaimed and newly made) to create a uniform look.

When choosing between stained wood flooring vs natural wood flooring, think about your tastes, the room décor, lighting and desired overall effect. Both types offer benefits and a beautiful way to finish any space in your home.