How to Match Wall Color with Wood Floor

Although there is an art to matching wall color with wood floor to bring out the best in a room, you don’t have to be a designer in order to pull it off. All you have to do is follow some basic principles that enable you to pair your wood floor with colors that work best with it based on its finish, pattern, and design.
The best thing about learning to match your wall color with your wood floor is that it’s not just one cut-and-dry, one-size-fits-all solution. You have options so you can implement your own taste and creativity into the mix.

Important Things to know


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Tone is an ultra-important consideration when deciding what color to paint the walls surrounding your wood floor. The tone of a color is the lightness of a color. It is achieved by mixing a neutral like white, gray, or black to another color neutral color.


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Hue is another consideration to make when matching your wood with your wall. The hue is the property of the main color or shade. If your wood has a golden hue, like golden oak, you want to go with a paint that doesn’t clash with the hue.

Undertone and Overtone

When two colors of paint are mixed, one will more dominant. That color gives the overtone while the other color that you don’t really see is responsible for the undertone. For instance, blue with a tad of green tinting makes turquoise. The blue is the overtone that you perceive and the green that you don’t really see is the undertone. Although you don’t really notice the undertone color, it is there and you will want to make sure other colors you use in the room, such as flooring, doesn’t clash with it.

In order to determine a color’s undertone, you can put it up against a “true color”. If you are trying to figure out the undertone of red, put it against something that is a “true red” and you will be able to see what undertone it has such as orange, yellow, blue, etc.

Going Neutral

Especially if you are new to the decorating world, the ultimate way to ensure you match up your walls, flooring, and furniture is to keep your walls a neutral color. That way, regardless of what undertone your flooring has (yellow, gray, orange, etc.), your walls will look great with it. Great neutral colors include cream, white, and ivory. You’ll be able to bring color to the room through accents such as pictures on the wall, throw pillows, and area rugs.

Say it with Contrast

When matching the color of your wall to your wood floor, you really want to blend more than match it exactly so that there is some contrast. One option you’ll have is to add some contrast to mix things up.

Contrast happens in interior design when objects of different colors are arranged together such as light walls in a dark floored room. Contrast can also refer to variances in textures (like smooth walls against distressed cedar flooring) or styles (contemporary mixed with rustic).

Contrast makes the room more interesting to look at versus a boring room that is all the same such as one with while walls and white flooring. But, you can’t just throw any old things together. Here are some ways to ensure your contrasting will work well:

Rules Without Rules

While there are no rules when you are decorating your own home, there are some general rules of thumb you will do well to follow. These suggestions can be implemented whether you are going neutral, using contrast, or even casting light against dark.

Know What You are Working With and Working Towards

Rather than just throwing haphazard colors together, a little knowledge goes a long way. What do you want to achieve in the room? Do you want it to be striking? Maybe you just want to make it look a little less boring. Or, perhaps you are looking to make it comfortable, formal, or old fashioned. The more you know about your goal, the better able you will be to pull it off.

Identify Undertone

Begin any decorating project in a room by identifying the undertone of the flooring. Then, you can choose a contrasting color that is opposite of it on the color wheel. Remember, cool tones coupled with warm tones generally work best. Ashy cool tones in wood work well with warm tones like gold or peach.

Choosing Analogous Shades

If you want to shake things up a bit and liven up your room, you can add an analogous wall shade that has a related undertone to the wood floor. Simply put, you can pair your flooring that has red, gold, or orange undertones with a warm-toned colored wall. A golden oak floor with gold undertones could have a wall painted butter yellow or an orange toned floor would work perfectly with a rust colored painted wall.

Light and Dark

Color intensity can make determining color for your room a challenge. Highlighting the color of your wood floor with a different intensity can be a viable remedy. If your wood flooring is dark, such as mahogany, pairing with a light gold or peach shade is a great way to go.

Making a Statement

Make your room speak. It can be bold and dynamic, soft and relaxed, or whatever else you want it to be. You can achieve this by the intensities of the color of wood flooring and the color of the wall in a subtle contrast. Creating a subtle contrast to make a statement is easy when you put shades of equal intensity together such as painting your walls dark blue-green when you have a dark mahogany floor. The same can be done matching medium to medium or light to light.

How Furniture Plays In

Choosing background colors for your furniture requires following a few general rules so the floor and walls enhance the color of it. Following the principles of matching walls and flooring works for adding furniture into the mix too.

Highlighting the warmth of honey colored pine wood can be achieved with a medium deep color such as green. Or, chose a pale gray to give off a subtle, low key appeal. Terracotta is ideal to bring out the orange in wood but, you must make sure it is considerably darker or lighter so it’s not too similar so you might even want to go brighter and use a blue highlighting contrast.

How it All Falls Together

While there are no rules when it comes to putting a room together where the flooring, paint, furniture, and accents all work together in a wonderful way, there are some suggestions like those above that help tremendously. When you go with what you like, what you feel works according to the principles above, and what is practical or possible in your given situation, you’ll end up with a winner. The main thing is to be creative, have fun, and enjoy the journey of decorating and the destination of having a great room in the end.

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