Skip to main content
Hardwood FloorsTimeless

The New Timeless Hardwood Floor

By 03/10/2013February 15th, 202443 Comments

Are you ready to say goodbye to your dark espresso brown floors. If so, you may be wondering which hardwood floor is the most timeless?

So I wrote a newsletter article to help answer that questions. Here is the link to the newsletter article I wrote. 

Many homeowners are still installing espresso brown flooring and while it’s certainly dramatic, keep in mind it shows every spec and will give you a life designed around a swiffer.

And I know a woman who doesn’t care and loves to clean it almost daily. That might be you. But if it’s not, just follow my advice.

And the advice is medium brown or light and pale (below).

See the rest of my living room here

If you are building your forever house, you can’t have any grey in your floors. Otherwise, your house will forever be stuck in that trend. NOT timeless at all.

Keep it classic and you’ll be happy forever. Not just as long as the grey trend is here.

Related posts:

Do you Need this Fabulous Task Light?

How Light Affects Paint Colour

How to Create Instant Atmosphere in Your New House

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, become a client

Download my eBookHow to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert.



62 pins


  • Hi Maria.

    It’s nice to have the extra daylight here in Denver in the evenings…nice and sunny here most of the time and we get to take the dog out for walks later in the evenings. But thanks for the warning, since we’re moving to Washington in a couple of months- I’ll consider myself warned for next spring! Not sure how I’ll survive my first winter up there, aah!

  • Coleen says:

    Yes, it makes a huge difference. I have kids and my husband works. Instead of my husband coming home in darkness and being stuck in the house, he can come home from work and we can go for a walk with the kids. Or play outside. HUGE difference. Very excited about the change.

  • Cyndia says:

    Maria, at least the next month will pass quickly and then you’ll get to enjoy the morning light as well as the evening.
    Here in Alabama I am thrilled. I’m not a morning person at all, and really love to sit outside in the early evenings if the weather is nice. Having this extra hour of light in the evening means that my husband I can putter together in the yard before dinner, and get a project or two done. This afternoon he finished installing the basement windows after work, when normally he might have had to wait till the weekend.
    The downside to the nice weather is that the darned mosquitoes are already buzzing. Hubby is sporting four huge bites on his face (he’s terribly allergic)!

  • Debbiecz says:

    Here in Illinois the extra hour means we get extra time to look at the mud and dirty snow. Not the best time of year. Yesterday I met a woman walking her dog down our street. We said hello and I learned she & her husband were transferred here because of work. They would be spending winter and spring here in grey, muddy, cod Illinois before they returned to Savannah just in time for the humidity. I feel bad for her visit to our dismal spring.

  • Pamela says:

    I’m not thrilled about an early daylight savings time. We have young children so we are up early and we go to bed early. It’s hard to convince everyone it’s time to get up with it so dark outside and at night it’s so light out.

  • BillP says:

    I got up at 7 this morning in darkness, on the west coast of Florida. Ugh.

  • Julie says:

    Hi Maria

    Not too thrilled here in New Brunswick…got up at 6:30 in total darkness…and believe me, if it’s not warm enough to sit out in the evenings in Vancouver it DEFINITELY isn’t warm enough in NB!

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    I live in Kentucky and agree with your other readers. It is nice to have some time outside because it is still light. I do not enojoy the adjustment period of losing that hour, though. Thanks for the article on timeless wood floors. I guess that I will keep the honey oak color that I already have. I will have my new wood floor in my den stained to match.

  • Mia Staysko says:

    Personally I’d leave daylight savings time all year. Even though I’m a morning person, I’d rather have the extra light in the evening. I’m going to get going in the am dark or not, but when it’s dark at 4:30 pm your evening is shot too. Bring on spring!

  • Denise says:

    Think positive everyone! Here in Boston, we LOVE the change to DST. How fabulous to have that extra light at the end of the day to do whatever and not feel like the day is already over before the evening has even begun. We still have plenty of snow (and slush and mud) outside, but every harbinger of spring and summer lifts me up and makes me HAPPY with the promise of budding trees and flowers, fresh air through open windows, and long, warm days. I heard that we gain almost 3 minutes of light each day in March for a total of 86 extra minutes of light by the end of the month … now there’s something to celebrate 🙂

    Maria, come visit us in Boston! We’d love to have a True Color Expert workshop here!

  • Marcy says:

    On the plus side, the days are lengthening more quickly now so we’ll actually catch back up in a couple weeks instead of it taking a whole month.

    I live in Portland so the days are pretty short for us too, but I get off work before 4 and I like to walk my dog after work so I’ll enjoy the extra evening daylight while I’m at it, but I’ll miss going to work in the light for now.

  • Maureen says:

    You’re right Maria, I thought it was dark enough in the mornings, now one more month of winter! It might look like spring once the sun comes up but it’s 7:41 a.m. and I can barely see across the yard….I don’t know why allowances can’t be made for a one hour time difference north of the border; we make them for states and provinces across the continent!

  • susan says:

    Love the extra daylight in the summer once we get over the ‘hump’ of the dark mornings.
    Question: I had no trouble switching over to your new blog format – just deleted the old one when I started receiving duplicates. However I’m
    not sure how to find the “Cheat Sheet” that comes along with the new sign-up: I don’t think I received it. As I love everything you have to say about color, I’m very eager to read this! Can you please resend it to me? Thanks!

  • jennifer says:

    The Spring time change is my favorite day of the year! Of course the fall change back is my least favorite day of the year. I’m just not a morning person and love the extra light in the evening.

  • Kay says:

    Oh Maria, a place to vent!!

    I despise daily savings time–the way it’s done, anyway. The first time they bumped it forward (from the end of April to the beginning of April), I put my head down on my desk and sobbed. The only time it really makes sense is when, as you said, it’s getting light at 4 a.m., when almost no one is up. All we need is four months of DST, two before and two after the summer solstice. Going on and off would then be barely noticeable, whereas now it is a huge deal. Now that I’m retired I can ignore the time change, but when I was working I really suffered from light deprivation in the mornings.

  • Jan v says:

    I love love love daylight savings time! I’m a night owl (and not an early riser) so it makes perfect sense to me to have a longer day. I’m in Southern California, it’s sunny and will be in the 80’s this week, rather perfect.

  • Connie says:

    Re: wood floors. Is traditional honey oak floor timeless? What about new strand bamboo in a med. brown like you show in photos?

  • Sharon says:

    I live up the road with you and totally agree.since I am a night person somehow the evening darkness does not bother me, but I need the morning light to get going!

    I have the same issue as Susan, i switched over and don’t seem to have the “Cheat Sheet”. Am I looking for or in the wrong place it would have downloaded because it isn’t in my downloads. I just remember starting to het your new Newsletter.

    Love getting your “mail”!

  • SandyCGC says:

    Here in Arizona we don’t have daylight savings time so only difference I note is if I call someone in Texas or Oregon or California. Happily I have a little clock app on my computer that clues me and I know now my TX family/friends are two hours ahead so don’t call late and my OR/CA friends are the same as me so call whenever. As far as the light goes, I need it desperately. I’m a morning person and eagerly await sunrise but still don’t want it to turn dark until absolutely the last minute (at least 8:30 pm) (happened in TX but not in AZ). I feel for all who are suffering from the change.

  • Jerlynn says:

    I enjoyed this daylight savings change, because I know we are that much closer to warmer weather here in Illinois. I’m sure I’m not speaking for myself when I say I am sick of the cold at this point. Spring here we come.

  • Coleen says:

    Of interest. I saw this house on the Wall Street Journal website that used a colored sheet of glass instead of tiles for a kitchen backsplash.

  • We are coming to the end of our Summer daylight savings and we LOVE talking about the weather here, in Adelaide, South Australia. It was 38 degrees today and yesterday. Average March temperature for us this year has been 34 degrees (usually 26 degrees average). Desperate for some Autumn weather.

  • Lorraine says:

    Love your floor suggestion, however I have cherry wood coloured cabinets with black granite counter. Currently my floor is white ceramic, hate it, and would like to change all the floors on lower level to wood but not sure of appropriate colur of hardwood due to the colur of the cabinets. Does anyone else have this issue?

  • Amanda says:

    RE: Daylight Savings Time: I like it. My babies wake up a few minutes later because it is still dark outside in the morning, and after I put them down at night, I still have an hour of light to enjoy. Plus, it means Spring is right around the corner (regardless of snow/rain/chilly temps)…

    RE: Timeless HW floors: Just refinished mine in Minwax’s Jacobean. It has a green undertone and compliments the grain of the oak flooring superbly! It also looks great with our light walls, white trim and a variety of wood pieces (red and green undertones). I believe it reflects the color that Maria refers to in the post.

    Cheer up, Maria! Spring is almost here…

  • Jo says:

    omg, I thought I was the only person who hated that they pushed daylight savings time up by a month. It is stupid beyond stupid to have it be dark in the morning and lighter longer at the end of the day when it’s still way too cold outside to take advantage of it. Makes me go >:(

  • VintageBeachgirl says:

    The extra hour of daylight is wonderful here in the FL Panhandle. It’s 6:57, the sun is lowering over the Gulf of Mexico. I came in from re-digging the edges of my shrubbery beds and installing new fresh pine straw about 15 minutes ago. Just enough time to pour a glass of crisp white and relax before showering off the day. What better way to do that than read my latest post from my favorite color expert? It’s already too warm in the midday time frame here so early in the morning and late afternoon are optimum times to catch up on the yard work that it’s been too cold this “spring” to do.
    Sorry you’re not finding the time change a happier circumstance….. Hoping your bulb beds will soon change your perspective!

  • Deni says:

    Hi Maria,
    It’s been awhile since this post came out but I know you still profess the most timeless colour of hardwood to be medium brown or light and pale. However it seems that currently, the 3 1/2″ wide boards are not as available, and boards seem to be getting wider and wider, almost 10″. I am nervous that this width is trendy. I don’t recall that you have addressed board size in any post. What are your thoughts about wide boards vs narrower boards if given the choice? Thank you! Deni

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Deni,
      I agree that the trend is wider now but I believe that is a trend is here to stay, it just looks more modern. When the bigger planks first came out people said “Well install them if you have a more casual home because that’s a farmhouse look” but now that they are mainstream that advice has faded. So as long as you choose the right colour, you’re good! Maria

      • Deni says:

        Maria, thank you so much for your prompt response!

      • Cheri Morgan says:

        Hi! I am about to stain my red oak floors a medium brown. I am thinking of going with mini wax color Dark walnut. I just don’t want any red undertones. What do you suggest? Thank you

  • Whitney says:

    I feel dumb asking this, but how do you know if it’s medium? Is there a way to compare to see if it’s dark or medium colored? (besides the obvious dark ones) We’ve been looking for flooring for awhile and all they had was a ton of grey toned flooring, lots of dark, and then very few medium to light, it’s not as easy as I thought it would be since I already narrowed it down to medium! Thanks

  • cnwright1 says:

    Well, it seems I read this article too late in the process. My flooring order went I. Over a month ago. Too late…my flooring is more on the darker side than light ?.

  • Anne says:

    I’m interested in installing a light floor. I’ve been looking at samples and they often remind me of gym flooring. How do you avoid having a light floor look like a gym?

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Anne, Hmmm .. . can’t say I’ve ever noticed that, are your samples too long and wide? That might be why? If you need help choosing the right one, we can help you in our eDesign department here:
      Warmly, Maria

      • Paige Frank says:

        I am a real estate agent and I always tell people your floors should match your dog!!! My floors were recently refinished in Provincial (minwax) in a matte finish They are a perfect match to my fawn boxer! Very pretty and not too dark, but definitely more of a brown tone, which has been a trend here for about 10 years. I see the gray wash in expensive custom homes and shudder! The height of fashion today is never a good place to go!

  • Linda says:

    We bought a 7 year old condo and the floors are the espresso – very dark – and so we had no choice at the time. I’m saving up to replace them with something lighter (no gray) that’s classic because I hope this to be our very, last move. I’m definitely keeping Swiffer in business. Aghhhhhh….

  • Tracy C says:

    Maria, thank you for your blog and for all your wonderful advice and photographs! I purchased a house two years ago with dark brown oak floors that have a matte finish. They are the most gorgeous floors I have ever seen. You are quite correct, though, that they do show every speck of dust and hair (how are my dogs not bald?), but there are worse hobbies than whipping out the cordless vacuum daily (or hourly LOL). My former house had medium brown floors that showed nothing, but I’m making the best of our new home, and on a positive note, the floors are truly clean. When people come over, they always rave about the floors. So, while not for everyone, I still think they are timeless.

  • Mary Lou says:

    Timeless floors relate to you and your personal coloring.
    The color of your floor!
    I was a flooring sales person for 9 years. The best advice I received when I was just a trainee was:
    The color of your tile in your bathroom (and I add the color of your hardwood in your house.) Should be the color of your hair or a color is related to your hair. So fallen hairs do not show up on it, but blend into the floor. This way your floors will always look a little cleaner.

    The color of you carpeting should look like the dirt that is in your backyard. So in the west that dirt is a pale beige.
    In the southwest it is burnt sienna. In a big city, asphalt is more common than dirt, so a grayish color is more appropriate. Think about it, floors create a background for the rest of the room. You want them to be easy to keep clean looking. Your eye should be drawn to the focal point of the room and not to the dirt/hair under your feet.

    Yes, it is good to keep the broom or vacuum handy to have clean floors. But color the right color works a miracle.

    Mary Lou

  • Nancy Higgins says:

    I have just read this article from last year. I also just attended our Parade of Homes in SE Wisconsin, outside Milwaukee. A number of the very expensive homes had dark brown floors. We must be really behind or we really like brown wood or faux wood flooring! As far as the dust showing – that’s a good thing, then you know it is time to clean your floor. 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Well, I am clearly almost seven years late to this party, but a link to this article was in an e mail I received from you today. In the next two weeks I am having dark espresso wood flooring put through my entire house. I just did a full kitchen remodel and while so many are choosing an all white kitchen, I went with dark espresso cabinets and they are stunning. I did choose a marble backsplash that is mostly white and white-ish Quartz countertops and a white island. The contrast is gorgeous! I absolutely love a dark wood floor and as others have commented, I believe they are timeless. I would also agree that gray is on the way out.

    I have an American Eskimo Dog that is pure white. I agree with Tracy C and Nancy Higgins. I don’t mind cleaning my floors and they will be truly clean. I don’t want to hide the dog hair, I want to clean it. I have seen many high end builders using dark cabinets and dark flooring and we are only weeks away from 2020. Since your article was written in 2013, I would be interested in knowing your take on this subject currently. In my opinion, furniture and rugs look so much better on a rich dark wood floor. To each his own, I suppose. At the end of the day, we should all choose what feels right to us. 🙂

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Lisa,
      My take is still the same today as it was when I wrote the article which is why I call both those colours ‘timeless’. It’s just my opinion, doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone! Your house sounds lovely! Maria

      • Deborah Hieronim says:

        HI Maria,
        Just reading this blog on hardwood color selection. I have a small 70’s ranch that has honey colored maple wood floors. Is there anything that I need to avoid with this particular hardwood?
        New to your site!

  • vicki says:

    I love the lighter floors but when I was rebuilding the home I now reside the floors were not completely even and it was suggested I go with something heavy and sturdy. The best thing for my price range was Brazilian Cherry which is very heavy (8 tons for a 1600 square foot home). In this case, I chose function over form because at the time I wanted the pine look. I have been very happy with my deep floors and they have a look of their own and have a presence of their own. Right now I am into the Scandinavian look which is the lighter floors so I have been thinking about using a lighter rug in my living room. But, now I don’t even want to cover the floors because I have grown to love them. I guess what I am saying here is that sometimes even when you don’t get exactly what you want you can be happy.

Leave a Reply