Choosing a perfect hardwood floor for your house is one of the most important things you should consider during the renovation of your house. Most of the time, people tend to choose the floors based on how they look. The color and grain and texture of the hardwood is something that makes the hardwood floors look beautiful and appealing. If you want gray hardwood flooring in your house, you should not only look for the gray color but also keep a few other things in mind as well. 

If you want to follow one of the most popular color trends for hardwood flooring, gray is something that started to trend at the start of the 21st century and it is still one of the most demanded hardwood floorings. In this article, I am going to explain what you should consider while choosing a gray hardwood flooring so that you can get a perfect looking floor that is not only beautiful but is also long-lasting, durable, and strong as well. There are a lot of hardwood species that you can choose from and then get finished in gray for your floor, but you should pick the ones that are strong, reliable, resistant and that can last longer. 

Tips to choose Gray Hardwood Flooring

Below are a few tips related to choosing the perfect gray hardwood for your floor:

  • Hardwood Species: The life of your floor depends on the hardwood species that you choose for your floor. If you choose a hardwood that is less dense, less durable, less-resistant, has a shorter lifespan, and is not strong to support the heavy traffic on the floor, it will quickly get damaged. That is why it is important to choose a hardwood species that is strong enough to support maximum loads and is resistant to fire, pests, and water. So, your gray hardwood floor can last longer, and it looks amazing even after years. Oak, maple, birch, and hickory are some of the most used gray hardwood species.

    Also, you should pick the hardwood species that originally appear gray, so that even if the color coating layer of your finished hardwood vanishes, your hardwood should still appear gray. You can check the internet and learn more about the gray hardwood species that are not only gray but are also strong enough to support the floor space of your house. Choosing the naturally gray hardwood will also make your floor look more attractive and with time, its color and appearance become even more beautiful.
  • Color of the Hardwood: If you are choosing the gray color for your hardwood floor, you will be given a lot of choices to pick from. There are a lot of shades of gray hardwood floors that you can choose for your house. The color of the finished gray hardwood floor will look different from the color of the wood type because, during the finishing of the Gray hardwood floors, certain elements such as stain and polyurethanes are used to make the hardwood stiffer, and waterproof. The color of the stain would appear prominent on the finished hardwood floors. You should pick the color of the gray hardwood for floors by taking a closer look at the finished photos of the floors instead of looking at the color of hardwood. You should choose the color that looks beautiful and also matches your existing or new furniture so that you won’t have to renovate your house again because of matching issues. Pick a color that suits your requirements, according to your theme and furniture.
  • Hardwood Grain: Hardwood grain is one of the most beautiful features of hardwood floors. They do not look static but dynamic because the hardwood has grain inside it. The grain is the lines of the fiber of different kinds that have different colors, and they move vividly inside the planks. They create beautiful pattern lines inside the planks of your hardwood floors. If you are picking a gray hardwood floor, you will also have to consider which type of grain you should have in your hardwood.

    The structure and movement of the hardwood grain are associated with the hardwood type. So, whichever hardwood type you are using, you should also look for its granular pattern as well. The granular pattern of your gray hardwood floor will give it a different appearance from other gray hardwood floors. This not only makes your floor look unique but also more attractive as well. You should take a look at all available grain structures before choosing any hardwood for your gray hardwood flooring. This will help you to decide better and choose the one that you want for your gray hardwood flooring.
  • Stain for hardwood finish: The look of your hardwood will be different once it has been properly stained. You can get the desired color of your hardwood with the help of staining. You should pick the staining carefully so that your floor will not look bad, because errors in staining can change the appearance of your hardwood floor permanently. Choose a stain that will provide your hardwood floor a gray look that you want.
  • Plank Size: It is also one of the important things to consider when choosing gray hardwood flooring. Hardwood plank size matters a lot as it provides hardwood integrity and strength. The size of the planks of gray hardwood floor is what determines how your place would appear, meaning will it look smaller or bigger.

    If you want your place to look expanded, you should choose a bigger plank size. A lot of gray hardwood species come in 5 to 7 inches plank width. If you choose planks that are shorter in size, your place will appear small that is why you should avoid short planks and look for the comparatively bigger ones.
  • Gloss: Gloss of the gray hardwood floor is what makes them look beautiful. If the gloss of your hardwood floor is more, it would appear different from low gloss or no gloss gray hardwood floors. People nowadays prefer less sheen or no sheen, but some people also prefer a glossier look as well. So, before deciding it, you should choose what you will get by picking no gloss, low gloss, or more gloss. It is better to look for the photos of finished gray hardwood floors to determine how much gloss you want.

Pros and Cons of Gray Hardwood Flooring

Below are some pros and cons of the gray hardwood flooring:

Pros of Gray Hardwood Flooring

  • Gray hardwood floors are trendy and they look beautiful as well.
  • They make your place look bigger as they have lighter color shade and also have higher planks width. Your hardwood floor looks more aesthetic and unique. 
  • Gray hardwood floors work well with all kinds of lighter paints and furniture. 
  • Due to their light colors, gray hardwood floors are better able to hide the dust, scratches, and scars on the floor.
  • Gray hardwood floors can be used anywhere inside your house. You can use them in your bedrooms, your living rooms, your galleries, and all other parts of your house.
  • The wider planks are stronger as compared to the smaller planks. So, large and wide gray hardwood flooring planks provide more strength to your hardwood floors. 
  • Gray hardwood flooring wood species are dense and strong so they last longer. The gray hardwood floors also offer more resistance to pressure, water, and fire as well. 

Cons of Gray Hardwood Flooring

  • The wider size of the planks is a problem for the installation of gray hardwood floors. They are very hard to work with and also if one plank gets damaged during the installation, or after the installation, the size of the damaged part of your floor will also look bigger. This is one of the biggest issues with large sized gray hardwood floor planks. 
  • The gray color is not the natural color of the hardwood species, so once you have installed them, it is expected that over time they will change their color. They will lose their gray stain and will look more like light brown.
  • Cleaning of the gray hardwood floors can also be an issue, if you picked a wrong stain, glossy gray hardwood floors are more difficult to clean and maintain because of their gray color. That is why most people choose less glossy or not glossy gray hardwood floors. 

Gray Hardwood Flooring Vs Dark Hardwood Flooring

  • Gray hardwood floors make your place look bigger while dark hardwood floors make your place look smaller. The lighter appearance of the gray hardwood floors is one of the reasons behind this, the place looks more expanded due to gray or light colors, while the darker floors look shorter.
  • Gray hardwood floors are trendy and people are using them all over the world due to their aesthetic and peaceful appearance, while dark hardwood floors are liked because they appear more fancy and stylish. 
  • Not all hardwood species can be stained gray, that is why only a few hardwood species are used for gray hardwood flooring, while numerous dark hardwood flooring species can be used in dark hardwood flooring.
  • Gray hardwood flooring will lose its color over time and it will also tend to look brown or orange, but it takes a longer time to change its color as compared to the dark hardwood floorings. Dark hardwood floors start changing their colors soon after installation. 
  • Gray Hardwood floors are better able to hide the scars, scratches, and dust as compared to dark hardwood floors. The gray color hides most of the dust and you will not have to clean them again and again. 
  • Gray hardwood floors have limitations of design, stain, color, and grain of the hardwood species, but dark hardwood floors provide limitless choices for you to choose from. 

Paint Colors and Gray hardwood floors

Gray hardwood floors present a lighter look, and they work well with lighter paint shades. If you are planning to have gray hardwood floors, you should consider light colors and light paint shades. You should not use the same paint color that is on your floor but pick a color that is according to the lighter scheme of your house floor. You should also avoid using dark colors because they will create a different theme and will destroy the shine and look of your floor. 

Apart from the walls, you should also use similar colors for your kitchen cabins, if you are planning to install the gray hardwood flooring in your kitchens. Matching your furniture, your walls, your cabinets with your gray hardwood floors is important, because this will create a more aesthetic look and not a contrasting look. Blue and dusty shades of blue including navy blue, white, and whitish-cream colors are a few best choices for your gray hardwood floors to choose from. 


Gray hardwood floorings are a trend that is still growing and more and more people want to have gray colored floors installed in their houses. If you also want to follow this trend and want to get a gray hardwood floor, you should consider the factors I mentioned above in the article. This will help you choose a better gray hardwood floor that is not only beautiful and aesthetic but is also stronger, durable, and long-lasting.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Question: Can I install a gray hardwood floor in my kitchen?

    Yes, you can install gray hardwood floors in your kitchen as well. The gray stain of the hardwood floors works very well in every corner of your house. You can use it in almost any part of your house.

  2. Question: Can I stain my hardwood floor gray and what are the benefits?

    Yes, it is possible and you can stain the hardwood of your floor to get a gray or light gray color of your floor. This is one of the most trending floor colors these days and it gives an aesthetic look to your place. Apart from this, they are easy to clean and work very well in every corner of your house.

  3. Question: Is the gray hardwood flooring trend going to fad sooner?

    So far, there is no decline in the demand for gray hardwood flooring, which means it is not going to fad sooner. This trend started almost 25 years ago, and since then it has been growing worldwide. Based on these statistics, it is hard to say that it will fad sooner. We can say that it is here for at least the next one or two decades. 

  4. Question: What are the best wood species to stain gray?

    There are a lot of hardwood species that you can stain gray. These hardwood species include Birch, Ashwood, Cherry, Maple, and Oak hardwood. You can choose the one that suits your needs and is according to your requirements. All these species have lighter colors that can be stained gray to look more aesthetic and beautiful.

  5. Question: Are gray hardwood floors easy to maintain?

    Yes, the biggest benefit of these gray hardwood floors is that they are better able to hide the dirt. They have lighter colors and the dust mostly remains invisible on such lighter colors. Apart from this, they are also better able to hide the scratches and scars over the hardwood. Based on these benefits, we can surely say that gray hardwood floors are easy to maintain as compared to dark hardwood floors.