Why Design Experts Advise Against Gray Wood Flooring In Your Home

Gray is a trending color of late, and it has become a staple in contemporary and modern interior design styles. As a neutral, people embrace it for its ability to blend well with other colors. Its subdued tone feels calming and adds balance to a space, particularly when paired with minimalist décor and clean lines. In addition to furniture pieces, wall colors, and accessories, gray has also been embraced as a flooring color. Design experts, however, now advise against it, mainly because the trend has been overdone.

In a recent TikTok post, luxury designer Bilal Rehman says that gray floors "suck the life out of any space" and make a home look cheap because they are found everywhere. He lists gray wood floors alongside furniture sets and generic artwork as things that make the home look and feel like it lacks character, which should always be avoided. In another TikTok post, designer Phoenix Grey says gray hardwood floors make it hard to find complementary décor pieces and suggests a natural color for a more lasting look.

Why do design experts advise against it?

Trends come and go, and choosing a key feature for your home based on trends will most likely lead to a dated look in a few years. While gray wood flooring has been popular in recent years, it's better to plan a home that will stand the test of time. It also tends to be less versatile — compared to other wood tones, gray may be more difficult to match with a wide range of interior styles and color schemes. It limits you to decorating with its undertones, which isn't a wide range of options.

Gray wood flooring can also create a cold and unwelcoming atmosphere in a space sometimes. People don't always think of lighting at the same time as flooring, and gray can be difficult to pair with warm lights to create a nice ambiance. It can even change tone into something less pleasant with certain bright lighting. Ultimately, this major trend has a lot of restrictions, which means you might not be able to decorate and update your home décor as you'd like.

Alternatives and how to make them work

Natural-looking wood is a great alternative because of its warmth and inviting qualities. While gray tones can detract from that cozy feeling, warmer wood tones provide comfort and homeyness. Various shades of brown wood also offer greater flexibility and can adapt to various design preferences. Because it is a classic and not a trend, a good wood tone will always offer more longevity and a timeless appeal. "If wood isn't your thing, a lighter travertine, limestone, or white tile would be an equally great alternative," recommends Bilal Rehman (via BuzzFeed).

If you already have gray wood flooring, the good news is there are some ways to balance it out. First, try to cover some of it up with a natural fiber rug. This works wonders to tone it down and opens the space up to have more warmth added with elements like side furniture pieces and fabrics. You can also add warm lights in the form of recessed perimeter lighting, table lamps, and floor lamps to create a cozy ambiance.