Here we answer the question, what color wood floor goes with gray walls? In the design world, a neutral wall color means “without” color. This includes paint colors in the beige, ivory, taupe, gray, and white families. Neutral wall colors allow for a subtle backdrop for bold furniture and wall décor and, depending on the undertone, match well with wood floors.
Modern décor considers gray walls with wood floors a long-standing staple in interior design. Knowing what color wood floor goes with gray walls includes understanding the infinite array of gray undertones. It seems like an impossible task, but a bit of knowledge about color theory and context helps to create a unifying design.
This helpful guide will explain the many shades of gray paint and the color of wood floors that work with this popular interior color.
Warm or Cool Gray Undertones
Gray walls allow a homeowner a wide range of choices to blend and complement a room’s color scheme. Interior designers consider gray walls neutral but the underlying tones determine whether the gray is warm or cool.
Gray, like all colors, has warm (red undertones) or cool (blue undertones) hues, and the color of the wood flooring and its undertones should be consistent to keep the design cohesive.
The gray color of the walls and the color of the wood floors don’t have to match, but they should be in the same warm or cool color family.
Gray wall paint, depending on the undertone and light or darkness, will actually change its hue when placed in context with another large area such as wood flooring.
A medium gray wall with a dark wood floor changes how we perceive the gray, making it look lighter.
That same medium gray wall paired with a light wood floor creates the allusion of a darker gray. The color of the gray wall determines what color wood floor makes a unifying color relationship. See more paint colors to go with dark wood floors here.
Warm or Cool Wood Colors
Wood floors also follow a similar concept of warm and cool colors depending on the type of wood and the color of the stain used to finish and seal the flooring.
Warm-colored woods include chestnut, walnut, cedar, red oak, and cherry-wood, all with dominant red and brown tones.
Cool-colored woods include birch, hickory, poplar, ash, and pine that include red undertones but are much lighter with gray or light-blue hues.
While all wood has warm undertones, the color and how light or dark the wood is determines the color of gray wall paint that works with it.
Staining wood floors allows a wide range of color choices including palette colors not natural to native wood tones such as reds, greens, blues, yellows, and more.
Pairing Gray Walls with Wood Floors Based on Color
The following chart includes suggestions based on the more common gray paint colors, most common types of wood flooring, and popular stain colors.
|Gray Wall Color||Wood Floor Colors||Warm/Cool||Stain Colors|
|Slate Gray is a cool color gray paint with blue undertones.||Birch, hickory, poplar, ash, and pine, and light-colored hardwoods||Cool||Classic Gray, Fruit-wood, Golden Pecan, Weathered Gray, Country White|
|Greige is a mix of gray and beige paint. The gray combines with beige producing warm undertones.||Chestnut, walnut, cedar, cherry-wood, red oak, and dark-colored hardwoods||Warm||Dark Walnut, Jacobean, Chestnut, Espresso|
|Taupe is a gray paint with brown, woodsy undertones making it a warm gray.||Chestnut, walnut, cedar, cherry-wood, and dark-colored hardwoods||Warm||Dark Walnut, Jacobean, Chestnut, Espresso, Red Mahogany|
|Charcoal Gray paint is a dark gray.||Walnut, pine, cherry-wood, chestnut, red oak, white oak, and light-colored hardwoods||Warm & Cool||Dark Walnut, Jacobean, Chestnut, Espresso, Ebony, Tobacco|
|Ash Gray paint is a medium gray with slight blue undertones.||Pine, hickory, white oak, and light-colored hardwoods||Cool||Classic Gray, Fruit-wood, Golden Pecan, Weathered Gray, Country White|
|Platinum Gray resembles the metal platinum and favors cool colors but also works with some warm wood colors.||Pine, hickory, white oak, walnut, ash, poplar, chestnut, and light or dark-colored hardwoods||Warm & Cool||Jacobean, Mahogany, Chestnut, Golden Pecan|
Whether you purchase native-colored wood floors and use a clear protective finish, unstained wood flooring and stain it yourself, or prefinished wood flooring, use the chart above as a basis for pairing your gray wall color with wood floors.
Keep in mind different wood floors produce varied colors with the same stain. Stain small pieces of unfinished wood to experiment with stain colors.
The choice of a color wood floor for gray walls may seem daunting, but using the principles included in this guide will make the job easier. The very last part of your decision, regardless of rules or expectations, is what combination achieves the design and look you want.
For more living rooms with hardwood floors visit our gallery page. What color wood floor do you think goes with gray paint? Let us know in the comments section below.