Wood Floor Wars: Light Versus Dark

white paint wall color with dark wood flooring

 
Last month I had the opportunity to speak with a professional wood floor installer/refinisher. He stopped by to quote a job for us. (We’re removing the tile from our front entry and having it replaced with red oak to match the rest of the house.) Whether plumber, landscaper or electrician, when a professional such as this is in my home, I always take the opportunity to engage them in conversation. More specifically, I pick their brains. For the wood guy, I wanted to know about trends. Pre-finished versus not, species of wood, that sort of thing. I also wondered about color. From new floors to refinishing (and staining), he confirmed dark is hot. I nodded. Not surprising, I thought. Then he said something that caught my attention.
 
“I’d never have them.”
 
“Why’s that?” I asked.
 
“They take too much maintenance. You can see the littlest scratch. And daily upkeep is just as bad. You can see every speck of dust from a mile away.”
 
As I’ve always had natural red oak wood floors, I can’t attest to his statement, but having several pieces of mahogany (and even black) furniture, I know dust shows on them much more than other lighter-stained/painted items around the house. Ultimately, I believe the wood floor guy. 
 
Of course, the pain of maintenance might be worth it if your aesthetic demands a dark wood floor. Just be warned before you pick that dark species and stain. Ultimately, in the war of trends, dark is on top right now, but in the war of maintenance, light floors win.
 
 
So, what do you think? Is the maintenance of dark wood floors worth the trend?