Do Wood Floors Have to Match?


A house in which all of the wood is the same species and the same color may look excessively preplanned and lifeless. Conversely, a house in which each wood feature is a different species, style and era can look excessively eclectic. The trick is to create a space that features an interesting range of wood effects that complement one another.

Abutting Floors

  • Some houses have adjacent rooms with hardwood floors. Sometimes these floors are made of the same wood while other floors may be entirely different. Either of these arrangements can look good if it is done well. You should avoid having two adjacent floors that are just slightly different because this will make the rooms look like you tried to match the floors and failed. An example would be two oak floors that have been stained with slightly different colors of stain. An oak floor that is stained dark next to a naturally finished oak floor would look much better.

Floors and Trim

  • Several kinds of trim in your home may be made of the same wood as your floors, including baseboards, door and window trim and crown molding. Of these, the most important to match properly to your floor is the baseboard because it abuts the floor. Baseboards that are made of the same wood as the floor with the same finish applied can be very attractive. You can also create a nice look by painting the baseboard to create a color that contrasts with the wood hue of the floor.


  • Wood floors tend to look good with any kind of rug. Because wood floors and rugs are made of entirely different materials, they don't compete or clash with each other but complement each others' differences. If you have an older wood floor with damaged parts that are compromising the look of your living space, you can use strategically placed area rugs to cover the damaged parts of the floor until you have a chance to fix them properly.


  • If you have wood floors that simply don't match anything else in your house, one option is to paint them. If the problem is two abutting wood floors, you can paint either or both of them to solve the problem. Wear will show on a painted floor much more quickly than on a floor that has been finished with stain or clear polyurethane, and you might have to repaint it every two or three years, depending on the volume of traffic in your home.

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