8 Beautiful Hardwood Floor and Wall Color Combinations

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8 beautiful hardwood floor and wall color combi

If you’re afraid to make a mistake, choosing the perfect wall color to match your floors seems like an impossible challenge.

After all, you don’t want to paint a room only to hate the end result. I totally get it.

Fortunately, there is a fundamental rule you can follow to get your paint color right.  Here’s what you need to know, plus some beautiful hardwood floor and wall color combinations you can use in your home.

What’s the Best Way to Match Your Hardwood Floor and Wall Color?

If you’re trying to pick a paint color to complement your hardwood floors, choose something with the opposite undertone. So if your floors are warm, paint your walls a cool color. If you want your room to appear larger, paint your walls lighter than your flooring.

How to Match Wall Color with Wood Floors

While it might be tempting to slap a coat of white paint on the wall and call it done, there are a few rules you can follow to make sure your paint color coordinates with your floors.

And it all has to do with your floor’s undertone.

The easiest way to make sure your room doesn’t fall flat is to choose a paint color with the opposite undertones as your floor.

So, for example, if your floors have cool undertones, choose a shade of paint with warm undertones. This could mean pairing a white pine floor with a warm shade of beige or a warm greige.

If your floors are a warm cherry, pair them with a cool gray, green or blue.

The contrast will make the floors pop.

The biggest mistake is painting your walls the same color as your floor. When you do this, the room will appear visually heavy.

And if you want to play it safe, choose a neutral like white, off-white, or light gray. These shades will work with all flooring types.

How Can I Tell If My Wood Floors are Warm or Cool?

The best way to make your room pop is to paint your walls an opposite undertone of your flooring, but if you’ve never paid attention to undertones, you might have a hard time figuring this out.

As a general rule, floors with warm undertones will have yellow, orange, or red in them. These are usually types of cherry, hickory, and oak floors.

Floors with cool undertones have hints of gray, blue, or purple. Wood floors with cool tones are typically ash, some pine, and most gray floors.

It’s also possible that your floors have neutral undertones. In this case, you might not pick up any undertones, or your flooring may have both. Luckily, if your floors are neutral, any paint color will work.

Tip: If you’re having difficulty determining what undertones your floor has, hold warm and cool-toned objects next to them. This will help bring out their undertones.

Best Wall Color By Flooring Type

white walls and hardwood floor

Best Wall Colors for White Oak Floors

Right now, light floors are dominating hardwood trends, and white oak makes it high on the popularity list. This type of flooring is stylish but also timeless. 

Light floors are an excellent choice for families with kids and pets since they don’t show dirt and scuffs as much as dark wood floors.

But despite white being in the name, white oak floors usually have a yellowish or golden undertone. 

If you’re a fan of Scandinavian style, the best wall color for white oak floors is white or off-white. 

You can also pair these hardwoods with cool gray, green, or blue shades. If you want high contrast, consider painting your walls charcoal gray or a medium blue color.

Best Wall Colors for Red Oak Floors

mint green walls

As the name implies, red oak floors have a warm, red undertone. So to counter that, you can paint your walls a cool color.

One of the best colors to provide contrast is mint green. Other color combinations include white, cool gray, or a darker green.

Best Wall Colors Cherry Floors

Cherry floors have a red or reddish-brown tint, with warm undertones. If you like neutral colors, light gray walls create a clean look that will make your floors pop.

Other color combinations for cherry floors include cool green, blue, and white shades. If you want a lot of contrast, consider a medium-toned green or blue color.

Best Wall Colors for Hickory Floors

Hickory floors have a beautiful rustic look, usually with warm honey undertones. Because of the warm undertones, hickory often looks best with cool paint colors.

If you want to go neutral, paint your walls a cool light gray or white. If you’d like to add color to your room, try cool shades of blue and green.

Best Wall Color for Black Walnut Floors

Black walnut floors have rich, beautiful variations of color—most types of this flooring feature warm and cool undertones.

Because of the mix of undertones, many colors can go with these floors. However, if your floors have more of one type of undertone (primarily warm, for example), consider choosing a wall color with contrasting tones.

Since black walnut floors are dark, light wall colors like gray, white, and beige go best. Using a lighter color on the wall will make your room appear bigger.

Best Wall Color for Whitewashed Oak Floors

Whitewashed oak is different from white oak. This type of flooring is treated with a white stain, wax, or primer that gives it a bleached by the sun look. 

Whitewashed oak is popular right now, thanks to Scandinavian design influences. This type of flooring usually has cool undertones. (However, depending on the method used to whitewash the wood, some yellow undertones may still show through.)

Pair this flooring with white wall paint if you want the minimal Scandinavian look. On the other hand, a charcoal color works beautifully if you want high contrast.

Since these floors are so light, they generally look good with just about any paint color. 

Best Wall Color for Maple Floors

Maple floors are some of the most popular. Picking a paint color for them can be a little tricky, though – mainly because there are so many variations of this floor.

Most maple floors have warm honey undertones. Because of this, they often look best with cooler paints. (Unless you have white maple, which has cooler undertones.)

For a minimal look, try a white or light gray wall. Other colors that work with maple include charcoal and cool blues and greens.

Best Wall Color for Gray Hardwood Floors

Gray floors may be the trickiest of them all. Because while you’d think that gray hardwoods would all have cool undertones, that’s not the case.

Your gray hardwoods might be warm or cool, and figuring that out can help you pick the best option.

A safe bet for gray floors is white walls. White walls will create a crisp, clean look no matter the undertone. Other colors that almost always look good include blues and contrasting shades of gray.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should floors be darker or lighter than walls?

If you want your room to look bigger, paint your walls a lighter shade than your floor. But if you want contrast, paint your walls the opposite color of your flooring. So, in this case, if you have light floors, you can paint your walls a dark color and vice versa.

Is it okay to have different color hardwood floors?

Yes, it is fine to have different colored hardwood floors. However, keeping them consistent throughout your home will create a uniform look. Ultimately, it’s a personal preference, so do what you prefer. (Just be sure to use the proper transition.)

What color walls go with dark hardwood floors?

If you have dark hardwood floors, consider a light wall. This will create contrast and make your space look bigger. If your floors are a dark but warm color, use cool colored wall paint. If your floors are cool-colored, choose warm wall paint.

What color wall goes with light hardwood floors?

The best wall color for light hardwood floors will depend on the undertone of the floor. Your walls need to be the opposite undertone of your floors to create a visually appealing space. If you’re looking for high contrast, consider painting your walls a dark color.

Should your floors match your walls?

Your walls should not be the same color as your floors. This is the biggest mistake homeowners make when picking a paint color. If your walls are the same as your floors, everything will blend together for a very flat look.


The best way to match your wall color to your hardwood floors is to choose a shade of paint with an opposite undertone. These beautiful hardwood floor and wall color combinations can help you decide.

And remember, if you want to make your room look bigger, choose a wall color that is lighter than your floors. 

Photo of author


Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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