What is dark wood flooring?
Dark wood flooring covers a broad range of possibilities, including rare tropical woods and even antique and reclaimed real wood floors.
They can also be light toned woods like oak or ash that have been treated to transform them to a much darker shade. Our double fumed wood floors are the darkest wood floors we produce that can still be called dark and not black.
We fume our dark oak flooring for over 3 months to turn all of the wood into a deep charcoal tone; by double fuming, we ensure the core is treated too, meaning that all of the wood has been transformed, not just the surface. This is important when you re-sand the floor as you will keep the dark tone for decades to come. The lovely thing these double fumed floors is that whilst they are dark, they still retain warmth in the depths of the wood, adding comfort and safety to your project.
Another effective way to turn wood darker is through heat treatment. This is a complex and risky process that involves carefully cooking the wood – as with fuming you can create a variety of tones from this treatment and overall the wood feels totally natural to touch, whilst showcasing a look similar to that of tropical wood.
Dark tropical woods are growing increasingly rare as strict environmental laws have gladly slowed the flow of these dark hardwoods into Europe. We all grew up with a piece of mahogany furniture somewhere in our lives and this is what most people see as being tropical or dark wood, today though, there are some really interesting woods that are farmed sustainably, and these include the enticing Morado
These are both engineered dark hardwood floors, with key characteristics of being unique, very hard and having a fantastic array of subtle tones for you to admire for years.
We source these woods in strict adherence to our FSC certification and we use their Chain of Custody system to track the wood from forest to the project it is installed in. assuring that your project is a kind to our planet as possible.
The most interesting group of dark wood floors however, are the ones that arrive from old buildings. These are woods that are only dark for one reason – they are very old, having history washed over them throughout the years. Most hardwoods oxidize darker over time as a deep-toned skin builds on the outside of the wood; the older the wood, the darker it goes.
The tone that old woods reach is not the same black as you would imagine a Tudor building to be, as these are painted black, but more akin to a burnt umber, or the colour of the darkest chestnut. This dark tone is what we call a patina, and in antique wood floors this is the original patina. Our Woodworks team are specialists in reclaiming and restoring antique wood floors,
with several decades of working with these woods and patinas under their collective belt.
They restore many different woods including oak
, pitch pine, jarrah
, normally restoring them into random width floorboards, but also working with herringbone, chevron and handmade panels like Parquet du Versailles. We work with clients across the world and we are well regarded for our area of expertise – given that this where our journey started in 1993 it is great to be still be impressing people with these beautiful, rare woods.
The final group of dark floors that deserve your attention are woods that have been worked to add texture and interest to your floor having a truly authentic feel. These dark timbers really suit having interesting textures, adding another dimension to your project, and heightening the sense as a result.
For example, the surface texture in our Warehouse collection is undulating and quite random, feeling almost like it’s been reclaimed. Plus, we have developed lots of floors in our Crafted textures collection that feature interesting surfaces; these range from random quite random Sawn textures, to more precisely hand planed ones and some that have even been tumbled to form broken edges. These are floors that work particularly well when restoring old properties and for adding a modern twist – mixing the new with the old.
One final thing to consider is that dark wood floors suit slightly higher sheen levels, satin or even semi-gloss bringing out the very best in this intense, rich colour. Our burnished hardwax oil (for example) has lovely sheen to it and as such works effectively with darker woods.
Allow the texture and deep colourings of dark wood flooring take pride of place within your project – leaving a bold design statement on any feature surface, be it a wall, floor or ceiling.
What are the best rooms to install dark wood floors?
As mentioned, dark wood floors are versatile in their application, feeling perfectly in place within a classic building, or making a strong design statement in a contemporary, newer project.
Heritage, restoration and period projects will all be lifting by using these timbers, with some of the antique and reclaimed options being as old as the buildings themselves, helping to continue writing the history of these properties for decades to come.
What are the benefits of dark wood flooring over lighter options?
Dark wood floors and wall cladding makes a stronger design statement than lighter counterparts. The colours are bolder and the textures, for the most part, tend to be more undulating, making your project a treat to the touch, not just the eye.
The aforementioned period and conservation properties will feel the benefits of these timber too, as will marine projects, with the dark wood manipulating the light on the water expertly.
What are the difference between dark real wood compared with vinyl flooring?
A real wood floor, regardless whether it is dark American Black Walnut
or white oak
has the edge over vinyl flooring and other such manmade alternatives.
These dark timbers have a real depth of tone, a warmth from inside the wood and have genuine natural hues and colours, rather than the milky artificial dark colours you often arrive upon with these less sustainable choices. You simply know when it’s Ted Todd.
How do you clean and maintain dark wood floors?
Following professional installation, caring for your dark floor is easy, simply check the specification sheet of your floor, and use either Care System 1, or Care System 2 every few weeks, depending on the given advice.
Get your free samples
No matter the wood flooring you are looking for, the best place to start is by ordering a free sample of your three favourites. Simply put them in your basket, fill out your details and they’ll be with you in no time.
Alternatively, why not visit our Designs Centres
or your local retail partner in order to experience these floors up close and personal.