What Color Floor With Gray Walls?
Gray is a popular choice for wall paint. Along with colors like beige, ivory, and white, gray is a neutral color that provides a subtle backdrop to a room and allows bolder and more colorful furniture to do the talking.
Historically, gray walls have been paired with wooden floors, with the warm brown color of the wood counterbalancing the cool gray walls.
However, modern interior design has begun to realize the true versatility of gray as a color, and it is increasingly paired with more than just browns.
What color floor you choose to pair with your gray wall depends largely on what shade of gray you have chosen, or choose, to paint your walls.
Thankfully, with this handy little guide you’ll know all the right color combinations for you to create a perfectly coordinated and stylish space in your house. Let’s get straight to it!
Cool Undertones Vs. Warm Undertones
Gray is an extremely versatile color that gives the homeowner plenty of options to play with when it comes to matching it with other colors to create a well-blended, complementary color scheme.
However, whilst gray is a neutral color, like all colors it has both cool (blue undertones) and warm (red undertones) hues.
Whilst the colors don’t necessarily need to match, the goal of coherent interior design is to pick colors that share the same broad undertones to create a cohesive overall design.
It’s important, to note, too, that gray walls will change their hue depending on the context (e.g what color it is paired with) and on depending on sunlight.
For example, an average gray wall will look lighter or darker depending on whether it’s paired with a dark wood floor or with a lighter color brown floor.
Exposure to direct sunlight may change the colors again or simply enhance the effect, for example making a darker gray may look lighter when exposed to sunlight.
A top tip in this regard would be to make sure you test samples for both your floor and your wall colors in different parts of the room and at different times of day.
That way, you’ll be able to see how they interact with the sunlight, and how they interact together.
Consider Your Type Of Flooring
If you’re considering what color flooring to pair with gray walls, you’re also going to want to consider what type of flooring you opt for. Of course, it depends entirely on the room that you wish to decorate.
If decorating a kitchen or bathroom, you might want to consider a stone or tile flooring, since it will be durable and easy to clean in the event of a mess. Of course, these are pricey, which you’ll have to consider.
But it’s also worth remembering from an interior design point of view that these types of flooring tend to come in a fairly limited range of natural colors, like browns and grays.
You’ll also find it pretty hard to alter your design once you’ve committed, as you can’t really paint over stone tiles very easily!
If you’re decorating a bedroom, lounge, or even a dining area, wood flooring is a great choice for gray walls. This could be hardwood flooring- like walnut, maple, or oak, or it could be wood laminate.
Again, you’ll have to consider cost, but you’ll be presented with a wider range of possible color options.
Laminate floorings come in a vast array of shades, including browns and grays, and hardwood floorings each have their own unique hue, too. Failing that, you can paint a hardwood floor if you want to change the color!
Although all wood has warm undertones, there are still two distinct classes of warm and cool colored woods.
Warm-colored woods include cedar, red oak, chestnut, walnut, and cherry wood, which all have dominant brown and even red tones.
On the other hand, birch, poplar, ash, hickory, and pine are all considered to be cool woods. They still have red undertones, but are much lighter with detectable light blue and gray hues.
Now, let’s look at some color pairings, with the wall color and applicable wood floor colors:
- Greige - For this warm undertone shade of gray, you’ll want to pair it with dark colored, warm hardwoods like walnut, chestnut, or cherry wood. Dark walnut, espresso or regular chestnut stains work well.
- Charcoal Gray - For this dark gray wall paint, you’ll probably want to stick to warm hardwoods, although lighter colored hardwoods like pine and white oak can work too!
- Slate Gray - For this cool gray paint with blue undertones, you’ll want to pair it with a light-colored hardwood like ash, pine, birch, or hickory. In terms of stain, you could go for a classic gray or weathered gray, or something with warmer tones like a golden pecan.
- Taupe - This warm gray, with its brown undertones, should be matched with dark-colored hardwoods. Stains to consider would be dark walnut and chestnut, but also perhaps jacobean, espresso, or red mahogany.
Gray also works great with floors that aren’t wooden. Here are some examples:
- Black and White Tile - In your kitchen or laundry area, you can’t go wrong with a classic checkerboard look. You’ll have a nice contrast between the tiles and a moderately warm gray wall, which will be enhanced with a bit of sunlight.
- Black Tile - If you’re going for a minimalistic or sleek, modern look, pairing jet black tiles with light gray walls is the way to. The two colors are complementary, but the dark black provides the perfect bit of contrast in the room.
- Red Brick - It’s well known that opposites do sometimes attract. Cool gray walls and warm terracotta flooring is a great example of the effect, as the two contrast perfectly and give balance to a room.
- White Marble Tile - Sometimes, gray walls run the danger of a room becoming a little dark, especially if the room suffers from a lack of sunlight. A great way to fix that is to pair it with a white floor. If you’re doing a kitchen or bathroom, how about a sophisticated white marble tile? The hints of gray in the tile will blend beautifully with the gray walls.
Gray is considered a neutral color that works with a bunch of other colors. However, what works best with gray walls depends on the shade of gray.
For lighter gray walls, you typically want to pick floor colors that have a similarly cool feel. For darker grays, warmer colors often work better. However, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of contrast!