Inspiring Interiors

Painted black floors.

Hmmm. I was planning on white painted floors, but what about black? (If you have other examples, I’d love to see!)

A matte stain looks especially good…

(emmas designblogg)

But glossy is nice, too!

(Oak Mangagement)


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  • Reply Deleilan October 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Both black and white are beautiful, and I like matte and glossy too, although a glossy finish tends to highlight all the flaws in the floorboards… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

  • Reply zee October 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    oooh, I think a black floor would really suit your house and decorating style.

  • Reply Sam October 9, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Ooh, most definitely glossy black… it’s so unexpected and glamorous and I think it would suit your style beautifully!

  • Reply 50s Pam October 9, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    My experience is that dark glossy floors show every stinkin’ rottin’ dustball. Unless you’re a neat freak – or want to be one — I’d go lighter….even stick with stained oak.

  • Reply Bailey October 9, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    I LOVE the black floor. I think the matte black would look much better and be less distracting. I would be afraid that the glossy finish would overpower other decor while the matte black has a wonderful chalky grey tone to it that’s pronounced, but not TOO pronounced.

  • Reply erin@designcrisis October 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Karly did a post on black floors a while back:

    I like the look of either white or black floors depending on your tastes and propensity for cleaning. When it comes to finish, I personally prefer matte for wood if possible.

    I once saw a house that had wood paneling on the walls that had been bleached to almost but not quite white… gorgeous.

  • Reply AB October 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Well, I am about to paint my black floors white? I will tell you that my black kitchen floor shows every little speck of anything. On the other hand, so do white ones, so I guess it’s win-win in my case. Or lose-lose? Heh.

  • Reply Alicia October 9, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Yvonne at had white floors at her old place, looked gorgeous!

  • Reply modernemama October 9, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    matte, either black (gorgeous) or white (country/scandinavian), because it’s softer and more forgiving

  • Reply mrslimestone October 9, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    I love the black glossy. If it could be done without it being too vunerable to scratches then it would look amazing with a lot of white furniture and fabrics.

    White is a great choice too but black has more pizzazz. 🙂

  • Reply Anna October 9, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Hi, Well, we installed hardwood and stained them ebony, but still along the same lines. I love more and more every day. Just an example…

  • Reply karly October 9, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Erin already beat me to pointing out the black floor post I did a while back, but I’ll chime in none-the-less. I have white floors in my house now, which i LOVE for their light, open feel. However, they are a concrete overlay with swirls of light gray mixed in, which helps hide the dirt. If they were solid white I would have to mop them EVERY.SINGLE. DAY. Unless you’re up for the challenge, I say go black.

  • Reply Barb F (Australia) October 9, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    I think black would look fantastic in your place. The matte is interesting….and might be more forgiving/lower maintenance.

  • Reply Casey October 9, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Here’s another photo of black wood flooring (from AT Chicago). Stunning! While either would require regular attention, it seems to me that black would be slightly less upkeep than white floors.

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 9, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks, guys!!

    A couple of things I should have mentioned…

    1) We don’t wear shoes in the house. We take them off as soon as we come in the front door.
    2) We’re only talking about painting the floors on the second level of our house, which gets WAY less traffic than the first level. In fact, the dogs are only upstairs at night, and then they’re in bed.
    3) I already have a black floor in my kitchen, and it’s really enough to sweep and mop weekly. Yes, it does show fur/dust/crumbs/etc., but I can deal with that. We’re pretty clean people (and we don’t have kids), so it’s really not so bad.

    Also, about matte black: don’t be fooled into thinking it’s easier to maintain than glossy! We painted our front door (exterior) matte black, and it shows dirt like nobody’s business. It’s almost like a giant chalkboard. We’re going to repaint it glossy black instead!

  • Reply E October 9, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Definitely white. Black makes the room appear much smaller.

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 9, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Is it bad for rooms to look smaller? I don’t think so, especially in a Victorian house like mine, which has such big windows and high ceilings.

  • Reply Charlie October 9, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Paint them high gloss black and buy a Swiffer vacuum. I have glossy black floors and they’re fine and I have animals.

  • Reply Fiona October 9, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    I like the glossy black. I don’t like the matte black at all. It looks unfinished and dusty. Of course, just my opinion!

  • Reply Roxy @ There's No Place Like Home October 10, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Hi Anna~

    Just saw an episode of Design Inc. where they painted the hardwoods this brownish/grey color. The color was just perfect. Here is the link to the room below. Can’t to see what you guys decide:)

  • Reply tracey October 10, 2008 at 12:12 am

    don’t do it every little speck of dirt will show and I mean every little speck. If you don’t believe me paint a little square to see for yourself.

  • Reply ruby October 10, 2008 at 12:58 am

    mmm, i think the matte stain looks particularly lovely, but then again, i have dark polished wood floorboards and i love them.

    i also work at a place with painted white floors (however, they do endure rather heavy traffic), and they only look nice with a huge amount of effort. i find they look awful with even the smallest amount of smudging (dust isn’t so bad) because it really disrupts the ‘clean’ look of the white. if you can maintain it, white is good. i just like the black better! i think the black floors against the white in your house would look fantastic.

  • Reply Jen October 10, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Hi Anna!

    I found this blog that just happened to have black hardwood floors. The link was a little strange but it should go through. I hope this helps!–Jen

  • Reply Jen October 10, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Okk..PLEASE erase my first comment! Haha sorry! The second one is the one you want.

  • Reply Benita October 10, 2008 at 2:34 am

    You’ll go nuts cleaning/vacuuming those floors. That’s the sad bit about black, EVERYTHING shows. Much more so than on white…

  • Reply anselm October 10, 2008 at 2:44 am

    Satin finish is best. The gloss makes it look wet and shows doggy hairs really well !
    NO bad thing, unless of course you are having an “I can’t be bothered to tidy up day”

  • Reply whitney October 10, 2008 at 7:59 am

    I just painted the floors in my office white and so far, so good. I love the open, clean feeling of it.

    The black mattte is my favorite dark-floor option and I do not like the glossy black. The darker you get the more the uneven imperfections will show (which is ok if you’re ok with it!)

  • Reply lesley October 10, 2008 at 8:20 am

    I like the black. how about semi-gloss?

  • Reply Joe Randazzo October 10, 2008 at 8:52 am

    I love your site btw. A daily joy!

    My landlords just ripped out my old DISGUSTINGLY stained carpet. After 4 years, I decided to spot clean. Looked great until stuff started coming back up. Bleh.

    But, they ripped out carpet and painted it a dark brown/black. I’m in love.

  • Reply Shashi October 10, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I love the black floors, I feel like the matte may scuff though.

  • Reply E October 10, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Now that you you talk about black with a Victorian house, that would be pretty spectacular! I like the matte stain, I thought that looked beautiful.

  • Reply Thessa October 10, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    White. Definitively. Maybe a soft silky white.

    It’ll enhance all other colors and textures.

    Check here for ideas

  • Reply erin@designcrisis October 10, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Maybe it just depends on whether you want to anchor the room, or let it float. Cozy or bright?

    Either choice will be fabulous! But as a serial repainter, I feel it is my duty to point out that it’s easier to paint black over white than vice versa if you change your mind…

  • Reply frannie October 10, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    bah! if you’re going to do it- do it big and all the way.
    i say yay for glossy black!

  • Reply Barb F (Australia) October 10, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    I don’t agree that painting the floor black will make the room/s appear smaller. Black will look gorgeous with your white walls and high ceilings and if you go gloss, the light will bounce and give a spacious feel. Here’s a few more images of both black and white floors:

  • Reply Lola October 11, 2008 at 3:17 am

    Hey Anna,
    Dark floors are REALLY hard to be kept clean. We had a dark brown one and we decided to get rid of it, really because it only looks perfect just after you cleaned it, and five minutes later (for real!) it’s gone gone gone… It really made me sad all the time…
    Just wanted you to know this, I don’t want people to make the same mistake as we did…

    Keep up the good work, I LOVE your blog!

    Love from Belgium xxx

  • Reply Mittens October 11, 2008 at 9:38 am

    How about a Grey Floor?
    IMO, the furnishings are supposed to be the focal point and the walls and floor are supposed to be supporting characters in the scene. And the choice in shades of grey are endless!

  • Reply Rose October 11, 2008 at 11:07 am


    I look forward to checking your blog every day!

    I think the black floors are lovely, as are your stairs which have proved quite an inspiration for us. However, the Benjamin Moore dealer near us told us, in NO uncertain terms, that it was absolutely impossible to mix toucan black (such a lovely black!) in the BM floor and porch paint. Yet you used F&P paint, right? Any tricks necessary to make it work?



  • Reply Anna at D16 October 11, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Hi Rose! We actually used Benjamin Moore Low Lustre Metal & Wood Enamel on our stairs. We really wanted to use Toucan Black since we’d already used is elsewhere in our house (pocket doors, fireplace covers, etc.), but we discovered the same thing you did about the Floor & Porch paint. Our BM dealer suggested we use the Metal & Wood Enamel instead, which could be mixed to Toucan Black. The consistency is VERY different (almost like mayonnaise), and it looks almost blue-gray going on, but it dries beautifully to a perfect match. It’s held up very well on the stairs for almost 3 years now, and we really only need to do touch-ups as a result of direct damage (they got scraped by a cast iron tub!).

    As others have mentioned, the black does show dust very readily, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I vacuum once a week, and it’s fine. I don’t know how old your house is, but in my opinion, the older the house, the less perfection tends to matter. The dust kind of blends in with everything else! 🙂

  • Reply Rose October 11, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks so much Anna! Our house is from the 1920s and there is nothing ‘perfect’ about it, most certainly not the stairs, so I’m not especially concerned about a little dust (or obvious white cat hair)! I will definitely look into the Metal and Wood paint. We had hoped to avoid the world of smelly and slow-drying oil, for our own sanity (we have only one staircase) and that of the aforementioned cat, but perhaps that’s the best route.

    Thanks again!

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 11, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Rose, the link I posted only shows the alkyd formula, but there’s definitely a latex version — that’s what we used on our stairs, and I’m positive it exists because I’m looking at the can right now. 🙂 I’m not willing to deal with oil paint, either!

    I will say, though, that the drying time even on the latex formula is much longer than the 2-4 hours stated on the can. In my experience, you need at least 12 hours before you can put a second coat on, and 24 hours after the second coat before you can walk on it. You might want to paint every other step so you can still use your staircase while it’s drying!

  • Reply Heather October 11, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Oooh – late to post – my dilemma for the last two weeks has been how to get my floors stained black! Black stain is apparently hard to achieve and the test samples that companies have done have all come out dark brown. Of course the one place that can do a true black is also the most expensive.
    At this point I’m thinking of going with black paint too!

  • Reply JoJo October 15, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    I use to work in a lovely boutique that had the most lovely Italian white wood floors…that was until we would walk on them. Scuff marks & dirt like you wouldn’t believe. Those floors were gorgeous & expensive, but a pain in the neck to clean & keep clean. For your own sanity, make them black.

  • Reply Cococozy October 21, 2008 at 11:24 am

    I LOVE the glossy black floors. Hides blemishes and flaws and also makes room look more sophisticated!

  • Reply evilsquirrel01 February 4, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    it’s very beautiful! I love the black glossy floors.

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