With the rising urban population, living space is getting smaller and smaller. And even if you live in a large house, there is always that one room that looks quite stuffed.
How spacious a room looks doesn’t exactly depend on the size of the space itself. Interior decoration plays a massive role in manipulating our sense of space. A small room with good lighting and creative color combination can look airy and open, whereas heavy furniture and dark colors with a lack of ventilation can even make the largest room feel stuffed.
The color of the floor plays a huge role in our perception of space. The best floor color for small spaces leaves the line of sight uninterrupted — creating an illusion that a room is larger than it actually is. This article will discuss the 7 best floor color for small spaces to make even the tiniest room in your house feel cozy and comfortable.
Table of Contents
How Does Floor Color and Texture Affect Your Space?
How we perceive the space around us is more psychological than physical. Every piece within the room contributes to that perception — windows, light, the color of the wall, the color of the floor, and the pieces of furniture.
It’s well-established that light colors make rooms look larger, especially if it has access to natural light. This is because light bounces off lighter colors, making the room appear even brighter and larger. Shiny floors also have the same effect as light bounces off of them. It creates an illusion in a much similar way to mirrors.
However, the theory of light and reflection does not mean all dark color floors will make your room look smaller. When used correctly, darker shades of brown are some of the best colors for small spaces. The flooring you need to steer clear of for small spaces is the ones that absorb light completely that are counteractively used in large areas to confine it.
Another major factor in how we perceive space is how much our line of sight is interrupted. This interruption can come from furniture, border lines, prints on the floor, or textures. The less interrupted our vision is, the larger the room appears.
Elongating textures and patterns can lengthen the room when it supports the flow of natural light. Also, if lines on the floor, for example, tile grout lines or wood planks, are cut off, it interrupts the eyeline and creates an idea that the space is stuffy and congested. The grain on the wooden floor or specific patterns on the floor will also have a similar effect. It is one of the reasons tiles are now installed with minimum spacing and thin grout lines to make it look like one large piece of flooring. For this reason, large tiles and wider and longer planks are also preferred in small spaces.
Best Floor Color for Small Spaces
Light Natural Wooden Floors
The classic wooden look alleviates the aesthetic of any room, even including small spaces. The lighter blonde or tan shades of wood creates an airy feeling to make the area feel more open and roomier. Many hardwood options come in this color — maple, oak, or pine being the most popular. However, don’t confine yourself to solid hardwood to create a light natural wooden look. You can also choose hardwood alternatives such as bamboo, cork, engineered hardwood, and luxury vinyl planks.
White Tile Floors
According to color theory, white is the best floor color for small spaces as it reflects the light and makes the room brighter. However, the clean, crisp look of mirror-polished white tiles is a full-proof choice for tighter spaces. It’s almost like placing a large mirror on the floor. Plus, it gives you a clean canvas to work with where you can add colors with furniture and wall colors. It also opens the door for accent walls to create a contemporary look that adds to the room’s depth.
Black Tile Floors
Although it might sound counterintuitive to put dark tiles in small spaces, black can actually make a room appear larger when combined with lighter walls and proper furniture. This is because black marble floors with a high gloss finish act like a mirror, creating a larger sense of space, much like white tiles but with an edgy look. The trick to making black tile work in a cramped space is to avoid matte finishes and only use ones with high glosses and reflections. Combine that with a white baseboard and walls — and your room will immediately appear spacious.
Cream Tile Floors
Cream tiles offer a similar effect to white tiles but make the room feel cozier. Even though white tiles are one of the best colors for small spaces, they can take away from the homey look of a room. It is also a neutral color that blends easily with other colors. Therefore, it leaves the room open for adding colorful furniture and accessories. Additionally, cream floors with light prints can add depth to the space. Both matte and glossy finish works in this color. However, you might still opt for shiny finishes that reflect light in small rooms.
Light Gray Concrete Floors
Concrete floors are making a comeback for serving perplexing, contemporary looks. Concrete floors are one-room-size flooring that does not break the line of sight and create a sense of large space. Concrete is also very basic, leaving much room for accenting through other interior pieces. Light gray is a classic, neutral tone that works pretty much in any space. The concrete finish you choose also plays a role in transforming the space. A polished finish works best in tighter spaces as it reflects light to make the room appear larger.
Light Gray Wooden Floor
Tones of classic gray serve as a perfect pairing color for any other shades. Gray tones on the wooden floor bring a contemporary vibe while brightening the interior. The basic tone works well in any setting and can be transformed with pops of colors in other interior pieces. It creates a calming, airy atmosphere and makes even the tightest room feel bigger. Oak is an excellent choice if you are going for solid hardwood. Hardwood alternatives such as laminate, luxury vinyl, or engineered hardwood also have tons of options in gray to venture into.
Dark Brown Wooden Floor
Although many wouldn’t consider dark brown the best floor color for a small space, you can still make this classic shade work. The important thing is to pay attention to the finish. opt for a dark brown wooden floor with a high gloss and reflective finish. The less grainy options are also preferred because they create a better flow of light and color that elongates the room. You might also pick lighter shades for the wall to keep the room airy, with a darker color on the floor.
Additional Tips for Picking Floors for Small Spaces
Install boards parallel to the longest wall
If you are dealing with a narrow room, this simple trick will make a huge difference. It works by creating longer lines across the room which manipulates our visual perception and makes the room appear bigger.
Solid vs prints
Typically, solid floors are preferred in tight spaces over prints. This is because prints are always tricky to handle in narrow places. However, you can still go for light prints on tiles in smaller spaces, as they do not catch too much attention when cut off.
Choose wider planks
Avoid using strips (narrower than 7.5 cm), as thinner means more grout lines and joints that make the room feel even more cramped. Instead, visually expand the space by utilizing the best floor color for small spaces in wider plank sizes.
Choose longer planks
Longer wooden planks work better in small spaces for the same reason as before — fewer joints and grout lines. However, if you can get wood planks that cover the entire room, that is even better, as there are no joints at all.
Choose bigger tiles
The bigger the tiles, the better, as there are fewer grout lines compared to using smaller tiles for the same space. The more joints you have, the more cramped your area will look. However, using bigger tiles also means you will need to cut more pieces to fit in the room. In that case, avoid leaving thin strips on the edge of the room. Plan the tile spacing smartly so that the cut tiles are at least half of the whole tiles.
Pay attention to the finish
As mentioned, the finish type can make or break even the best floor color for small spaces. Choose a glossy finish for both wooden floors and tiles for the reflective effect. Even better if you can pick mirror polishes. A shiny finish is even more crucial for smaller rooms if you choose darker color options.
Pay attention to the pattern
Patterns contribute significantly to making a room look airy or stuffed. For example, a criss-cross pattern extends the size of the floor, as it works against the naturally blocked-out square shape of most small rooms. If your planks don’t cover the entire room in length, you can go for mismatched placements to avoid the planks cutting the room in halves right in the middle. However, avoid herringbone or parquet patterns as they typically work better in wider spaces where the pattern can be repeated more. Also, be careful of checkerboard patterns. This pattern in the wrong size can make the room seem even smaller.
What is the best color for small spaces in your opinion? Comment below and let us know!