Knotty pine walls may be considered vintage or retro, but they’re actually continuing to make a comeback. If you’re remodeling or just moving in, it can be tough to find the right flooring. This is especially true if you’re trying to pair your floor with such a unique softwood like knotty pine. Naturally, your floors and walls can define the entire place. We have put together a thorough guide on what color you should use on your floor if you have knotty pine walls in mind.
The color and style of your knotty pine should determine the best color for the accompanying floors. Knotty pine has a naturally warm color, and the knots make it very busy for a wall. As such, you should consider the knotty pine’s warm temperature and natural look:
- Yellow or red wood flooring to match warmth
- Chocolate brown walnut flooring to contrast warmth
- Grey flooring for unity through neutrals
- Warm carpeting to relax the busy walls
Knotty pine wood is known for its low price tag and unique look. This makes it a fun and easy addition to any home. But knotty pine just isn’t the most versatile type of wood. Keep reading to learn about the broader relationship between floors and walls, including what colors and types of flooring will be a good fit for knotty pine.
Should floors be darker or lighter than walls?
Before you begin selecting specific colors for knotty pine walls, you need to understand the basic relationship between floors and walls. This will ensure that every room functions properly before you actually style it.
As a general rule, floors should definitely be darker than the walls. This creates a visible base to build on. Without establishing a clear foundation, everything sitting on the floor will appear unstable.
This is because when your furniture and walls are darker than the floor, they draw all of the attention away from the floor. And if all of the focus is on the walls and décor, then the floor can seem absent altogether. You never want to feel like you and your furniture are just floating through empty space.
To remember this rule, remind yourself that the floor is going to physically support everything in the room. So, the floor should always look like it does, too.
What flooring complements knotty pine walls?
Another crucial thing to learn before you select the color of your floors is the type of material you should be using. You may have existing knotty pine walls, or you might have already decided to install them. In this case, you should know there are only two ideal options for flooring material.
Most of the time, the entire point of purchasing knotty pine wood is to use its natural look. That style of pine wood is literally covered in knots, and it often has noticeable streaks across the surface. This means that no matter what kind of stain you use on it, the style will emphasize nature.
As a result, you should choose a flooring material that will pair well with interior design styles that emphasize nature. The only way to do that is to use flooring that agrees with wood.
Using carpeting can be very tricky to get away with. But if you use the proper shade of color, then carpeting is a very effective way to tone down that feeling of a cabin in the woods. You should try to use a warm shade of carpeting, in the same family as the knotty pine. This shading will help you create a bridge between the contrasting materials.
Carpeting looks naturally grainy, but it’s actually smooth too. This is a great way to open up the room and relax the area. This can really transform the interior design because knotty pine walls have so many details. If your walls and floor are both filled with natural patterns, then the room can quickly become overwhelming.
A carpet will also make the knotty pine walls feel more like intentional accents and decoration. Otherwise, the knotty pine will take complete command of the room. This could draw away from the furniture and décor. It may also feel like the knotty pine is mostly there for construction rather than design. You can read this post to learn if carpet should be lighter or darker than walls.
Naturally, the easiest way to balance out wooden walls is with wooden floors. This is especially true for knotty pine, which can make any room feel like the inside of a cabin. More wood will help if you are deliberately aiming for that small, cozy appeal.
Further, it can be easy to create too much conflict in the room if you don’t use wooden floors. Even if you were going to use an industrial type of flooring like vinyl, you would probably give it a wooden surface image. Unfortunately, you will also feel the difference when you walk on unnatural flooring.
There is no true replacement for the natural texture and appearance of a hardwood floor. One of the best reasons to purchase knotty pine is to use its natural style. Therefore, you should try to lean into that atmosphere with wooden floors.
What color wood floor goes with knotty pine walls?
Once you’ve decided what material you’re going to use, you can begin to select the right color for your floor. Certain types of wood have built-in colors and undertones. But wooden floors can be surprisingly versatile since there are so many different kinds of stains on the market. This step is where you have room to choose colors that will agree, contrast, or feel neutral.
Yellow or red to match the warmth
Knotty pine has a natural color that ranges from yellow to orange. This makes it a warm type of wood. This means that you can pair another warm wood with knotty pine for a balanced effect. Other warm woods that make a good partner include cherry or maple.
For example, cherry wood is usually pink or reddish, leaning towards red over time. Cherry is also a physically sound hardwood floor that will provide enough stability in your room. If you’re still furnishing, you can read this post to learn what furniture goes with cherry wood floors.
Just bear in mind that your floor should never have an identical shade of color with your walls. This is a general rule that applies to any decision concerning interior design. You should always aim for consistency, instead of overwhelming the room with too much of a good thing. Remember to avoid that mistake if you plan on coating everything in the same wood stain.
Instead, you will want to use a shade of yellow, orange, or red that is slightly darker than the knotty pine walls.
Chocolate brown flooring for contrast
Walnut is a fantastic choice for any hardwood floor, regardless of what kind of walls you’re using. That’s because walnut wood has a naturally cool temperature, but it can be stained for a wide range of colors.
Also, pros like the “.org” website Hardwood Distributors add that walnut has creamy white sapwood. This helps form a bridge between the natural darkness and the knotty pine’s brightness.
Most importantly, walnut wood is both unusually strong and smooth. This means that using walnut flooring will provide the best kind of durability and appearance for any kind of wooden walls.
However, since knotty pine is so warm, you should try to stain walnut floors a bit lighter than usual. A nice chocolate brown will help dilute the stuffy heat of knotty pine. This contrast in temperature is even more effective because walnut wood is known for a smooth finish.
Grey flooring for unity through neutrals
Grey floors are a perfect fit for nearly any interior design style, including most wooden walls. That’s because grey is a cool neutral. This means that grey does not actually have any pure color, but it’s still going to relax the room.
Neutral colors are often used to unify a home, but the most popular choice is white. White will not work with flooring since it is naturally hot. White reflects all colors, resulting in too much brightness for knotty pine walls. Don’t forget that the floors have to be darker than the walls.
Brown is a popular near-neutral, and a natural representative for wooden materials. But grey doesn’t always have to feel industrial and metallic. You can successfully use a grey floor to balance out the warmth of knotty pine walls with other furniture and decorations in the room.
Just make sure that you use the proper shade of grey. Grey is available in a wide range of shades, which can vary from a coastal beach house to a mechanical modern sheet. As long as the shade of grey matches the natural style of the knotty pine, you can get away with the contrast. This can apply to both wood stains and carpet colors. In fact, grey can hide more of the difference in materials if you choose carpeted floors.
Knotty pine walls are an interesting, inexpensive addition to any home. But knotty pine wood has so much character, it can really paint you into a corner. It’s important to remember how to style your floor, and how to pair the right materials and colors with a bright wood like knotty pine. Now you have all the knowledge you will need to begin getting creative with knotty pine walls.