How to choose your light-colored hardwood floor like an expert

Choosing a light-colored hardwood floor involves balancing aesthetics and practicality. Opt for durable engineered hardwood or solid wood, and decide between Character or Select grade based on your style. Wide planks create spaciousness, while proper maintenance ensures longevity. Installation patterns like herringbone or chevron add a unique touch.

Choosing the perfect light-colored hardwood floor involves a combination of personal taste, lifestyle considerations, and practicality. By carefully evaluating the factors outlined above and selecting the right material, grade, tone, and installation pattern, you can create a harmonious and inviting living environment that reflects your unique style and vision.

With plenty of tone options available in the market, understanding the key factors that influence your decision is crucial to ensure that your final choice aligns seamlessly with your vision. Let’s delve into the essential aspects to consider when selecting a light-colored hardwood floor.

Engineered Hardwood Floor or Solid Hardwood Floor

One of the initial decisions you’ll face is whether to opt for engineered hardwood or solid hardwood flooring. The choice ultimately boils down to durability. High-end engineered hardwood floors boast impeccable design and cutting-edge technology, making them a long-term investment. 

Character or Select Grade 

The choice between Character and Select grade is primarily a matter of personal preference. If you are looking for a modern decoration, a possibility might be the clean, minimalist Scandinavian style found in Select grade. The luxury feeling of the absence of knots is due to a premium wood found at the lower part of the tree which is the younger wood. For a rustic appeal, like in boho style décor, consider the distinctive look of Character grade. The presence of knots and imperfections exudes wood’s natural charm.


There are plenty of light-color hardwood floor tones to choose from. These options are from the RIVA Elite collection.

Variety of Light Hardwood Tones 

When it comes to light hardwood floors, there is a wide array of tones to choose from. You can further personalize your flooring by selecting either the character or select grade. European oak natural tones, for example, allow easy absorption of colors in the manufacturing process. For that reason, they are available in many colors, from light wood tones to dark browns and even gray.

Which Kind of Wood Should You Choose?

Opting for 100% European Oak is a wise choice, given its durability. This species has the perfect balance between density and resistance. It is also celebrated for its warmth, beauty, and elegance, significantly enhancing any property’s value.

Plank Size 

Wide planks allow wood to shine and inspire a sense of grounding and serenity. Opting for wide 8-inch planks or more not only enhances the visual appeal and depth of your floors but also creates a sense of spaciousness, making rooms appear larger and more inviting. 

Just be careful about using wide planks in tiny spaces, like studios, to avoid a rebound effect, making the room appear smaller. It is important that the space allows the installation of a few planks to show the installation design. Narrow planks are the best option for slender spaces.

Maintenance Considerations 

Given that light-colored flooring tends to show dirt more visibly, selecting a product with a resilient finish and easy maintenance features is essential. RIVA engineered hardwood floors, for example, include a Bona UV Lacquer layer which acts like a barrier to moisture. Understanding the proper cleaning methods and care for your hardwood floor will help maintain its beauty and longevity. 

Pattern of Installation 

Consider factors such as room size, décor style, and personal preference. Options such as herringbone, chevron, or traditional straight lay patterns can elevate the look of your light hardwood floor, adding visual interest and uniqueness to your space. You can also opt for the casual and rustic feel of random widths. They are visually interesting and add personality to the space.

A key aspect of this well-conceived project was the selection of engineered oak hardwood flooring over traditional solid wood. This decision was influenced by the enhanced resilience of engineered hardwood to environmental factors, including water and moisture, ensuring heightened stability. Hence, its incorporation in the bathrooms not only adds a distinctive, cozy feel but it is also a functional choice. Engineered oak hardwood flooring aligns with the residence’s eco-conscious ethos, once it uses only a thin layer of high-quality European oak.

This harmonious blend of functionality, sustainability, durability, and elegance transforms this airy Florida residence into a sanctuary of timeless beauty, where every detail tells a story of thoughtful design and impeccable taste.m ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

The large bathroom in the master suite has engineered hardwood flooring in its dry part, which makes the environment sophisticated and cozy. RIVA MAX 10" in the captivating Cotton color, Character grade.


Learn about our wood grading.







The upper section of the tree is used for firewood, which may not be suitable for flooring due to higher branch density and smaller trunk size.


Our character grade comes from the middle part of the tree. This part has a visual appeal and some knots but avoids the large holes of the top part. We refer to our character grade as “light character”.


Our select grade comes from the bottom part of the tree and is the youngest wood, which results in the absence of knots and a sleek appearance.


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