Grey Floors – The Essence of Elegance


Colouring wooden floors grey might not at first seem like an obvious choice, but grey floors are now very much taking center stage. White wood floors have been the rage for many a year but now it’s time for greys to steal the show. Not convinced? Let’s look into this further.

White and grey wood finishes for interior design
White and grey paints and wood finishes used to create a study area

Why colour wooden floors grey?

Other than breaking away from the look of traditional wooden floors, grey works particularly well with layers of texture bringing this otherwise neutral colour to life. As with whites, greys are great at achieving a crisp, minimalistic yet inviting Scandinavian feel to home interiors. The additional benefit of grey tones is that they can help to create the illusion of space in small, confined rooms. Grey is also a great contrasting colour that can complement other vibrant colour shades such as blues, golds, oranges, pinks, reds, yellows, white and more.

How many shades of grey are there?

This is a tricky one to answer. Although the human eye is capable of detecting around 10 million unique colours give or take, it’s said that there are probably no more than several hundred shades of grey. Depending on what you read, the exact figure varies from between 200 to 450. Interestingly, scientists say that humans can only detect around 30 of these which all seems a bit odd and somewhat confusing. So for those that say they have seen ’50 shades of grey’, we say – “perhaps not” 🙂

Picking the perfect grey tone for floors

Grey can be as subtle or impactive as you like. The great news is that as a result of its growing popularity, a wide selection of ready-to-use grey floor paints, varnishes, stains and floor oils are all readily available. For the more adventurous where a standard shade will just not do, there’s always the option of combining black and white wood oils, wood stains or dyes to create your own unique grey floor finish, be it a dark slate grey or something more silver like. As with white paints, there’s also a demand for lightly tinted greys, such as grey with a hint of green, blue or bronze. These colour tinted greys can also be achieved by carefully experimenting with water or solvent-based wood stains, dyes and oils.

To help you through the process of picking the perfect grey tone for your wooden floors, we have compiled an infographic with some of the more popular grey colour shades that our customers are using.

Grey floor finishes for a grey floor look
Popular grey tones for wooden floors

Recommended products for a grey floor finish

With a mulitude of possibilities in terms of products and the grey tones they produce, it can be tricky picking the one that’s right for your floor project. To help, we’ve short listed 10 of the most popular products, as chosen by our customers to help you achieve grey floor perfection.

Top tips for achieving the perfect grey floor finish

Always ensure that wooden floors have been correctly and evenly sanded, ideally to around 120 to 150 grit. Uneven sanding can cause swirl patterns and the appearance of darker scratch-like marks where the product penetrates unevenly on poorly sanded floors. Although not so much of an issue with grey floor paints, grey stains and wood oils could also dry patchy with lighter or darker areas due to uneven penetration of the colour pigments. Sanding wooden floors requires the right equipment and some care. If you’re not sure about sanding your own floors, we recommend employing an experienced floor sander / finisher.

Remember that the natural colour of the floor timbers will affect the the colour of the grey finish. Again more so with grey stains and oils than paints. If the wood has a natural warm red or brown tone, it will likely have a warming affect on the final tone of the grey finish. We always recommend doing a test area to assess the colour and suitability of the finish before starting any project.

When over-coating a grey floor stain or oil with a clear top-coat, be it a floor varnish or wood oil, always do a test area inclusive of the final top-coat. Clear top-coats can affect the final colour tone by either making the grey finish appear stronger or darker than the standalone colour.

Need help with a grey floor or other project?

For more information on grey floor stains, oils and paints and their uses, contact our team of resident experts who are always on hand to help with floor finishing advice and product recommendations.

We love to see before, during and after photos of any floor finishing project. If you would like to share your project pictures with us and our followers, send us some photos or share them on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram pages.


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