While the word cherry tends to bring to mind a bright red hue, cherry wood has many color variations, depending on the specific type of wood and its finish. Plus, it darkens over time with exposure to light and the elements, so you'll want to factor this variability into your flooring choices if your cherry cabinets are brand new.
Types of cherry wood include the widely used black cherry, which is a light pinkish brown color when cut and darkens to a reddish brown over time, and beech Chilean cherry, which can range from pale pink to warm amber. With such a broad range, finding kitchen flooring that goes with cherry cabinets can be a challenge.
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"When choosing the right flooring to accompany your cherry cabinets, your selection depends largely on if you want to highlight the red undertones of the wood or not," says principal designer Veronica Ferro of VF Interiors in Chicago. "If you want them to be highlighted, select a wood flooring with similar undertones. If you want to neutralize the color, select a natural stone or ceramic tile."
Once you've decided which of these paths you'd like to take, you can begin narrowing down your options.
How to Choose Flooring Colors for Cherry Cabinets
You can turn to the color wheel to look for complementary and analogous color pairings based on your cabinet's tone and its grain, but what works for the walls or for furniture may not be possible for your floor. Your options will also be dictated by the function you need your flooring to serve and the material you choose. For high-traffic areas like your kitchen, you'll want something that withstands everyday dings, scratches, and spills. If you go with a ceramic tile, you'll find loads of color choices, while hardwood flooring will have fewer options.
As you weigh the possibilities, we suggest bringing samples home. This will make it easier to visualize how the potential flooring will look in the space. Hold the sample up to your cabinets. Consider the lighting at various times of day. What impact will the flooring color have on the appearance of your kitchen size-wise? Are you looking to make your cook space feel more open or intimate?
Choosing a floor with too similar a color to your cabinets runs the risk of making the room feel closed-in and small. Instead, create contrast. For light to mid-toned cherry wood, consider a light maple or dark acacia hardwood floor, or a pale shade of vinyl, linoleum, or tile. Deeper cherry cabinets will look best with lighter colors such as hickory to avoid overwhelming the room. A cream stone floor would also provide a rich look.
Flooring Types to Consider for Cherry Cabinets
We've already mentioned some flooring options for your cherry cabinets, such as hardwood, stone, and ceramic tile. There's also porcelain, linoleum, laminate, and vinyl flooring. Each has its pros and cons, from maintenance and color options to cost of installation and the materials themselves.
- Hardwood flooring is favored for the warmth and character it brings to a home, its variety of grains and stains, and the different patterns in which it can be placed (like herringbone, for example). The fact you can always give it a new lease on life by refinishing it is a big plus. But it's not as water-resistant as other options, which means it can warp if spills aren't cleaned up right away.
- Ceramic and porcelain tiles are clay-based and durable, plus they come in a wide array of colors. Of the two, ceramic is less expensive, since it's not as dense as porcelain. The hard, glazed surface of tiles makes them waterproof, but it also means that dropped glasses and plates are more likely to break on them than on softer flooring. And while that shiny, glazed surface is appealing, it's also slippery. Choosing a stone option with a textured surface would help minimize such mishaps. For any tile, you'll need grout, which also comes in a variety of colors with different maintenance needs.
- Vinyl, linoleum, and laminate flooring are some of the most affordable options. They come in designs that mimic hardwood, tile, and stone, making them ideal for a limited budget. Their relative softness makes them more forgiving to dropped objects, but it also means they won't withstand dents and scratches as well as harder flooring.
Don't forget that you can always introduce rugs as a way to address some of these flooring cons. They add color and character, provide a softer surface for your feet, help you avoid slips (if you place slip pads beneath them), and provide an extra layer to protect your floors. When you want to give your kitchen a fresh look, you can simply swap in a different rug, rather than going for a major makeover.
For now, let's look at the essential layer, with some of our flooring picks to go with cherry cabinets.
3 Ceramic Tile Floors That Go With Cherry Cabinets
"For tile colors, I suggest light neutrals such as whites, creams, taupes, or light brown — something with a warmer undertone," says Veronica Ferro. These options will tone down the redness of cherry cabinets and create a modern, muted palette.
1. Saltillo Red
For a rustic vibe, consider Saltillo flooring with darker cherry wood cabinets. Welcome the warm, earthy feeling it brings to your kitchen. This terra cotta color has the added appeal of minimizing the appearance of dirt and dust. Affordable and durable, Saltillo ceramic tile is also easy to clean.
2. Polished White
Large white tile flooring is a go-to choice for a more modern-looking kitchen, especially if you have flat-front cabinets with simple steel or nickel hardware. White, of course, will contrast with whatever shade of cherry cabinets you have, and porcelain tile is fairly easy to clean. On the flip side, dirt stands out more on white flooring of all kinds, so it may require more frequent cleaning.
3. Concrete Gray
Rich cherry and gray tile together create an air of sophistication and maturity. You'll appreciate this flooring for its durability and ease of maintenance. To minimize daily cleaning, we'd also suggest going with a gray grouting rather than white, especially if your grout lines are wide. Keeping grout white requires work.
5 Porcelain Tile Floors That Go With Cherry Cabinets
Neutral flooring like this beige porcelain will allow your cabinets to be the main focus of the kitchen. Warm, light colors such as ivory or soft beige will bring out the natural richness of cherry wood while also providing contrast and lightening the room's color scheme.
This white porcelain has hints of gray that give it a decorative appearance while still letting your cabinetry be the main attraction. The color works well in the kitchen area and is easy to maintain. While it may feel like a conservative choice, you can certainly up your style points by adding interesting hardware to your cherry cabinets, or adding a patterned rug for fun.
A cream-colored porcelain or marble tile is a great option to contrast dark cherry cabinets. A subdued hue like this one won't overpower your space, but its subtle pattern will add attractive depth. Supplement your kitchen decor with warmer lighting to make your cherry wood stand out.
4. Pink Beige
You'll find pink-toned beige tile often used with dark cherry and mahogany cabinets in traditional and contemporary kitchens, but it can pair well with many decor styles. Porcelain tile has a soft luster that gives it a more formal appearance you might appreciate. And the undertones of red and brown will bring out the warmth of cherry wood.
5. Baby Blue
Let this baby blue tile bring some coastal color to your cherry wood scheme. It has a bit of a Mediterranean feel, especially if you have white walls and aged cabinets. Go with a grout in a similar blue or gray for a more seamless look that will make your kitchen feel more spacious.
3 Natural Stone Floors That Go With Cherry Cabinets
1. Venetian Gold Granite
Originating from Brazil, Venetian Gold granite is often used for countertops because it is scratch-resistant and easy to clean, but it makes a great flooring option as well. Venetian Gold works beautifully with darker cherry wood. While the overall light hue of the granite will provide contrast, the darker colors speckled throughout will echo the color of your cabinets, creating visual harmony.
2. Blue Slate
Cool and beautify your kitchen floor with a gray blue slate to complement the warm reddish tone of your cherry cabinets. This color is soothing and sophisticated. The material, while on the pricier side, is a friendly surface for bare feet, providing traction that is welcome in a busy kitchen.
3. Honey Limestone
A light-colored limestone can add everyday elegance to your kitchen. This stone can last a lifetime in your home, and it provides a nice contrast to many varieties of cherry wood. While the honey beige color is subtle, the texture of the floor is what gives it personality.
4 Hardwood Floors That Go With Cherry Cabinets
"If you go with wood flooring, select one that has similar undertones to the cabinets," suggests Veronica Ferro. "Attempting to use a wood that has different tones is very difficult with cherry, and it's very easy to clash." So stay within the same color family, and go several shades lighter or darker rather than trying to match your cabinet color.
1. Light Maple
For medium-to-dark cherry cabinets, a light maple hardwood floor provides high contrast that can make a room feel more open. It has a clean and modern appearance minimalists appreciate, not just because of its light hue, but also because its grain pattern tends to be straight. There's less drama in its appearance, so your cherry cabinets can take focus.
2. Natural Hickory
If you're looking for hardwood with more variation in tone, hickory is a good bet. It will work best with quieter cherry cabinets — those with clean lines, minimalist hardware, and less variegated color. And did you know that hickory also symbolizes flexibility and patience? Perhaps that's just what you're after when you're cooking in the kitchen at the end of a long day.
This high-gloss butterscotch-colored oak hardwood has reddish undertones that will pair well with darker cherry cabinets for slight contrast. This flooring could work with different kitchen styles, from rustic and farmhouse to a contemporary design. A warmer hardwood may make a kitchen look smaller, so if you're looking to create a cozy atmosphere for a larger kitchen, this could do the trick.
4. Hazelnut Acacia
Darker wood floors are a bolder choice, but they can work beautifully in a large, open kitchen. We like the rich color of this distressed hazelnut acacia hardwood — however, to avoid a cavernous vibe, we would pair it with cherry wood cabinets on the lightest end of the spectrum. The beauty of this flooring is that it has a lived-in quality that will make your kitchen feel homey, while also minimizing the appearance of everyday dirt.
Flooring Colors That Go With Cherry Wood Cabinets
When choosing a flooring color to go with your cherry cabinets, there are a few things to consider along with your personal style. Keep in mind the material's durability and maintenance requirements, as well as the size and lighting of your kitchen. To tone down the color palette of your space, neutrals in stone or ceramic are a safe bet. For hardwood, go a few shades darker or lighter rather than trying to match your cabinets. And always order a tile sample, especially if you're shopping online, so there are no surprises.
Here is a summary of some of our favorite flooring colors for cherry wood cabinets:
- Saltito Red Ceramic
- Polished White Ceramic
- Concrete Gray Ceramic
- Beige Porcelain
- White Porcelain
- Ivory Porcelain
- Pink Beige Porcelain
- Baby Blue Porcelain
- Venetian Gold Granite
- Blue Slate
- Honey Limestone
- Light Maple
- Natural Hickory
- Hazelnut Acacia