Selecting a gray paint color for the walls in your home can get a little tricky, to say the least. While it's an extremely versatile color, there are a plethora of different shades to choose from, each with different undertones. That being said, the neutral color has an innately soothing quality and can instantly add a note of elegance to any space.
While it's generally considered a cool color, as green and blue are among its most common undertones, this isn't always the case. There are both cool and warm shades of gray, and the direction you choose to go will help determine the perfect color for your floors. Taupe, brown, and more natural shades go best with gray hues that are on the warm end of the spectrum. White, blue, or light gray look nice when paired with a cooler shade of gray.
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Before you run out to buy new flooring or wall paint, take a cue from interior designer Emily Henderson: "Test swatches or samples in your own home on numerous walls of the same room. Your own quality of light could be different than photos you have on a mood board, so where a light gray might look crisp and pure in one room, it could also read totally beige or green in another. Observe the shades during different times of day to see how they interact with your sunlight."
Different Types of Flooring to Consider
When shopping around for flooring to pair with gray walls, you should first research the different materials that are available. Wood or laminate flooring will work in just about any room of the house except bathrooms, since they don't do well with moisture. Stone or tile surfaces, on the other hand, tend to go better in kitchens and bathrooms, or even foyers, as they can withstand more moisture and wear and tear.
Like any home decor refresh or remodel, the budget you're working with should always be on the top of your list to determine the kind of flooring you will install. Stone flooring — like marble, limestone, slate, and tile — is a great choice for kitchens or baths. But fair warning, marble and limestone can get pricey in a hurry. These materials also require regular maintenance, which will add to the cost in the long run.
For bedrooms, dining areas, living rooms, and the rest of your home, hardwood flooring — like oak, maple, and walnut — or wood laminate are both nice options with gray walls. Again, you'll need to weigh the cost and maintenance requirements to make sure you'll be happy with your decision. Keep in mind that adding area rugs to your flooring, in shades that blend in or contrast with your gray walls, will provide warmth underfoot and will elevate your overall scheme even more.
Let's take a look at 15 floor color ideas that will look great with different shades of gray.
15 Flooring Colors to Pair With Gray Walls
1. Charcoal Gray Slate Tile
When we think of gray walls, our first thought tends to be paint. But you can also get the look with wallpaper or tile. Interior designer Cathie Hong used the same gray slate on both the wall and floor to ensure all eyes are drawn to the soaking tub. The herringbone layout adds a bit of texture and movement to keep the dark feature from reading flat.
2. Black and White Tile
Go classic with a black and white checkerboard design in your kitchen and laundry area. The look will spark a nice contrast with gray doors and trim. And for a modern twist, you can use gray instead of white tile with black. Or, if you're into adding more color to your space, try pale blue or green for a unique touch.
3. Light Gray Concrete
Concrete floors pair quite nicely with gray walls and are a great way to add an industrial note to your space. For instance, this loft living room feels light and cheery with cool gray walls and matching concrete underfoot. Plus, you can easily punch up this neutral color palette with pops of bright yellow or turquoise as demonstrated in this setup.
4. White and Light Gray Tile
Fact: Light gray walls look superb with light gray and white flooring, especially in the bathroom. For instance, we love this vintage-inspired setup by W Design Collective complete with wainscoting, console sink, and mosaic tile flooring. Swoon!
5. Black Tile
Ever considered using black tile for your floors? If not, now is the perfect opportunity. The dark color adds just the right amount of contrast, not to mention, a note of modern sophistication when paired with gray walls, as proven by this midcentury living room design. The wood ceiling balances the cool palette perfectly.
6. Red Stained Concrete
Concrete floors don't always have to be gray. In fact, you can stain them in different colors to suit your palette. Take this living room: the gray cinderblock wall and red-stained concrete make the perfect pair. The brown leather and rattan accents complete the inviting scene.
7. White Painted Wood
For any busy household, white floors may seem like a completely bad idea. But it's hard to argue with the white painted wood flooring and gray wall combo used in this Scandi living room spotted on Alvhem. And if your existing wood flooring is in bad shape, a little paint could breathe new life into those old planks.
8. White and Greige Tile
This bathroom design by Sarah Sherman Samuel is the perfect example of how beautifully warm gray walls — or in this case greige walls, ceiling, and cabinets — look with warm-toned flooring. Here, Samuel opted for a white and greige checkerboard design that continues up the walls. The marble backsplash and countertop are the perfect finishing touches to this spa-worthy escape.
9. Burgundy and White Tile
If you want to add a pop of color to your space, without taking anything away from the moody vibe, you can't go wrong with burgundy floor tile. The team over at Heidi Caillier Design shows us how it's done in this swanky gray laundry room. The marble countertop echoes the burgundy and gray color scheme, while the gooseneck faucet and cabinet hardware add a hint of warm luster.
10. Red Brick
They say opposites attract, and this bathroom design by Cecy J Interiors is picture-perfect proof. From cool gray walls to warm terra cotta-colored flooring, and from polished brass to rough industrial brick, you can't get more opposite than that. And yet, somehow, these unlikely combinations work beautifully.
The color gray, in pretty much any shade, will pair beautifully with blue. For instance, this mudroom by Jean Stoffer Design showcases dark gray millwork and navy blue and white floor tile, resulting in an impactful space that will welcome guests in style.
12. Dark Wood
Dark walnut or espresso hardwood floors are a classic look and have become really popular in modern homes. They look especially stunning when paired with a warm gray wall color, like the one used in this striking dining room by Chango & Co. The bright red chairs are a fun and unexpected touch.
According to e-designer Jenna Shaughnessy, "I love contrast. Dark hardwood floors and lighter gray walls provide this effect. I'm not saying your walls need to [be] the lightest gray out there, but you don't want them to be as dark as your floors unless it's an accent wall or trim."
13. Green and White Terrazzo Tile
Speaking of unexpected, the team over at Arent & Pyke paired the gray walls in this room with green and white terrazzo flooring. The verdant tile brings out the green undertones of the paint, while the wood millwork and furniture add just enough warmth to the cool color palette.
14. Light Wood
Light gray walls paired with light wood flooring are an ideal combo if you want a light and airy palette. The look works especially well in a light-filled kitchen, as proven here. If budget allows, follow the lead of this setup and opt for matching cabinets and shelving to create a cohesive and minimal cook space.
15. White Marble Tile
Naturally finished wood always looks fantastic with light gray walls, as beautifully demonstrated in this cozy bathroom by Elizabeth Roberts Architecture. And if you really want to take your space to the next level, add white marble floor tile flaunting gray veining. You won't be disappointed.
Floor Colors That Go Great With Gray Walls
From hardwood flooring to tile and from green to white, we've covered some of our favorite floor colors and materials to pair with gray walls. But before you commit to one, remember that the color gray comes in many shades with different undertones, ranging from cool to warm. If your wall color is on the warmer side, consider flooring with the same undertones, like maple or oak wood. If it's a cool gray, consider gray or black flooring. Also, don't forget to try an area rug to add an unexpected pop of color, like pale pink or turquoise.
For a quick recap, here are 15 floor colors that will work well with gray walls:
- Charcoal gray
- Light gray
- Brick red
- Navy blue
- Light wood
- Dark wood