You’ve purchased new hardwood floors and the salesmen told you that your beautiful hardwood floor’s colors would most likely fade over time. Or they didn’t tell you this. Either way, it’s important to understand that with any hardwood floors, there will be color fading experienced.
Remember: Hardwood Floors are NATURAL
Hardwood floors at their very core are NATURAL. This is an important feature to emphasize. Anything that is natural will undergo changes as it ages over time. For hardwood floors, the changes occur in the color of the wood. Some species of woods will fade lighter and some will fade darker. This process is known as “patina”.
Some people have absolutely no problems with their hardwood floors fading over time. Sometimes the changes are so subtle only you would notice. And then other people prefer to have their floors stay their original color from the time they were first purchased. In this case of the latter – what can you do to prevent this natural fade from occurring, if possible?
Preventing Hardwood Floors from Fading Over Time
First you must understand the 2 factors that cause hardwood floors to change color at all:
1. Exposure to sunlight.
2. Applied finishes and/or stains.
Minimizing exposure to sunlight.
The key here is to reduce your hardwood floor’s exposure to sunlight. The best way to accomplish this is by covering up your windows, as windows are the main source of sunlight to your floors. Blinds, drapes, or shutters all work very well. More costly options include upgrading your windows to low emissivity glass or window film, but work very well at keeping UV rays and IR light at bay.
Outside of windows, you may also utilize furniture and rugs to your advantage. By constantly moving rugs and furniture around, you spread he sunlight across all areas of the wood, which will slow down the fading process greatly. Also, it can be very fun to move your interior around every so often – it’s a nice change of pace.
Choosing the right finish.
Lastly, let’s talk about finishes. Oil-based finishes bring out very rich colors in your floors, but will yellow over time for a slightly amber appearance. Some people may be very pleased with this. However, if you’re absolutely concerned about maintaining your hardwood floor’s original color, then we recommend applying a water-based finish, which essentially remains clear the entire time, minimizing any long term fading that may occur.
But My Hardwood Floors are Already Faded?
If your hardwood floors have already reached the stage where the faded color has made it’s presence known and you absolutely cannot stand the sight of it, then the only solution is to sand them down and re-finish them. However, unless you know what you’re doing we strongly recommend a professional to handle this task.