“I’ve seen some instances of faded wood floors. Is there anything that can be done to prevent this from happening?”
Hardwood floors experience a natural process called patina and this phenomenon explains the subtle color changes over time that can be described as “faded wood floors.” Like all natural things, wood floor planks change and alter over time and this will add character to your home. In addition, different wood species will change color at different rates over time. For instance, more common species such as Oak or Hickory will have minimal color change, while less common species will have more change over time. While these changes are natural, there are certain steps you can take to reduce their effects.
Sun exposure and wood floor finish are the two factors that influence color change in hardwood floors.
Think of your wood floors to be similar to your skin. If you’re out in the sun for too long, you’ll start to get a tan, or in some cases burn. The same is true for your floors. Prolonged exposure to the sun will also cause your hardwood floors to gradually change color. You can minimize the fading or even prevent it from happening by occasionally moving rugs and furniture around to protect the floors from exposure.
There are two types of finishes that are used on hardwood floors: oil-based and water-based. Finished composed of oil will gradually amber over time and give a slight yellow tent to the flooring. In comparison, water-based finishes reduce color change over time because they remain clear. During the planning stages you’ll want to be aware of these results over time and be sure that your flooring contractor uses a water-based wood finish.
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