Hardwood floors have an elegant charm of their own. They add to the character of the room look inviting, warm and cozy. You can successfully use them with any theme, style, and décor of the room. You can also retain hardwood floors for generations to come if maintained in the proper manner. In fact, hardwood floors are extremely low maintenance and need only sweeping or vacuuming on a daily basis to keep them looking clean.
However, the shine of the hardwood floor tends to fade over time with use. This natural process or phenomenon of fading is known as patina. It does add character to the hardwood floor over time. But you should take care to delay this process so that it occurs slowly. This will, in turn, keep the floors looking new for decades to come.
Not only will you enjoy the timeless beauty, but your home will also likely attract more interest and fetch a higher sale price when you decide to sell eventually.
Factors that affect hardwood floor fading
Fading of hardwood floors can be attributed to two very important factors:
- Exposure to sunlight tends to make the floor look discolored from prolonged
exposure to the UV rays present in the sunlight and
- The type of wood species and finishing of the wood
- For example, species like Hickory and Oak tend to fade very slightly over time while for other species like which are less common, the intensity of fading is more.
- Also for an oil-based finish, the fading or tinting or color change is much more than those finishes which are water-based since water experiences no discoloration over time.
Ways to prevent fading
Hardwoods are absolutely natural and so is their fading over a period of time. Hence, you cannot remove this fading by the use of chemicals. You must prevent the fading from happening using techniques which are also natural, Try taking these measures:
It is necessary for homeowners to move their furniture from their current arrangement and place them in a new arrangement. This ensures that even though different parts of the floor are getting exposed to the sunlight differently, over a period of time the exposure evens out over the whole area of the floor. This will help prevent any discoloration from taking place in patches. Whatever little fading which might occur will be spread over the whole floor making it look absolutely normal and natural.
Install floor coverings:
While carpeting a hardwood floor can save it absolutely from fading, it will also hide the inherent beauty and stylish look of a hardwood floor. So instead of carpeting, you can put small rugs strategically to protect places that suffer the maximum exposure.
Cover the windows during peak sunshine hours:
- Hang drapes or curtains on the windows to prevent too much sunlight and UV rays from entering the room thereby preventing fading,
- Use colored or tinted glass also helps to control the amount of sunlight entering the room,
- Plant bushes just outside the window, if possible. This covering also helps to negate the searing effect of the sun rays, thus reducing the intensity of heat that enters a room through the windows.
Perform proper and timely maintenance:
This primarily includes refinishing the hardwood floor on a regular basis so as to prevent instances of fading from increasing in intensity. Refinishing also helps to keep the floor looking as good as new.
Changing the lighting scheme:
Since fading primarily happens from overexposure to the sun, changing the direction of sunlight can help to reduce the intensity with which it falls on the hardwood floor. You can do this by:
- Installing windows with UV shielding,
- Using permanent shades on windows,
- Installing skylights to naturally brighten the room.
Getting in touch with a professional: In instances where the fading has already set
in and is clearly visible so as to become an eyesore, the best solution is to get in touch with a floor restoration company specializing in hardwood flooring and getting them sanded and refinished.
The bottom line on helping your hardwood floors retain shine for many years to come
Hardwood floors are expensive yet people have an inclination towards them because of their longevity and resistance to stains, marks, and scratches. But you must take good care of it so that its beauty only increases with time. And prevention of fading is one crucial factor that ensures hardwood floors keep looking shiny and beautiful for generations to come.