Don’t think that because your home receives a lot of direct sunlight that you can’t have a beautiful hardwood floor. It just requires a little extra maintenance on your part. The floor covering experts at Floor Coverings International of Austin are here to discuss why fading occurs and how to prevent it.

Fading, bleaching and darkening in hardwood floors occurs as a result of overexposure to 3 things: ultraviolet (UV) light, visible light and infrared (IR) light which causes solar heat.

UV light has the most impact on color change of the actual wood. Wood is photosensitive – meaning it reacts to sunlight. You only have to put a piece of unfinished wood out in direct sunlight for a short time to see how the sun’s ultraviolet rays can adversely affect it.

A floor’s finish can also change color due to exposure to sunlight. Over a long period of time, certain types of hardwood floors with oil-based polyurethane finish can turn a orangish/yellow color.

While there is not one “magic solution” to reversing the effect of sunlight on your hardwood floor, there are several steps you can take to minimize the amount of sunlight on your flooring and to slow down the adverse effect it can have on its finish:

  1. Rearrange your rugs and furniture: From time to time, rearrange your furniture and area rugs to allow sunlight to hit the previously covered areas of your floors. This will equalize the UV and IR light exposure and even out the fading process so a consistent color will be achieved within the entire room.
  2. Use window coverings: If you can keep sunlight off your floor it won’t fade as much. Drapes, curtains, shutters or blinds are the best defense against fading floors. If you keep them closed on the side of your house when the sun is hitting the windows it will drastically cut down on any UV and infrared light reaching the floor. If you have blinds and you don’t want to shut them completely, position the slats so that they angle upwards allowing the sunlight to be directed towards the walls and ceiling instead of towards the floor.
  3. Apply window films: These thin, multilayered films are designed to drastically cut down the UV and IR light while allowing different percentages of visible light to come in.
  4. Install Low-E glass windows: These windows have coatings that do a terrific job limiting the amount of UV and IR light that passes into your home. Be aware, this is not a cheap solution, but if you are planning to replace your windows anyway, make sure your new windows have this feature.

Remember, Floor Coverings International of Austin is just a phone call away when you are ready to beautify your home with hardwood flooring. Call us today at (512) 335-8310 to schedule a free in-home consultation!

Photo Credit: Yorkman