Do hardwood floors change colour over time? Expert Advice

The simple answer to this is yes, wood flooring will change colour over the years. Wood is a natural product and changes in colour will occur due to the wood’s reaction to the environment.
Posted on20-02-2019 by 44
Do hardwood floors change colour over time? Expert Advice

The simple answer to this is yes, wood flooring will change colour over the years. Wood is a natural product and changes in colour will occur due to the wood’s reaction to the environment. A dark wood such as walnut will lighten and a lighter wood species like oak, will darken.

These walnut parquet blocks are a beautiful rich brown shade, but they will lighten over time

These walnut parquet blocks are a beautiful rich brown shade, but they will lighten over time

Why does wood change colour over time?

Wood changes colour when the natural tannin in the wood oxidises with the air. UV light exposure is also a major factor.

All wood will change colour over time, regardless of what’s it’s been made into. As wood flooring covers such a large expanse, it’s usually more noticeable than smaller items of furniture. Rugs can also pose an issue, as the effects of the sun will only occur on the exposed wood.

Can I prevent a wooden floor from changing colour?

You can take preventative measures, such as keeping blinds and curtains drawn during sunny periods. It’s also a good idea to move rugs around every now and then, so all areas of the floor are exposed to sunlight at some point.

Another way round this is to stain the floor. This can be done on site after installation or you can buy a pre-coloured floor with an oil or lacquer finish. Unlike painting wood, a stain will allow the grain and natural characteristics of the wood to show through. There are so many choices when it comes to colour; from dark hues, to natural mid tones and lighter white and greys. This treatment is mainly reserved for oak floors as the wood absorbs the colour well.

Buying a floor with a dark stain is one way to ensure a long-lasting colour

Buying a floor with a dark stain is one way to ensure a long-lasting colour

The dark stain will provides a consistent colour

The dark stain will provides a consistent colour

Does a UV finish protect a wooden floor from changing colour?

The term UV when applied to the finishing process is actually rather misleading. A natural assumption is that the UV treatment will prevent the wood from changing colour. However, it’s actually a term used to describe the manufacturing process. A pre-lacquered floor will need several coats to create a hardwearing, protective layer. This obviously takes time as the lacquer needs to dry between coats. To speed up the process, factories use UV lamps, hence the term. It doesn’t have any benefit to the customer in terms of how the wood will behave once installed.

How long does it take for wood flooring to change colour?

This will depend on several factors, including how much exposure there is to sunlight and the wood species. Generally speaking, you can expect to see changes after 6 months.

How do I fix a discoloured hardwood floor?

It is possible to reverse the process and get the wood back to its original colour by sanding the wood, as this removes the top layer to create a new surface. In the case of oak, a white pigmented oil can be used (Raw oil by Osmo), which will lighten the wood, preserving its natural appearance.

Protective finishing coat advised for kitchen flooring

Another option is to use Lye, which will chemically burn the surface of the wood. There are various colour options, from transparent which enhances the natural colouring of the wood, to pigmented grey and white versions. It’s possible to play around with the colours to create the desired finish.

We are experts at sanding and renovating wooden floors

We are experts at sanding and renovating wooden floors

A wooden floor will last a lifetime, so it pays to invest and buy a good quality floor from a reputable manufacturer

A wooden floor will last a lifetime, so it pays to invest and buy a good quality floor from a reputable manufacturer

If you are aware of how a wooden floor will change colour, it will help you to make an informed choice at the purchasing stage. A reputable manufacturer and retailer will be able to advise on this, so you know exactly what to expect. Wood is a natural product, that will change over time, so it’s always best to consider all the options before purchasing your new wooden floor.

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