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Wood flooring significantly differs from other types of flooring because of its natural gloss and the wide choice of colours. Woods look warm, respectable and add cosines to homes. Therefore, many people prefer wood over other types of flooring despite its high price. However, floors tend to lose their colour over time. Wood flooring is made of natural materials. Hence, it’s ageing with time. Experts call this process “maturing”.

What Is Photosensitivity of Wood Flooring?

Photosensitivity is the essential characteristic of hardwoods, a process of losing colour when time passes. This is the way how natural materials react to the amount of sun they are being exposed. Some people consider that photosensitivity is one of the main disadvantages of wood floors. UV light makes the most significant impact on the colour of hardwoods. However, artificial light can also make an impact on their colour. As a rule, floor finish protects wood flooring from losing colour, but if floors are too much exposed to the sun, the difference in colour can be significant.

wood flooring

Why Wood Floors Change Their Colours Over Time?

Floors can become darker or lighter with time depending on the type of light they’re exposed. For example, the woods become darker when being continuously exposed to artificial light. Similarly, they can become lighter when being exposed to natural light. At the same time, the photosensitivity of different woods varies greatly:

  • Red and white oak floors are less exposed to the changes in colour in comparison to exotic woods. Such as Brazilian Cherry, Jatoba or Indian Turning Squares.
  • Exotic woods acquire rich colours that are a sign of maturation. Dark brown walnut floors can lighten over time to a golden brown colour.
  • Tulipwood or Poplar is also prone to changes in colour more than other types of hardwoods. It changes its colour from purple to light brown over time.

But one of the most sensitive hardwoods is Cherry wood: the colour of Cherrywood changes from a pink to a red-brown tone. The irony is that the most beautiful woods tend to change their colour: be ready to have red-brown floors instead of pink if you decided to choose Cherry wood for your home.

How to Solve This Problem?

You can avoid this problem if you follow these instructions:

  • Usually, hardwood samples have special labels that identify the level of their photosensitivity. There are three labels: low, medium and high. When choosing the type of hardwood, pay attention to these labels. If you’re not satisfied with the level of photosensitivity, you can select other types of woods.
  • When choosing hardwood flooring, consult design experts and ask them if the hardwood you’ve selected will change its colour considerably in the future.
  • You can make your choice depending on the amount of light in a room. If there is a lot of suns there, you should either buy less photosensitive wood or purchase special protection for your windows to minimise the exposure to the sun. If the room is located in the shadow side of your home and isn’t exposed to the sun to a great extent, you can choose one of the exotic hardwoods not being afraid that it will lose its colour.
  • Rugs and furniture also can make an impact on the colour of wood flooring. Rugs are good in high traffic areas if you have laminate flooring, but this is not the case with woods.

    Problem or Not a Problem?

    Not all people consider that photosensitivity is a problem. Some of them find this feature of hardwoods an interesting characteristic. However, if you don’t think so, you need to choose from woods having less photosensitivity level or consult experts when making your choice of wood flooring.

    Tips for Choosing Wood Floors

    If you’re concerned about photosensitivity of your floors, you may take advantage of the following tips:

    • Look at species of woods and ask experts how your floors will look like in several years before you make your choice;
    • Mind the difference in the amount of light in each room: you can use highly-sensitive hardwoods for those rooms where the amount of light is insignificant and choose hardwoods of low photosensitivity in the rooms that are essentially exposed to the sun;
    • Remove rugs from your home if you decided to purchase wood flooring;
    • Rearrange furniture from time to time, so the floors are exposed to the sun to the same extent;
    • Use blinds on your windows to minimise the effect of the sun.

    So, now you know more about photosensitivity. If you’ve already chosen wood flooring and it shows the signs of ageing, it’s not a big problem. Hardwoods are very durable, and small changes in colour can’t spoil its natural appeal. Using hardwoods to decorate your home will make it more stylish and respectable. Are you looking for professional floor installers? You are in the right place!

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