Hardwood Flooring and Photosensitivity

Hardwood flooring is an all time favorite for a lot of home owners, simply because it exudes a lot of
warmth and adds a subtle charm to the interiors. Despite their enchanting powers of design, simplicity
and style, they have quickly become an all time favorite for a lot of home owners. However, did you
know that hardwood flooring changes color over a period of time?
Hardwood flooring changes colors over a period of time, due to a procedure called photosensitivity.
Simply put different types of hardwood floors, when exposed to natural or artificial sunlight will change
color over a period of time. Walnut flooring, ranges from shades of pale brown to a dark chocolate
brown color, when it is freshly cut and installed. However, over a period of time, as the wood is exposed
to direct sunlight, the color of the wooden flooring will change to a golden brown eventually.
What can a homeowner do in case of photosensitivity?
As a homeowner, you too would be worried about the shading of your wooden flooring. Since
photosensitivity is a natural procedure, it is but natural that the color will tend to change over a period
of time. Ideally, you have two options in this scenario:
  • You can try and reduce the damage caused by photosensitivity
  • The alternative is to anticipate the color change and adapt the interiors according to the changed color schemes
While the first option seems rather fitting and appropriate, it is advisable to avoid any kind of untoward
issues, which can cause problems at a later stage. During the initial stage, when you are selecting the
wooden flooring, it is best to speak to an expert, in order to gauge the final color of the flooring. This
way, you can choose a flooring type which is not prone to photosensitivity.
On the contrary, you can also do the following post installation:
  • Think about the amount of sunlight which will fall on your wooden flooring. Depending on the
area of installation, one can preempt the amount of natural light the flooring will be exposed to,
so that a flooring type can be chosen accordingly.
  • Slow down the effects of photosensitivity by putting up curtains, using rugs to cover the floors
and limit the amount of sunlight which falls on the floor.
  • Install UV window films on all the windows, so that the UV rays don’t harm the floor’s colors.
  • Refinish the floors after a period of time, so that the inner layers are exposed and the worn out layer is removed.
Photosensitivity is a natural procedure and occurs in almost all types of wooden flooring. However,
some types of wood like tulipwood and cherry while solid oak flooring and engineered oak flooring will
tend to keep their original shades of brown, even after being exposed to sunlight. This does not mean
that the colors of oak flooring will not change; the magnitude of the color will become lighter after a
while, and the above precautions will need to be taken to ensure maximum protection of the flooring.

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