Hardwood floors are much like our own skin: when exposed to UV light from the sun, floors can be damaged and change colour. Some hardwood can actually benefit from a little exposure to the sun’s rays, but too much and they’ll start to fade, or bleach. Depending on the wood used on your floors, you’ll need to employ some simple tricks to help avoid hardwood bleaching. Here are just some of the ways to protect your hardwood floors from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Use a UV Inhibitor Finish
There are many different kinds of finishes on the market for hardwood floors, and an increasing number of them have UV inhibitors. These special chemical compounds act like sunscreen for your hardwood, providing a layer of protection that stops the effects of UV light. When you are finishing your hardwood, (something that should be done regularly) be sure to use a finish with these compounds. It’s one of the simplest and most comprehensive ways to stop bleaching.
- Think About Your Windows
Your windows are the reason UV light is hitting your floor, so why not look at the source and work from there? You can do at least three things with your windows to help protect your floors from bleaching:
Replace them: Windows that don’t filter out UV light will not protect your floors, so you may want to start with replacing your windows with models that stop UV light. This can be quite expensive, but it’s well worth the investment since they’ll also help your home stay more energy efficient.
Cover them up: Window coverings are the simplest solution for protecting your hardwood, but this can be inconsistent. Some window coverings can be programmed to close during the heat of the day, stopping light when you’re not home to do it yourself. Either way, you should have window coverings that can block the sun out entirely.
Give the windows their own finish: If you can’t afford to replace your windows, or your windows just need some maintenance instead of complete replacement, try applying a UV resistant film. This film adds an extra invisible layer of UV protection that can help stop bleaching.
If you have high traffic areas that seem to get a lot of direct sunlight, put a rug over the floor in that spot. This will stop uneven discoloration while visually breaking up the hardwood. Area rugs can help keep your hardwood floors protected from regular wear and tear and UV bleaching, so they’re a good idea in almost every circumstance.
Hardwood floors have remained popular for a number of reasons, but a major one is their easy maintenance. Compared to carpet, hardwood can be easier to clean, but only if you do it right. To help protect against sun bleaching, be sure to use the right products when finishing, then ensure your windows are keeping UV light to a minimum.
At Ashley Fine Floors, we have a number of fine hardwoods and area rugs that will elevate your home’s look. We even have specialty woods that will deepen in colour when exposed to sunlight. Be sure to contact us today for your next hardwood flooring project.