How to Stop Your Floors From Being Bleached by the Sun

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Rugs

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.



5 Design Tips For Small Spaces

As the world’s population dramatically increases, more and more people are living in smaller spaces. However, don’t think that living in a small space means you have to sacrifice on design. Here are five design tips for small spaces.

  • De-clutter

One of the best ways to make a small space feel roomier and larger than it really is learning how to live with less stuff. Clutter is the #1 enemy of small spaces, as it makes rooms feel small, cramped, and suffocating.

If you’re someone who tends to collect “stuff,” make a habit of going through your clothes and houseware on a regular basis. While many stores promote discreet and compatible storage, keeping your small space looking fresh and roomy actually depends on keeping your stuff to a minimum. If you have to go out and buy a bunch of extra storage containers, it’s probably quite simple: you have too much stuff!

  • Space-Saving Storage

That said, we all have things we need to store, from winter gear to extra linen to toiletries. For these items, it’s best to come up with unique, space-saving storage units to keep your clutter down to a minimum. The open cupboard has quickly become a popular and unique way to store kitchenware by integrating the “stuff” into the design of the small space. Floor-to-ceiling shelves are a great way to store and display items that might otherwise just take up space. Display your storable stuff in unique and aesthetically-pleasing ways and you’ll be able to save on space and give your place a funky yet personalized look.

  • Keep It Clean and Organized

While this tip is not a design tip per se, it’s important for people who live in small spaces to be extra diligent about keeping their home tidy and organized. If you’re going to display your kitchenware in an open cupboard, make sure that cupboard doesn’t resemble a nuclear bomb testing site. Take some time to organize your stuff in an efficient, convenient and eye-catching manner.

  • Light, White, and Bright

When it comes to decorating a small space, it’s all about creating the illusion of space. To do so, choose light colors (including white) for your walls, furniture, or bedding, as darker colors tend to make a room feel smaller. You don’t have to model your place after the Arctic tundra, or anything, but just make sure that the majority of colors you choose are light. Then, throw in some bold splashes of color and pattern: a Mexican floor rug or a funky shag pillow. This will help to give your space some pizazz without sacrificing any of its roominess.

  • Be Smart About the Space You Use

If you have minimal space to work with, make sure that you aren’t letting any space go unused. If you have an awkwardly-sized corner space, why not turn it into a cute office nook or a vanity? You can build a desk or flat surface right into the wall, which takes up less space, and you can add shelves above it to store books or other items.

Don’t let a small space discourage your inner interior decorator. When you’re thinking about designing small spaces, the main thing is to get creative! Use your imagination and try out different colours, patterns and even spatial arrangements to find out the best ways you can approach designing that small – but mighty – space you call home.