Exposure to light is usually the biggest culprit causing discoloration in hardwood floors. This could be due to exposure to either UV rays or exposure to the light emitted by lightbulbs, especially fluorescent lightbulbs, but there are several other culprits as well.
Why Hardwood Floors Fade and Change Color…
Ultimately, color deterioration in hardwood floors is the result of overexposure from 3 things: ultra violet (UV) light, visible light and the infrared (IR) light which causes solar heat. UV light has the most impact on color change of the actual wood.
Sticker stain discoloration is the result of naturally occurring chemicals within the wood (drying wood and stickers) that occurs during the drying process. These stains cannot be sanded out and are permissible in many flooring grades. Wood or finish can change color with exposure to moisture.
Wood is a photosensitive material. Depending on which wood your floors are made of, sunlight can cause them to darken or fade. You may not notice the effects from one day to the next, but over time, direct light may even change the color of your floors. UV rays cause up to 60% of sunlight damage.
When you refinish your floors, you can change the color of your flooring. Most hardwood floors can be made darker, lighter, redder, or anywhere in between. If your flooring is solid hardwood, it can be sanded and refinished in a different stain for a different appearance.
Wood discoloration can look a bit scary, but it's non-biological and is not cause by microorganisms such as fungi or bacteria. In contrast to mold, wood discolorations or staining can be caused by sun exposure, naturally occurring enzymes, minerals, fasteners, or even generate from the wood itself.
Water spills and heat are usually the main causes of these white spots. Hot items such as pizza boxes, irons, or hot pans placed on the wood floors can cause white patches. Many wood floors are coated with polyurethane to make them resistant to staining and damage.
The cons of maple flooring
Discolours over time – As with any solid wood, with constant exposure to light it will yellow over time. If there is one specific part of the floor that will be exposed to direct sunlight from a window it will discolour faster than other parts of the floor leading to a two tone effect.
Bob Vila recommends applying a small amount of a white nongel toothpaste directly to the discolored area. Rub the toothpaste in the direction of the wood grain using very fine steel wool or a soft cloth. Wipe toothpaste away with a slightly damp cloth, then dry the area with a dry cloth.
Hardwood floors turn gray after their protective polyurethane coating wears off and they're exposed to moisture. To get the gray out of hardwood floors, you'll need to sand and reseal them. If you want to completely change the color of your hardwood floor, this is a great time to do so.
To prevent discoloration, check and move rugs more often with flooring that receives direct sunlight. The cross-grain fading line shows the most. So make sure to move the rugs with the grain to lessen the fading line that develops across the grain.
Black spots on hardwood floors are typically due to moisture that seeps into the wood. This can happen if you spill a drink on the floor and don't clean it up right away. It can also happen due to messes from kids or pets, including urine and vomit, which can be worse if you don't notice the accident immediately.
Mold comes in a rainbow of colors, including black, gray, brown, blue, green, and pink, and ugly stains can be left behind even after you've carefully removed the mold from some materials. We'll tell you how to remove mold stains from many surfaces, but you should know that mold stains cannot always be removed.
The answer is usually YES! Many homeowners don't realize that you can change the color of hardwood flooring when you refinish your floors. Yes, it's true…you can go light or dark or red tones or anywhere in between. Most are pleasantly surprised it doesn't matter if you are going light to dark or vice versa.
So, if you've got wooden floors and want to change their appearance and you want to know how to lighten wood stain, fear not. Dark, stained wooden floors can be lightened to give your home an exciting new look rather than having a darker color within your home.
Please note that refinishing hardwood floors gray is challenging and should be handled by an expert, especially one with experience in gray and white washed floors. First, the sanding must be immaculate. Stain should be consistent and applied in strips to avoid any cross-grain color-variant lines.
Apply a French polish to the area using only denatured alcohol and the rubber, to force the finish back onto the wood. Dip the rubber into the alcohol, then wipe it onto the surface of the wall in a figure-eight pattern.
When the fading is unsightly, the remedy is refinishing. This involves sanding the piece to bring the color to the surface, then staining or oiling the piece if the color needs to be modified. This drastic treatment should be delayed until a less time-consuming remedy has been tried.
Sunlight alone will bleach some wood but it usually takes a long amount of time and is not ideal for furniture. Sitting a piece of furniture out in the elements will expose it to things like moisture and cause damage with time.
However, water-based polyurethane is replacing it as one of the best and most popular floor varnishes. The main reason is water-based polyurethane does a better job of preventing discolouration in hardwoods. In the case of white oak floors, it helps to keep the wood from yellowing or fading out.
Acrylic based finishes, both water and solvent based are the best choice for non-yellowing finishes. Waxes also will not yellow as well as some catalyzed lacquers and varnishes.