Many people love the beauty and natural warmth wood flooring adds to any room. Wood, like all natural materials, is subject to change over time, particularly when exposed to light. This change is called photosensitivity and is perfectly normal. As wood ages, many people embrace the changes since it adds charm and uniqueness. There are a few things you can do to slow the process down and maybe even prevent the transformation. Today, we at Mike’s Custom Flooring would like to further discuss photosensitivity.
What is Photosensitive Hardwood?
When exposed to light, photosensitivity is the degree to which wood changes color. The more rapidly it will change color when exposed to light, the more photosensitive a wood is. The process by which light energy causes chemical changes to occur is described with the term photochemical reaction. How sunlight causes the skin to tan, is the most familiar example. Though few understand it, the photochemical reaction in wood is much slower. It is known that certain extractives in the wood are responsible for its photosensitivity. The wood becoming darker in color is the most common change. Depending on the type of wood, the finish, and the amount of sunlight exposure, dictates the change.
Does Wood Change Color Over Time & in Sunlight?
Different types of wood will change color at various rates. Light-colored woods like birch and maple will change color more quickly than dark woods like walnut and mahogany, for instance. This is because there is a higher degree of transparency in lighter woods, which is when the wood grain is more visible and reacts more to sunlight and other environmental elements. Dark woods have a lower degree of transparency and are less affected by sunlight, on the other hand, and this is why they often have a richer color that lasts longer. Below is a quick guide to the expected color changes.
– Beech: With the orange colors fading slightly and ambering, color changes to a medium degree over time.
– European Maple: Over time, the changes are a more golden color.
– Cherry: Darkening to a dark reddish color, the changes very fast and dramatically.
– Ash: Over time the transformation from a lighter tone to a straw or tan color.
– Maple: This evolves from a creamy white to a golden color.
– Jarrah: Color shifts to a much darker tone over time.
– White Oak: Color transitions to darker or ambering tone.
– Walnut: This becomes a lighter golden-brown tone over time, and the only one that gets lighter over time.
– Jatoba: To almost vibrant red tone, this changes over time to a darker.
Particularly exotic wood species such as Jatoba, but also Tigerwood and Cumaru, some wood species change their color considerably. They may appear as a completely different color in time. Get professional advice on how your wood floor will change its color over the years before choosing your wood floor. This way, you know what to expect and avoid any disappointing changes.
You can minimize the discoloration by utilizing blinds, curtains, and other window tinting to avoid the direct sunlight. Be sure to rearrange furniture to avoid UV exposure and foot traffic patterns and take advantage of runners and area rugs.
Hardwood Floor Installation, Repairs, Refinishing & More in Charles Town & Eastern Panhandle of Berkeley & Jefferson Counties in WV | Winchester & Frederick County | Round Hill & Loudoun County | Berryville & Clarke County | Herndon & Fairfax County VA
When it comes to wood floor services, such as installation, maintenance, and repair services, call in the professionals of Mike’s Custom Flooring and let us assist you.