Summer is nearly upon us which means longer days, warmer temperatures, and more sunlight. All of these sound like a welcome relief after a long winter and rainy spring, but longer days, warmer temperatures, and more sunlight also can all be potentially harmful to your hardwood floors if you take some simple precautions. While we may not often think about sunlight and UV rays affecting our hardwood floors, if you consider the possibility, it makes perfect sense. We know of other materials whose appearance can be substantially altered due to extended exposure to sunlight, so why would we think our floors would be any different?
Even in nature, wood reacts to the presence of sunlight and depending on the type of wood in question, the change in color can be quite dramatic. Tropical woods, such as cherry, tend to get darker after extended periods of sunlight exposure. Alternatively, domestic woods such as maple and oak tend to turn to more of a bleached out look after substantial sunlight. Furthermore, sunlight can cause the finish of your hardwood floor to turn yellowish over time, creating an extremely unattractive appearance.
So, what steps can you take to help mitigate the effects of sunlight on your hardwood floors? Let’s take a look at some simple steps to reduce the amount of sunlight hitting your hardwood floors and also how to reduce the visual impact of the sunlight.
- Awnings – By placing an awning over the windows that allow the most direct sunlight to reach your hardwood floor can help reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the floor. These awnings can be retractable or permanent. Awnings can be visually appealing while also keeping your home cooler in the summer, saving you money on your energy bills.
- Window Coverings – Another good way to stop sunlight from getting in your home and onto your hardwood floor is through window coverings. Whether it’s shutters, blinds, drapes, or curtains, window coverings can allow light into your home without allowing direct sunlight onto the floor. Another benefit is that these can be adjusted depending on weather and the time of day.
- Low-E Glass Windows – While this option is more expensive than the others, low-e glass windows have coatings that limit the amount of UV light that comes through the window. While some amount of UV rays will still make it through, the amount will be less likely to cause damage to your hardwood floors. If you are actively considering new windows, these may be the way to go if you have hardwood floors.
- Rotate Rugs and Furniture – By rotating the rugs and furniture on the hardwood floor, you are allowing for more even color change resulting from the sunlight, so the change that does occur will not be as noticeable. Moving the furniture can change which areas of the floor have a shadow cast over them most frequently throughout the day.This also helps reduce damage to the floor that can occur when furniture remains in one place for too long.
- UV Inhibiting Finishes – There are several different types of finishes out there for hardwood flooring. While each of these will have varying effectiveness in reducing the impact of UV rays on your flooring, many are a viable option. If you still have new hardwood floors which have not yet suffered much damage, these finishes may be a good idea to prevent further UV damage.
Hardwood floors can be a big investment for any homeowner, so it is important to take any step necessary to make that investment last as long as possible. The preventative measures outlined above will help your hardwood floors stay looking brand new for years to come. If you are in the market for new hardwood flooring, all five Dan’s Wholesale Carpet & Flooring locations carry a massive inventory of hardwood flooring options at the best prices around. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation and measurement so you can be sure you are getting the right product at the right price. And remember, nobody beats wholesale!