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How to protect your floors against UV ray damage?

How to protect your floors against UV ray damage?

Stéphanie Landry Poirier

Reading time: Written by Stéphanie Landry Poirier on August 25, 2020

We've all been there, when you’ve decided to remove a carpet or piece of furniture. And you’re always surprised to see just how discoloured the wood floor is underneath. Now, it no longer matches the rest of your floor. We’re hoping we can help with where to go from here.

Typically, we think the cause is the varnish changing colour due to the sun exposure. However, if you’ve used a waterborne solution, then surprisingly, it is not the varnish’s fault!

The wood is made of a live material named lignin. This substance has the property to alter the wood colour when exposed to UV rays.

It is because of this component that dark woods are becoming lighter and lighter woods become darker. The effect is even more intense with tropical woods.

So, a waterborne finish it is not the cause of the discolouration, but the natural wood composition. Even though it is important to choose a high end finish for the other properties (hardness, application easiness, non-toxicity, dry time, etc.) unfortunately, the discolouration will be unavoidable. The reason a waterborne finish is specifically, mentioned is because other finishes such as oil or solvent based or crystal tend to yellow regardless of environment.

Now that you have a mismatched floor, what are your options?

The simplest, most common solution is to leave everything as is, without furniture or carpet, and to wait. Overtime, the sun will even out the colour on your floor. Once the discolouration has evened out across your floor, you may like your new floor colour. If not, options would include to sand the floor down to bare wood and re-finish, with or without using a stain.

Another option to solving the discolouration, is to hang curtains or heavy shades on your windows, and close them during bright sun hours.

In conclusion, it’s best to start protecting your floor from UV rays. And, when you’re ready, it will be time to think about a proper restoration.

We hope this explanation has aided in fixing your discoloured floors and preventing you from having them in the future.