FAQ

What To Do If Your Hardwood Finish Fades

We all love the warmth and functionality that hardwood floors bring to a home. Overtime, those hardwood floors can fade no matter what type of flooring you chose. Any natural material will undergo changes with time. Even the best of efforts to maintain the original shine and color can be lost to unavoidable factors. A dull hardwood floor can also be brought about by improper cleaning. Let’s talk about the main reasons your hardwood floors can fade.

*Exposure to Sunlight: Unless you want to live in a dungeon, the sunlight is unavoidable. But as sunlight pours into your home with hardwood floors, fading, bleaching and darkening can occur. This leaves you with a faded hardwood finish.

*Heat: The hot months of the year are not kind to hardwood floors. Due to the affects of heat especially in the warmer months, floorboards can expand and create pressure between the floorboards. That same expansion causes those floorboards to warp or crack.

*Moisture: When hardwood floors are exposed to moisture, the water that gets into the floor board affects the look of those floors. Out of the three factors, this one is not as big as a worry due to the knowledge out there about how to keep the majority of moisture away from hardwood floors.

Now that you have a good understanding of the factors that cause hardwood floors to fade, let’s talk about how to refinish your hardwood floors. Although the process is detailed, it can be a fun project and leave you proud of the end result.

1) Sand off the old finish. This is important in creating a smooth surface for the new finish you will apply. You can rent a walk behind sander for the majority of the flooring. An additional hand held sander which you can also rent gets the smaller hard to reach areas especially corners.

2) Vacuum up the leftover residue from sanding and wipe down with a cloth as well. This ensures none of the dust from sanding goes into the next stage of refinishing your floors.

3) Pick out the shade of finish you want to refinish your hardwood floors. Make sure you test it out before doing the whole floor so you know you will be happy with it.

4) Start applying the first coat of finish making sure to follow the directions on drying times between coats.

5) Apply the second and final coat and wait at least 24 hours before placing any furniture back into the room. Hardwood floor fading is inevitable over time. While you can’t prevent it, there are steps to take in getting back the original shade of flooring you had when the floors were installed. With anything nice in a home, there is work behind keeping it looking its best. Hopefully this helps you understand why hardwood floor fading occurs and steps to get it back to its nicest condition!

Article contributed by Kimberly Fairfax McPheron, Local Columbus Blogger