When a significant change in the colour of wood becomes apparent in your flooring, usually from the lighter, original shade to an altered, darkened variation, Ultra Violet exposure may have occurred. A yellowing of pale coloured timbers may also signify that a floor has been exposed to excessive amount of UV light. This is more noticeable in light sensitive species with Cherry and Kempas being a few examples.
The problem with UV ageing is not so much the change in colour of the timber affected by UV light, but rather the noticeable difference in colour when areas of floor that were previously covered with items such as rugs or plant pots are moved. This then exposes the changes in colour on areas of flooring unaffected by UV light.
When a certain area of flooring is exposed to UV on a consistent basis, it begins to darken. This is a frequent occurrence and change to the colour pigment in wood is normal when caused by exposure to Ultra Violet light.
UV ageing is an irreversible process. Some floor accessories such as large rugs may slow down the darkening of wood but will not stop it from happening altogether. If items such as rugs and mats have been placed on the floor which may have caused different coloured patches, removing them from time to time or rotating the parts covered within a room will ensure that all areas can be equally aged by light and individual spots will not suffer from a difference in colour to the rest of the flooring.
Another way to defend flooring from UV exposure is by providing protection against sunlight entering through windows. Leaving windows unprotected to direct sunlight will allow increased quantities of light to enter a room, thus exposing the floor to more UV rays caused ageing.
Using curtains or blinds on windows where sunlight hits a room more frequently will provide protection to some extent and can be seen as a cheaper alternative to defending floors against UV exposure than some other methods.
Darkening of wood flooring is inevitable and is a process that happens slowly over time. If there is a specific shade of wood that has been selected, installing a colour that may be slightly lighter to the preferred choice may be an option, as it will eventually darken to a colour close your desired shade of flooring. It is advisable to speak to a well-informed expert in regards to this, as they will offer the most suitable solutions for this process.