March 31, 2023

Repairing Sun-Faded Hardwood Floors

grey wood texture faded in the sun

Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home, and natural light is best at bringing out their features and colors. Sunny, well-lit rooms with hardwood floorboards have a warmer and more comfortable feel. But too much exposure to the sunlight can cause discoloration, fade their colors, and even warp the boards. While some areas of your hardwood floors face inevitable sun damage, there are still ways you can repair them.

What Causes Sun-Fading?

Hardwood planks are photosensitive materials that can fade, bleach, or darken from overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Many wood flooring experts determine that at least 40% of all interior fading happens when your wooden floorboards experience long durations under the sun’s rays.

In addition, hardwood planks are not the only material affected by sun fading. Wood finishes and sealants can also experience discoloration due to UV exposure. Think of your hardwood floors and finish as human skin and sunblock. All hardwood species react differently to UV ray exposure, meaning some fade faster than others. Finishes, like sunblocks, protect the wood by lessening the damage the hardwood takes. But the finish wears off or breaks down over time, leaving the floors vulnerable.

How to Repair Sun-Faded Hardwood Flooring?

When your hardwood floors experience sun fading, you don’t need to replace them. Repairing sun-faded floorboards isn’t as expensive as other hardwood flooring-related damage. Despite the costs, fixing UV-exposed hardwood planks is time-consuming and labor-intensive. Here is how you can do it. 

1. Check and Survey the Floors

Sun-faded hardwood floors happen after prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays. To check whether your floorings experience sun fading, look at your rooms with regular contact with sunlight. The damage is most notable in spaces with rugs because the floor sections between the areas covered are always lighter.

You can also check the hardwood floors near windows, doors, and under sky roofs. Although only parts of your hardwood floorings show sun damage, it’s best to redo all of them to ensure you create a cohesive look.

But before you start preparing your floors to repair the sun-faded areas, survey the rest of the floorboard for any cracks, scratches, or dents. When you see either of these imperfections, deal with them first before dealing with the sun-faded parts.

2. Clean, Clear, and Prepare Your Floors

The best way to repair sun-faded hardwood floors is to turn the floorboards into a clean slate. Remove all furniture from the room and deep clean your floorboards. Doing this will ensure you can cover and fix all the problematic areas and create a uniform look when finishing the flooring.

Deep cleaning takes dirt and debris from the gaps in your hardwood flooring. In addition, it makes sealing scratches and sanding easier. While waiting for your floors to dry after cleaning, prepare the following materials and tools:

  • Buffer
  • Safety gear (goggles, face mask, gloves)
  • Sandpaper and sanding blocks
  • Wood fillers
  • Wood Stain
  • UV-resistant seals
  • Paint brushes and rags

Before you sand your floors, fill and seal any wear and tear on the planks. After that, reclean the hardwood flooring so no dirt or grime joins the buffer, which can block your sander and create unleveled flooring. 

3. Sand Down Your Hardwood Floors

Contrary to popular belief, the sun’s UV rays aren’t strong enough to penetrate deep into the hardwood. The damage it causes focuses on the surface, especially if your floors have an industrial-grade finish. The process of repairing sun-faded hardwood floorings resembles refinishing wooden floorboards.

Like refinishing, sanding down your floors is essential to remove the sun-faded surface and expose the next layer. It provides you with a clean and smooth slate to stain and seal your hardwood flooring. In addition, sanding levels out the new fillers and repairs.

When planning to sand the hardwood floors alone, check with your trusted wood flooring professional to find which sander and sandpaper are best to use. Depending on the hardness of your planks, it may need stronger drum sanders and sandpapers to finish the job.

4. Stain and Seal Your Hardwood Flooring

There are numerous stains and sealants you can use for your hardwood floors. But it’s best to choose one that blends well with your hardwood. In addition, you need to consider the granular structure of your hardwood flooring. Choosing the best one will help enhance the natural patterns of the wood.

With finishes or sealants, you need to choose one that can enhance the durable qualities of your hardwood floors. It also needs to work as an additional protective layer with high resistance to UV rays. Polyurethane finishes are the most popular option, but you can also consider oil-based and lacquer sealants. 

Fixing Sun-Fade Hardwood Floors in Austin, TX

Hardwood floors can add warmth and elegance to any home, but exposure to sunlight can cause them to fade and lose their luster over time. Sun-faded hardwood floors can be unsightly, but the good news is that homeowners can restore them to their original beauty with the proper techniques and tools. Knowing how to repair your hardwood flooring can help you save money while restoring them to their usual appearance.

Contact Kelly Hardwood Floors today for more information!