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Exotic Hardwood Flooring Color Changes: Plan on it

Hi good people – Rob here!

A question that has been presented to me recently is the issue of photosensitivity in exotic hardwood flooring like Brazilian cherry (aka Jatoba). This means that many choices of exotic hardwood flooring, and even in some species of domestic hardwoods, will change color when exposed to light over a long period of time. This of course has important implications for those who are designing the look of an interior around a single color.

Plan For Color Changes

Hardwood Flooring Close-UpWhen planning an interior design which incorporates photosensitive exotic hardwood, it’s best to think in terms of a tonal range, rather than a single, static color. Part of what this means is finding out what that tonal range of your chosen exotic hardwood flooring is. Ask your seller about it. Generally speaking, exotic hardwood tends to darken over time. And Brazilian cherry, for instance, tends to become less an earthy brown and more a deep burgundy as it ages.

Another part of considering a tonal range rather than a single static color is making sure that your exotic hardwood flooring ages evenly once it’s installed. This has a lot to do its exposure to direct sunlight. Paying attention to where the light hits it the most is a great idea to make sure your floors age evenly. Ask yourself:

  • where my flooring is likely to get the most direct exposure to sunlight?
  • where is it likely gets the least exposure?
  • where should I consider throw rugs to cover certain areas, and where they should be removed or regularly rotated?

The simple solutions are usually the most effective in a lot of cases, and it’s certainly true here.

Hardwood Floors to Grow With You

Color changes in many species of exotic hardwood flooring are a reality, but not necessarily a limitation. An interior design approach can actually become very four-dimensional when you factor in that extra dimension – the passage of time. In this way, choosing hardwood flooring is about choosing a material that will grow along with you, and become a part of your life at every stage.

it’s always best to approach the purchase of your flooring by thinking of them as lifetime additions to a property. This will help you decide on how suitable your choice of hardwood flooring is in the space you’ve chosen for it.

How many of you out there have experienced this thing we call photosensitivity in wood floors? Tell me your stories, good people!



Hardwood flooring image courtesy of Chadmagiera

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