Spots and discoloration on your hardwood flooring can have many different causes. Environmental factors are sometimes to blame, but you can prevent some types of color changes on your wood floors by learning about what makes them appear.
10 Types of Wood Flooring Discoloration and Their CausesColor shifts and fading in hardwood floors can arise from natural phenomena or damage. The following are some of the most common types of color changes and the reasons behind them:
- Black water or moisture stains: Water left sitting on hardwood flooring can create dark stains, so it should be addressed quickly.
- Blotchy finishes: If a flooring contractor doesn’t prepare the planks well or apply stain properly, the finished color may be inconsistent.
- Bluestain: Fungi carried by beetles and other insects can cause blue, gray or black spots on wood planks.
- Chemical stains: Common household items like chlorine, acetone, milk and oil may produce discoloration if spilled.
- Enzymatic discolorations: A grayish or brownish tone may appear in hardwood planks due to a reaction of the cellular enzymes after the tree was cut, much like the way fruits and vegetables brown.
- Iron stain: Small discolored spots may appear when ferrous minerals remain on the hardwood and a water-based finish is applied, causing these specks to rust. If the wood has high levels of tannic acid, like cedar, iron stains may appear as a dark discoloration around metal fasteners
- Mineral discolorations: Mineral-rich soils can cause irregular colors in some woods. For example, oak planks often have dark lines or streaks.
- Sap stains: A brown or blue discoloration appears when moisture allows fungus to grow inside the wood before processing.
- Sticker stains: Blue or brown stains may appear from the thin strips or stickers placed to separate stacked wood boards during seasoning.
- Sun exposure: UV rays are the most common culprit behind fading hardwood floors.
How to Prevent Discoloration of Your Wood FlooringThough some sources of hardwood flooring discoloration are natural and unavoidable, you can take steps to prolong the life of your floors and keep them looking pristine:
- Floorcare products: Choose the right cleaning products for wood surfaces to avoid causing chemical or abrasive damage.
- Floorcare services: Hardwood flooring is durable, but it sometimes needs more than cleaning. Having a professional refinish your floors or provide floor repair services when needed will ensure long-lasting results.