Does re-sanding change the color of your timber floors

Timber flooring is one of the top trending flooring ideas when it comes to designing / re-designing your home. There are multiple reasons for this like the natural beauty of the wood, their strength, low maintenance upkeep, good resistance, and a stunning variety of colors.

But did you know that timber, like many organic materials is prone naturally to changing color over time or when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays? Re-sanding your timber floors may just cause the color change to appear more noticeable as it would be, if there are any stains present on your flooring. Re-sanding and coating timber floors are done to bring a fresh and brand-new look to your old floors and the result is rewarding of course.

Why does timber floor change color?

Color change happens in timber as part of a natural yet complex phenomenon as with any other types of wood. When exposed to sunlight over time, chemical changes take place inside wood which bring about a change in its color. This is mainly due to the presence of chemicals – tannin and lignin present inside the wood. Tannins give timber the rich color while lignin holds timber fibers together. The UV rays of sunlight cause a breakdown of lignin and tannins undergo oxidization, both of which cause a change in the color of the timber flooring.

In fact, re-sanding and coating are done to bring back the color of the wood that once was, and to give it a brand-new look. The results are generally amazing but due to the changes in color of the wood and especially the strains appearing more prominent, people have a different view. Hence, it is advised to educate people before hand on the change of color before the process itself.

Effects of applying a coat of polish or resanding on timber

Now that you know, timber changes color with time, it will be easier for you to expect distinct differences in the color tine of your flooring if you decide to go ahead with the process. In fact, you will notice that the applied coating will start showing its effect as time progresses. Other points to be remembered are – typically solvent based coatings and oils will result in a darkening over time and with lighter timbers, it leaves a golden appearance whereas that is not the case with water-based coatings. When exposed to sunlight, they tend to appear much lighter. Also, the sealer applied beneath the layer of coatings has an effect on the color tones over a period of time, hence when considering re-sanding, this should be borne in mind. It is always advisable to consider the long-term color change effects and also masking stains, if at all any.

What can you do about stains on floors?

There are many things that can stain timber floorsand it can be more prominent with darker timbers that have been coated with solvents and oil-basedfinishes. Such stains that are normally not-so-prominent may suddenly seem like they have appeared after the floor is re-sanded and coated. Note that, it is advisable that the owners see it before commencing the process of re-sanding.

These stains may be:

➢ Stains caused due to carpet underlay / rug stains

➢ Stains caused due to pets urinating

➢ Iron tannate stains around nails

➢ Other stains caused due to water staining, grain discoloration, food stains, stickers or ghosting.

Possible approaches – Stains can be assessed and worked upon, and mostly taken care of. For instance - Pet urine and iron tannate stains have been reduced using oxalic acid-based cleaners usually with a bleached appearance. Oil based solvents have been found useful in disguising stains like sticker stains as opposed to a water-basedpolyurethane. At times, coatings have been tinted as a measure to mask stains and in fact, such requests been made by clients.

An important tip - It needs to be realized that the flooring contractor did not put the stains in the floor, and they cannot stop the aging effects that occur with coated floors over time. Also, as the saying goes, they cannot make a ‘silk purse out of a cow’s ear’. They can, however, discuss options with owners and what might be achievable, but cannot necessarily guarantee the acceptability of the outcome.

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