My floor is changing color, is this a defect?

fading_wood_floorColor change in wood, bamboo and cork flooring is not a defect. Different species of wood flooring will experience color changes at different rates. In general, more-common species such as oak and hickory will experience minimal color change over time, while less-common species, like American cherry and Brazilian cherry will show more color change. These changes are natural, but can be minimized with a little prevention.

Two factors influence color changes in wood floors: sun exposure and the finish that is applied to the floor. Over time, prolonged sun exposure will cause wood floors to change color. Think about how skin reacts when exposed to sunlight. Wood reacts in much the same way, and homeowners can minimize this effect by periodically moving rugs and furniture to limit that exposure.
The second factor that can cause wood floors to change color over time is the finish used. Oil-modified finishes will amber over time, giving the floor a slightly yellow appearance. In contrast, water-based finishes generally will remain clear over time, minimizing long-term color changes.

Certain species of hardwood floors are notorious for being more light sensitive than others. American Cherry and Walnut are very sensitive to light and will change color quickly. Also, most South American exotic species as well as some African species are very prone to drastic changes.

If you move an area rug or a piece of furniture and the hardwood floor underneath is a different color, don’t panic; after removing the rug or furniture the color change will eventually catch up, just be patient.