The Best Hardwood Floors for Sun


Hardwood floors come in many types and styles, from the antique and traditional to the contemporary and even exotic. This natural beauty comes with a price, however, since all hardwood floors have a tendency to change shade when exposed to sunlight. This can lead to blatant differences between areas where direct sunlight hits the floor and areas where the floor is covered or shaded. Some hardwood floors are more capable than others of absorbing sunlight and remaining unaffected.


  • Oak, one of the most popular species of hardwood for flooring, provides both durability and beauty with long grain patterns and a warm coloring. Although the wood can be laid down unfinished, oak reacts well to stain and can be stained with many different hues. Like all wood, oak floors such as white oak and red oak will darken over time when exposed to sunlight, but oak is not as photosensitive as some other species such as cherry wood. Keep the color of your oak floor uniform by staining with a urethane coating, which is designed to block out UV light, the cause of most discoloration.


  • Because the tendency of hardwood flooring is to darken with repeated exposure to the sun, an already dark hardwood, such as mahogany, will exhibit less obvious color changes than lighter woods. Species including Santos mahogany are deep red and feature large rings. Mahogany of this species is also 175 percent harder than red oak, making it a much more durable surface. As always, UV resistant coating and even UV filtering film on windows can help the wood resist color change due to sunlight.


  • For a lighter look than mahogany, beech floors provide straight grain and a tan to orange color. The fine grain of the wood and the tendency to wear evenly make beech a popular choice for high traffic areas. Despite the lighter color of beech wood, it resists UV wear better than other woods and can take considerably longer to darken. Still, moving furniture and area rugs occasionally along with other prevention aids such as UV resistant window film and UV resistant urethane floor coating can help prevent uneven color change.

Brazilian Teak

  • Also known as Cumaru, Brazilian teak is a dark wood with reddish to brown coloring and black striping. This wood is unlike most South American woods since it resists darkening in the sun. This wood is three times harder than red oak and is one of the densest woods used in flooring today. Because slight darkening does occur over time, take the necessary steps, such as moving furniture and area rugs occasionally, to prevent uneven darkening due to sunlight, .


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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