My Hardwood Floor is Changing Colors, What’s Wrong?


Here’s the situation:  You spend months and months deciding on what flooring you want.  You’ve finally chosen a beautiful Bellawood Brazilian Cherry.  After having it installed and replacing your furniture, you love your new room.  Fast forward six months.  You decide it is time to do some redecorating so you rearrange the furniture.  When you move your area rug you see that the color underneath is much lighter than where the rug wasn’t.  Does this mean that there was something wrong with your wood?  Did the rug have something that effected your floor?  How could this have happened?

There is actually a very simple explanation to all of this.  It is called "patina" which can happen as your floor ages.  This process can be rapid during the first three months, less in six months, and finishing in about one year.  Moving furniture and rugs around helps to even out areas where light is not exposed to.  Try to avoid large area rugs for the first three months if you can.

All wood species can change color over time due to oxidation or when exposed to light.  In some species, the change can be more dramatic and may darken in color over time, while others tend to lighten.  Currently, there is no known value set for Patina, or color change, of a species so contractors and or customers should be aware of this normal condition.  The patina process is unrelated to the urethane finishes.

Some hardwoods that are known to make a dramatic difference are typically the exotic species, most notably Brazilian Cherry.  Others that may change include Brazilian Koa, Purpleheart, and several others.  Before you purchase a floor, ask if it patinas and if it gets lighter or darker.  If you like the color of the flooring when it is first laid down and don’t want any change, they may be able to guide you in the direction of a product that has a less likelihood to change color or a product that has a less dramatic change.

You can click on the link below to download a picture (and explanation) of the patina that may be experienced by putting an area rug over new hardwood floors. 

Download Patina process-1




  1. Hi Mike, it definitely could be a moisture-related issue. If you purchased from us, I would suggest contacting our Customer Care team at 800-366-4204 about an inspection if needed. – Lumber Liquidators

  2. Hi Mary, All wood species can change color over time due to oxidation or when exposed to light. This is a normal process and is unrelated to the urethane finishes. Removing the rug and allowing the color to even out may help.

  3. I have hardwood floors in my kitchen, and I don’t see any problem with it at all. The floors are very well-sealed, so that any liquids bead up and can easily be wiped off. I guess I’m not super clumsy in the kitchen, but it’s hard for me to see what I’d be spilling on the floor all the time anyway.

  4. All natural unstained pre-finished wood floors will have some color change as they get older, and with exposed to sunlight. Some species of wood flooring like Brazilian Cherry will have a more drastic color change as it ages. If this is the type of color change the customer is experiencing sanding and refinishing the floor won’t work as this is just the natural color of the wood purchased. Wood floors that have been stained will have a less noticeable color change as they age or due to sunlight, but they too will have some slight change. If you do not like the stain on the flooring product it will have to be refinished in order to re-stain the wood. The refinishing process will remove the floor finish and stain to get to the bare wood. A new stain and finish can be applied. We suggest having this done by a professional sand and finish expert for best results. Not all floors can be refinished due to a thin wear layer, so check with a professional beforehand.

  5. Nelda, all you will need to do is pick up the rug. It typically takes a floor about 6 months to go through the most drastic change. The part that was covered will eventually catch up to the rest of the floor and it will be an even color.

  6. David, patina is a natural process and there isn’t anything that can be done to reverse it. Also, polishing won’t affect it because the patina is not related to the urethane finish, it is related to the actual wood.

  7. This is exactly what’s happened to my Brazilian wood floors that I purchased from you. I understand that is mig be a normal process, but is there anything that can be done about it after patina has occurred? Can you polish it, etc?

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