Valor Home Services

Common Hardwood Flooring Stains – Pt. 2

At Valor, we’re all about exceptional craftsmanship. (In fact, it’s one of our brand promises.) And part of craftsmanship is preventative care and maintenance, especially when it comes to hardwood flooring.

Hardwood stains can happen by accident or as a consequence of sub-par craftsmanship or forgotten care. But not all stains are created equal. To help keep Edwardsville, Belleville and surrounding area homeowners informed, we wrote about some of the most common hardwood discoloration and stains last week on our blog. One blog wasn’t enough, though, and we’re back this week with Part 2 of common hardwood flooring stains.

Tannic acid discoloration

Tannic acid is naturally present in wood, especially in oak, walnut and mahogany. When this acid comes into contact with iron and water, it turns into bluish-gray stains. Tannic acid also turns into this kind of discoloration when it comes into contact with ammonia.

Even the finishes used on hardwood flooring can have ammonia as a pH adjuster, so talk to your hardwood floor refinisher about the right finish for your wood type. If you have oak, walnut or mahogany wood floors, tannic acid levels are something to be aware of.

Chemical stains

Chemical stains happen to floors, too, and you’ll first notice them as irregularly-shaped spots on areas of your finished hardwood. These stains are caused by reactive chemicals (through spills) and even air pollution.

Using the right finishing product is essential to avoid these stains. Other common household products that are high-staining substances for hardwood include:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Ammonia
  • Oil
  • Chlorine
  • Mustard
  • Iodine
  • Milk
  • Ethyl alcohol

Wood floor discoloration

Hardwood floors are, obviously, made of wood. And wood will naturally change color over time, either darkening or lightening. This happens as a product of oxidation and photo-chemical exposure.

The woods that typically darken with age are:

  • American cherry
  • Brazilian cherry
  • Douglas fir
  • Purple heart

Woods that typically lighten with age are:

  • Black walnut
  • Cork

Finish or colorant discoloration

Sometimes, hardwood floor discoloration has nothing more than the finish to blame. The finish itself changes color over time, either yellowing or lightening.

The good news is that, with a professional wood floor refinish, your floors can be restored to their original shade.

Some stains and discoloration on hardwood floors can be removed or repaired, and some can’t. We’re hoping that Parts 1 and 2 of this series has given you a good idea of what kind of hardwood stains you’re dealing with in your home.

Schedule an appointment with us for a professional opinion. You can book with us right here on the website!