Is it possible that the cherry hardwood flooring you have in your home today could look different in a year? Yes!

Cherry wood naturally darkens over time. At first, natural cherry wood will appear as a light wood with pink tones. Over time and with exposure to the sun, it will naturally darken to a medium, red-toned wood.

Take, for example, this cherry wood from our showroom below. We installed this about seven years ago and you can clearly see that the wood is darker with reddish hues now.

cherry before vs after aging

But why does this happen? 

Some woods are considered “photosensitive,” meaning they will lighten or darken when exposed to light. The more photosensitive a wood is, the more rapidly it will change color when exposed to light.  Cherry just so happens to be one of the most photosensitive.

When natural cherry wood is exposed to UV light, it oxidizes. So if you have a room with a lot of exposure to the sun, you will likely see the transformation happen pretty quickly. In fact, in most cases oxidation will happen in the first year, so you may notice rapid changes in the early months before the changes slow down.

You may be thinking, “why would I ever use cherry wood if it’s going to change?” Well, the result of the oxidation is actually very beautiful and often gives a more desired and truly one-of-a-kind look.

If you are worried about the color changing rapidly and unevenly then it’s a good idea to think about the room you are using the wood in and its exposure to light. If one side of the room is getting more light than the other, you may want to use shades on the sunny side to even it out. You should also be aware that using a rug will likely result in uneven color changes.

Interested in finding out if cherry flooring might be right for you? Contact us today to talk about your options.

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