Laminate floors can be an excellent choice when renovating your home. They are a durable and less expensive choice than traditional hardwood and look great. However, direct sunlight can cause damage to laminate over time. There are several precautions you can take to keep your laminate floors in fantastic shape.
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Shield Your Floors
Laminate floors are fade resistant. Most products feature an aluminum oxide coating as a top layer. This layer prevents fading from a small to moderate amount of sunlight. While this is great news, this does not mean that the sun cannot cause discoloration.
If you have large windows that cause intense sunlight for several hours each day, your floors may be prone to discoloration. To prevent this, draw the shades or blinds during times of intense direct sunlight and when you are not home. You can also rearrange your furniture from time to time to limit sun exposure or use rugs. This will help preserve the laminate color.
Start With the Windows
The main culprit in discoloration is UV light that comes in through windows. It may fade or discolor your floors, and it can also fade your furniture, wall paint, rugs and artwork. You can apply a film filter directly to your windows. In addition to filtering light, the films also prevent heat loss. These films are available at home improvement stores and can be installed by yourself or a professional.
If you are renovating your home or upgrading your windows, you may want to install special UV protection windows. MacDonald Hardwoods recommends laminated or low-e coated glass for windows. Some of these brands can filter up to 99 percent of UV radiation.
Use Window Treatments
Empire Today suggests that if your window treatment has horizontal slats, adjust them upwards so that sunlight gets redirected to the ceiling and wall instead of the floors. This will allow some natural light in without damaging your laminate floors. Venetian or mini blinds made out of various materials are good options. They also recommend solar shades, honeycomb cellular shades and roller shades.
Solar shades allow some sunlight in but filter out UV rays and prevent damage to your floor and furnishings. They consist of an open weave fabric. The shades provide some privacy — during the day you can see out but people walking by can't see in. However, the effects are reversed at night.
Honeycomb cellular shades work great at filtering out direct sunlight and UV rays. The translucent cells filter out direct sunlight, but allow for some natural light to get in. The fabric also provides great insulation.
Roller shades are another excellent choice. Roll them all the way down or only partially to allow some light in. You can change them as the sun moves throughout the day. Blocking excessive sun contact with your floors is the best way to prevent a floor sunburn.