Q: Twelve years ago our white oak floors were installed and stained on-site, then finished with “Glitza”. I foolishly had a large area rug in dining room where it is sunny.
We are selling and a “stager” said to remove the rug. And now from either sun or mopping or both, the under-rug area is a darker golden. Not horrible but the discoloration is definitely noticeable. Suggestions?
Our home is quite large and fairly expensive asking price, so a buyer will be understandably bothered by this issue. We won’t hide this from buyers yet would like to minimize the variation if possible, and unfortunately we simply can’t afford a major fix. Is there a wood bleach or something that would help blend the lines?
A: I wish I had a magic potion to fix this but unfortunately time alone can do so. If it is very severe it is possible that it may still show slightly even if were totally sanded. I would look at it this way, and I’ve sold enough houses to know: I wouldn’t worry about it too much because there is a good chance that whoever buys the place likely won’t like the colour and has already decided to have the floors stained a different colour. It’s much more important that they are structurally in good shape which they no doubt are. Real estate agents will have people doing all sorts of costly things to sell their house, and believe me, in the end it was all money spent for nothing because the buyer will change everything you have upgraded.
Follow-up: Craig, I so appreciate your quick and kind reply! You make some very good points and helpful points, too. While I certainly wish there was a quick fix it is good to know from an expert that there is no such thing besides time, and therefore keep me from trying some extreme and potentially further-damaging measures. It also helps to suspect that even sanding could potentially result in a remaining shadow of the same issue. Finally, you’re so right that a buyer will no doubt want to change more (in the home we’re emotionally-tied to) than I care to even think about, so it’s probably time to let go. Thanks again very much.
A: Not that I want the last word but when you said you were emotionally tied to your house it struck a cord with me. I moved from my family home in Toronto in June 2009 when the financial melt down was occurring. My grandparents bought the house when I was 4 months old. I grew up there and finally came into possession of the house. Never wanted to leave. Never planned to leave. But I felt it would be worse to lose it because I’m caught in a melt down I can’t control. We moved to Niagara on the shores of Lake Erie but for 5 months I was still driving over 200 miles a day doing floor jobs, until I couldn’t stand it any more.
One day I had some time to spare so I thought I would go to the old neighbourhood to see if any neighbours were around and to look at my family home. As I sat in my van on the street for a minute a strange feeling came over me. ‘I don’t belong here any more’. I realized it isn’t the house. It’s the memories from living there. In other words, the building is a pile of bricks. It was the family and all the gatherings that occurred there. When the family is gone the house is a pile of bricks. We have since left Niagara and now live in the bush in a tiny cabin with an out house and have bears passing through our yard. And deer. I waited 60 years to be a few feet from a black bear in the wild! That’s a memory! You will make more too.
Related Q: My husband has been in the wood flooring business for 20 years and is a 3rd generation wood flooring man. He recently sanded a heartpine floor for a customer that had several area rugs and furniture, under the rugs the flooring was lighter. After sanding far more than usual the dark uncovered areas are still not as light as the areas that were covered and lighter to begin with. This is the first time he has come across this issue.. any thoughts or suggestions? The customer does not want to stain the floor and would like it as light as possible.
A: This is clearly not his fault. We can’t totally control nature. If the dis colouration won’t sand out they will simply have to leave the area previously hidden by carpet exposed for as long as it takes. I wish I knew a magic trick for this problem but I don’t. If I see this when doing an estimate I always make sure to give a disclaimer because it is impossible to know if it will come out with sanding.
Similar Q: I had a piece of carpet upside down on my hardwood floor. Now I have variation of color where the carpet was and the rest of the floor. Is there something in the carpet that would cause this, or would the other part of the floor fade?
A: This is caused by sunlight. Some species will have a change like this after as little as a week. Leave the area uncovered. It should equal out.