Keep Your White Oak Floor From Yellowing With These Tips

There is so much to like about white oak flooring. Not only are white oak floors not going out of style, but they also have a modern, clean look that can give off a laid-back, rustic feeling. Though you may think that white oak floors will absorb dirt and stains easily or be a nightmare to keep clean, that just isn't true. However, oak floors can yellow over time, but a few tips can help you stave it off. Mainly, you need to keep it properly cleaned and protected, and use a good sealant and floor finish.

Oddly enough, white oak flooring is very durable. As a result, it is more resistant to damage than other woods, including dents, bumps, and erosion from simple foot traffic. White oak is also highly dense, which helps protect it from buckling and bending, as well as guards against decay. White oak doesn't require any extensive cleaning or maintenance beyond simple cleaning and regular care.

Maintain your white oak floors to reduce yellowing

The best way to extend the life of most household items and keep them in their best shape possible is to care for them properly, and this idea could not be truer when it comes to white oak floors. Consequently, white oak floors, which are one of the best hardwood floor colors, naturally require regular and consistent cleaning. Furthermore, it's key to sweep and vacuum regularly to pick up any lingering dirt and dust that can potentially scratch the surface. Then you want to mop but use very little water, because white oak is porous, and if it absorbs water it can warp and buckle. Your mop should be damp to the touch and never soaking.

Another way to guard against yellowing is to protect the oak wood. Though you may not intentionally put water on your flooring, there will invariably be spills. Clean up any kind of liquid spillage immediately and never allow the wood to absorb it. 

One of the best ways to protect your white oak from yellowing is by keeping it out of direct sunlight as much as possible. The sun's ultraviolet rays can change the color of the floor over time since wood is very sensitive to sunlight, so use throw rugs and mats to cover the parts that are most affected by the sun daily.

Use a good sealant and floor finish

Sealants and finishes are vital to prolong the life of a hardwood floor. Applying a good sealant to white oak will not only enhance its durability, but also keep it from discoloring and turning yellow. Sealants in essence put a layer of protection between the natural wood floor and the outside environmental elements that can damage it. Sealants can guard against spills, both water and oil-based messes, which can be a godsend, especially if you have kids or a large family.

Next, you also want your white oak to have a strong floor finish. While many choose an oil-based polyurethane finish, these can yellow a white oak floor as time goes by. After a period of time, chemicals in the oil-based finishes produce color changes from being exposed to various environmental changes over time, which can eventually look as though the floor is yellowing. Instead, opt for a water-based polyurethane finish, as these will not yellow.