Wood floors change colors for two reasons: breaking down in the sun or natural “patina” color change. There is no UV protectant in the finish that will truly protect your floor from the sun over time- though some companies try. Inevitably stains will fade, boards will warp, and finish will dry up. There is no match for that big ball of fire. If the sun is setting into your back slider directly onto your floor consider tinting the windows and installing shutters.
But there is a natural process of oxidation that also changes hardwood’s color that is a GREAT thing! It makes those natural Brazilian cherries and exotic woods grow rich and color variant and unique. Most woods get darker over time and a select few- like Santos Mahogany- actually get lighter. This natural process of oxidation is sped up by exposure to oxygen and light, so it is dormant after manufacturing and in storage until it is installed. Do not be afraid if your naturally colored floor does not look like the sample when it is installed! Most of the color changing will take place over the first few months, so try to not put down your rugs right away. However, you have not made any permanent damage if you have heavy pieces of furniture in one place for years, then move them. The light spot under the furniture will catch up in coloring in a few months time. This is something to consider before putting your house on the market! New homeowners do not want to be buying into a flooring project. Take up the rugs and move the furniture around to avoid any misunderstandings. Darker color woods typically do more changing in color. Clarification: this happens to natural hardwood colors only! Stained woods will not do the same amount of color changing, so if this freaks you out: buy stained.
This is a Brazilian Cherry floor fresh after install compared to it’s sample that has already gotten a “tan”. The floor will catch up in a few month’s time.