Wood floors are one of the few flooring options that become more beautiful with age. Like all natural materials that experience change over time, wood floors undergo subtle color changes as they age. This is a natural process called “patina” that will add to the beauty and character of the floor.
Different species of wood flooring will experience color changes at different rates. In general, more common species, such as oak and hickory, will experience minimal color change over time. Less common species, such as American and Brazilian cherry, will show more variation over time. These changes are natural but can be minimized with a little prevention.
Two factors influence color changes in wood floors: sun exposure and the finish that is applied. Over time, prolonged sun exposure will cause wood floors to change color. Think about how skin reacts when exposed to sunlight. Wood reacts in much the same way, but you can minimize this effect by periodically moving rugs and furniture to limit that exposure.
In term of finish, oil-modified options will amber over time, giving the floor a slightly yellow appearance. In contrast, water-based finishes generally will remain clear, minimizing long-term color changes.
Source: A Retailer’s Guide to Selling Hardwood Flooring