Do Pine Floors Darken Over Time?

Wood is perhaps the most popular choice for floors due to its warm, natural appeal, versatility, and a wide variety of types and finishes. You might wonder how your wood flooring will age, for instance, does pine darken over time? We've researched this for you to learn more about pine floor characteristics and maintenance.

Most flooring materials including pine change color as they age. Oxidation, or exposure to air, tends to turn wood darker over time and is accelerated by ultraviolet light. It is the natural process that creates the weathered look in classic vintage floors.

Wood, which was once a living tree, still undergoes changes despite being converted to lumber. This is because wood components react with external factors that produce chemical reactions when the bark is removed and the wood is exposed. Read on and find out more about your pine floor.

Pine wood floorboard planks in workshop. - Do Pine Floors Darken Over Time?

Oxidation And Ultraviolet Light 

Wood is a living matter that reacts with the environment similar to all other organisms. Observe how an apple slowly discolors when cut in half, this is the process of oxidation or simply, aging.

Also, notice how your skin darkens when exposed to sunlight, ultraviolet radiation stimulates the production of pigments that results in this.

The same holds true with wood, as it ages, oxidation gradually turns the pale surface into darker shades of yellow or brown. The whole process is accelerated by sunlight since pigments are also present in wood.

Compare the degree of discoloration or darkening in your home by lifting area rugs or carpets, and notice how the wood in those areas is lighter than those exposed to air and light.

The difference is more dramatic if you compare the wooden floors inside the house with those located outdoors like your deck, for instance.  

The gradual change in the hue of your pine flooring gives it character and natural appeal over time.

Pinewood: An Overview 

Teak wood background

"Pinewood" is a general term used to classify all conifer evergreen trees. It is considered softwood that has a creamy yellow or brownish color and appearance. Pine is relatively lightweight, making it a popular material for furniture as it is easy to move. 

Eastern white pine, southern yellow pine, and ponderosa pine are the three major types of pinewood used in various structures all throughout the United States. 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Pine Flooring 

Like most wood, pine has its advantages and disadvantages. 


Long Lasting 

There are pine floors over a hundred years old that are still in use today. That being said, pinewood flooring is a durable softwood that will definitely last for generations - as long as they are properly maintained. 

Pinewood itself is rarely prone to shrinking and warping, provided that the material has undergone the kiln drying process. Do not worry! This method is definitely a cost-effective solution that exceptionally enhances the overall quality of the material. 

Easy To Refinish

Closeup of workers hand covering wooden plank with finishing.

Since pine is softwood, it can be sanded with ease. That being said, you can easily change the overall look of your pinewood floor. To illustrate, if you have coated the surface with varnish, you can sand the flooring to expose the natural appearance of the wood. 

After the sanding process, applying treatments such as bleaching is also possible if you want to enhance the natural whiteness of your pine flooring.


Pine planks stacked.

Pine has become popular because of its classy and rustic appearance. Choosing between knotty and standard pinewood provides you with an entirely different visual aesthetic. 

The material is available in various colors including:

  • white,
  • golden yellow,
  • deep yellow,
  • brown shades,
  • and red.

If you install unfinished pine, you have the option to choose the type of wood stain you want to apply, making it possible to match the flooring with the color palette of the room. 

Sustainable Wood Flooring

Since pine is softwood, it grows considerably faster than most hardwood trees used as a flooring material, making it a more sustainable option. Pine trees would not go endangered or extinct even though there are always new materials available.

Harvesting pine generally follows environment-friendly forestry protocols. 


Pinewood is considerably less expensive than most wood floors even though they add the same classy and rustic atmosphere to every home. The average cost of pine flooring may range from $1.50 to $2.00 per square foot, as compared to other hardwood materials that typically reach $2.50 to $5.00.

One reason why softwood costs lesser than hardwood is because of the overall drying and manufacturing process.



Similar to all wooden structures, pine flooring's durability and longevity are maintained through proper maintenance, the variety you choose, and the finishing you apply. 

The material itself is prone to scratches, dents, and wearing, especially when exposed to areas with heavy foot traffic. That being said, proper preservation and care are always necessary to keep your flooring free from any scrapes. 

Regular cleaning, dusting off, and vacuuming, are needed to keep away dirt and debris from considerably damaging your pinewood floor. 

Applying two to three layers of polyurethane can help resolve this issue, however, you would have to reapply the chemical substance after some years.  

What Is The Best Type Of Wood For Flooring?

Pine wood floorboard planks in workshop ready to be used for hardwood flooring — Photo


Oak has proved itself to be the most durable kind of wood flooring. It is a hardwood that considerably lasts for centuries. Similar to wine, old oak woods generally age well. If you look closely at reclaimed materials, you will see that their color will get richer as time goes by. 

Many homeowners also prefer oak because of its attractive grains, and a wide array of selections when it comes to grade, style, and dimensions. Apart from this, the material can resist pest and fungal infestations, making it incredibly cost-effective in the long run.


Maple is classified as a fast-growing hardwood tree, making the material environment friendly and hardwearing that it can last for decades. It features a creamy white appearance that usually changes into a darkish or brownish hue over a period of time. 

Unlike oak, the grains are barely noticeable. It gives the wood a cleaner and clearer appearance. 


Dark wood background

Cherry is relatively softer than oak and maple but it still makes an excellent hardwood flooring material. Similar to pine, the material needs proper care and maintenance, and should be avoided being installed in foot traffic-laden areas around your home. 

Interestingly enough, cherry wood has a mild pinkish hue that accentuates a deep red tone. Because of its natural color, the material is rarely stained.


Similar to pine, cedar is a softwood that is best installed in the bedroom or in areas where there is no heavy foot traffic. The pleasant aroma it emits after installation is the reason why most homeowners prefer to use cedar wood in their bedrooms. 

In Closing

Pine floors generally darken over time, however, color changes are a natural occurrence or phenomenon in typically all kinds of wooden structures. We hope this article has been helpful in answering your query regarding pinewood floorings. 

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