Photo Credit: Philip Zinger/Wikimedia Commons
Q: My husband and I are in the final stages of building our home. We want something radical for our hardwood floor and really like the wormy maples for its white and dark wood tones. However, we've seen wormy maple after it's been down on the floor for a while, and it seems to lose its color or morph into a shade we don't like. Is there anything we can use on the floor to prevent it from losing its original color?
- Lisa Nichols from Prescott, MI
A: The appearance of wormy or ambrosia maple is caused by a recation to ambrosia beetle infestation - a true creation of nature. To keep this one-of-a-kind, all-natural look, you must implement a three-step process, according to Cindy Padgett of Menco Corporation.
First, use Danish oil, which gives the wood a deep, rich appearance that won't raise the grain. The oil acts as a sanding sealer and provides a penetrating finish. In addition, "the oil offers UV protection, so when the sun hits the floor, it won't turn a golden color," Cindy says. Color may be added to the oil (Menco offers more than 40 hues to choose from) to coincide with the walls or timber in your home, or you can opt for a natural stain, reinforcing the wood's authenticity.
Next, apply two coats of Para-Thane, a clear substance providing the "protection and durability of a gym floor," according to Cindy. Choose from a satin, semi-gloss or glossy finish. Finally, every eight to 10 years (determined by how much traffic you have in your home), you'll need to reapply a coat of Para-Thane.