A.Michael Purser, a second-generation wood-flooring contractor in Atlanta, responds: While it's true that floor finishes with UV inhibitors and stains with pigments (as opposed to dyes) will slow down color degradation in both the finish itself and the underlying wood, manufacturers of these products don't claim to be able to stop the problem. And UV light (from the sun and from other sources) isn't the only cause of fading and discoloration; heat and moisture can also be factors. To slow down — notice I didn't say "prevent" — fading and deterioration, you'll have to manage all three causes. The key is to avoid extremes of exposure to sunlight and humidity.

If you are building a new house or adding on and have any input in the selection of new windows, you would be wise to consider low-E glass. Made of transparent metallic oxides, low-E coatings can reflect up to 90 percent of long-wave IR light, the kind that creates the heat that accelerates oxidation in wood. But low-E glass doesn't stop a lot...

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