Why are there gaps between the boards in my floor?
Seasonal expansion and contraction of flooring boards is considered normal. There is generally more humidity during the summer months and your floor absorbs it causing the wood fibers to expand. Winter months are usually less humid and the flooring dries which can result in gaps between boards. While considered normal, you can minimize expansion and contraction by keeping the humidity in your home between 35 and 55% by using an air conditioner, humidifier or dehumidifier.
Why is the flooring beneath my area rugs and furniture lighter than the rest of the floor?
All wood flooring is more or less photosensitive, and some species are very sensitive to ultra-violet light. This means the wood reacts to the light it's exposed to by slowly and slightly lightening, or remaining it's original tone if not exposed. It’s important to prevent the sun’s rays from discoloring your floor by shielding it against direct sunlight. However, it’s normal for hardwood floors exposed to even indirect sunlight to darken or lighten after a while, so for consistency, rotate rugs and furniture to equal out the amount of sunlight exposure and variances will eventually fade away.