The current modern day technologies in wood-floor finishes create long lasting beauty which requires minimal maintenance. If you want to protect your wood flooring from moisture, dirt and wear, you should choose the right wood floor finish.
If you are planning to put your house on the market, hardwood floors will likely attract more buyers in addition to adding value to your home.
The finish is responsible for protecting your wood floor. It can have varying qualities, appearances, advantages, and disadvantages. The majority of today’s wood floors are finished with a stain and a top coat.
Generally, professionals divide all wood floor finishes into two groups; that is, surface and penetrating finishes/sealers.
Types of Surface Finish
The different types of wood floor finishes that fall in this category are popular due to their durability, resistance to water, and minimal maintenance. They are made by blending synthetic resins, plasticizers, and additional film forming components.
Surface finishes are usually referred to as polyurethanes or urethanes, and they form a protective coating on the surface. Surface finishes include water-based, moisture-cured, oil-cured, and acid-cured.
- Water-Based Finish: This is a water-borne urethane that is blended with synthetic resins, plasticizers as well as other film forming ingredients to produce a durable and moisture resistant surface. Water-based finishes are clear and non-yellowing. They dry in approximately 2-3 hours. It is recommended for individuals that have extra money to spend as it can be a bit on the expensive side.
- Moisture-Cured Finish: This solvent-base polyurethane is the most durable and moisture resistant of all surface-finishes. It is usually available in yellowing and non-yellowing types which are generally in gloss or satin. If you are looking for a DIY project, this is not the kind as it is extremely difficult to apply and has a strong odor. This type of finish is best left to professionals. The curing process of moisture-cured finishes largely depends on relative humidity.
- Oil-Cured Finish: Since this surface finish is easy to apply, it is the most common surface finish. It is a petroleum based finish with a blend of synthetic resins, plasticizers and film forming ingredients. Oil-cured finishes dry in approximately 8 hours. In addition to all that, this type of finish ambers with age and comes in varying levels of sheen.
- Acid-Cured Finish: This clearly appears to amber and has a strong odor. After being applied, it can dry within 2-3 hours. This type of surface finish is extremely durable.
Types of Penetrating Finish
This category includes finishing types which involve the use of a sealant that soaks into the pores of the wood:
- Wax Finishes: These finishes soak into the wood’s pores and harden, thereby forming a protective penetrating seal. They appear low luster and also ambers in color as time passes. The drying time depends on the type of wax used and the conditions at the job-site. Even though they are durable, they show water spots as well as spots from other contaminates.
- Hardening Oils: These include linseed oils, tun oils, and other natural oils. They are blended with additional additives to improve their drying rate and hardness.
- Acrylic Impregnated Finishes: Acrylic impregnated finishes are injected into the wood so as to create an extremely hard and durable floor. It is recommended for areas which receive a lot of foot traffic; for instance, a restaurant, mall, and any other commercial setting.