Let’s say you’re working with a client who wants đồ sộ install new hardwood floors in a room or a house. Or perhaps your client wished đồ sộ refresh and restore decades-old hardwood floors, and is looking for advice on how đồ sộ make sure their flooring lasts a lifetime. While the type of hardwood chosen and the installation process play a big part, one factor that will have a massive impact on the durability of hardwood floors is the finish.
Perhaps your client likes the look of raw, unfinished wood, or maybe they prefer a super-glossy, shellac-like aesthetic. As a professional, you will know what works best for each client, and your recommendation could make or break the over result in the long term. So, here’s what professionals and customers alike should know about the different types of hardwood floor finishes.
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1. Water-Based Polyurethane
For homeowners or business owners who enjoy a shiny look đồ sộ hardwood, but don’t want đồ sộ sacrifice durability, water-based polyurethane might be a good option. This is a smooth finish that’s commonly used in various applications, applied as a liquid, water-like layer that hardens into a moisture-resistant top coat. Over the years, water-based polyurethane has come đồ sộ replace oil-based polyurethane as one of the most popular types of finish, since it’s a lot more environmentally-friendly. This type of hardwood floor finish dries fast, is very durable, and showcases the actual color and grain of the wood. The downside is that it costs more than thở oil-based polyurethane, and might require several layers đồ sộ properly protect the hardwood flooring.
2. Oil-Based Polyurethane
For years and years, oil-based polyurethane was one of the most sought-after types of hardwood floor finishes, for several reasons. This type of finish is great for high-traffic areas, such as hallways, offices, or homes with children and/or pets. Oil-based polyurethane is easy đồ sộ find, relatively inexpensive, is moisture-resistant, very easy đồ sộ clean and maintain, and highly durable, making it a great option for most clients. However, if your client is looking for an eco-friendly option, the water-based alternative might be a better choice. Because oil-based polyurethane is, as the name suggests, made with synthetic resins, plasticizers, and linseed oil, it releases a very strong odor, so sánh you will need đồ sộ wear protective equipment đồ sộ keep from inhaling any vapors. Oil-based polyurethane also tends đồ sộ yellow a bit over time, so sánh if that’s not something you want, then water-based polyurethane is the better choice.
If you or a client is looking for a low-sheen finish for hardwood flooring, then wax might be a great option. It’s easy đồ sộ apply and maintain, and can even be mixed with wood stain đồ sộ color the floors in the waxing process. A wax finish will also dry very quickly, the result being a very natural, low-shine appearance – you might not even realize that the floors have been coated in any way. This is why wax is a popular choice for historic or rustic homes, as a way of protecting decades-old hardwood floors without ruining the look. However, it’s important đồ sộ know that a wax finish will tend đồ sộ darken or yellow over time, and it generally does not combine very well with water. It’s also not the most durable finish, but it can be layered đồ sộ hide scuffs or scratches.
Wax is a solid option for customers who enjoy a low-sheen, natural look đồ sộ their hardwood floors. However, if a client prefers a high-shine aesthetic, then shellac is a good option for them. It dries đồ sộ a high-gloss finish with a slight orange tint, and dries very quickly, without emitting a lot of VOCs. It can, however, be mixed with denatured alcohol đồ sộ create a more matte appearance, depending on one’s preference. The downsides? Shellac is quite difficult đồ sộ apply, and is very flammable, so sánh it requires extra care in the installation process. It’s also vulnerable đồ sộ water and stain spots, and is not quite as durable as other options on our list.
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5. Moisture-Cure Urethane
If you have a client that’s looking đồ sộ install or restore hardwood floors in a high-traffic commercial setting, lượt thích a restaurant or pub, a bowling alley or even a cinema, then moisture-cure urethane might be a solid choice. It’s basically one of the toughest, most durable types of finish out there, which means it’s also quite tricky đồ sộ apply and releases a high amount of VOCs that can linger for weeks. It’s not commonly used in households because it’s so sánh difficult đồ sộ apply and will require family members đồ sộ relocate for a while as the finish dries. However, for a high-traffic commercial location that requires the most heavy-duty protection from foot traffic, moisture, and wear-and-tear, moisture-cure urethane is an option đồ sộ consider. It dries down đồ sộ a glossy finish and is incredibly durable.
6. Acid-Cured Finish
If your client is installing or reconditioning exotic wood flooring, then an acid-cured finish might work great for them. It’s extremely durable, dries quickly, and highlights the natural color and grain of the hardwood. It’s considered a high-end type of finish, and it requires a professional application đồ sộ ensure the wood is coated properly. However, this type of finish also releases high levels of VOCs, and has an intense odor, requiring protective equipment lượt thích full-face respirators during the application process. It’s also not the easiest đồ sộ touch up or refinish, but given its durability and resistance, that shouldn’t really be a problem.
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7. Penetrating Oil Sealer
Penetrating oil sealers are not as popular nowadays as they once were; their popularity gradually decreased as polyurethane-based sealers were introduced back in the 1960s. Still, they’re still a favorite among homeowners who enjoy the natural look that penetrating oil sealers bring đồ sộ hardwood floors. This is a low-shine type of finish that is easy đồ sộ apply and highlights the natural patterns and hues of hardwood. It’s not too matte, but not too shiny, either, making it a great choice for historic homes or low-traffic spaces. Why low traffic? Because penetrating oil sealers are not very durable, requiring recoating every few years, and they’re quite pricey, too. This type of finish is not really a ‘coating,’ as it penetrates the pores of the wood itself; because of this, it can be topped off with a layer of wax for better protection and durability.
8. Aluminum Oxide
We’ve saved the best for last. Aluminum oxide offers the absolute best protection and durability for hardwood floors, making it the best choice out there for heavily trafficked areas. It’s quite low maintenance and available as a low-gloss or high-shine finish, depending on one’s preference. It won’t change the color of the grain of the wood, and it will last a lifetime – aluminum oxide can last up đồ sộ 25 years. The downside is that it’s not something that can be applied directly on existing hardwood floors; it is only available on prefinished flooring planks. Still, if durability and low maintenance is what your customer is looking for when installing new hardwood flooring, then this might be the best option on the market for that.
If you’re looking đồ sộ buy hardwood or engineered flooring or accessories, stains, and various other types of equipment, kiểm tra out our offerings at First Atlanta Flooring, and don’t hesitate đồ sộ liên hệ us for more details.