Choosing a wood floor finish is like choosing a wooden floor – it is mostly a matter of personal preferences and individual choices. What do you want, how do you imagine and desire the floor to look like, what will match your style, are you keener on long-lasting effect, natural look, or easy to maintain and re-apply? As you can see, it is all about you, your lifestyle, your needs and your requirements. If you still don’t feel confident enough, you can always ask the professionals for help, without a doubt. Be sure to ask for samples, take your time and do a little research to see how the finished floor looks like when installed, consider the furniture pieces you have, the textures around. Are you in love with clean lines and smooth and sleek surfaces, do you imagine the perfect floor glossy or matt, are you bold enough to play with different textures and vibes? Have your time and think about it, because once you go oil, wax, or lacquer, you hardly can go back! It is not that these are hard to remove, but the best thing for your floor is always refinishing it according to the already existing finish.
When it comes to finishes and purchasing a new wood flooring, you have two options – you can buy it prefinished, or unfinished. Prefinished floors leave the factory with an already applied polyurethane finish, which is very hard-wearing. Unfinished floors, as the name suggests, leave the factory without any finish applied and that way you have the freedom of choosing your own effect, style and even colour.
If you settle on the second option, here is how unfinished floors can get ready to use – you can choose between wax, lacquer and oil (also there are some hybrid finish versions on the market like hard oils, etc.). Before the application of the finish known as sealing, sanding is often recommended for unfinished and newly installed floors as well as older floors in need of restoration and refreshment. What sanding will do is opening the pores of the wood, so the products can adhere better and penetrate through the whole structure, adding more durability, strength and protection.
Wax and lacquers are often the finishes that give the glossy and shiny effect, although you can find semi-gloss and matt lacquers on the market. Both wax and lacquers are very hard-wearing and resistant to high traffic, moisture, etc., however, they are the first to show wear and tear and scratches. Because of the sleek and polished look, even the finer scratch and dent looks highlighted with a marker, bothering the owner of the floor. So, consider wax and lacquered finishes for areas, where high traffic and high level of everyday use is not expected, such as bedrooms, lounge areas, spare rooms, etc.
Oils are great for enhancing the natural beauty of wood. Their texture allows the genuine wood’s texture to shine through and look completely natural. In addition, oiled finishes penetrate through the whole structure, adding durability and protection, however, they are not the best for creating a protective barrier on the top of the floor. Oiled finishes wear off quicker by default, however they are very easy to re-apply and the re-oiling service comes at a reasonable price.
Check out these in-depth answers to five crucial questions about wood floor sanding and how it should be done properly for perfect results.
Here are some of the most common hardwood flooring terms clarified for you, so you can make better choices.
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Distressed wooden floors are a true form of art and creativity that fascinates us. Have a look at how the effect is achieved.