How To Choose A Finish For Your Hardwood Floors

Nov 16, 2016

How To Choose A Finish For Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors can live a long time with the right finish. However, the right finish depends on your tastes. When selecting a finish for hardwood flooring you need something durable that can handle everyday wear and tear. There are different types of finishes, so here’s a list to help you choose the one that will work best for you.

Wax finish

This is one of the more common hardwood floor finishes because of its quick-drying properties. Wax also provides a protective barrier that is easy to repair, should a scratch or scuff appear. When applied, wax should be spread in thin layers so that it lasts longer. For that extra sheen, wax can be buffed.

Extra-durable acrylic finish

Extra-durable acrylic finishes paired with conversion-varnish sealers (Swedish finishes) will keep your hardwood floors looking great for years and years. Some manufacturers swear that this type of finish is more durable than traditional wax finishes, although it depends on how much foot traffic your hardwood floors experience and if you have pets.

Polyurethane

There are three types of polyurethane-based finishes that you can choose for your hardwood floors.

  • Oil-based polyurethane: This type uses a mix of plasticizers, synthetic resin and additional proactive ingredients to create a durable finish. Oil-based polyurethane is easy to maintain and will add an amber shade to the wood’s natural colour. The only downside to oil-based polyurethane finish is that it takes a while to dry and requires multiple coats to be effective.
  • Water-based polyurethane: Like it’s oil-based cousin, water-based polyurethane contains synthetic resins and plasticizers. It’s durable, resistant to moisture and very commonly used on hardwood floors in commercial spaces. Unlike oil-based polyurethane, the water-based version is quick drying. However, it may not be necessary for your home if you are only finishing a small floor space.
  • Moisture-cured polyurethane: If you have children who are prone to spills and pets who will do everything in their power to walk through your home with wet paws, then moisture-cured polyurethane is the right finish for you. This finish is durable and resistant to liquids. While the moisture is curing, the polyurethane absorbs tiny moisture particles leading them to harden on the surface as they dry. One thing to note is that this type of finish is that it is not easy to apply and you will need to use the services of a professional.

Penetrative sealers

This type of finish consists of a solvent-based penetrating stain that is applied to the hardwood floor. The stain soaks into the wood to seal it and improve the hardness of the wood while it dries. The only downside to using penetrative sealers as a finish on your hardwood floor is that you can not use water-based cleaning products on it.

No matter what type of finish you choose, regular maintenance will make your floors last longer.

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