Q: Can you tell me about the different finishes for wood flooring?
A: There are five main finishes to choose from. Each has its own benefits and advantages.
This is a transparent, tough, oil-based finish formulated to provide excellent durability and remarkable stain resistance. Polyurethane gives wood floors depth, richness and amber coloring while protecting them from dents and spills.
Average dry time between coats is 8 - 12 hours. Traffic is allowed after overnight drying. Furniture can be replace in 48 hours and rugs placed in 30 days.
Waterbased finishes are clear coatings that dry quicker between coats (3-4 hours) thus allowing 2 coats per day. They have a less noticeable odor and do not require the occupants to vacate.
They are more abrasive resistant to the every day traffic which dulls the floor. They are more difficult to apply, require more finishing supplies, and are more expensive. Because of this we add an extra $ .35 per sq ft to use these finishes.
We are proud to offer and use StreetShoe from BasicCoatings, Traffic from BonaKemi, X-Terra from Duraseal, and Neptune from Precision Technologies.
A clear to amber finish (depending on manufacturer) also known as a conversion varnish. Swedish finishes are the Hardest of all floor finishes and are very popular in the northwest. They are solvent based and require the use of organic vapor respirators during application.
They are combustible during application thus requiring the extinguishing of ignition sources such as pilot lights. Swedish finishes like waterbases dry very quickly, but do leave a residual odor for a couple of days. You (or your pets) can not remain in the home during and immediately after application.
Due to the inherent health risks we do add an extra $ .50 per sq ft to use a swedish finish. We are proud to use Swedish for Pros from Precision Technologies and Gold Seal from Glitsa.
Wax finishes are perhaps the most beautiful of all floor finishes and the most misunderstood. Because it is one of the oldest floor treatments we only remember our moms on her hands and knees stripping and buffing. Wax is a very durable and easiest of all finishes to repair. A waxed finished floor can be put back in use immediately after finishing.
When an area begins to look dull or worn usually it can be restored with only a light buffing. Damaged areas are easily sanded and recoated without having to do the entire house. Yes, it will spot if water is spilled and left, but even then the white spots can be hand buffed out. It may require a strip and clean in traffic areas every couple of years depending on each household.
One should think of a wax finished floor as an investment that needs annual light maintenance and is why we offer an annual eminence service of clean and buffing of only $ .25 a sq ft based on original job size.
When a floor begins to look dull it is time for a recoat or what some people call a refinish. Recoats must be done before the finish has worn through to bare wood or stain. Recoats will only remove minor scratches.
The process involves cleaning and minor mechanical (Screening) abrasion of the top surface coat, then applying 1-2 coats of finish. There is minimal dust involved and usually does not require masking off of areas. High build finishes like polyurethane and swedish only require 1 coat. Waterbase finishes may require 2 coats depending on the floor.
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