All hardwood wood flooring finishes are good. There, I said it – stop worrying about the finish that is going onto your floor. Every professional product on the market is good. They all will last a long time, perform about the same and serve their purpose. For some reason people/homeowners are very concerned about the type of flooring finish that is going onto the floor. Below we will go over the different aspects of flooring finish and why it is important to pick a flooring contractor who knows what they are doing.
Different Types of Hardwood Finishes
1. Oil Based – a 1 part finish that dries by air. This finish takes about 14-30 days to cure (depends on the atmosphere in the building it is applied/air flow)
2. Water-Based 1 Part Finish – This is a finish that cures within 7 days and has no activator.
3. Water-Based 2 Part Finish – This finish is mixed with a catalyst and cures in 24-72 hours.
4. Acid Cure – This has an activator and is mixed – usually cured in about 7 days.
Each of the above have their strengths and weaknesses, however, after the cure time is done – they all preform pretty similarly. The cure period is how long it takes for the product to fully be done off-gassing. If the product is walked on before the cuing period you are taking finish off and/or damaging the products effectiveness. We find that the 2-part finishes are the best for most households because of the restraints homeowners have from kids, pets, etc.
Why Who Puts Your Finish on Matters
Finishes are rated by film thickness. By not putting enough material on a floor the product can fail very easily. By failing I mean:
1. Wearing through the finish
2. Grey spots appearing in random areas
3. Hard to clean
Stepping back a step in the process, sanding also matters. Someone who speeds through sanding and does not do it correctly is also sacrificing your floors life. By sanding with rougher grits and not following it up with a finer grit your floor will get to raw wood faster.
It is honestly imperative to have a quality company no matter the price refinish your floors. You will be happier, have a better experience and have floors that last a lifetime.
Now to Scratches – This Finish is Terrible!
All finishes are good. Finishes wear good if the sanding is good. Finishes last a long time if the right amount is on the floor. So Why do floors scratch?
The simplest of answers is your hardwood flooring – the base on which the flooring finish sits. Simply enough if you have soft wood, you will get dents/scratches. If you have hard wood – you will have no scratches/dents. Scratches literally come down to that one thing – the wood selected for the job.
So, Which Hardwood For My Installation?
So, many people ask “what wood is good for my hardwood flooring installation project?”. I Would suggest the following woods as a good for homes where it matters.
1. brazilian cherry
3. white oak
These seem to be stable hardwoods that are seriously hard. Depending on your look these 3 choices should offer you almost any palette of color needed.
What about the Hardwood Sheens?!
Besides the wood choice – sheen is another tool that can mitigate dents seen on hardwood floors. No, it will not stop dents, but it will stop you from seeing them.
1. Gloss – Shows everything even a beard hair. Dents are instantly seen.
2. Semi – Gloss – Shows any dirt at all. Dents are instantly seen.
3. Satin – shows much less – dirt is semi hidden – Dents are hard to see unless in direct light.
4. Matte – Dents/hair/dirt is nearly impossible to see.
The reason matte shows so little that is on the floor is the light is soaked up and not reflected to your eye. I highly recommend satin or matte finishes.