How To Choose A Hardwood Floor Finish?

Jan 16, 2024
How To Choose A Hardwood Floor Finish?

Refinishing your hardwood floors is the best way to restore their spotless look. But apart from choosing the wood type for your flooring, you also have to choose the right finish to get the desired results, as finishing is a final touch that transforms your wood into a masterpiece.

In this blog, we will discuss the different types of hardwood finishes and the factors you should consider when choosing one to help you pick a hardwood floor finish that suits your space and lifestyle needs.

Common Factors To Consider When Choosing A Hardwood Floor Finish

There are many factors that will influence your choice in the finish. So, let’s look at them one by one.

⇒ Preferences

The option that you finalise will display your likes-dislikes and choices. Therefore, consider a finish that suits your natural wood and creates a positive impression upon your visitors. An unsuitable finish can create a harsh visual clash with your furniture, walls, and overall design scheme.

⇒ Lifestyle

Choose a finish that well suits your lifestyle. For example, if you have a big family, consider a durable finish, as it can withstand the brunt of high-foot traffic.

On the other hand, a less durable finish like wax or penetrating oil might be sufficient for areas that receive little traffic. These finishes can enhance the natural beauty of the wood.

⇒ Health Issues

The next is about health concerns, the most important one of all. When choosing a finish, check whether your preferred option does not emit VOCs. These VOCs can irritate the respiratory system, leading to headaches, dizziness, and even allergies.

Instead, you can choose low-VOC or non-VOC finishes like water-based finishes or wax, as these finishes contain near zero of these substances.

⇒ Maintenance

Look after your schedule. If you follow a hectic one, make sure to invest in water-based polyurethane, as it demands minimum maintenance. But if you can manage your regular timetable, there’s no issue in investing in oil-based finishes.

Five Best Hardwood Floor Finishes To Choose

1. Water-Based Polyurethane

If you have plans to renovate your home, this is one of the best finishes to choose from. Water-based polyurethane is a hard, protective layer that can withstand everyday wear and tear, scratches, or spills with remarkable resilience.

It’s known for its perfect blend of durability and ease of use. Moreover, unlike oil-based polyurethane, which requires harsh solvents, water-based polyurethane demands minimum effort to clean with simple soap and water.

2. Oil-Based Polyurethane

While water-based polyurethane is known for its exceptional toughness, oil-based polyurethane imparts an amber glow to the wood, deepening its natural grain and enhancing its character.

Such a finish creates a cosy, inviting atmosphere in your home. Besides, it is an affordable and more user-friendly option for DIY enthusiasts. This can be a significant factor for large floor projects.

3. Moisture-Based Polyurethane

As the name speaks for itself, moisture-based polyurethane has the potential to shield your wood from moderate humidity, and also from spills and splashes too. Most importantly, moisture-based polyurethane dries quickly.

This quick-drying finish allows you to apply multiple coats within a day, often enabling you to enjoy your newly finished floor sooner than other options. Also, it boasts incredibly low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions, meaning less odour during application and a healthier indoor environment.

4. Aluminium Oxide

Aluminium oxide polyurethane stands out for its exceptional durability. It is a super-hard mineral, making it highly resistant to scratches or abrasions, which makes it a good option for living rooms, hallways, or commercial spaces.

Furthermore, its smooth surface makes it easy to clean and maintain, requiring regular sweeping and mopping. There’s absolutely no need for frequent waxing or reapplication.

5. Wax-Based Polyurethane

Wax-based polyurethane enhances the wood’s natural grain, which, in turn, creates a welcoming atmosphere in your home. Such a finish provides almost a “buttery” feel underfoot, adding a touch of luxury and elegance to your space.

As is the case with aluminium oxide, a wax-based finish requires minimal upkeep. Simple buffing with a damp cloth or dry mop keeps it looking its best.

Summing Up

Applying a suitable finish to our hardwood floors is essential to make them durable and attractive. However, at the same time, it is equally essential to choose a finish that suits your style and wood. This blog helps you with that purpose.

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