25 Jun Your Hardwood Flooring Finish and Why it Matters
Every new hardwood floor requires a finish. This coating protects against regular wear and damage that occurs every day. Considering what kind of wear and tear your floors will undergo based on your lifestyle is crucial when determining which finish you will need. Talking to a new hardwood floor contractor here in Boca Raton can help you make a good choice, but in the meantime, here are a few facts about flooring finishes.
The Difference Between Surface and Penetrating Finishes
Surface finishes are a type of finish that is like a film on the surface of the wood. This film typically forms a protective coating. Here are a few of the surfaces finishes that are available on today’s market.
- Water-based finishes: these coatings are generally clear, quick to dry, and quite durable.
- Oil-based finishes: this kind of layer is durable and typically yellow or amber in color.
- Moisture-cured finishes: these coatings are generally clear or amber in color. They are extraordinarily durable and tend to be more resistant to moisture than most other types of surface finishes.
- Conversion varnish finishes: this kind of coating has varied color. It can be clear to yellow with extreme durability.
- Floor wax finish: these coatings appear amber in color and form a protective seal. While wax coatings are durable, they do require more maintenance.
- UV cured finishes: this kind of surface is typically a water-based finish that is dried instantly using the power of ultraviolet light. This type of coating is generally applied during manufacturing.
- Aluminum oxide finishes: these coatings are applied during the wood production process. This kind of finish has flecks of aluminum oxide in it that help make the coat stronger and more water resistant.
Unlike surface finishes, penetrating finishes typically have more natural materials in them. Many times, this will include natural oils or waxes. These finishes are applied to the wood and penetrate the pores. Once the finish dries, it adds a durable and long-lasting coating.
The Difference Between Factory Finished and on Site Finished
There are two ways to apply a finish to hardwood flooring: factory finish and on-site finishing.
- Factory finished: When your wood floors are factory finished, this means that the manufacturing factory applied the protective coatings and any artificial coloring. The process is completed well before the flooring arrives at your house and because the finish is dry before installation, you can walk on the floor right away.
- Site Finished: When your wood flooring gets its protective coating after installation, it is considered on-site finishing. Though you must wait for the finish to dry before using the floors, this option does allow more color choices, finish textures, and customization.
Choosing the Sheen
When choosing your new wood floor, you want to consider what wood finishing sheen your prefer; however, this is not just a matter of preference. The glossier the shine on your floors, the more light they reflect, which can make a small room seem bigger.
- Gloss finish: Can make an area seem cleaner and bigger because of the amount of light reflection
- Semi-gloss finish: This finish is less shiny and only reflects some light.
- Satin finishes: This finish style has even less light reflection and adds some texture.
- Matte finishes: These coatings offer the least amount of shine and therefore add the least amount of light to a room.
Though higher shine adds more light and perceived cleanliness, it is essential to realize that the more sheen a hardwood floor has, the more it will show scratches, dents, and dirt.
When planning for your hardwood flooring installation in Boca Raton, you may want to consider textured finishes. Some woods are hand scraped or distressed to add lines or aging so that they have more character from the start. If you are less worried about the light and shine of the wood and more concerned with the amount of scratching that will show, you may want to consider getting a textured finish.
The Truth About Color
Though we all love the natural beauty of a good hardwood floor, the truth is, some of that beauty is not natural. It is very common for the natural colors that you see in wood to be highlighted or coaxed into being brighter. Manufacturers sometimes use a toning or muting finish to help the natural colors stand out or fade into the background.
Beyond those enhancements, available stains allow you to choose a lighter wood and make it any color that suits you. The options for stain colors or coloring wood are endless.
Kuhn Flooring and Your Hardwood Floor’s Finish
At Kuhn Flooring, we are committed to providing you with a custom floor that you will love. Contact us today to speak with our design team. We would be happy to discuss which type of finish would be best for the new hardwood floors in your Boca Raton home.