Floor Finishes create lasting beauty and requires minimal care with
today's modern technology in wood floor finish products. The right
finish protects wood flooring from wear, dirt and moisture while
giving the wood an attractive color and sheen. Today most wood floors
are finished with a stain and a top coat. Technology has provided
a wide selection of wood flooring finishes, each with its own distinct
benefits and appearances.
Finishes - Surface finishes are very popular today because they are
durable, water-resistant and require minimal maintenance. Surface
finishes are blends of synthetic resins. These finishes most often
referred to as urethanes or polyurethane's remain on the surface of
the wood and form a protective coating. They are generally available
in high-gloss, semi-gloss, satin and matte.
are basically five (5) main types of surface finishes:
urethane is generally the most common surface finish and
is easy to apply. It is a solvent-base polyurethane that dries in
about eight hours. This type of finish ambers with age.
2.Moisture-cure urethane is a water-base polyurethane
that is more durable and more moisture resistant than other surface
finishes. Moisture-cure urethane comes in non-yellowing and in ambering
types and is generally available in satin or gloss. These finishes
are extremely difficult to apply, have a strong odor and are best
left to the professional.
3.Swedish finish or acid cure urethane is a clear
and fast drying finish. It is durable and non-yellowing. These finishes
have an extremely strong odor and should be applied by the highly
skilled wood flooring professional.
4.Water-based urethane is a waterborne urethane that
dries by water evaporation. These finishes are clear and non-yellowing.
They have a milder odor than oil-modified finishes have and they dry
in about two to three hours. Water-based urethanes are generally more
5.Alumiunum Oxide Finishes- The newest in wood
floor finishes offers a long lasting more durable coating than past
wood floor finishes. These finishes carry a limited 25 year wear
warranties, and are available on most major prefinished wood floors.
These finishes are not available to the general public.
Wax- The oldest, and in some ways the best. Wax is
the easiest to apply, least expensive, fastest drying, easiest to
repair, and with proper care will survive forever. Wax over a penetrating
stain, and the system is in the wood so you wear the wood, not the
finish. Proper care involves maintenance with colored waxes. Water
will spot the waxed surface and must be removed (or prevented). Buffing
is required. Periodically, wax must be added, and this conjures up
the memory of Grandma on her knees.
CUSTOM FINISHES "Custom," by definition,
means performed to individual specifications. Custom finishing of
wood floors is performed in the home on the completely installed new
floor, or to refurbish a previously finished floor. Custom finishing
permits the decorator and owner to select from a full range of color
and surface types', from shine to sheen, not being restricted to factory-selected.
What type of finish do you have?
Here are some simple steps to help you determine if the finish is
a wax finish, shellac or varnish finish or a surface finish. If
the floor was installed, or last serviced, before the mid '60s,
you should assume the finish used was varnish or shellac. To determine
this, scratch the surface with a coin or other sharp object in a
corner or other inconspicuous space. If the finish flakes, it is
probably shellac or varnish. Shellac and varnish are rarely used
anymore and require full sanding to remove before application of
a surface finish or wax finish.
the floor for wax finish. In an inconspicuous area, corner or behind
a door, apply two(2) drops of water. If, within ten minutes, white
spots appear under the drops of water, the floor has a wax finish.
To remove the white spots, gently rub the spots with steel wool
dampened with wax.
If the finish
does not flake from scratching with a coin and white spots do not
appear from the drops of water, the floor has a surface finish and
should be maintained accordingly.