There are different hardwood floors that you can select for your home, including rustic oak, rich walnut, and warm cherry wood. Though many hardwood species can be used to establish types of flooring, including plank flooring, all of them share one thing in common: they require a protective finish to keep them looking beautiful for long.
Deciding on the right finish for a newly installed floor can be difficult because hardwood floor finishes have varying levels of glossiness, durability, and strength. This article highlights some types of hardwood floor finishes that you can consider.
1. Moisture-Cure Urethane
Though this finishing option was initially developed to be used in balling alleys, it can be extremely tough and durable when it dries to a high shine, making it resist scratches, stains, moisture, and general wear. Applying this type of finish isn’t easy if you opt to do it yourself. Also, the high levels of VOCs it emits can stay in the air for several weeks. This may make it necessary for your household members to relocate for around two weeks after application.
As its name suggests, this finish absorbs moisture from the air to cure. Meaning, humidity can affect it on the day of application. Additionally, if the air is very dry, it won’t cure and dry evenly. Its application requires a professional and quick hand touch. Due to its many downsides, moisture-cure urethane is mostly used in commercial settings like restaurants and dancehalls. It’s resistance to wear in these places and high glossy appearance and strength outweigh its cons.
2. Oil-Based Polyurethane
This type of finish has plasticizers, synthetic resins, and lean seed oil. Because of its strength and durability, most commercial properties prefer using it. Some homeowners also prefer using it in areas with high traffic inside the house. Its hard-wearing characteristics will save you from regularly maintaining it. You can clean it by merely mopping, sweeping, and vacuuming it regularly.
Oil-based polyurethane contains a yellowish tint that grows more yellow as time goes, giving your floor a rich, warm, and amber color. This finish comes in satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss sheens. If you plan to do the finishing yourself, it’s essential to wear a respirator to protect your lungs from the strong odor and high levels of VOCs it releases. You also need to give it some time to dry.
Unlike the water-based polyurethane, which is cleaned with soap and water, this type of finish is cleaned with mineral spirits. It takes around twelve hours for each coat to dry. Because there are three courts in total, you’ll have to wait for 48 hours before walking on the floors in shoes and about four days before furnishing the rooms.
3. Water-Based Polyurethane
Though water-based polyurethane appears milky in the can, it gives a clear finish when it dries and resists yellowing. Most homeowners like high-gloss water-based polyurethane, though you can also choose the satin and semi-gloss options. The resins and plasticizers in the finish enable it to be durable and resist moisture easily. It’s ability to be cleaned easily using a broom and damp mop makes it a popular finish for most homeowners.
To protect your brand new floor from wearing and tearing quickly, you need to finish it. Selecting the right finish can help you keep your floors sparkling for decades.