Hardwood floors are favoured for residential spaces because the material is uniquely appealing. The boards have warm colours, beautiful wood grains and distinctive textures. Also, hardwood surfaces are highly durable; you can expect an extended lifespan after installation. Unfortunately, this lumber is vulnerable to damage when exposed to adverse conditions. For instance, the surface will experience degradation in structure and appearance if it is in constant contact with moisture. Therefore, you should ensure that your new flooring is adequately treated. Here are the most beneficial finishing options for residential hardwood floors.
Prefinished hardwood floor finishes are applied by the lumber manufacturer before the products are shipped for installation. This choice is ideal for your home because it will reduce the amount of labour required from your contractor. Also, timber factories have access to exclusive finishing products which are not suitable for an onsite application. For example, some finishes consist of a urethane coat with aluminium oxide crystals. This coating is resilient and will protect your surface from degradation. However, you should note that some factory-finished boards might have an overly finished look which will compromise the natural appeal of wood. So, you should ask for samples before proceeding.
Oil-Based and Water-Based Urethanes
If you are interested in a durable coating which is suitable for onsite use, you should think about choosing oil-based urethane. This product is manufactured using oil-modified acrylic urethane. The protective coat can be applied with ease, and you will have prolonged service with minimal maintenance. However, this finish will emit a pervasive odour in your home. Water-based urethane is a suitable alternative if you want a less odorous coating. Also, water usage in the mix instead of oil means that there are fewer VOCs emitted. On the other hand, you will need several layers of water-based urethane to achieve the same protective effect of the hardwearing oil-based product.
Natural Oil Finish
Natural oils have gained popularity because they are environmentally friendly products. They have no harmful emissions, and their sourcing does not hurt the ecosystem. In general, these finishing materials are manufactured or derived from vegetable oil and waxes. During application, the fluid will be absorbed into the wood, providing excellent protection to the upper layer of the lumber. This option is also advantageous because it does not interfere with the appeal of the timber. Natural oils are not durable and efficient like the alternatives mentioned above. Therefore, you should consult your hardwood flooring installation contractor before making your decision.