What are the Different Types of Finishes for Hardwood Floors?

Hello, everyone! Welcome back to another informative discussion here at Art of Cleaner Flooring. Today, we have the pleasure of hosting Terry Guilford, an expert in the world of wooden floors, all the way from Ireland. We’ll be delving into an important topic: choosing the best finish for your new or restored hardwood floor. Many homeowners often wonder, “What’s the best finish for my wood floor?” Today, we aim to provide the answers and help you make an informed decision that will enhance your floor’s beauty and ensure its longevity.

Now, the interview with Terry, where I got the information for this article from, is 5 years old. However, I feel what he talks about is still quite valid.

Meet Terry – A Flooring Expert

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of floor finishes, let’s get to know Terry better. Terry has an extensive background in the flooring industry, with over two decades of experience. He’s worn various hats, from a professional flooring contractor to a distributor of quality flooring products. Terry even tests these products in his home, so you can rest assured that his insights are from real-world knowledge. His commitment to quality led him to become a distributor of what he considers the best range of floor-finishing products.

Now, let’s explore the fascinating world of hardwood floor finishes!

The Importance of Choosing the Right Finish

One of the fundamental questions many homeowners forget to ask themselves is, “What is the best finish for my floor?” Often, people leave this decision solely in the hands of their flooring contractors. However, as Terry wisely points out, it’s essential to be proactive and informed about the finish you choose. Why? Because your choice not only affects your floor’s appearance and durability but can also have environmental implications.

In today’s world, where environmental consciousness is on the rise, you should consider the impact of the products you use in your home. Some finishes, like water-based lacquers, have become the standard due to their eco-friendly properties. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the lacquers they use are water-based, as there are still contractors using solvent-based products.

The Beauty and Durability of Oils

Terry also shares valuable insights into oil finishes, an option often overlooked due to misconceptions. While basic single-component oils provide a rich initial look to your floor, they tend to stay as oils on the surface, making them vulnerable to water spots and cracks over time. On the other hand, more complex two-component oils, such as the one Terry recommends, penetrate the wood, protecting it from within and forming a durable, hard armour. These oils look beautiful and resist wear and tear from heavy foot traffic.

Maintenance and Longevity

One of the great benefits of oil finishes is their long-lasting nature. Terry explains that these finishes, due to their ability to become an integral part of the wood, can endure heavy use and are resistant to water damage. Proper care and maintenance, using suitable cleaning products, can keep your oiled floor looking pristine for years.

Choosing the Right Contractor

Terry also emphasizes the importance of selecting the right contractor for your hardwood floor project. Installing or restoring a hardwood floor is a complex task that requires specialised knowledge. Wood, as a natural material, expands and contracts with changes in humidity and temperature, and if not handled correctly, it can cause structural damage to your home. To avoid such issues, ensure your contractor is experienced, trained, and understands the nuances of wood flooring. They should also possess the proper moisture measuring equipment to assess your subfloor’s condition accurately.

So, it’s important to consider your options carefully when it comes to hardwood floor finishes. Water-based lacquers are eco-friendly, while two-component oil finishes combine natural beauty with durability. Whichever you choose, ensure your contractor is well-versed in the art of hardwood flooring to guarantee a flawless installation or restoration.

We hope this discussion with Terry has shed light on the world of hardwood floor finishes and empowered you to make the best choice for your home. Remember, your floor is not just a surface—it’s an essential part of your living environment. Choose wisely, and your hardwood floor will grace your home with beauty and elegance for years to come. 

This is the video where we got all the info from for this article:

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Written by Tracey Gilbey, Marketing

For further advice or information on our Carpet and Soft Furnishing care, please don’t hesitate to contact the Art of Clean team on 01223 901549 in Cambridge. Our services include Carpet CleaningUpholstery Cleaning, oriental and area Rug Cleaning, Curtain Cleaning, Patio and Driveway Pressure washing, Leather Cleaning, Stone and Tile Floor Cleaning and Wood Floor Sanding and Restoration. We also supply new flooring and carpets through our sister company Art of Flooring. Farthings Cambridge provides our Dry Cleaning service.