Many homeowners worry about the type of finish being applied to their hardwood flooring, but in truth, all professional finishes on the market are good and serve their purpose. The different types of finishes include Oil-Based, Water-Based 1-Part Finish, Water-Based 2-Part Finish, and Acid Cure, and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. However, after the cure time, they perform similarly. The cure period is when the product is done off-gassing and is fully cured. It is recommended to use a 2-part finish for most households due to homeowner restraints.
It is important to choose a flooring contractor who knows what they are doing as finishes are rated by film thickness, and if not enough material is applied, the product can fail easily. Also, sanding is crucial, and if not done correctly, the floor’s life can be sacrificed.
Scratches come down to the type of hardwood flooring selected for the job. Softwood will scratch easily, whereas hardwood will not. Brazilian Cherry, Hickory, and White Oak are considered stable and seriously hard hardwoods that are recommended for homes where it matters.
Sheen is another tool that can mitigate dents seen on hardwood floors. Gloss and Semi-Gloss show everything, including dents, whereas Satin and Matte show less and are recommended as they hide dirt and dents. Matte is highly recommended as it shows almost nothing due to light absorption.
When it comes to hardwood finishes, the most important thing is to choose a reputable flooring contractor who knows what they are doing. A professional flooring contractor will use the appropriate film thickness and ensure that the finish is applied correctly to avoid any potential failures such as wearing through the finish, grey spots appearing in random areas, or the floor becoming hard to clean.
It’s also important to remember that the sanding process is crucial for the longevity of the finish. A quality flooring contractor will take their time to properly sand the floor with finer grits to ensure that the finish adheres well and lasts a lifetime.
Many people worry about scratches on their hardwood floors, but scratches ultimately come down to the type of wood selected for the job. So, if you want to minimize the risk of scratches and dents, choose a hardwood that is known for being seriously hard and stable, such as Brazilian cherry, hickory, or white oak.
Finally, when it comes to the sheen of the finish, it’s important to note that higher gloss finishes show everything, including dents, hair, and dirt, while matte finishes hide them. Satin and matte finishes are highly recommended, as they show less dirt and dents and are more forgiving for everyday wear and tear.
In summary, all hardwood finishes are good and will perform similarly once they have cured. It’s important to choose a reputable flooring contractor who uses the appropriate film thickness and applies the finish correctly. Additionally, choose a hardwood that is known for being seriously hard and stable to minimize the risk of scratches and dents, and consider a satin or matte finish for a forgiving look that hides dirt and dents.