Wood 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
1. Oil-modified urethane is generally the most common surface finish and is easy
to apply. It is a petroleum base with a blend of synthetic resins, plasticizers and
other film forming ingredients that produces a durable surface that is moisture-resistant.
It is a solvent-base polyurethane that dries in about eight hours. This type of finish
ambers with age. and comes in different sheen levels.
2. Moisture-cured urethane is a solvent-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.
Curing of this type of finish is by absorbing minute quantities of moisture vapor
from the air, which causes them to dry and harden. The curing process is very dependant
on relative humidity.
3. Water-based urethane is a water-borne urethane with a blend of synthetic resins,
plasticizers and other film forming ingredients that produces a durable surface that
is moisture-resistant. These finishes are clear and non-yellowing and are different
sheen levels. 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 expensive.
4. Converstion-Varnish Sealers-(Swedish Finishes)- A two-component acid-curing,
alcohol-based sealers. Because of their origin (country), conversion varnish sealers
are often referred to as Swedish finishes
5. Penetrating Sealers - These sealers are spread on the floor and allowed to penetrate
and are solvent based. The excess sealer is removed with rags or buffed in with synthetic
or steel wool pads. This type of finish often have a color and can be used to stain
and seal the wood floor. Penetrating Oil Sealers are made from tung or linseed oil,
with additives improve drying and hardness.
6. Paste 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. Wax is spread in thin coats for a surface protection after
the stain and/or sealer is applied, then buffed to the desired sheen.
7. Varnish- Vinyl-alkyd varnishes have superseded natural varnish made from vegetable
oils. This product was commonly used before urethane finishes where introduced.