Advice: Choosing a finish for your floor
Choosing a finish for your floor
After fitting and sanding a solid hardwood floor, the next step is to seal it. This is done for a number of reasons:
- To enhance the colour and the grain of the wood.
- To help protect the wood from stains and dirty marks.
- To help prevent insect and bug attack.
Lacquer or wax?
When it comes to choosing a finish for your floor, you will discover that there are numerous brands and products available with a variety of ingredients, visual effects, advantages and price tags.
Floor finishes can be broken down into two main types:
Lacquers / varnishes
These are solvent-based liquids that result in a hard impervious finish. They commonly give the floor a glossier appearance but with modern manufacturing techniques they are now also available in matt and satin finishes. Hard finishes are very durable and in the short term require very little in the way of maintenance. The disadvantage, however, is that these finishes cannot normally be touched up and will require a full strip and re-seal within 5 – 10 years, depending on traffic.
Wax / oils
These are finishes made from a blend of natural ingredients that form a soft finish on the floor. This type of finish does not seal the floor as well as a hard lacquer and may scratch more easily, but over time the natural oils penetrate deep into the floorboards, feeding and protecting the wood. The main advantage of a waxed floor is that it can be continually refreshed and maintained and waxed floors actually improve over time.
To make the process easier we have selected three tried and tested products from well established brands.
|Granwax Classical Silk Satin|
|Granwax Granglaze Satin|
|Fiddies Hardwax Oil|