Sunday, August 26, 2012

How to Select the Right Finish for Your Hardwood

So you want a hardwood floor in your home? Congratulations it's a great choice to make. But before you can enjoy the many benefits of this particular type of flooring it's worth considering what finish you are going to opt for. So with that in mind, here are some tips you can think about when considering your options.
How much time do you have?
This might sound like an odd question to open with, but some finishes take longer to dry than others. For example an oil based finish is typically the one that takes the longest amount of time to dry. If you choose another type of finish for your hardwood floor - a water based option for example - you can complete the job faster. When you consider you won't be able to walk on the floor until it is completely dry, you can see how convenient this can be if the room you are doing is frequently in use.
Can't you get the hardwood finished for you before it is installed?
Yes this can be done. You must make sure you choose a high quality hardwood floor in this case though: otherwise you won't get the results you want. The advantage of this method is that you can get the floor laid and not worry about staining it or waiting for it to dry. As soon as the floor is down you can start enjoying it.
Can you choose from different types of finishes for your hardwood?
Yes you can. There are surface finishes which literally sit on the surface of the wood, and penetrating finishes that do exactly what the name suggests. It is generally easier for the homeowner to maintain a surface finished floor because the upkeep is more straightforward. Indeed many floors today are protected in this way, so you may want to keep the maintenance to a minimum and opt for a surface finished floor.
One thing worth bearing in mind is that the more popular surface finished option is actually a lot harder wearing than the penetrating one. So if you have an active household this is the finish to go for.
Is there a good choice of colors in both finished floors and those that are finished after they are laid?
The good news is yes - you have a great choice in both situations here. There are wide ranges of colors and shades that have a nice warm finish. Some are much darker than others so you should consider which shade would look best in your home. If you are going to have a hardwood floor laid throughout your home you should pick a shade that will look good in every single room.
As you can see there is a lot to think about when considering what type and finish of hardwood floor you should get. But if you spend a little time considering the options now you will be rewarded with a better floor in the end.
Choose your finish according to your circumstances and preferences. Whatever finish you choose, remember wooden finishes protect your hardwood floors apart from making them look good. So, give a finish that is appropriate to the wood surface and make them stay with you for a lifetime.

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