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Best Finish For Wooden Floors

Best Finish For Wooden Floors

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Many of our customers who come to us due to our reputation for wood floor sanding often ask us about which treatment or finish is best to use on their wooden flooring. ‘Should I varnish my wooden floor’ or use something else? After moving all of the furniture out, levelling out the floors, delivering a top-class floor sanding treatment using the latest, professional dust-free floor sanders, the last thing you want to do is apply the wrong surface treatment for your perfect wooden floor!

Whether your wood flooring is relatively new, or decades old, selecting the right top-coat is a critical decision. There are as many choices of finish as there are types of wood and this can have a bearing on the final decision you make. Whether your floor is a rich walnut, a warm cherry wood, or a rustic oak – each beautiful in their own right! – they all share one thing in common, they need a protective coating to look after them and keep them looking their best well into the future.

Whilst the aesthetics are an important factor, you also need to think about durability and wear and tear. A wood floor in the main hallway will normally have a much high footfall than a wood floor in a dining room or bedroom for example. You should, therefore, consider the likely amount of traffic passing over your floor as another key factor.

Generally, there are two main types of wood floor finish, Varnish and Oil-based products. Let’s take a look at the general pros and cons of each;

The benefits of a varnish finish:

Varnish and polyurethane products can offer greater protection to your floor as they effectively ‘sit’ on the surface of the wood. As long as it is applied properly, a varnish coating is durable enough to protect and prevent damage from most impacts and spills to your wood floor. Additionally, as varnish stays on the surface of the wood, it can fill the wood pores and stop them from getting filled up with dust. This makes it easier to keep your floors clean and hygienic.

Good quality clear finishes can easily last for 10 years or more, so once it has been applied professionally, you shouldn't have to worry about the floor for quite some time. In comparison, most oil-based finishes are recommended to be recoated every couple of years.

The benefits of an oil finish:

As opposed to sitting on the top of the wood, most oil products (include tung oil) actually penetrate into the top surface of the wood and hardens from within. Generally, oil finishes don’t provide a shiny ‘gloss’ finish of varnish coatings. Instead, oil finishes highlight the grain of the wood to give a rich patina that can really compliment the character of antique wood flooring or exotic hardwood.

Oil finishes also don’t crack or flake in the way varnish coatings can. However, oil treatments don't offer as much protection against dents and spills as effectively as varnish. If your floor does get damaged with an oil finish, repairing it can be easier as you can re-sand the wood without needing to remove the original finish. Typically, you will only need to apply one new coat of oil to blend the repair in to the rest of the floor.

There are in fact, many additional options to consider within both of these main categories of floor treatment. However, we hope that this guide has started you thinking along the right lines. RH Wood Floors have treated hundreds of different wood floors and we are always happy to discuss the options with you and ensure that your newly refinished wood floor loos just the way you want it too and will keep you happy for many years to come.

If you have any questions on this topic or would like to discuss your own wood flooring, please don’t hesitate to call us today on 087-6268100 or email us at info@rhwoodfloors.ie You can view our collection of 5-star reviews here and also watch some of our customer’s testimonial videos here. RH Wood Floors offer a free home visit to discuss your plans, measure up and provide a personalised quote just for you, all backed up by full certification from The National Wood Flooring Association. Thank you for considering RH Wood Floors.

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