Refinishing wood floors may seem too daunting but the good news is that there are several creative ways to bring the dull and damaged hardwood floors back to life without necessarily going through the long a tedious process of restaining, sanding and resealing. Whether you plan on installing hardwood flooring for the first time or you are simply looking to refinish your existing floors, it is important to consider some different hardwood finishes that will look amazing on your floor. Choosing the right polish will not only drastically change the look and feel of your floors but it will also determine how much maintenance they will need. Here are the top five choices to consider.
You can choose from oil based or water based polyurethane. The water based poly is easy to apply and dries much faster although it is more expensive. It is also has a low VOC and low odor while the oil based poly has a high VOC and a strong smell but is far more durable compared to the water based poly. The water based polyurethane has a good reputation for being Eco-friendly besides drying clear. The oil based polyurethane leaves a slight amber tint after drying. For a high-loss, long-lasting and durable finish you can go for either the water or oil based poly.
Wax has been used for hardwood finishes the longest but is not as durable as the more common poly finishes. This coating gives your floors an organic and muted look as opposed to a high-gloss modern finish. However, wax is a low-maintenance finish since it can be reapplied in small areas at least over the short haul but in the long run, wax is a high-maintenance type of finish since you will need to refinish more often. In case you decide to change from a wax finish to a poly finish, all the wax has to be removed before applying the poly finish.
- Penetrating Oil Sealer
Oil sealers are easy to apply but are not as durable as the poly finish. They are a traditional type of finish just like wax and have a mellower sheen than polyurethane finishes. The penetrating oil sealer is a perfect choice for those wishing to retain the look and feel of wax without having to do a lot of work applying it. The oil penetrates the hardwood thus deepening the color of your floor which gives it a rich and beautiful finish.
- Acid-Cured Finishes
This is a professional-only type of hardwood floor finish that is considered to be among the best. Acid-cured finishes are the hardiest when it comes to hardwood flooring but they can also be very expensive ranging between $3.75 and $5 per square foot. This type of finish takes around 2 hours to dry but in order to cure fully, it can take up to 60 days. It then takes another 3 days to safely walk on the floor and a further two weeks to cure enough to lay your furniture on.
- Moisture-Cured Urethane
This type of finish is also one of the hardiest modern floor finishes available but is also known to have one of the highest VOC’s i.e fumes may last for weeks. It is also difficult to apply since it dries very fast and due to its high VOC, proper ventilation and respirators are essential during application.
Hardwood floors no longer need to be sanded to look great again. It is important to choose a reputable floor re-finisher who can help you determine the type of floor finish you need.