After you have chosen the color, and species of your new hardwood flooring, there are some more choices to make. It is time to decide on the finish, sheen, texture, and width. In addition, you will have to choose between finishing the wood on site, or purchasing prefinished flooring. Keep reading to gain an understanding of all of your options and find the perfect hardwood for your floor.

Natural Appearance for your New Hardwood Floor Sheens

Satin, Matte, and Flat finishes enhances the natural beauty of your new hardwood flooring. They keep the appearance much closer to unfinished wood by avoiding shiny gloss. These options are much more popular than the glossy finishes of the past, and are much lower maintenance. Gloss shows dirt, scuffs, and scratches much more prevalently, and does not age as well as a flatter finish.

Polyurethane and Oil Finishes

High grade polyurethane finishes are durable as well as environmentally conscious. However, as more and more people are going back to older ways of doing things, oiled floors have become more and more popular in recent years. Using oil to finish your floors in the most environmentally conscious path you can take since there are no volatile organic compounds in these oils. The oils penetrate into the wood, and give a flatter sheen than polyurethane. Tung, Linseed, or a combination of the two are the most popular oils for finishing wood. However, sunflower, hemp, or safflower may also be used to finish your floors. A huge perk to an oiled floor is the homeowner can fix scratches themselves by applying a couple coats of oil to the affected area.

A downside to oiled floors is that they are more expensive than polyurethane. In addition, more oil must be applied periodically. When the maintenance is not kept up, high traffic areas will become discolored. Polyurethane protects against water and stains where oil does not protect your new hardwood floors as well. This means that the wood will absorb spills and pet stains. They also require specific natural cleaning agents.

On Site Finish or Pre-Finished?

Wood that has been finished on site tends to have a better appearance, but that extra bit of beauty also costs more. A new hardwood floor that has been site finished has an all around cleaner appearance. It is more consistent, smoother, and easier to clean. One of the biggest benefits is that a site finish lets you customize your stain within the rooms where it will live. You get the exact lighting, and exact look which lets you mix and match stains to your preference. This also applies to choosing your finish. Satin, matte, gloss, et cetera.

Pre-finished wood often has lines across the edges where the underlying unfinished parts of the wood are visible. Especially when they have been stained. Previously finished hardwood also has tiny bevels where dust, and debris can get caught. Therefore, it is more difficult to clean.

Ready to choose a sheen and finish for your new hardwood floor? Call or email Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers today for a free consultation. We know you only want the best in flooring and remodeling. That’s why it’s important to hire the best in the business, and at Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, we can guarantee you that’s us.

Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers have been flooring and remodeling Kentuckiana for over 30 years. Our certified installers have the ingenuity and know-how to assist you in choosing the perfect floors for your home. Don’t take matters into your own hands—let us guide your next project.

About The Author

John Raisor is a well traveled carpentry and food writer.


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