The Floor Sanding Experts Are Now Mr Sander®Learn More ➔
Posted on April 24, 2023
Wooden floors are a timeless and elegant choice for any home. They provide a natural warmth and classic charm that can’t be achieved with other flooring materials. However, over time, wood floors can become worn, scratched, and dull. Sanding is the process of removing the top layer of wood to reveal a fresh, smooth surface beneath. Before you begin sanding your wooden floors, it’s essential to consider the various finishes available to protect and enhance your newly sanded floor. In this comprehensive blog post, we will discuss the different finishes you should consider before embarking on your sanding project.
Polyurethane is a popular choice for wooden floor finishes due to its durability, water resistance, and low maintenance requirements. There are two types of polyurethane finishes available: water-based and oil-based.
Water-based polyurethane has a low VOC content, making it an eco-friendly option. It dries quickly, within 2–3 hours, and is clear, allowing the wood’s natural colour to shine through. However, it may not be as durable as oil-based polyurethane and may require more frequent reapplication.
Oil-based polyurethane, on the other hand, is more durable and long-lasting. It takes longer to dry, usually around 24 hours, but provides a warm, amber hue to the wood. While it is more resistant to wear and tear, oil-based polyurethane has a higher VOC content and a stronger odour.
Hardwax oil is a blend of natural oils and waxes that penetrate the wood, providing a deep, rich finish while still allowing the wood to breathe. This finish is known for its durability and ability to resist water, stains, and wear. Hardwax oil is an excellent choice for high-traffic areas or households with pets.
The application process of hardwax oil involves buffing the oil into the wood, which can be time-consuming. However, the finish is easy to maintain and repair, as it doesn’t require a complete sanding and reapplication like polyurethane. Instead, spot repairs can be done with minimal effort.
Shellac is a natural, non-toxic finish derived from the secretions of the lac bug. It is known for its ability to bring out the beauty of wood grain and colour, making it a popular choice for antique or rustic-style floors. Shellac dries quickly and is available in different shades, ranging from clear to amber.
Although shellac is less durable than other finishes, it is easily repaired by simply applying a new coat over the existing one. It is also a suitable option for those seeking an eco-friendly finish, as it is biodegradable and low in VOCs.
Lacquer is a fast-drying, hard finish that is both durable and resistant to moisture and stains. It comes in various sheens, from matte to high gloss, allowing for customization according to personal preference. Lacquer can be either solvent-based or water-based.
Solvent-based lacquer is more durable and provides a higher level of protection, but it also has a strong odour and high VOC content. Water-based lacquer is more eco-friendly, with lower VOC levels and a milder odour. However, it may not be as durable and may require more frequent reapplication.
Oil and Wax:
Combining oil and wax finishes provides a natural, soft appearance that enhances the wood grain while still offering protection. This finish is ideal for those who prefer a more traditional, hand-rubbed look. The process involves applying a penetrating oil, followed by a wax topcoat for added protection and sheen.
Oil and wax finishes require more frequent maintenance than other options, but they are easily repairable, and touch-ups can be done without having to refinish the entire floor. Some popular oils used for this type of finish include linseed oil, tung oil, and Danish oil.
Staining is not a standalone finish, but it can be applied before applying a protective finish, such as polyurethane or lacquer. Staining allows you to customise the colour of your wooden floors, whether you want to darken the natural colour or completely change it. There are various stain colours and types to choose from, including water-based, oil-based, and gel-based stains.
When staining your wooden floors, it’s essential to select the right stain for your wood type and desired finish. Test the stain on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire floor to ensure the colour and appearance are what you expect.
If you prefer a more environmentally friendly option with minimal impact on indoor air quality, consider natural finishes such as linseed oil, tung oil, or soy-based products. These finishes are made from renewable resources and typically contain low or no VOCs. They provide a soft, matte appearance and enhance the natural beauty of the wood.
Natural finishes may require more frequent maintenance than synthetic options, but they are easy to repair and touch up without the need for a complete refinishing.
Choosing the right finish for your wooden floors before you begin sanding is crucial to achieving the look and durability you desire. Consider factors such as your home’s foot traffic, your desired appearance, maintenance requirements, and environmental impact when making your decision. By taking the time to explore the various finishes available, you can ensure a stunning result that will last for years. Consider factors such as your home’s foot traffic, your desired appearance, maintenance requirements, and environmental impact when making your decision. Whether you opt for a durable lacquer, polyurethane, a classic oil and hardwax combination, or an eco-friendly natural finish, your newly sanded wooden floors will be a beautiful and functional addition to your home.
We provide virtually dust-free sanding with our continuous belt machinery with mobile extraction units, giving you a safer environment for your family.
This organic finish not only adds beauty to your home but also has exceptional water-repellent characteristics, making it easier to clean and maintain.
This natural floor finish offers the softest and most mellow appearance – and leaves your floor able to breath.
Using soft buffing machines (and hand-polishing where required) will bring a wonderful sheen to your newly-finished floor.
We offer a full assessment of your wooden floors to determine what repairs are needed to provide the perfect working surface for the later stages of sanding, staining and sealing.
We offer a comprehensive restoration process designed to address floors that are improperly fitted or damaged over time through wear and tear.
Simply enter your postcode below to get started.