A real wood floor can be a great addition to any home, adding a warm and authentic feel, while also increasing the value of the home in the process. To get the most out of your wooden floor you should use suitable wood floor treatments and finishes to really bring out the natural beauty of the wood, and protect it in the process. There is a huge range of wood floor treatment products available, and it can be hard to understand what each treatment does. We are going to look a little into 4 of the main finishes, and what each finish does, and how you can best use them.
Wooden floor stains come in a magnitude of colours and shade, and are a perfect way of adding extra character to your wooden floor. Unlike a paint, a stain does not cover the natural grain of the wood, instead it enhances and incorporates the grain, offering a more natural look and feel, compared to a paint. Though bear in mind a stain has no protective qualities, so it will need to be covered with an oil or varnish to add this required level of protection. There are tinted oils, and varnishes available which combine the colouring effect of a stain, with the protection of a oil or varnish.
Floor oil is one of the most popular floor finishing products as it offers a natural look and feel, while also protecting, and nourishing the wood. A clear oil will slightly darken the wooden, and bring out the natural grain. You can get a rough idea for how much an oil will darken the wood by wiping the floor with a damp cloth, and this will help indicate how much a clear oil will darken the wood. Oils provide a great level of protection, and offer excellent dirt and water repellence, making them ideal for floors. Floor oils also come in a range of sheen levels, which refers to how shiny or reflective the finish will be, with the most common sheen levels being matte, satin and gloss. Just remember oiled floors will need regular upkeep depending on wear, but spot repairs are easy and stress free. If safety is a concern of yours there is a range of anti-slips oils available, to help prevent any trips or slips.
Like an oil, floor varnishes are very popular due to the level of protection that they offer, as varnishes are extremely hard wearing. Unlike a oil which soaks into the wood, a varnish sits on top of the wood, protecting the wood beneath. Like an oil it comes in a range of sheen levels with the main ones again being matte, satin and gloss. A varnish requires less care and maintenance than an oil, although when it does need repairing (every 5-10 years depending on number of coats and wear) you will need to sand the entire area back to bare wood and start again. Floor varnishes are also available in an anti-slip ranges for an added level of safety.
Finally there is floor paint, which is ideal if you want to obscure the wood and cover the grain. Paints are perfect for adding a splash of colour to your floor, and are easy to apply. This is ideal for floors that may be damaged or discoloured, as the paint will help hide any of these imperfections. Not all paints are suitable for use on floors, and you should only ever use specific floor paints, as these are made to withstand the wear and tear floors naturally receive.
There is a whole range of wood finishes and treatments available for wooden floors, in a range of colours, shades and protection levels, so no matter what your style, there is a wood finish to compliment it.
Remember woods act differently to different products, so always conduct a test area to help you see what the final finish will look like before investing too much time and money. If you would like to find more about wooden floor treatments visit Wood Finishes Direct for more information, and a range of products.
This article was written by Merv Jones, Technical Advisor at Wood Finishes Direct, who the UK’s largest online supplier of wood finishes and treatments.
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Posted by Paul Hayman on Monday 26 June 2017 at 10:46