Hardwood Flooring Finishes

Expert Floor Refinishing Services in Denver, CO & Beyond

Find the Perfect Hardwood Floor Finish at A+ Hardwood Floors

At A+ Hardwood Floors, we offer expert floor refinishing services for Denver, CO, and the surrounding areas. Refinishing hardwood floors is a transformative process that breathes new life into your home's foundation. As the years pass, hardwood floors may lose their luster due to wear and tear, scratches, or fading. However, with a bit of dedication and the right tools, refinishing can bring back the natural beauty of your floors. The application of a high-quality finish not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also protects the wood from future damage. Refinishing hardwood floors is rewarding as it adds value to your home and also provides a sense of accomplishment as you witness the stunning transformation of your living space.

Understanding Your Options: Types of Hardwood Floor Finishes

Hardwood floors add an elegant and sophisticated appeal to your home decor, but they also demand diligent care and maintenance to preserve their natural charm. There are several finishes that can keep hardwood floors looking sharp and well-preserved. However, the selection largely depends on factors like your preferences, lifestyle, and the level of durability you desire.

The most common types of hardwood floor finishes are polyurethane, penetrating oils and sealers, and waxes. Each of these finishes has its own unique properties, benefits, and drawbacks. Here, we'll be delving deeper into the distinctive properties and features of each of these finishes.

Polyurethane Hardwood Floor Finish

High-traffic areas or homes with kids and pets may do better with a durable polyurethane finish. Polyurethane finishes for hardwood floors are popular for their durability, water resistance, and ability to maintain the natural beauty of the wood. Here's some key information:

  • Types – Water-based polyurethane dries faster and releases fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making it more environmentally friendly. It gives the wood a clear finish and doesn't darken it over time. Oil-based polyurethane provides a rich, glossy finish, but it takes longer to dry and releases more VOCs. Over time, oil-based polyurethane may amber and change color slightly, giving the floor a warm tone.
  • Durability – Polyurethane finishes are highly resistant to scratches, abrasion, chemicals, and daily wear and tear. It’s considered the most durable option for wooden floors, making it a good choice for high-traffic areas.
  • Ease of Application – Polyurethane finishes can be easily applied using a roller or brush. For an even finish, the surface should be clean, dry, and well-sanded. They require 2-3 coats, with drying and light sanding between coats.
  • Drying Time – Water-based polyurethane dries quicker than its oil-based counterpart. It can take a few hours for the former and up to 24 hours or more for the latter. However, both types should not be walked on or furnished for several days after the last coat to allow full curing.
  • Maintenance – Maintaining floors with a polyurethane finish involves sweeping or vacuuming and occasional damp mopping. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or pads which can scratch the finish.
  • Downsides – One of the downsides of polyurethane finishes is that they create a plastic-like appearance on the floor, which some homeowners may not like. Also, although they're durable, they do get scratched and dull over time and might require complete refinishing, which can be a complex process.
  • Aesthetic – Polyurethane provides a high-gloss or semi-gloss finish that can really make the colors and grains of the hardwood floors pop, thus enhancing their natural beauty. Oil-based polyurethane provides a slightly yellowish tint, which enhances the warmth and richness of the wood.
  • Health and Environment – Water-based polyurethanes have less odor and fewer VOCs, thus being safer for indoor air quality and more environmentally friendly. However, some people can be sensitive to the chemicals in both types. Always ensure proper ventilation when applying any finish.

Penetrating Oils & Sealer hardwood Floor Finishes

Penetrating oils and sealers are commonly used for refinished hardwood floors to preserve their natural beauty, provide durability, and enhance the lifespan of the flooring. They provide the floor with a protective layer to resist against spills, stains, moisture, scratches, and general wear and tear. These hardwood floor finishes are a popular choice, known for their ability to enhance the natural beauty of the wood. Here's a detailed exploration of these finishes, covering various aspects:

  • Types – Penetrating oils soak deep into the pores of the wood, hardening to form a protective layer. They allow the natural texture and grain of the wood to be seen clearly. There are different types, such as tung oil, linseed oil, and Danish oil.
  • Durability – The durability of penetrating oils is often lesser compared to. Regular reapplication (every two to three years) may be necessary. However, they protect the wood from the inside, reducing the risk of cracking or chipping.
  • Ease of application – It is quite easy to apply, but the surface needs to be clean and dry before applying. Usually, a cloth or brush is used for application. The excess oil must be wiped off to avoid a glossy look.
  • Drying Time – It varies from 24 to 48 hours for penetrating oils to dry, depending on the oil used, room temperature, and humidity levels. Tung oil and linseed oil typically require longer drying times compared to faster-drying options like Danish oil.
  • Maintenance – Although it requires reapplication, the best part about these oils is that they're easy to maintain and repair. You only need to re-oil the affected area instead of the whole floor.
  • Downsides – While these finishes highlight the wood's natural beauty, they may not offer the same level of protection against scratches and stains as polyurethane.
  • Aesthetic – These penetrating oils penetrate deep into the wood's fibers to enhance its natural character and provide protection. They offer a soft, matte, and natural-looking finish, which enriches the color of the wood. These finishes are valued for their ability to create a timeless and authentic appearance.
  • Health & Environment – Some penetrating oils are derived from natural sources and, hence, are eco-friendly. But some contain VOCs (Volatile organic compounds), which are harmful to health if inhaled excessively.

Wax Hardwood Floor Finish

Wax finishes are an excellent choice for those who appreciate a traditional, timeless appearance for their hardwood floors. This type of finish penetrates the wood to protect and seal from within. While they may require more maintenance and may not offer the same level of durability as polyurethane, their aesthetic charm and ease of application make them a popular option. Wax finishes have been used for centuries, but before deciding if this is the finish for you, here are some key factors to consider:

  • Types – There are two main types of wax finish – natural and synthetic. Natural waxes are usually derived from either carnauba or beeswax, while synthetic waxes are made from a variety of synthetic polymers. Natural waxes offer a more traditional, antique-like look, while synthetic waxes offer more durability.
  • Durability –In terms of durability, wax finishes don't quite compare to other finishes like polyurethane. They create a thin protective layer on the wood surface and offer a moderate level of protection against scratches and stains.
  • Ease of Application –One of the biggest advantages of wax finishes is their ease of application. They can be easily applied using a cloth, brush, or a buffer. The process usually involves applying a thin coat of wax, allowing it to dry, then buffing it to a shine.
  • Drying Time –The drying time for wax finishes varies based on the product and conditions. In general, it takes around 10-15 minutes for the wax to dry to a touch, but it may take 24-48 hours for it to fully cure. The room should be well-ventilated during this period.
  • Maintenance – Maintenance of waxed floors is straightforward but more frequent compared to other types of finishes. Regular sweeping or vacuuming, combined with periodic wax reapplications and buffing, is necessary to maintain the look and feel of the finish. The use of non-water-based cleaners is advisable as wax doesn’t do well with water.
  • Downsides –While the warm aesthetics and easy application are beneficial, wax finishes do come with their share of downsides. They're less durable, require regular maintenance, and are sensitive to moisture and liquid spills. Additionally, if you ever decide to change to another type of finish, you'll need to remove all the wax – a process that can be quite tedious.
  • Aesthetic –In terms of aesthetics, wax finishes are second to none. They provide a rich, low-gloss finish that enhances the natural beauty of the wood. With time, they may darken the wood slightly, adding character to the floor. The more the floor is buffed, the higher the level of sheen that can be achieved.
  • Health and Environment –Most natural wax finishes are non-toxic, making them a healthier option compared to some finishes that emit harmful fumes. Synthetic waxes can vary, and some may contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so it's important to research individual products. When it comes to environmental impact, natural waxes are a sustainable choice, whereas synthetic waxes have a larger environmental footprint due to the chemicals used in their production.

A+ Floor Refinishing Services

At the end of the day, the right finish can make a huge difference in how your hardwood floors look and how long they last. At A+ Hardwood Floors, we understand the importance of this choice, and our expert floor refinishing services in Denver, CO, and surrounding areas are designed to breathe new life into your worn-out floors, protecting and highlighting their natural beauty.

Whether you opt for the durability of polyurethane, the natural beauty of penetrating oils and sealers, or the timeless charm of wax finishes, our team is committed to delivering exceptional results. Contact us today and discover how easy and rewarding it can be to give your hardwood floors the A+ treatment they deserve