Timber floor finishes are the protection layer applied to your timber floor. This is after running through the sanding processes. You have a large range of products to choose from. Like everything you buy, there are levels of quality, and price variances. These will reflect in the look and durability of your finished floor.
Timber Floor Finishes - They Play 2 Crucial Roles
This flooring image helps with a visual profile of the coating element of a polished floor.
# 1 - Visual Appeal
They have to look good:
There are two aspects combined that make this happen. One is how well you prepare the wood. The second is the thickness and smoothness of the coating film. Three coats of timber floor finish are always applied. The key is having the highest percentage of coating left on the floor. We use a High Solids timber floor finish called Monothane HS 50 (High Solids 50) the ‘50’ stands for fifty percent. This is the percentage of coating left after the evaporation of the solvents. Fifty percent is the highest level of build available in the range.
# 2 - Durability
They have to be wear resistant:
Durability lies also within the ‘film build’ of coating. It is the layer between your feet and the raw timber surface. As timber is hygroscopic, this is the protection barrier. It's purpose is to prevent dirt and moisture entering the timber fibre. As you can see in the diagram, the side profile of floor finish is all one depth. However this is not the case in the real world. Thinning of the coating layer will occur in high wear areas, especially when you use a low quality finish.
Tell Tale Signs
The first sign of a low quality timber floor coating is the dulling of the surface in certain locations. These include the entry floor, hallway floor and the working triangle area of the kitchen. That is, in front of the sink, stove & refrigerator. The life span of floor coatings can range from 2 or 3 years right up to 15 to 20 years. All polished timber floors can be re-coated at a later stage. This is done to renew the surface and remove minor scratches.