Waterborne finishes and sealers have always been known to be VOC-compliant in most cases where this regulation is required. They are easier on the environment than most other finishes because of their low fumes while curing for a healthier atmosphere in less time. This "green" finish system will seal and protect your wood floors while utilizing the least invasive chemical balance of finishes that contain VOC's. These finishes are non-flammable and are light on the odor. The durability of Waterborne Finish has increased so much over the years that many of them are now approved in high traffic commercial or residential settings when properly applied.
These finishes can be either water or oil based, depending on the purpose and requirement of the space the floor will be installed in. Both leave a strong protective coat on the wood, and they each have advantages and disadvantages. Oil-based polyurethane finishes are the most commonly used because they are more affordable and easier to apply than other finishes. This finish system gives the wood a beautifully enhanced look with an ambered complexion for soft, warm tones of rich color.
GLOSS ~ SATIN ~ MATTE ~ ULTRA MATTE
Glista Swedish finish is an alcohol-based Conversion Varnish created in the 1950s and for decades has been the industry standard for durability and ease of maintenance. Most hardwood floor installers and industry experts feel that Swedish finish is the most durable and long-lasting option for finishing hardwood floors. Solvent-based Finishes do have their disadvantages, like a strong fume odor during application. This begins to dissipate quickly once the initial curing process has taken place, usually within 48 to 72 hours with proper ventilation. Swedish Finish Systems are commercial rated for heavy traffic and high durability for lasting performance.
There are several kinds of Oil finish products for wood floors but most fall under 3 categories known as Penetrating Oil, Tung Oil or Hardwax Oil. These finishes will look and perform relatively the same way with similar maintenance and application processes. The primary benefit for Oil finishes would be the ability to spot repair scratches and scuffs caused by common traffic damage. This maintenance process is easy enough for a homeowner to perform but it is important to know that the finish will allow for these abrasions to occur more regularly unlike a surface finish that leaves a hardened layer on top of the wood to protect it more. Oil Finishes will often have little to no V.O.C. content making them the most environmentally friendly finish available using organic ingredients with minimal odor. This does result in a slower dry and cure time before ready to walk on. Other factors should be considered before choosing an Oil Finish. HHF can offer expert advice on which finish system is right for your hardwood floor based on your lifestyle.
Sheen refers to the level of shine and luster your finish will have once dry and cured. Choosing the right sheen level can be determined by the style or the performance you desire for your wood floor. We have all types of Sheen examples and finishes available to compare at our showroom.
This is the shiniest of all the different options providing a constant glossy, wet appearance when clean. This provides a formal and sophisticated look with high performance for wear. Although gloss will not scuff and scratch as easily, the damage and wear will be more noticeable against the pristine finished look so precautions such as walking around in sock feet and using floor protection for your furnishings will be helpful. If you want your floors to shine bright and catch people's attention, consider a Gloss Finish.
Satin sheen offers a softer, less reflective surface without eliminating the new floor shine. This is most recommended because the Sheen stays more consistent over time with wear. This finish is the perfect blend of a beautiful new floor shine with optimal low maintenance performance for all traffic areas. Most of the samples we display in our product Gallery's or in our showroom will have a Satin Sheen since this is the most commonly used.
If you want to eliminate most of the shine but still want a low maintenance and versatile finish, consider a Matte Sheen. You will see a noticeable difference in the reflection of light with a soft complexion that may seem a little cloudy and draw less attention to the natural variation of colors in the wood. This sheen level will fit most decorative styles and perform well with foot traffic, showing minimal wear over time.
Unique to all other sheens, Ultra Matte is designed to have little to no sheen at all. This flat raw look is very popular in the design community right now because it blends the raw lack of shine you see with high fashion Oil finishes with the superior durability of a surface finish. Ultra Matte sheen is recommended when those features are important to you. Much like a Gloss finish, sock feet will be recommended for walking around since the lack of luster will highlight foot prints and dirt creating a need to clean and maintain this floor a little more than mid level sheens.
Check out some of our supplier sites for more detailed information about the finishes we use in our installations and restorations.
Diverse ~ Original ~ Decorative
The finish you choose for your wood floor is every bit as relevant as the wood itself. We offer a robust selection of finishes that are sure to meet your project requirements. Changing the finish can have a diverse effect on the color and performance or provide multiple different sheens to fit your lifestyle. We will work with you to ensure your wood selection and finish are complimentary and look brilliant in your space.