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Hardwood Floor Showroom Tips: Choosing the Right Finish

June 28, 2017

When looking at different types of wood in a hardwood floor showroom, you may notice that some look different than others. This is because of the finish that has been applied on top of the wood. There are two main types of finishes: oil and urethane. Which should you choose? Here’s what you need to know before you can decide:

Urethane finishes are durable.

Urethane finishes are known to be more durable than oil finishes, which means they are better at protecting your floors against scratches, dings, or stains. However, it is inevitable that a scratch or ding will eventually make its way through a urethane finish. Repairing floors with a urethane finish is much more difficult than repairing a floor with an oil finish. You may have to sand the floor down and refinish the wood in order to fix damage on floors with urethane finishes. So although your floors are more durable, they are also more difficult to repair.

Oil finishes won’t peel.

Non-oil finishes sit on top of the hardwood floor, so they are often thought of as surface sealants instead of actual finishes. These sealants may begin to crack or peel over time, but you don’t have to worry about this happening if you choose an oil finish instead. Oil finishes absorb into the wood instead of sitting on top of it, so there’s no way these finishes can crack as they age.

Oil finishes have a natural look.

Do you want the hardwood flooring in your home to look natural or glossy? The answer to this question should help you determine which type of finish you want. Oil finishes do not provide the same level of shine as urethane finishes, but they are known to make the knots and natural grain of the wood stand out. Because of this, oil finishes are often used when homeowners are trying to create a laid-back, rustic, or country vibe in their homes. Keep these differences in mind as you make your final selection so you can choose a finish that will complement the rest of your home.
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Urethane finishes are more low maintenance.

If you choose an oil finish, you may need to use a special type of cleaning product on your hardwood floors to prevent damage. Floors with urethane finishes are much easier to clean, so you don’t have to make as much of an effort to preserve the look of your hardwood if it has this type of finish. If you have an oil finish, you will also need to recoat the floors every few years when the finish begins to fade away. Learn about oil vs. varnish for hardwood floors.
If you’re ready to install hardwood floors in your home, it’s time to get in touch with the professionals. Contact the team of design experts at Ward Hardwood who have a knack for helping clients choose the right flooring for their homes, and preserve it for years after installation. Call 303-674-6966 to set up a consultation today.