What are the Different Types of Hardwood Finishes?
The type of finish on your hardwood floor can completely change the look of your home. Depending on the finish, it can also mean making alterations to your cleaning schedule. The two most popular types of wood finishes are matte and high gloss. Matte finishes are lower maintenance and show scratches less, while a high gloss finish must be cleaned more often and shows problem areas. While they both offer their advantages and disadvantages, deciding on what you want your floor finish to look like and how you want it to function is an essential part of the purchasing process.
Urethane vs Oil Finish
Urethane finishes are the most popular choice for hardwood flooring finishes in the US. The popularity of urethane stems from the protective layer it provides, as well as the cost. When urethane is applied, it does not seep into the wood. Instead, it rests on top and acts as a protective coating for the hardwood. This type of finish dries clear, allowing the stain on the wood to come through. Urethane can be tricky to apply, so it’s important to note that you should leave this to the pros.
Oil finishes tend to be misunderstood. Unlike a urethane finish, an oil finish does seep into the wood. Hardwood can be strengthened through this process; however, there is no added layer of protection. This makes oil finished flooring more susceptible to be damaged by traffic and accidents. Oil finishes can be clear or tinted, so getting the color and shade you want out of your hardwood can easily be achieved. These finishes also bring out the natural color of hardwood, so if you like being able to see the character come through; an oil finish could be perfect for you. As far as maintenance, it is necessary to keep up with oil finished flooring by reapplying the finish every few years.
If you’re looking to refinish your hardwood floors, matte versus high gloss and urethane versus oil can feel like an overwhelming decision. Whatever you choose, make it a fun experience and know that décor and rugs can always be added around your home to change the look. Think about your options thoroughly, and get the best of both worlds by adding an area rug to your newly refinished hardwood floors!
To learn more about hardwood refinishing, contact Migala Carpet One Floor & Home in Portage and Kalamazoo.