There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right flooring and finish for your project. You could have engineered wood or solid hardwood for instance. When it comes to finished, you could go with a surface finish or penetrating oil finish.
The project will determine which option is best for you. Is it for high-traffic area? Will it be exposed to excess humidity or other natural factors? Will it be installed in the basement? The answers to all of these questions will have a bearing on what flooring you choose.
When it comes to the finish, you need to balance out how you want the flooring to look with how you want the finish to perform. For instance, if the property is going to be sold soon, then you may not want to get too creative with the finish and go for a trendy matte style. If you want the floor to be unique and reflect a personal style, then you can do that as well. It will also make a difference if you want to highlight the wood’s natural beauty or go for something bold.
Why Natural Oil Finishes are Good Options
First off, natural oil finishes penetrate deeper into the wood when compared to traditional wood finished. This means that will have a stronger effect on the wood. Your floor will take on properties of the amount of oil. Since humidity can be extremely damaging to wood floors, you want to use any advantage you can to fight against it by keeping the finish moisturized.
If you are looking for basic protection for your floors, then any type of wood floor finish will work just fine. However, natural oil finishes will increase that performance to another level. Surface-level finishes rest on the surface of the floor, while oils seep in and penetrate more fully. This makes the wood more protected against any threats, such as scratches. Surface finishes can also get extra durability, but you may have to add several coats to achieve the same level of protection.
Look and Feel
The best finishes do not simply provide some protection and a shade of color to the floor. The best finishes accentuate the wood and make it look even more beautiful. Oil finishes will bring out the essence of the wood, which gives of a nice and natural look that is warm and smooth. You can certainly work with different colors and shades, but with oil finishes, the wood itself is the star of the show. The feeling of raw wood on your feet gives a sense of connection with natural all without stepping outside your home.
Hardwood flooring requires maintenance, no matter what finish you use. That said, if you maintain your oil-finished floor properly you will not have to re-sand. You should regularly clean the floor using a product that is recommended by the manufacturer to keep the finish looking lustrous. When you do clean, make sure to use a non-scratching microfiber mop. With the increased protection, you will not have to repair your floor as often, either.
Natural oils are not as volatile, so they do not affect the environment as much. They are a great choice for those who are conscious about the environment and keeping things green for future generations. They are also appropriate for projects that seek to be LEED certified.
Installing a floor is not just about throwing some planks down and calling it a day. Make sure that you make the right decisions for you, right down to what type of finish you want to use.
Curious what oil finish floors look like? Take a look here.