Guide to Floor Finishes

Floor Finish : What is it?

Floor Finishes

A floor finish is a type of seal used for protecting wood, cement, tile, and stone floors. It is applied on floors in a number of layers to make them water-resistant, stain-resistant, and resistant from sun exposure, wear and tear, and other environmental elements.

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Types of Floor Finishes

Floor FinishesFloor Finishes

Kinds of Floor Finishes include the following:

Polyurethane floor finish

  • A polyurethane floor finish, specifically oil modified polyurethane, is the most common surface finish.
  • Polyurethane is a type of plastic that tends to amber slightly as it ages.
  • It can give a high gloss or matte finish.

Swedish floor finish

  • A Swedish floor finish is an acid curing urethane.
  • It is more durable and harder than polyurethane.
  • It is a fast-drying clear finish.
  • It resists yellowing.

Moisture-cure urethane floor finish

  • A moisture-cure urethane floor finish is the hardest among all types.
  • It gives floors a glossy sheen.

Water-based floor finish

  • A water-based floor finish is a blend of urethanes and acrylics.
  • Its vehicular component is water.
  • It is durable, fast drying, and moisture-resistant.
  • It resists yellowing.

Lacquer-based floor finish

  • Lacquer-based floor finish is a synthetic sealer made of cellulose derivatives
  • It is the traditional floor finish.
  • It dries quickly.
  • However, it is not resistant to spills or moisture.
  • It is also flammable.

Polymer floor finish

  • A polymer floor finish is an acrylic or irradiated polymer.
  • It is primarily used for commercial applications.
  • It requires professional application.
  • It has specific maintenance procedures that should be obtained from the manufacturer.

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Choosing Floor Finishes (Buying tips)

Color:  Choose a floor finish with a nonyellowing formula that allows your floor to retain its color in the long term.  

Finish: Do not get a floor finish that produces a matte surface, as it makes scratches more visible.

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