One of the most exciting things to happen to wood floors over recent years is the advancement in style and technology involved with the finishes that can be applied to wood floors once they have been sanded.

Lacquers are now light years apart from the old fashioned high VOC gloss types from years gone by that make the wood look as if it is covered in layers of plastic. Their modern counterparts are environmentally friendly with a range of sheen levels including ultra matt and soft, delicate sheens if desired. There are also lacquers which whilst giving the wood maximum protection the finish gives the wood an unfinished appearance to create a completely natural look.

Apart from well established classic colours associated with traditional styled wood floors there are now available colours to match almost any contemporary colour scheme. After the floor has been machine sanded on site the bare timber needs to be protected and its beauty can be enhanced by hand applying a floor finish. There are two main types of finish and those are oil based and water based lacquers. The type of use the floor will be exposed to will dictate the type of floor protection needed.

Staining

Once the floor has been sanded, stains can be mixed on site to produce a floor to an exact colour or tone.

Hard wax oils

Hard wax oils can be hand applied or machine applied and are relatively easy to apply and therefore suitable for the non professional. Maintenance of an oiled floor can be done on localised areas of the floor, they do require regular maintenance to keep the floor looking its best, and however after many years the floor will begin to develop a rich patina

Primers

Primers are used for several reasons. Some primers are designed to give a more balanced and even colouration and some will give a richer look with deeper colouration. Also primers are necessary when there is a risk of "sidebonding" and when wood floors are used with underfloor heating.

Water-based lacquers

Water-based lacquers offer the maximum protection possible for wood floors with either a traditional appearance or a contemporary look. A new era of lacquers enables floors to have an "unfinished" look and the exact sheen level can be attained from Matt Matt to Satin through to High Gloss. Water-based lacquers are simple to maintain and maintain their appearance over a longer period depending on use.