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You first have to decide on what the best treatment and finish would be for your wooden floor. Our knowledgeable Surveyor will give free advice on what would be the most appropriate products to use during his site visit. This will depend on the specific age and type of wood, the environment (see below) and preferred sheen level. Floorfixer is a genuinely independent company, and we are not obligated to use a particular brand or product as some other local companies are.
Soft wood floors work successfully with a much smaller range of products and finishes than hard wood flooring. There are over fifty species of wood used for wood floors and it is important to choose the correct finishing process for each individual type.
Both solid and engineered wood floors can be successfully treated, but each requires a different approach to the initial sanding process. We may need to use different types of sanding machine to suit each type, and our technicians are fully trained to use them all.
A high level of moisture can be created in Kitchens and Bathrooms when compared to living areas. Hallways usually tend to get far more wear also, and all these factors are taken into consideration by the surveyor when assessing a job before he recommends the type of finish for your floor.
Not all species of wood are suitable for staining, and if an unsuitable stain is applied it may need to be completely re-sanded a few months afterwards. It is because of this that we always do a test area first and then ask for written approval before complete application. Floorfixer mainly uses Oil-based wood stains which penetrate deep into the wood, sealing and protecting it while highlighting the grain and enhancing its beauty. The Oil based stains tend to take longer to cure which gives us more time to work with them and therefore you are less likely to get dried-on marks when some areas dry faster than others. They don't raise the wood's grain either, so you don't need to do extra fine sanding afterwards.
There are many types of finish to choose from which can produce various effects; glossy, matt, traditional or modern. They can be Water Based, Hard Wax Oil, Lye Treatment, Soap Treatment, Oiling etc. The surveyor will help you to select the best one and use of his experience and advice is completely free of charge. We use a range of water-based lacquers made by the market leaders. They are all well tried and tested hardwearing products suitable for both domestic and commercial use. The latest innovation is a product called hardwax oil and there are many manufacturers who are able to blend natural oils with waxes but Osmo and Pallmann are our preferred choice, and we have attended courses at both company's headquarters.
Lacquer or Hard Wax Oil?
These are the two most popular finishes. We always recommend Lacquer on Pine flooring due to it being a soft and porous oily wood needing extra surface protection. The main downside with a Lacquered floor though is that it is very unforgiving, as it tends to scratch more easily - and it's not possible to carry out spot-repairs either. The only option when it looks to be in need of TLC is to sand the floor down to the bare wood and reapply some more lacquer. Whereas with Hard Wax Oil, if the floor starts looking a little tired and worn or a spot-repair needs to be carried out, maintenance oil can be easily applied without the need to re-sand.
Lacquer is a coating that provides an impenetrable seal of protection to the top layer only almost like a plastic film protecting it. Lacquered floors are hard wearing, very easy to clean and maintain. Another benefit is that you have a bit more time to wipe up any spillages before they stain with a lacquered floor, but you need to be aware that although it is a very tough product, it is not impenetrable. If you spill something on the floor and it is left there for a period of time it will eventually penetrate the lacquer and stain the wood. Whereas Hard Wax Oil, being made from vegetable oils and natural waxes, impregnates the wood by penetrating into the first few millimetres while sitting on the surface in the same way as lacquer does as can be seen in the diagrams below. This fantastic product prevents moisture entering the wood whilst still allowing it to breathe naturally.
Hard Wax Oil is hard wearing but not quite as hard wearing as a lacquered floor. You can simply wipe up spills without them marking the wood floor, but obviously you can't leave spills for a prolonged period of time or eventually they will stain the surface of the wood. You need to apply a maintenance oil on your floors when it starts to dry out, the frequency of oiling depends on the atmospheric conditions of the room, if you have underfloor heating and how much wear the floor has had. If you apply maintenance oil to the floor regularly (we normally recommend once/twice a year) you should not have any issues with stains or marks, but if you allow your floor dry out the wood will become porous and absorb any moisture that comes in contact with it, this will cause the floor to mark and stain.
Ashby de la Zouch