Once you’ve chosen the species of wood for your hardwood flooring, it’s time to choose the finish. The finishing process for hardwood flooring requires two things: stain and topcoat. The stain gives your flooring the color and the topcoat protects it and gives it a sheen.
Although you can choose a natural finish and not stain your flooring at all, that’s not the most common choice. Dark hues like walnut are popular. They look great on most wood species and go with most woods and most decors. Keep in mind that the darker the finish, the more dirt and scratches show. Greys are also a popular finish. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a grey finish on a floor is paint, any good flooring company will use grey based stain. If you want your space to feel bigger, consider a lighter hue. If you have pets and don’t want to sweep daily, lighter stain will show less fur and dirt.
You have several options for the topcoat. The goal of all types is to protect the finish. Most flooring companies use either water or oil-based polyurethane. There are pros and cons to both. The reason many people opt for water-based is because it dries faster and has less odor. Oil based have a richer glow and are less expensive. Because of the odor that comes with oil-based products, you’re likely going to have to stay some where other than in your home for a few days at least.
Once you decide on the type of top-coat, you’ll need to choose a sheen. The options are matte, satin, semi-gloss and gloss. Here are considerations for each:
- Gloss – This is the least common today. A few reasons are because the higher the gloss, the more you can see imperfections. Things like high traffic areas will show wear quickly in a gloss polyurethane finish.
- Semi-gloss – A semi-gloss finish is most often found in an ultra-modern home. It will hide the grain more than less glossy finishes.
- Satin – This is the most common option today. It works well in modern and traditional style homes. Although it has some sheen to it, it’s considerably less than semi-gloss.
- Matte – Matte has a very low sheen, usually around 15% but always less than 25%. Homes with farmhouse or European décor often opt for a matte finish. It shows the least dirt and requires the least maintenance.
Call Authentic Hardwood Flooring
If you want real hardwood flooring for your home, call the experienced team at Authentic Hardwood Flooring. We’ll help you choose the right material, stain and topcoat for your new floors. Reach us at (727) 786-6330 or fill out our contact form for your free estimate.