When selecting hardwood floors, you’ll need to consider the finish. Unlike wood stains which are used to change the color of your floors, a finish provides a clear coat of protection that enhances the appearance and increases durability. Consumers may be surprised at the choices available for finishing their hardwood floors, which includes the eco-friendly option of an oil finish, one that we recommend for a variety of reasons.
Oil finishes are natural, non-pollutant, non-toxic, and VOC-free with no biocides, no preservatives, and are lead/benzene-free. They are produced from natural substances like vegetable oil and waxes made from purified, renewable raw resources. These finishes come with a milder, signature “oil smell” that will dissipate with time. Urethane finishes contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are toxic and have a much stronger smell that can be an issue for people with allergies. Oil-based finishes tend to yellow or amber the color of the floor so take that into account when choosing this finish.
One of the major benefits of using an oil finish is absorption. Instead of coating the top of the plank, oil soaks into the wood. Natural oil finish cures and hardens, forming a thin layer of protection from the inside. Oil finishes permeate deeper into the wood than traditional urethane products which means the end result is a stronger floor. An oil finish creates a matte appearance which makes scratches and dents less noticeable. It’s easy to spot repair this type of finish as the new oil will simply blend in with the old over a short period of time. When it comes to urethane, the scratch marks are more noticeable on both oil-based and water-based polyurethane finishes, oftentimes resulting in stubborn white lines which can be difficult to repair.
Unlike urethane-coated hardwood, flooring finished with natural oils continue to look their best for years. Using specially formulated soap to clean your oil-finished hardwood helps maintain the finish. With proper care and maintenance, floors finished with this natural coating lasts for a lifetime and beyond. With each flooring purchase from Naples Flooring Company, every client gets a special all-natural flooring cleaner that is designed for the floor they selected.
A hard wax-oil finish is another great, natural choice for your wood floors. The wax saturates the wood and acts as a barrier against stains and moisture but the cells of the wood aren’t closed off so your floors can breathe. This can also prevent mold growth. Because it hardens the wood, hard-wax oil extends the life of your floor, making it look new longer. Hard wax-oil finished floors are more water-resistant than urethane-finished floors because the wood is able to easily expand and contract. A polyurethane-finished floor essentially has a plastic film over the wood, which can trap moisture leading to a higher chance of mold. This also means you could wind up with costly damage you have to repair or replace later on, shortening the life of your floors.
UV-cured finishes are another option that are typically 20 to 40 percent more durable than conventional urethane finishes. Not only do they protect against early-use wear and tear, but they also offer greater long-term durability which further prolongs the life of the wood floor. UV-cured finishes are also low-VOC which helps you keep your indoor air quality and your home environment safe. Like oil-finished floors, UV-cured hardwood floors offer a beautiful matte look which will help you easily repair scratches. Safe, durable, long-lasting, easy to repair—oil finished floors are the best option for your Southwest Florida home.
Cristian and Laurie Longo are the proud owners of Naples Flooring, the exclusive Legno Bastone Gallery. They are located at the corner of 5th Avenue South and US 41, in the heart of Downtown Naples. They are an incomparable designer showroom made for those who love quality living and look for excellence in their own home.
Written by: Maciej Dogiel
Visit our Legno Bastone Gallery I 900 5th Ave S. Naples, FL 34102
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