One thing I have observed over the years in hardwood flooring is that a number of floor finish manufacturers are exceptional at marketing and miserable at doing adequate quality control of a product prior to release. It can end up a little frustrating as a contractor, especially regarding the waterborne finish market.
OSMO Poly-X Oil is a product that I have seen stand the test of time. This product is in a class of floor finishes known as hardening oils. Essentially these products all integrate deep into the fibers of the flooring and cure and harden within the floor. The oils are very high solids (usually 90% or greater) and essentially fill all voids between the wood fibers. The appearance of the finished floor is very matte and “real” looking as opposed to conventional floor finishes.
The Good News about these finishes is:
- They are very low in VOC (Volatile Organic Compunds) which is nice for returning to your home after the refinishing process is completed
- The cure time is very rapid. Most of the finishes are able to be walked on and have furniture applied within 12-24 hours. In fact hardening oils are a great choice for commercial applications such as bars and restaurants because of the turnaround time.
- Improved slip resistance is a less mentioned benefit, but still great for anyone concerned about slipping on a hardwood floor.
With the continued push towards lower VOC products, we actually are in support of products such as OSMO as opposed to waterborne finishes. This is primarily because unlike waterborne finishes, hardening oils are not prone to white lines syndrome. This makes them a much better candidate for radiant flooring, which can tend to exacerbate seasonal movement in certain flooring products thus increasing the odds of white lines syndrome.