Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood Flooring

What is the Most Durable Floor Finish?

Consumers want the best finish available for their money. In this video I will discuss the factors that impact floor finish durability.

As a homeowner, the primary way to make your floor finish last longer is within the maintenance and use. Consider that regular cleaning to remove particulates and clipping your dogs’ toenails are very useful. Also, if possible avoid wearing shoes in the house.

Now, let’s get to the important part that you can ask of your wood floor contractor prior to hiring them. Durability of floor finish comes from three factors: solids content/resins quality, application rate, and sanding procedure.

  • Solids content of a floor finish has tremendous impact in the long run for your floor. Low solids content number tends to be in the low percent range whereas good solids content would be 40 percent or greater. Cheap floor finish tends to be filled with less protective resin, which is a material cost. It would be somewhat accurate to say that the price of a floor finish is correlated with the quality.
  • Application rate of finish is crucial to durability. Finish manufacturers have a suggested spread rate for their finish to be durable. Especially with contractors using waterborne products they tend to apply additional pressure to the applicator to gain an extra 100-200 square feet of coverage. An analogy I use is painting a wall: if you press on a roller you will need to roll more coats. Floor finish follows a similar rule, but because finish is clear it is not possible to see thin coats. Ask your contractor what their ideal coverage rate is for their finish. If they have no answer, then do not hire them.
  • Sanding of your floors impacts the quality of your job as well. If a floor is sanded too coarse, then the finish will “sink” into the open grain. If the floor is sanded well to a fine grit that still allows good adhesion, then you will get a better product.

I hope this helps explain the basics of how to evaluate essential elements within an estimate.

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