Residential Flooring: Understanding Flexible Timber Surface Finishes


If you are planning on installing a timber floor in your home, it is important for you to select the right finishing. This external layer is critical in protecting the aesthetic appeal and the general structure of the wood from moisture, dust, and even aggressive foot traffic. In general, there are two major categories of finishes: flexible finishes and less flexible solvent-based finishes. The flexible option consists of penetrating products which allow the timber to move, limiting the occurrence of split boards. The less flexible alternatives should only be used on highly stable wood floors. Here are the most beneficial flexible finishes to consider applying on your floor.

Penetrating Oil

As implied, this type of timber finishing uses natural oil which penetrates into the planks of wood. Typically, the product does not modify the colour of the timber superficially; it enhances the natural grain and appeal. However, if you would like the modification, you can purchase coloured penetrating oil. Penetrating oil is also favoured because it is non-toxic and environmentally friendly. In addition, the finishing layer will require minimal maintenance, and you can repair specific spots where necessary. Unfortunately, this finish does not provide extensive wear resistance.

Water-Based Urethane

Urethane finishes are made using a combination of plasticisers, resins and a blend of other film-forming constituents. The water-based urethane finish uses water as its solvent, which makes the product healthier and more eco-friendly compared to alternatives. The product has a natural appearance after application, and the odour level is fairly low. Moreover, the new layer is quick-drying water-proof and resistant to wear, particularly from aggressive foot traffic. You should choose water-based urethane for light-coloured wood floors because this finish does not gain a yellow tint over time.

Oil-Modified Urethane

The most popular timber finish for floors is probably oil-modified urethane. Its popularity can be attributed to the ease of application and its long-term performance. Like the water-based counterpart, this product is made from ingredients such as resin, plasticisers and general components used to form protective films. However, this option uses a petroleum base instead of water to create the fluid. This layer is stable and highly durable; it is still flexible, which allows the boards to move, preventing accidental splitting. The urethane is also extremely resistant to moisture, so you do not have to be concerned about rotting. Unfortunately, the finish will amber with age, but you can refinish the floor for a fresh look.

For more information, contact local professionals like Parquetry Flooring Co Pty Ltd.


19 January 2017

Getting a colourful floor for our cafe

Our cafe has a funky and bright colour scheme. It's hard to find the right flooring option as we have a lot of foot traffic and bright colours can look dull when we have had a busy period. It also tends to fade when we have to use heavy strength cleaning chemicals on heavier messes. Recently we have started exploring some non-traditional flooring options such as flooring based on recycled plastics and rubber based plastics with poured patterns. It looks really good. This blog talks about some of the flooring options that are available for high traffic areas, including some of the newer and non-traditional materials you can use.