With a variety of flooring finishes available, it's important to weigh up the options and decide on the best flooring design and style for your specific application, particularly at the early planning stages of the project.
When considering hardwood flooring, the choice of finish can have a major impact on the overall look and feel of the flooring, which is crucial when providing a premium service for a client.
There are three coatings available for hardwood flooring; lacquered, UV oiled or natural oiled. Alternatively, solid boards can also be supplied unfinished for finishing in situ, whilst a textured and 'craft look' can be added to boards with a brushed or handscraped finish.
Lacquered finish is a perfect addition to hardwood flooring, in that it can provide a protective hardwearing layer that can be applied in production, making fitting a quick and simple task. Unfortunately, lacquered finished floors can't be spot cleaned, so consider whether the space will have a lot of footfall, as any scratches or marks means the floor must be sanded again and re-lacquered.
A natural oil finish is firstly applied in the factory process, and a second coat is applied during installation, so this means the process is much more time intensive. The oils are allowed to cure into the wood and so become part of the flooring. This means that the floor becomes more durable. Floors with this finish must also be regularly maintained with special soap and regularly re-oiled to keep its stunning look, but the overall maintenance of scratches and marks can be easily removed and buffed out to look as good as new.
A UV oil finish is applied in production making it quick and easy to install. The oils sit in a thin flexible layer on the surface of the wood similar to a lacquer. As the top layer is flexible UV oiled floors are more difficult to scratch and flake. In addition the low gloss level of UV oiled floors makes scratches harder to notice. The maintenance of UV oiled floors is the same as for natural oil.
Brushed and handscraped finishes are perfect to really bring out the natural look of wood flooring. A brushed finish is designed to highlight the grain in the timber, and has a much more rustic, textured finish. Handscraped goes one step further to really bring out this textured look, and emphasises the aged appearance of the floor. A particularly popular addition to more traditional properties, this is a perfect addition for clients looking to create the look of an aged floor, without years of wear and tear.
Finally, luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are available as an alternative to hardwood flooring, and are much cheaper than the previous options. LVT is perfect if you are looking to create the look of wooden floors in your home without using real wood. LVT that has a 'registered in emboss' finish adds a textural dimension to give the look and feel of real wood.