Types of Floor Finishes

Your floor is something that holds a lot of possibilities for your home. Unless the floor has a carpet surface, the finish of your floor is something that needs to be considered and analyzed if you want your floor to be optimized in not only durability, but function and aesthetics.

One of the most careless things you can do is be ignorant about the finish of your floor, choosing the most popular finish or the finish that is the easiest to apply.

This is especially true if you intend to stay at your home for a very long time. If you stay at your home for a very long time, you will want your floor to be optimized to where you will not need to choose a different finish.

Indeed, you need to choose a floor finish that you can be satisfied with for a long time. In order to do this, you’ll need to be informed about the different types of floor finishes and how they affect different floor surfaces.

What kind of floor surface do you possess?

Before you can even select a floor finish, you need to not only know what kind of floor surface you are currently using and what kind of finishes they allow.

There are five major types of floor tiles that can be altered by floor finishes: Ceramic, linoleum, porcelain, vinyl planks, and stone.

Ceramic is by far the most popular floor surface. It can also be altered by most of the finishes that will be listed shortly. Of all these floor tiles types, this is the one that can be altered by nearly all finishes.

This is not necessarily true with linoleum. Being a combination of wood and vinyl, it is possible to apply finishes to linoleum, but only a few of them.

Porcelain is more used for walls, but it can be used for floors as well. Oftentimes, the same kinds of finishes that can be applied to ceramic can also be applied to porcelain.

Similar to linoleum, vinyl planks are also a replacement of sorts for wood. Unlike linoleum, it is impossible to apply any finishes onto vinyl planks.

Perhaps the most elegant floor tile is stone, and that is because there are so many variations of stone. Stone is also a very versatile floor tile, as it is possible to apply any kind of finish to almost any form of stone.

Something else you need to be aware of is that there is a difference between a floor sealer and a floor finish.

Difference between floor sealer and floor finish

A floor finish is designed to improve aesthetics of floor surfaces. They do nothing else. They don’t replace the surface of the floor itself or anything like that.

If you are expecting floor finish to repair certain areas of your floor that you might need repaired, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

What you might want to look to instead is floor sealer. Sealer is a permanent floor coating that can specifically replace any significant blemishes on any given floor.

Different than floor finish, which is not permanent, floor sealer is designed to be as close to permanent as any floor coating can be without actually being permanent.

Floor finish is designed to make your floor look better or accomplish a certain function. It is not designed to replace any kind of damaged surface. That is what a sealer does.

Now that you know this difference, here are some of the more popular and common floor finishes.

The most popular and common floor finishes

Something that needs to be understood is that most floor finishes are designed for floors that have a wooden surface. This is because it is easier for wood (or in some cases, linoleum) to absorb the formulas that most floor finishes use.

While it is possible to apply these floor finishes on floors that are not wood based, these floor finishes are very much designed for floors that are made from wood.

Here are some of the most common floor finishes.

Water based polyurethane

Any finish that is water based will produce a high-gloss finish that promises a very impressive shine. This is especially true with polyurethane, which also dries very fast.

There are two things to watch out for with water based polyurethane. The first is that the finish itself is a lot more thin than most other finishes, since it is water based. This means that it will dry very quickly, faster that most other finishes.

Another thing that you should consider is the fact that water based polyurethane creates a very impressive shine. It is a shine that is so impressive that it can magnify even the tiniest blemishes on the floor.

Oil based polyurethane

This kind of finish has the opposite effect of its water based counterpart. It does not create any kind of impressive shine, but rather it will make a floor much more durable. It is also much easier to maintain than finishes from water based polyurethane.

Water based polyurethane promises and almost perfectly shined surface with very few after effects. Although this can sometimes magnify small blemishes, it can still give your floor an impressive finish.

When you use oil based polyurethane, it can create a yellowing effect over time. This is because of the way it resists moisture.

Moisture care urethane

Sometimes polyurethane does not provide a durable enough finish for a floor surface. This is where moisture care urethane comes in. A finish like this won’t give off an impressive shine, but it will make sure your floor is protected.

When you apply this kind of finish to your floor, you will not need to worry one bit about scratches, moisture, or any other kind of wear and tear that your floor may encounter.

However, it is very possible that you will need to hire somebody to apply moisture care urethane, as it is not easy to apply on your own.

Wax

Hold on. Wax? Wax is a floor finish?

As shocking as this may be, it is a floor finish, and a pretty solid floor finish that has existed for a long time.

If you are not really worried about how shiny your floor looks but still want it to be upgraded some, consider a wax floor finish. It is easy to apply and dries very quickly.

However, wax will need to be touched up constantly, as it can turn yellow or darken quickly. This is because of how fast it dries.

These are four of the most common floor finishes. When selecting one of these, remember that a floor finish cannot replace a floor, and they are only designed for adjustments for the aesthetics of the surface.

That being mentioned, there is a floor finish for every situation, and there is plenty to choose from. There is no shortage of what you can do to make your floor look a bit better.

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