Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Basics: Wood Flooring Finishes

The last thing you want to do after getting a beautiful wood floor installed is ruin it with improper cleaning!  Before you attack that floor with a mop and bucket make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.  There are three main types of wood flooring finishes: surface finish, wax finish and acrylic finish.

1. Surface finish
Generally made from a synthetic resin, these finishes are durable and water-resistant (but don't leave pools of water just sitting).  They are quite durable and don't require a ton of maintenance.  They come in many different finish types.

2. Wax finish
Wax is a beautiful finish.  It gives your floor a beautiful sheen without being too "polished" looking.  This is perfect for homes with a comfortable feel and without a lot of activity.  If you have dogs, kids, etc. racing around scratching things up, this might not be the best choice.  Water should not be used on wax floors unless it is in a product that has been designed specifically for this finish type.

3. Acrylic finish
Acrylic finish is a heavy-duty wood floor finish.  It is not often a choice for residential use but if you have an extremely high-traffic house or really want a durable long-lasting floor you could consider using it.

Check with your floor installer for their specific instructions about cleaning your floor type.  Look for my instructions in future posts.