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Hardwood Flooring Types and Finishes to Consider by Andrew Stratton

Hardwood Flooring Types and Finishes to Consider by
Article Posted: 04/24/2015
Article Views: 104
Articles Written: 5522
Word Count: 546
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Hardwood Flooring Types and Finishes to Consider

Hardwood flooring is becoming a more popular decorative option. The type and finish you purchase, however, is best determined by where you're going to install it.

Unfinished - All hardwood flooring requires some finish on the final product. This finish protects and seals the surface against everyday wear. You may choose to buy an unfinished product, whereby the contractor sands the wood and applies the finish upon installation. If you have to match existing surfaces in your home, this may be a good option.

Factory-finished - With this type, the finish is applied when the product is manufactured. It is widely available in home and specialty stores. It requires much less time to install because the sanding and finishing have already been applied. You can walk on these floors immediately after installation.

Solid - This example of hardwood flooring is a solid piece of wood. The thickness can vary from 3/4 to 5/16 inches. A benefit of this type is that it can be sanded and refinished many times. This has a tendency to expand and contract with fluctuations in humidity and temperature.

Engineered - This wood floor is manufactured using multiple layers of different wood veneers. It can even have different versions of wood. The grains of the different wood run in different directions, which means the wood will be very stable, and not as prone to expanding and contracting. While it can be sanded and finished, it cannot tolerate as much as the solid wood.


Whether you purchase unfinished or finished, you will ultimately have a nice, protective coating on your floor. Routine maintenance is required for every kind of surface, such as sweeping or mopping. However, the type of finish you pick for your hardwood floor will have a big impact on how you take care of it.

Surface finishes - These are made from synthetic resins that are durable, water-resistant, and low-maintenance. You may have heard of these referred to as urethanes or polyurethanes. They form a protective coating on the surface. There are several types available:

- Water-based - Clear, durable, and will not turn yellow over time. - Oil-based - Amber colored and very durable. - Acid-cured - Clear to slightly amber in color and extremely durable. - Moisture-cured - Clear to slightly amber in color, especially durable, and more moisture-resistant than other types.

Wax finishes - This soaks into the wood and hardens to form a protective seal. It appears as a low luster amber color. A wax finish is durable, but it will show water spots and other dirty areas more than other types.

Acrylic impregnated finishes - This is actually injected into the wood, creating a very hard, extremely durable finish. It is usually not applied in homes, but instead in high traffic areas like malls and restaurants.

UV cured - This is a waterborne finish that hardens instantly through the use of ultraviolet light.

Consider your overall home design, budget, and maintenance preferences when considering hardwood flooring for your room. The type and finish has a big impact on the look for your room, but also on the long-term maintenance needed to keep it looking good.

When considering hardwood flooring, Leominster, MA residents visit Innovative Interiors. Learn more about this product at

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