First, before we get started read a very entry level article about UV relating to UV and hardwood, here. Now that you have a general idea this article will go a bit more in-depth about UV and how it will be applied and used at your house/commercial workplace.
UV is the clearest coating on the market today. Any imperfections will be glaring on your floor. This is not like a normal waterborne that hides and masks issues on the floor such as and not limited to application differences, lap marks or sanding errors. So, to begin any hardwood going to have UV applied to it needs to have been sanded with 100-120 grit and must be flat as possible. To do this Sunfinish recommends a Lagler Trio. If the Trio is not used even 120 grit will show scratches through all 3 sealer/finish coats. Then, the floor must be vacuumed with a very powerful vacuum 2-3 times and then wet-tacked to ensure no inclusions are on the floor. Finally now that the “Canvas” is prepped to 100-120 grit it is time to apply the 3 coats. The first 2 coats are the base coats the UV goes on. Coat 1 is the sealer coat. This sealer coat keeps your wood sealed from harmful liquids and such. The 2nd coat is the “body” coat to give the coating a thicker look. The final coat is the “finish”. The finish goes on pink. This pink helps the person application the coating see any lap marks. Since UV coatings are extremely clear unlike a water-based or oil you will see every line and mark that isn’t taken care of at this point. You can see below some pictures of the application.
** The pink marker goes away once the UV light hits it.
There are a few select finishes for UV for a contractor to use. I will go over each one and what their qualities are. This is our own opinions on the finishes.
- Hardest/durable finish in the industry
- Moderate difficulty to apply
- Best clarity
- Best sheens
- Great grip
- Most like traffic
- Easy to apply
- Great durability
- Okay grip
- Moderate to apply
- Good durability
- Looks decent
Our preference is either Basic Coatings UV Light and Sunfinish. Both have their application strong points. We normally use Sunfinish as it is the strongest of both the coatings, which makes for a longer lasting floor.
Equipment of UV
This is our own personal equipment used at A-Max, there are other brands and manufactures but we have found HID Ultraviolet to be the very best.
Tiger: This machine is the “big” machine that will cure 90% of the floor. It cures the open floor at 40 feet per min. It uses a very powerful light to shoot UV rays into the finish. It will “bake” the finish to make it hard as it can be in about 1 second. Once the light has been ran over the pink coating it will turn it perfectly clear!
Mako Handheld Unit: This unit allows us to cure the edges of the floor and under toe-kicks. It works the same way as our “tiger” machine just in a handheld unit.
Applicator: Our UV applicator is specially made by Sunfinish to hold 30x its own weight in coating to make sure the coating “mils” (thickness) is correct on the floor.
That wraps up the general overview of UV and how it is applied and cured. If you have any more questions feel free to give A-Max Hardwood a call.