Below is a list of the different finishes you will typically see in the hardwood flooring industry. They are broken down by type of finish. The following opinions are the opinions of A-max Hardwood and not necessarily everyone in the industry.
Water-Based Hardwood Floor Finishes – Durable and 275 VOC’s – No Ambering
Water-based finishes have really come into play over the last 20 years or so. They offer a much lower smell and VOC than the previous oil based finishes they were replacing. They were made to comply with the stricter VOC restrictions in some states. These coatings are pretty easy to spread across the floor and come in 3 sheen options usually: Gloss, Semi-Gloss and Satin. The typical water-based finishes you will see used are:
- Bona Traffic, Natural, Mega
- Glitsa Maxx, Infinity, Lite
- Basic Coatings StreetShoe
- Pallmann X 98
Waterbased finishes are great in the fact they dry faster than an oil and smell much less. The durability is good.
Acid Cured Wood Floor Finishes – Durable with 550 VOC’s – Ambers
Acid cured floors are still big in some parts of the USA and the world. They seem to be not as popular at this time due to the high VOC’s and long gas off period they bring. When laying this product down it is mandatory that you wear a mask. The finishes are durable and last a long time. The look is the traditional look that ambers over time. The main company for acid cured finishes is Glitsa, which has been around for a very long time and is a proven company in acid cured finishes.
Water-based UV Cured Hardwood Finishes — Very Durable and 50 VOC’S – No Ambering
Water-based uv cured finishes are on the newer side of things. The finishes are around 12 years old and are just not starting to catch on. A-Max has been spreading UV finish for a while now and we absolutely love the finish. The VOC’s are some of the lowest for any product on shelves today. The smell is almost non-existent and the coating itself is very, very durable. The main companies for UV finish are:
- Basic Coatings Lightforce
Oil-Based Polyurethane Wood Floor Finishes – Decent Durability with 550 VOC’s and Yellows
Oil Based finishes are your typical flooring company go-to. They are super easy to spread and they are very cheap. They tend to be on the lighter side of durability. These coatings have very high VOC’s and tend to take 2 weeks to gas off completely. The main downside to these type of finishes is that they instantly start to yellow the floor and over time continue to yellow. By Yellowing it makes it harder to clearly see your wood in its natural state.
There are hundreds of coatings on the market today. above are a few that are more readily used in the Boise and Idaho markets. If you have any questions about coatings or hardwood floors in general give us a call. We have the answers.