We understand there are many wood flooring and finish options to consider: engineered or solid wood, prefinished or site-finished flooring, penetrating oil or surface-build finish.
All have their best uses. Each flooring project needs to consider the specifics of the family or business activities involved. Durability and maintenance efforts are top considerations for high-traffic spaces. Climate (especially humidity) affects flooring performance. Locations within the building (basement or above grade) influence whether to install engineered or solid hardwood flooring.
When considering finishes, we recommend that you balance aesthetic wants with performance needs. Also, think about the longer-term view. Some example questions you (or your client, if that’s the case) should be able to answer are:
Do you plan to resell the property in a few years and, so, might not want a highly-customized color? Prefinished, straight-laid hardwood floors might fit the bill. Site-finished floors finished with a neutral appearance are a strong option, too.
Or do you plan to stay in the space indefinitely and want to have a one-of-a-kind floor to enjoy for many years? Custom, site-finished wood floors are the way to go. A highly-skilled contractor can work with you to create one-off flooring through custom installation design finished with a customized color.
Color Grid | Arboritec's Miracle Oil
Do you plan to freshen your hardwood floors’ appearance every few years to flow with design trends? Again, a highly-skilled sanding and finishing contractor can make this happen. Do you need help finding a qualified contractor? Use the “Find a Professional” online search tool of the National Wood Flooring Association to search by contractor skill and geographic location. Or talk with our sales team here at Palo Duro Hardwoods for contractor recommendations in the Rocky Mountain region.
If you want to feature the characteristics of the wood itself, drawing eyes to the wood flooring’s texture and grain through a natural look and feel, it’s time to talk about …
Benefits of Natural Oil Finishes for Wood Floors
Natural oil finishes penetrate wood deeper than conventional, or surface-build, finishes. This helps the wood become more dimensionally stable, meaning the floor will react less to increases and decreases in temperature and humidity in the home. (Humidity is one of the most critical factors for wood floor performance. Read “Humidity Matters.”)
More benefits of using penetrating, natural oils for hardwood flooring are:
Oil-Infused Protection. While all common categories of wood floor finishes today are durable and can serve the floor owner’s needs, natural oils and surface-build finishes function differently. Surface-build finishes ride on top as a protective barrier for the floor boards. Oils seep into the wood and harden, adding a degree of solidity within the floor. By comparison, surface-build finishes gain added durability through applying multiple coats of finish on top of the floor (See Cost of Application below).
Appearance + Feel. Natural oil finishes are the backup singers that make the star in the spotlight look great. They highlight the essence of the wood, giving hardwood floors a low-sheen finish. Natural oils offer the truest look and feel of the wood, giving it a warm, smooth touch. A wide range of colors are available in penetrating oils. You can keep a neutral, always on-trend look or choose a custom color.
Natural oak treated with Arboritec Satin Oil, an oxidative-hardened maintenance oil used for intermittent cleaning of oil-finished wood floors.
Maintenance + Repair. If properly maintained, hardwood floors coated with natural oils will not need to be resanded. They do call for periodic use of the finish manufacturer’s recommended cleaning product to maintain the luster of the finish. Those are easy to apply, often with a micro-fiber mop.
If professional spot repairs are needed at some point, floors with natural oil finish floors are easier and less costly to do. While floors with surface-build finishes often require full-room sand-and-refinish work, repairs to floors coated with natural oils can be contained to the damaged area.
Cost of Application. Besides the lower costs of repairs mentioned in the previous sentence, using natural oils are less costly to apply upfront, too. Other finishes, such as waterborne finishes, require multiple coats.
Environmentally Friendly. Natural oils have little to no volatile organic compounds (VOC) in them. For environmentally conscious homeowners and businesses, natural oils meet those missions. Penetrating oils also meet the needs of designers, architects and builders for LEED-certified building projects.
Learn more about natural oil finishes – and all things wood flooring and supplies – from your Palo Duro sales manager or by calling our inside sales team at 303-375-0280.
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Title photo by @coloradocustomfloors (Instagram)