Hardwood Floor In Chicago
A hardwood floor is a fantastic way to finish off your home decor and really bring out the beauty of your home. Whatever your tastes, a wood floor looks amazing. Like all decor, though, it does need some upkeep, but luckily Chicago Hardwood Floors are durable and long lasting. When it does need a touch up though, you need to know how to seal it properly. Here’s the ultimate guide to finishing your floor.
When Your Floor Needs Sealing
There’ll be a few times when you’ll have to think about sealing your floor. Firstly, it will need to be sealed when you first have it installed. This will finish the installation and give you the look you were going for with your floor.
You may also need to do a repair job on your floor if a part of it becomes damaged. If it has been scratched or lightly worn, all you will need to do is lightly sand the floor and apply the same top coat that you used when you first installed the floor.
If you’ve had the same floor for a while, or you’ve moved into a home with hardwood floors that are damaged, it will need a total refinish. That means you’ll have to sand the entire floor down to the bare wood, and refinish it properly.
The Types of Sealant Available
When it comes to sealant, there’s a huge range to choose from. Here’s some of the more popular ones around, and how they can add to your Chicago floors.
- Wax: This was the most popular option before the 1970’s when polyurethanes became available, but it’s making a comeback. It’s great if you want a low sheen finish that’s not harmful towards the environment. It’s best for antique flooring, or anyone who wants an easy way to do touch-ups.
- Water-based polyurethanes: If you want to stay eco-conscious but want a harder wearing finish, water-based polyurethanes are for you. They’re great as they’re fast drying and can be finished off in three to four coats. They dry clear, which makes them perfect if you want the natural color of the wood to shine through.
- Oil-based polyurethanes: These work in a very similar way to their water-based counterparts, and are favored by many as they’re less expensive. They dry yellow which could put some people off, but depending on your wood it may be a bonus. They’re also known to be harder wearing that water-based polyurethanes.
Oil vs. Water-based Sealants
The most popular sealants available are oil and water-based polyurethanes. They both give a strong finish to your floor, so you may be trying to pick between the two. Here are the differences you need to know about to help you decide.
- Application: Oil-based poly finishes are more forgiving than water ones. Water-based finishes dry quicker, and will show up brush or lap marks more visibly.
- Color: An oil-based poly finish will dry in a warm yellow color, while a water-based one will dry clear.
- The environment: Water-based finishes are considered to be more environmentally friendly than oil-based ones.
All in all though, each finish is comparable, so pick the one that has the best features for you and your floor.
How to Seal the Floorboards
Sealing your hardwood floor Chicago is actually a lot easier than you would think. Here’s a quick step by step guide to help you through the process.
Step One: Sand down your floor. If you’re applying finish to the whole floor, everything will need to be sanded back to bare wood. If you’re doing some repairs, just sanding the affecting area will be fine.
Step Two: Clean the floor. Vacuum up as much dust and grit from the sanding as you can. Go over the floor with a damp cloth to catch any remaining dust.
Step Three: Stain the floor, if applicable. If you’re staining the wood, now is the time to do it. Apply the stain with a rag or paint roller evenly. Allow to dry for at least an hour, and be sure to ventilate the area thoroughly.
Step Four: Apply your finish. Pick the sealant you want to use, then apply evenly with a brush or roller. Let this first coat dry for around six to eight hours. The amount of coats you apply will depend on your sealant, so check the manufacturer’s instructions.
And that’s all there is to it! If you’re still unsure, or want to check with an expert, please do get in touch with us. We know our stuff when it comes to hardwood floors, so we’ll be happy to help. We can do repairs for you if you need them. Give us a call and let’s talk about what you need.