Often, when people start shopping for hardwood flooring the first consideration is what type of hardwood they want. Next they may look at colour choices. Even the finish used on the boards comes into consideration depending on whether they prefer a high gloss look or a matte finish. Actually, the finish used on hardwood floors is one of the most important factors you should consider, and not simply for the gloss level. The finish not only enhances the grain and the look of hardwood, it also protects the wood from the daily wear and tear and traffic it will be subjected to. The fact is, not all hardwood floor finishes are created equally. So, what should you look for when shopping for hardwood flooring? Look for hardwood flooring finished with a durable product and sold by a company that is not afraid to stand by that product.
The Gaylord Finish
Gaylord has the most durable finish on the market today. Our hardwood boards have 10 coats of a titanium oxide-polyurethane finish that carries a 40-year wear-through warranty. A quality floor finish should last a lifetime without ever having to be re-finished. Refinishing hardwood floors costs roughly $3 to $6 per square ft. Couple that with the hassle of having to move all your furniture, and you can see why opting for a titanium finish when you purchase your floors is the smart way to go. The best hardwood floor finishes, like our titanium finish, contain no VOCs that may off-gas harmful chemicals into your home. This fact is especially important in new construction homes because they tend to be well built and therefore tightly sealed.
Other Hardwood Finishes
At Gaylord, we can stand behind our finish because we know it’s a quality product. Can companies that import hardwood flooring from China make that claim? Probably not. China has few regulations on what a floor finish can contain and very little testing is done on flooring imported from there. In fact, the finish on a lot of hardwood flooring from China contains urea-formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Then there is the issue of correct labeling when it comes to hardwood flooring and the finish used. Some products claim their finish contains a hardener such as titanium oxide or aluminium oxide, but often the finish contains only polyurethane, which alone has little durability.
Testing Hardwood Floor Finishes
There is no test you can do at home to find out what chemicals are in hardwood floor finishes, but there are ways to test the durability of the finish. One test we’ve conducted to determine if the finish does actually contain titanium oxide or aluminium oxide is the microwave test. Titanium oxide and aluminium oxide are metal oxides. If you put a piece of flooring with a finish containing either of these in the microwave, it will spark. A simple test of finish durability is to use 120-grit sandpaper and sand the surface of the flooring. A cheap finish will wear through easily, while a quality finish will handle many swipes before wearing through. The best hardwood floor finishes will be nearly impossible to damage. The long-term value you get by starting with the best hardwood floor finishes far outweighs any savings you might get by purchasing imported flooring. And unlike other flooring manufacturers, Gaylord is an established Canadian company that will be around long into the future, standing by our Gaylord Finish 40-year wear-through warranty.
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