I receive a large number of questions regarding hardwood floor finishes. I am a fan of real hardwood floors as a viable and practical option as a floor surface, and there are three finishes that I recommend. The best way to finish a floor is to hire a floor refinisher that will sand out a portion of the floor and apply several options so that as a consumer you can select which finish provides the look that you like. All of the floor finishes that I recommend vary as to the durability and sheen on the floor. Color and tone is another variable which will be covered in an upcoming blog. The following are my three favorite picks for floor finishes.
1. Bona Traffic (high gloss finish). The word traffic should be highlighted name because it summarizes why I love this finish, and it is water based, thus more environmentally friendly. Created initially as a commercial floor finish, Bona Traffic is incredibly resilient, and is often used in college dorms and in commercial applications. My only criticism is that the finish is slightly glossy; I prefer less shine or gloss on residential floors. Bona Traffic: http://www.mybonahome.com/Home.aspx
2. Glitza Infinity (water based Swedish finish with satin/low sheen)- A close second for durability, yet I select Infinity most often as a designer because I prefer a lower sheen or gloss. Infinity is amazing and quite resilient. Glitza infinity: http://www.glitsa.com/documents/INFINITYIIWaterborneSpecSheet.pdf
3. Osmo (satin/low gloss). This is a oil/wax based environmentally friendly finish; Osmo is made from plant oils and waxes. I love Osmo because it looks gorgeous and it is highly repairable. If scratched the home owner can easily sand a small section and apply a coat of finish to conceal a scratch. Osmo is tricky to apply so pay close attention to the manufactures directions: http://www.ecohaus.com/C-239/wood+wax+finish
I am not a fan of Swedish finishes. I best describe the Swedish finish to being similar to a hard candy coating. If the finish is scratched or damaged the entire floor must be refinished. Just as important to me, I do not believe that this type of floor is environmentally friendly.
I love hardwood floors, and my next blog will be about American hardwoods vs the exotic hardwoods.