Hardwood Floor Finishing Tips
LESLIE: Russell in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina working on a floor. How can we help you?
RUSSELL: Yeah, I’ve got a couple little questions here. I’m remodeling a home and doing pretty much all the work myself. So, I haven’t been around and done any hardwood floors in a long time. And what I’m doing, I’ve got the hard pine floors. And I knew you used to could put the – Moisture Cure was a very good finish for high-traffic areas. Is there anything else out there that, you know, compares with this? Or …
TOM: Well certainly I don’t think that we should be – you should be thinking about using any type of a water-based polyurethane. That’s one thing I would not recommend for a floor. When you’re doing your own floor finish – you know, the floor installers have some commercial finishes that are two parts that are like – sort of like the gym floor that’s really, really durable. But when you’re doing this yourself …
LESLIE: You’re not going to be able to get those products.
TOM: … you’re not going to be able to get it and probably your only option’s going to be use an oil-based polyurethane. That being said, it’s really durable stuff on a hardwood floor. It’s going to be important that you put it on very carefully, that you sand the floor, that you prep it properly and that you put it on with a lamb’s wool applicator. And make sure you leave more time to dry than it says on the can.
TOM: Because I’ve actually painted myself in a room once with that stuff.
LESLIE: (chuckling) Yeah. Work from exit to exit. (Russell chuckles) Do not find yourself trapped in a blank corner.
RUSSELL: That’s very helpful there. I do have one other question. I’ve put some white pine on the walls. How’s the best way to keep the wood from – you know how, over time, where the poly finish on it or the clear finish on it, the wood gradually darkens? Is there any paint …?
TOM: Yeah, it yellows. Mm-hmm. No, that’s a reaction because of the ultraviolet light from the sun getting into the wood and the wood …
LESLIE: But there are non-yellowing finishes available on the market.
TOM: Yeah, there are. But I’m telling you, it’s eventually going to happen.
RUSSELL: I understand.
TOM: Yeah, it’s an oxidation because of the reaction between the light and the finish. But yeah, there are non-yellowing finishes but it does – it will slow it down. One of the things that you might want to think about doing is to stain the lumber; stain it a color. And then you won’t notice the yellowing that much, as opposed to being pure white.
RUSSELL: Well, that sounds good.