Beyond Polyurethane: Specialty Hardwood Flooring Finishes and Treatments

August 30, 2017

Hardwood floor finishes have come a long way since oil-based polyurethanes dominated the flooring industry in the 1980s and 1990s. There are numerous floor finishes now available that allow the natural look of wood to shine through rather than hide under a plastic coating. Many of these (mostly European) products are eco-friendly, easy to maintain, and age with a beautiful patina. Here are some of our favorite hardwood flooring finishes we offer our Nashville clients:

 

Red oak hardwood floors treated with Rubio Monocoat a 12 South home, Nashville TN by Southern Oaks Flooring

 

 

 

Chemical Finishes

 

From iron acetate to lye and everything in between, using chemical finishes on hardwood floors requires ample training. The possible results of combining various chemicals with numerous different wood species are almost innumerable, especially when layering them together or with stains and wood floor finishes. Often the desired result is an aged appearance or a gray wood floor; smoking, fuming, and other effects can achieve this on-trend look. Chemical finishes especially help achieve a gray or neutral tone when a client's home contains red oak. We can easily remove the pink and red tones from the wood and produce a much more elegant finish using wood floor chemicals.

 

Euro character maple floors treated with wood bleach. By Southern Oaks Flooring

 

 

Rubio Monocoat 

 

We have sung the praises of Rubio Monocoat hard wax oil for the past two years, and we haven't changed our tune yet. This eco-friendly zero-VOC hard wax oil has been used by flooring professionals in Europe for decades, and it's easy to see why. It leaves a gorgeous, natural matte finish on hardwood floors that our clients love. The formula, which is a mixture of linseed oil and natural waxes, is also easy to maintain and repair. 

 

 Hardwood floor treated with WOCA Natural oil. By WOCA.

 

 

WOCA Oil (Wood Care of Denmark)

 

WOCA oil is similar to Rubio Monocoat, in that it is a vegetable-based, zero-VOC European finish that penetrates the wood and hardens instead of sitting on top as urethane finishes do. Floors finished with WOCA penetrating oils are also easy to maintain and repair, and if applied correctly, creates an unbelievably smooth (but not slippery) hardwood floor finish. It's a very eco-friendly wood floor finish, and does not off-gas as it dries.

 

 

Custom Colors and Layering Effects

 

One of the best advantages of using an NWFA Certified Professional is our breadth of knowledge and training in hardwood flooring; we can create floors in Nashville that are truly custom-designed. We blend stain colors, layer chemical finishes, and incorporate elements that only an extensively trained master craftsman can (or should.) 

 

 

Still have questions about your hardwood floors, Nashville residents? We're here to help. Contact us at 615-416-9039, and we'll be happy to answer all of your hardwood flooring questions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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