Finish is only an issue if you are having your floor sanded.  Stains are applied before the urethane and will add tone to your floor while pronouncing the grain and making your floor more uniform in colour.  Often stain colours are chosen to match existing flooring or furniture, or as a custom blend to a colour that the homeowner has in mind.  

When selecting a urethane finish for your floor, there are two basic options: oil-based urethane and latex or water-based urethane. Oil based urethane is the traditional method of sealing your floor. Its odor is quite strong, for those of you living in your homes during the renovation process, but it offers a lovely amber appearance on the floor. This finish will continue to amberize and age with time, offering a lovely appearance to most homeowners. Oil-based finishes also take longer to dry, resulting in a lengthened time between coats or more, depending on weather conditions.

Water-based urethane is relatively new to the wood flooring industry.  While we offer a range of water-based urethanes, typically we use TRAFFIC, a commercial grade, high wearing finish, with a long life and beautiful sheen.  In general, water-based urethanes offer a clearer more transparent finish and do not turn amber over time. Water-based finishes also dry much faster (typically a 2 or 3 hour wait between coats) and have a less intense odor than oil-based urethanes. While the cost is higher on many water-based urethanes, the reduced dying time, more modern finish colour and reduced off-gassing, make this product a popular choice with home-owners.

photo showing the difference between an oil versus latex finish

Oil-based finish (top) versus latex-based finish (bottom).

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Species & Grades

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