The Process - Finishing
The customer removed the flooring from this building at Fort Snelling as rough stock then remilled with tongue and groove, we then installed, sanded and finished the hardwood floor. These photos show the process after the sanding and during the coating process. Now Fort Snelling is again ready for the Tourists.
After product selection, installation, and sanding we are ready for the most crucial part of the process - Hardwood Floor Finishing
We have two options, we can either stain the wood surface or seal it, I will attempt to describe both processes below starting with hardwood sealers.
Sealing the hardwood floor can be done with a water base or oil based sealer. Both types of sealers have their own unique characteristics.
Water Based Sealer:
The best word to describe water based sealers is "Green". Minimal VOCs, quick drying, minimal odor. Water based sealers are more expensive, however, they bring out the natural tones of your hardwood flooring without adding color.
Oil Based Sealers:
Oil based sealers give a honey patina to the wood and a softer looking finish. The oil based sealers have a solvent base which can emit a strong odor until fully cured (two weeks to 30 days).
Wood stains alter the color of your hardwood, allowing it to match the decor or to fit the requirements of the interior designer or homeowner. Hardwood stains are designed to penetrate and seal the wood surface while modifying the color of the wood to fit into the design scheme of your home or office.
There are several types of stain such as wiping, gel and penetrating. We use the penetrating stains because they apply more readily, hold the color longer and are the most durable stains. Penetrating stains are easier to clean-up and are less messy to use.
The Finishing Process:
After the first coat of sealer is applied and has dried for 24 hours we lightly screen, sand or steel wool the finish surface for proper adhesion of the next layer of sealer or stain. We also carefully vacuum and tack rag the surface to remove any dirt, sand or debris. Next we apply the poly-coat, after which we let the surface dry for 24 hours. In the third and final step we apply a thick coat of finish and let that dry.
Please read our document on things to watch for after a hardwood floor has been refinished, it will inform our customers about temporary finish conditions that sometimes appear as a defect yet will vanish after the floor has fully cured.
Click here for the PDF document