Wood Floor Finishes & Color Processes
With more than 30 years of experience in hardwood floor installation and refinishing, Gäte Hardwood Floors has become a trusted expert in hardwood floor color finishes and coatings. By applying our vast knowledge of the color process and the finish options available, we're able to give our clients wood floors that have the look they desire and the durability they need.
Our customers can choose from convenient factory-finished floors, traditional wood floors that are installed and finished on-site, or customized floors with color and treatment options that can only be accomplished at our shop. We also offer an exclusive color-matching system for the client who has a paint chip, fabric swatch, or wood sample of a color they want to replicate onto their own wood floors.
With so many distinct color and coating options available for hardwood flooring, we hope you'll take the time to review the helpful information we've assembled here to get you thinking about which finish options may be best suited for your wood flooring project.
Urethane Finishes vs. Natural Oil Finishes
Urethane floor finishes are most popular in the U.S., mostly because of their durability, but also because of a lack of consumer knowledge about the benefits of using natural oils for wood floors. Urethane finishes protect wood fibers by ‘walling-off' the wood from damage. Wood floors with this type of finish are like walking on a manmade barrier. Over time, this barrier gets more and more scratched with use until sanding and recoating is required, about every 5-7 years. Urethane finishes also have the disadvantage of not being suitable for patching or touching-up if you have smaller damaged areas.
Natural oil finishes, such as linseed or soy oil, penetrate wood fibers and harden them with a natural seal of protection. This type of floor finish feels like you are walking on a natural wood surface. A natural oil finish requires special soaps for cleaning and must be re-oiled every 3-5 years. Reapplication is a fairly easy process as no sanding is required. Unlike urethane finished floors, floors with a natural oil finish can be touched up and spot repaired.
Traditional Oil-Based Stains
Click here to view our oil-based stain color chart and to read about our hand-applied surface finishes and hand-finished color options.
Water-Based Alkaline Dyes
While stains will coat the surface of a wood floor like a thin layer of paint, dyes soak into wood fibers, creating a deep layer of color. If you want to show off the beautiful grain of a wood floor, then a dye finish is a great option because of its transparency. However, because dyes are susceptible to fading if used alone, a stain finish is usually applied over it for protection. This double-layered process offers options for an even wider range of color choices.
The ease of choosing a factory finish for hardwood floors can be very appealing. Customers can see exactly what the final finish will look like, and gain access to some finishes that can't be replicated in an on-site installation. The most popular factory finish option is UV-cured urethane, which has a hard, stain-resistant surface layer to protect the wood from damage. A penetrating oil factory finish (like tung oil) offers a natural look and feel but usually requires an oil topcoat after installation. Hardwax oil finishes will soak into the wood and separate the oil from the wax, leaving a wax surface that gets buffed into a silky luster to help further seal the floor. UV-cured oils are intended to protect the wood floor from within by sealing the wood fibers. Like UV-cured urethane, this floor finish is also cured at the factory by using a UV light-triggered chemical reaction.
Natural Reactive Color Process - Creating Color from Within
This color finish option satisfies the more sophisticated wood flooring customer's taste. More designers and consumers have been seeking out this natural-looking finish over the more traditional high-gloss build. At Gäte Hardwood Floors, we've embraced this trend and employ using several different techniques, like carbonization, reactive stains, and fuming (smoking) to achieve stunning natural looks.
Gäte Hardwood Floors believes that every customer can find a hardwood flooring finish option that suits their taste and works best for their specific application. When you work with our experts, you'll get the guidance you need to realize your vision. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. We provide our comprehensive hardwood flooring services throughout Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Ketchum, and surrounding areas.