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Commercial Flooring News

Finishes Can Bring Out The Beauty Of Wood

Craig Pawson, Osmo UK’s flooring and finishes specialist, outlines what different wood finishes can achieve: : 
WOODEN flooring is a beautiful feature, but it is important to understand that as an organic material, it will continue to need nourishment to ensure it stays in the best possible condition, both aesthetically and structurally.

My advice is to use a high-quality finish, full of natural ingredients to complement the wood’s properties. This will ensure the wood continues to breathe and respond well to environmental conditions, removing any possibility of cracking or blistering. I recommend an oil-/wax-based finish.

n Protection: Many want to achieve a natural rustic look. To maintain this, the finish applied should add durability to the wood surface, protecting it from every day wear-and-tear, stains and dirt. Here, a clear matt finish is the answer.

The finish will not detract from the overall beauty of the natural wood, but will make it more robust, adding to the longevity. Oil and wax finishes penetrate deeply into the wood to create a micro-porous finish. This allows the wood to breathe, moisture to evaporate and a flawless finish to be achieved.

After treatment the wood is strengthened from within and retains its elasticity. It becomes water repellent, stain resistant and more hard-wearing, will not crack, flake, peel or blister.

n Colour: Another feature of wooden finishes is the ability to apply colour. Tired or dull rooms can quickly be converted to a vibrant appearance. Whether it is a simple tint to change the shade of the wood, or a complete overhaul to a refreshing bold colour tone – this can be a quick-fix way of improving the appearance of the room.

Products on the market to do just this have been developed to combine creative design and hard-wearing protection. Not only does it offer visual enhancement, but also a finish that maintains the natural characteristics of the wood.

A current trend in the UK is for a light-wash appearance flooring. Going for a pale finish can give an increased impression of space. This is essential when many people prefer improvements rather than relocating.

n Safety: Depending on the floor’s location, safety must be considered when specifying the finish. Like any hard-flooring material, wood can become slippery when wet, resulting in a slip hazard. To rectify this, many anti-slip finishes have been introduced. These products apply a clear anti-slip finish to the floor, which doesn’t compromise the overall appearance.

Before applying the finishes, ensure the flooring is adequately prepared to achieve the best results. Whether it be a newly laid floor or an old renovation, sanding out uneven surfaces will allow for the finish to achieve a better result.

Without proper preparation and removing pre-existing treatments and varnishes, new finishes may appear uneven and will not saturate the surface sufficiently enough to perform the required job.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at