Great Western Flooring uses the Atomic Dust Containment system for our finished-on-site, hardwood refinishing and screen & coat projects. Our Atomic Dust Containment system is one of the only GREENGUARD certified sanding systems on the market and greatly reduces the level of dust that is created in these projects, removing between 94-98% of the dust caused by sanding. There are three primary finishing options:
- Oil-Based Polyurethane: this is the most common and least expensive finish available. It tends to take on an amber cast over time as it ages. The curing time for an oil-based finish is 30 days, but is able to be walked on with socked feet roughly 24 hours after the final coat is applied. Oil-based finishes have stronger odors as well and tend to have a glossier finish. You should also know that the Indoor Air Quality Act requires finish manufacturers to reduce the harmful chemical content in the hardwood finish to 350/ppm. This change in formulation provides a much safer indoor environment.
- Water-Based Polyurethane (Loba Easy & Loba Hybrid): this is quickly becoming the most popular finish as it has a quicker drying and curing time and has very little, if any, V.O.C.’s. Great Western Flooring uses the Lobadur ® brand of water-based finish, which is GREENGUARD certified. The rapid drying time allows less dust particles in the air to settle into the finish. Another distinction is that it is clear and does not change the color of your natural wood. The curing time for a water-based finish is seven days, but it can be walked on with socked feet about 4-8 hours after the final coat is applied. Instead of curing only on the top layer of the hardwood, the Lobadur ® water based finishes will saturate the entire body of the hardwood, allowing for a more durable and complete finishing option.
- Commercial Water-Based Polyurethane (Loba Supra): this is a commercially rated, water-based finish that will provide more long-term durability. This finish should be considered if you have a large family, heavy traffic or large dogs. The other benefits of this finish are similar to a standard water based finish.
- Tongue-Oil Finish: Tongue-oil, a commonly used finish on European hardwood, is becoming an increasingly popular finish due to its low maintenance requirements and beautiful patina. Tongue-oil is a vegetable-based oil that is V.O.C. free and applied about once per year (usually by the homeowner) to help keep the floor refreshed by concealing wear and scratches. Tongue-oil finished floors require different maintenance products than their urethane counterparts.
Imperfections are inherent in a finished-on-site wood floor. When hardwood is sanded, stained and finished, it is exposed to many variables. While the installers always do their best to control the variables, job sites cannot be controlled like factories can. Naturally, imperfections in the finish will exist. The amount of exposure a finish is subject to depends on the drying conditions, stains and type of finish. Typical hardwood refinishing jobs would require a minimum of three days of labor, much of which is time allowed for the finish to dry in between coats.