And yet it's so easy to spoil the effect - instead of turning a floor into one that looks like it should appear in a glossy magazine, the end result can be a disappointment, turning out lifeless and ordinary - regardless of the manufacturers dreamy promises and swish colour photographs in the literature.
You might also notice how coloured floor varnishes from decorators centres and DIY stores tend to hide the grain of the wood, making it look patchy. Or maybe you've heard of the growing fashion for all in one products - these cause a problem when the colour walks off in doorways and cannot be repaired easily.
In short, a finish on a wooden floor should feel silky smooth but not be too slippery. It should look good close up as well as from a distance - and it should last.
Preparation and choosing the right finish is what makes all the difference to your wooden floor. We all know that a cheap burger is never as good as one prepared by a high class butcher, yet sometimes when we're buying we kid ourselves that it is, only to regret it later. Just as the butcher has his secrets, special ingredients are added into floor finishes to help them flow better & reducing brush marks, or to help the even penetration of a surface. So you can see that not all Wood Finishes are the same.
We regularly meet people who are so fed up with the wooden floor finish that they have used, that as soon as they have applied the last coat of finish they begin thinking about sanding the whole lot back off again to start again. It's at this point that a professional they know or a friend suggests that they should get in touch with us.
Fifty percent of a good wooden floor finish is in the preparation. Following these simple points will help:
We usually recommend one of our trade water based Wood Stains for Wooden Floors as they are safe to use, low odour and compatable with most finishes.
If a water based varnish is to be applied on top, you will need to seal it in with a single coat of Finney's Transparent Fixative before applying the finish.
We sell many wood finishes for floors, each offering different advantages, and this can be confusing. If you're not sure just ask us for advice.
Wooden floor finishes fall into 3 catagories: Penetrating, Semi-penetrating and surface coatings.
Penetrating Wood Finishes
Semi-Penetrating Wood Finishes
There are loads to choose from depending on sheen, drying time, colour change required. If in doubt just ask for advice. Examples of a semi-penetrating wood finish include Hardwax Oils such as Fiddes Traditional Hardwax Oil, Saicos Premium Oil, Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional and Osmo Original Polyx Oil. 2-3 coats are all that is usually required, and bear in mind that if it says on the side of the tin that no sanding between coats is required - it usually is. A lower colour change water based equivelant is Basin No-Visible Emulsified Oil.
Varnishes are probably still the most popular wooden floor finish, because of the extra protection that they give. Many of our varnishes are modified to make them look much different to a conventional wood varnish, and customers are often amazed at how good they look.
All surface coatings should be lightly sanded back between coats and the dust removed with a Tackrag.
So don't get caught out.
When you want the best finish for your wooden floors, Just Ask Finney's - you'll really notice the difference.