Reclaimed Wood Flooring Finishing Options – Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the different finishing options that you offer?
A. We offer two very different finishes for our Aged Woods® reclaimed wood flooring that each have advantages over the other. Our UV-catalyzed urethane with aluminum oxide nano particles has unmatched wear and scratch resistance while our WOCA Natural Oil is made from natural raw materials. Natural oil finishes also “warm” the wood tones.
Q: What are the disadvantages of those two finishes?
A: When it comes to scratching, the urethane finish is more resistant than the natural oil finish. However, if the floor sustains damage, the urethane finish is more difficult and complicated to repair, especially in high-traffic areas. On the other hand, the natural oil finish offers less protection to the wood but is much easier to spot repair. In summary, the urethane finish is more durable but harder to repair, while the natural oil finish is less protective but quicker and easier to repair. Ultimately, the choice depends on the specific needs and preferences of the homeowner in terms of maintenance and durability and, perhaps, environmental concerns.
Q. How do the two finishes compare with regard to the environment?
A. UV-catalyzed urethane and WOCA Natural Oil have different environmental impacts.
UV-catalyzed urethane is a synthetic finish that is typically made with petrochemicals, which can have a negative impact on the environment. The application of this finish also involves the use of solvents, which can release VOCs into the air. Some manufacturers offer low-VOC or zero-VOC urethane finishes, which can be less harmful to the environment when applied at our facility. Regardless of the manufacturing and/or finishing processes, no VOC off-gassing occurs after installation.
WOCA Natural Oil, on the other hand, is a plant-based product that is made from natural ingredients, such as vegetable oils and waxes. It is low in VOCs and has a relatively low environmental impact. However, the production of the natural oils and waxes used in this finish can have an impact on land use, water use and, depending on the sourcing practices of the manufacturer, biodiversity.
In summary, UV-catalyzed urethane has a greater potential for negative environmental impact due to its synthetic composition and use of solvents, while WOCA Natural Oil is made with natural ingredients and has a lower potential for negative impact.
Q. Are there differences in the recommended routine maintenance for floors finished by these two types of finish?
A: Yes, there are differences in the recommended routine maintenance for floors finished with UV-catalyzed urethane compared to WOCA Natural Oil.
Floors finished with UV-catalyzed urethane are typically more durable and resistant to scratches and stains compared to natural oil finishes. However, they require special care and maintenance to preserve their appearance and durability. Here are some recommended routine maintenance tips for floors finished with UV-catalyzed urethane:
1. Place rugs or mats at outside entrance doors to prevent dirt from being tracked onto the floor.
2. Clean the floor regularly using a soft-bristled broom or vacuum with a hard floor setting to remove dirt and dust.
3. Wipe up spills immediately with a damp cloth or paper towel.
4. Use a pH-neutral cleaner designed for use on urethane finishes, and avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that can damage the finish.
5. Avoid using excessive amounts of water or steam cleaning on wood flooring as this can damage the finish and the wood.
In contrast, WOCA Natural Oil finishes require less maintenance and can develop a patina over time, giving the floor a unique character. Here are some recommended routine maintenance tips for floors finished with natural oil:
1. Place rugs or mats at outside entrance doors to prevent dirt and debris from being tracked onto the floor.
2. Sweep or vacuum the floor regularly to remove dirt and dust.
3. Use a pH-neutral cleaner designed for use on natural oil finishes, and avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the finish.
4. Apply a maintenance oil or soap periodically to nourish the wood and maintain its appearance.
5. Buff the floor with a white pad to remove any scratches or marks
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need more information about our reclaimed wood flooring finishing options and your specific situation. We’re always happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have.