The choice of flooring depends not only on the pattern and color, but also on the type of surface. The floor may in particular be glossy or matt, textured or smooth. Let's see what types of floor treatment exist, and what you need to consider when choosing a method for covering a wooden floor.
Brushing VS polishing
Brushing floors is to remove soft elements from the surface of the wood. Thanks to this, the boards look aged, and the rings are more visible. A smooth floor, on the other hand, has a cut (sanded), perfectly flat surface. Both types of floors can be finished with oil or lacquer.
Matte and glossy floor
A smooth floor is suitable for almost any interior design - traditional, Scandinavian and any modern. It looks great in contrasting color schemes and with aged furniture. It is perfectly smooth, making it fit into simple, minimalist arrangements. If you don't have a definite idea for your home and want to furnish it gradually, a smooth floor is the perfect base.
Matte flooring is ideal for rustic, loft and vintage interiors. It pairs well with brick walls and, interestingly, sleek modern furniture, metal accessories and cabinetry, glass décor (a great contrast), among other things. Whether you're a traveler, collector or nostalgic fan of warm, natural ambiance, use a brushed floor.
Smooth wood floors have all the characteristics of wood - they are durable, anti-static (does not attract dust), renewable (they can be sanded and re-varnished or oiled).
Brushed floors are additionally harder than glossy floors (from the same wood) due to the fact that the soft part is removed during the brushing process (only the hard part of the wood remains). The matte floor is slip resistant, anti-static, more scratch resistant (small scratches are less noticeable) and looks more natural.
Wood patina is a combination of aging that occurs as a result of rubbing, dust and wax removal, as well as wood oxidation and sun exposure. Together, these natural processes create a bronze-like sheen. Mahogany varies from a reddish tone to soft shades of brown, gold and grey. The greyish hue of the new oak changes to a rich brown. The flat surfaces change over time, while the darkened areas at the corners and around the handles - evidence of years of use - further emphasize the individuality of the floor.
Heat treatment, also called steaming, involves changing wood under the influence of high temperature and water vapor, resulting in a material with changed, new properties. The sugars in the wood are caramelized, giving it a characteristic dark color reminiscent of exotic woods. The thermoforming process reduces the absorption of water, which limits the growth of fungi and bacteria. Dimensional stability is also improved.
The result of heat treatment is a strong and stable wood. Due to the decomposition of cellulose compounds, the wood no longer contains enough nutrients for the development of rot fungus. At the end of the process, the moisture content is reduced to 4-6%. The wood is reluctant to absorb water, thus increasing dimensional stability and insulating properties (+25%). The resin has been removed so there is no risk of it being washed out. Formaldehyde-releasing compounds are excluded from the composition, which makes the wood safe for use inside and outside the house. Bacteria are killed, making the wood more hygienic.
Wooden floor covering
The effect of staining wood can be not only in changing its color, but also in emphasizing the texture. If you want to have a "textured" wood floor, you can do it yourself using commercially available varnishes, waxes or oils.
Staining wooden floors (parquet staining) is a fashionable procedure that completely changes the character of the interior. There are several ways to change the color of wood. Depending on the effect we want to achieve, we can use stain, varnish, wax or oil. But first you need to carefully sand the wood.
The easiest way to change the color of wood is to cover it with colored varnish. Colored floor varnish today can be selected according to the color card - just like paints. You should be aware that by choosing such a solution and applying a uniform color coating to the floor, we will slightly suppress the texture of the wood. Floor varnishes are durable and can withstand washing, making them a great choice for kitchens, bathrooms and high traffic areas. What is the best floor polish? Choose from a clear or colored lacquer with your desired sheen level.
Important! It is not recommended to use colored varnishes on very pale boards, as they will show flaws and scratches. Instead, it is better to choose a dark stain, and then a clear varnish.
Oil and wax
Achieve a new effect by painting the floor with wax or oil. Both tools will emphasize its texture. However, in this case, the possibilities of staining will be much more limited than with varnishing. Therefore, when choosing between varnish or parquet oil, consider the color scheme of the interior. Despite the presence of dark and bleaching agents, oils are only available in a few colors.
Dark colors can give the wood a cherry, oak, or walnut color. They are commonly used for staining oak floors. Light ones can discolor the wood, give it a silvery or gray color. Most often they are used for coloring light woods: birch, ash or maple. However, it is worth knowing that oak, on which an oil containing light pigments has been applied, looks very impressive - it gives the impression of being aged, covered with a silvery patina.
Dark stain is an easy way to update a wood floor and change the look and feel of a room. Stains change the color of the wood, but at the same time retain the natural texture. For added protection, coat your painted floor with a clear lacquer in your choice of finish.
Achieving a good end result when staining a parquet floor largely depends on the correct choice of stain. You should choose a stain that has a long drying time, which allows you to evenly paint large surfaces. These are water-based polyurethane dyes. Alcohol-based paints that have a short drying time (due to the rapid evaporation of the solvent) can leave stains on the wood. For painting parquet floors, only products intended for flooring should be used. Using a popular colored furniture lacquer or stain will not give a good effect. Applying a top coat of floor varnish to painted wood will cause rapid abrasion, delamination, and even flaking.
Oil for wood with pigments
Another way to change the color of a wood floor is to paint it with a pigmented oil and then protect it with a two-component polyurethane varnish. Oil tinting parquet is a more time consuming method than others, but the end result is worth it. The oil will not only add color, but also enhance the texture of the wood, while the top coat will protect it, giving it a satin semi-matte, matte or glossy finish.
If you want to paint the floor in this way, then you should use preparations sold as a kit - offered by one manufacturer. This will help to avoid unpleasant surprises caused by oil and varnish mismatch.
Best for high traffic areas or wherever maximum protection against wear and damage is required. The strongest and most durable type of coating; It does not require special care; has several levels of gloss. However, it is difficult to correct or restore it; only available for pre-finished wood planks.
Aluminum oxide is a naturally occurring mineral that provides an extremely durable protective coating for hardwood floors. It protects the floor from scratches, fading, water damage, scuffs and general wear and tear without changing the color of the wood or obscuring its texture. There are several levels of gloss, so the coating can be either matte or shiny. However, you cannot apply it yourself: aluminum oxide is only available as an option on finished parquet boards.
On the other hand, aluminum oxide is not easy to remove from wood if you ever want to change the color and texture of the floor or refurbish the boards. However, if you want the most durable parquet flooring - it can last up to 25 years and still requires little maintenance - and you like the idea of installing a pre-finished wood floor, aluminum oxide is a good choice.
There are more than enough processing methods and types of wood flooring. You only need to decide on the style of the interior, the color scheme and choose what you want - oiled parquet, like admirers of naturalness, or wooden flooring with colored varnish for a modern interior.