Unfinished red oak...help me maintain light shade when we seal?

heidiaOctober 10, 2012

I am looking at unfinished red oak flooring to be finished on site. Unfinished, it is nice and light, not red or pink at all. What type of sealant(oil, wax, polish, lacquer) can you reccomend that would help it to keep that natural light color. I really want them to be as light as they are unfinished. I keep reading that when ppl put a sealer on, they get darker or more red in tone...that is not what I want. I also notice that the prefinished board samples I have seen are darker than the unfinished boards...

I would also love a finish that is easy to maintain and repair.

Any ideas? Thanks!

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Yes...use a quality two-part waterborne polyurethane and seal first with a clear sealer. For example...the Bona system consists of BonaSeal and then a topcoat of Bona Traffic or Traffic HD or Naturale. Traffic and Traffic HD are available in several gloss levels and Naturale is dead matte. For the most natural look and feel I would think that BonaSeal with Naturale as the coating would give you the barest look. Bona claims a "seamless repair" characteristic, although I doubt very highly that Naturale in a residential setting would ever need repair.

Even though you think your floor has no 'pink' tones, chances are they will show up some after finishing. Wetting the wood with some water will give you a general idea of what to expect as your final color.

If you want a no color oak floor, that can be accomplished by bleaching the thing. However, a strong word of caution with that...wood bleach is extremely caustic and is dangerous to play around with. I used wood bleach on a few customer's floors and I can tell you from experience that you MUST follow every bodily precaution when using the stuff. That is best left to the best professional floor finisher you can find. I did not get hurt using the stuff, but did experience some slight burning sensations on a few spots of skin, even though I was being extremely cautious and had my wits about me...so beware.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bona Naturale

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 1:53PM
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Thank you for the info! :)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 11:11AM
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Im curious as to why you consistently recommend a two part water bourne urethane? They dont do any more to help protect scratches or dents. Read the label of the Traffic its for wearing. And even so its costs upwards of $125 a gallon when a simple water urethane cost a fraction of Traffic and does virtually the same thing. Ive used the traffic and seen exactly what it does when 5 kids roam over it with a 40 lb dog. And ive also seen it when only 2 adults use the floor. Either way you might as well as save your money.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 6:26PM
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I agree with gregmills about Bona Traffic. Having used Bona finish I can attest it does not wear as expected. Getting Bona to work with you, be responsive as a homeowner is difficult if not impossible. Use caution and choose wisely.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 7:54PM
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There are other urethane finish producers and other types non-yellowing film-forming products. I recommend the two-part waterborne polyurethanes, such as that produced by Bona, because I have found results to be consistent. I have also had not one consumer complaint about nonperformance.

Floor finishers use the products they are familiar with and those which give the results they and their clients want.

I have heard some complaints from contractors concerning the Bona products and they have mostly been about price, so many have learned to use competitive formulations and other types of finishes.

As for support from a wood floor finish company is concerned...good luck with that! I switched to Bona many years ago from their major competitor because of poor customer service. I have not had any complaints, so I can't add comments about Bona's customer service.

There are many ways to finish a wood floor and each of us has our favorite coatings, materials, stains and dyes. That is why when a consumer hires a finisher for high-level work, it is prudent to ask about products, see samples and portfolios and check references.

A very interesting development in floor finishing is the UV curing systems for finishing a wood floor on site. Apparently, the client gets back on the floor the same day it's done. That I want to see.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 9:39PM
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