Floor And Floor Treatments 3 (1+2)

Lesson :09 Floor Treatment with Sealers and Floor Finishes


Sealers are designed to fill the pores in flooring and to provide a protective coat against moisture and chemicals without compromising the flooring material. However sealers are different from finishes in their use, purpose and formation.

Sealers are composed of giant molecules known as polymers. Common types of polymers are styrene, acrylic, polyethylene, urethane, plexiglass, vinyl epoxy, polyester and polypropylene. These polymers are combined in various ways and used with both solvent and water base to produce most of synthetic wax and floor finish.

Sealers fall into two types. Some sealers are used as the primary or only coating to the floor and also in conjunction with flooring finish for example in case of concrete and terrazzo flooring. Another type is used as a finish. However in both the cases sealers are permanent.

Domestic sealers are usually Oleo-resinous and polyurethane. The main difference between oleo-resinous and polyurethane sealer is that the oleo-resinous former partly soaks into the grain or surface, while the polyurethane forms a hard skin on top. It dries to a harder finish. However on new wood floor it may crack because of wood shrinkage while oleo-resinous sealers will move with the shrinking of wood. Some varnishes and lacquers are suitable for floors but they are not as tough as sealers.

Most sealers have a glossy finish, but some are semi-glossy or matt and preserve the original look of a finish. Generally any sealer will change the color slightly but oleo-resinous becomes dark.

Floor finishes:

Finishes are used to protect interior and exterior floors, walkways and ducks. Floors are finished primarily to protect the substrate floor which is left unprotected and would deteriorate since floors are subjected to constant use and wear. Hence floor requires high quality wear resistant finish. Interior floors are finished to promote cleanliness and easy maintenance. Non-slip floor finishes are used to provide a safety in the areas where smooth floor may create a hazard. Floor finishing only for appearance should be avoided, but it should be used as a purposeful application. Surface which requires finishes are wood and concrete.

Generally finishes are either clear or pigmented. Clear finishes are used only on interior wood floors, where the appearance of natural grain is desired. Exterior floors (eg. Concrete floor) should be finished with pigmented rather than clear finish to assume better durability. The use of clear or pigmented finish depends upon the anticipated wear and tear of the surface because of severity of the usage, retention of color appearance. Finishes are considered as sacrificed coating which means that the finish is desired to absorb the wear on the floor and protect it.

Last modified: Wednesday, 20 June 2012, 7:49 AM