Development of modern floor finishes began in the year 1940’s with the development and application of synthetic wax such as bee wax. Also this era began the explosion of newer types of flooring and the newer synthetics finishes that were more compatible. During 1950’s acrylic polymer finish were introduced and they found to be a high glossy without buffing and it increased ware resistance. These finishes are easy to apply and to remove.
The type of floor finishes can be categorized based on their characteristics. They are as follows
Floor finishes can vary based on their characteristics: They are as follows
- Clear Finishes: Transparent coatings are used to protect interior wood floors from wear without concealing the natural appearance of the wood.
- Pigment Finish: Floor finishes are pigmented to provide opacity and color. Colors of floor finishes usually are gray, red, or brown. These will help to make dirt less visible. In exterior applications, pigmented finishes are much more durable than clear finishes. Most floor paints used are for normal service. Some are designed to withstand abnormal service, e.g., exposure to dampness, in marine and corrosive environments and to heavy traffic. This is especially important on floors which are subject to wear and on which water can collect and remain for a period of time.
- Gloss: Floor finishes are either semi gloss or high gloss for optimum ease of maintenance and resistance to wear.
- Wear resistance finish
The latest trend in floor finish is the use of urethane. In this wear resistance is increased because of polymer urethane is added. It requires more time to dry between the coatings to have hardened floor. If it is not dried properly the floor will remain softer. Most of the commercial brands of finish have compatible buffing solutions available.
Buffing is also known as burnishing. It is done in between the coating of finish. It promotes additional shine to floors, increase the hardness and subsequently wear resistance. It is done by a machine with either low or high speed.
Compatibility of finish with sealer, type of floor i.e., hard/soft is very important. It is better to take the advice of the dealer to known and to select the compatible brand and type of finish. Compatibility does not show immediately it takes time. Surface preparation for the application of finish
Surface Preparation: One of the most essential parts of finishing floor is proper surface preparation and repair. Applied finishes will not adhere well, provide the required protection, and have the desired appearance unless the surface is properly prepared. This is especially important on level floors where water and cleaners can remain for long period of time, and where heavy traffic can subject the finish to excessive wear.
The floor can be cleaned with the following materials to prepare for floor for application of finish.
- Solvent Cleaner
- Alkali Cleaner
- Acid Cleaner
- Removing the existing paint with paint Removers.
Application of finishing The choice of finishes coating system to be used depends on the following factors:
- The substrate of flooring ( e,g., wood or concrete floor)
- Condition of substrate, (e.g., rough, corroded, alkaline, painted)
- Limits in surface preparation, if any
- Finish required, (e.g., pigmented, clear, gloss, nonslip)
Environmental conditions. (e.g., exposure to dampness, and corrosive environments and to heavy traffic.)