People ask me all the time to recommend a finish for their wood floors. I personally love hand-rubbed wax and European oil finishes. But what I like personally may not be the best choice for your home or your familyís lifestyle. Itís important to consider how you live and to what sort of long-term maintenance you are willing to commit.
All floors require routine maintenance such as sweeping and dust-mopping. But long-term, different finishes have different maintenance requirements.
Wax and oil finishes can be touched up and brought back to their original luster with relative ease. To keep a floor looking its best, I often recommend that my clients schedule annual maintenance for their hand-rubbed floors. With regular care, a wax or oil finish will provide many years of warm, subtle beauty. Yet these natural finishes donít hold up well to water, so they may not be the best choice for a family kitchen or busy powder room.
In areas where there is likely to be a lot of moisture, I usually recommend a polyurethane finish, which remains on the surface of the wood, thereby providing protection. There are a variety of polyurethanes and synthetic resins on the market today. The choice for a specific finish depends on the wood species, stain color and other design elements. The main drawback to all surface finishes is that, over time, they will scratch and slightly discolor.
Choosing a finish for your wood floor isnít difficult, it just requires that you consider the amount and type of traffic in your home and your long-term maintenance objective. It may be, in fact, that different rooms are finished differently. Often I recommend wax in the majority of the house but polyurethane in the baths and kitchens.
A fine wood floor finished appropriately, should work for you and your family, bringing you pleasure, not anxiety over little scratches and spilled milk.
Boat builders have been bending wood for hundreds of years but did you know that Schenck & Company applies the same techniques to fine wood flooring? Here are a couple of nice examples of our work with curved floors.
This series of photos was taken on site at the River Oaks Country Club.
To create the graceful border of the ballroom dance floor, our craftsmen created a plywood template perfectly matching the curvature of the walls.
They then began the painstaking work of cutting and gluing slivers of rift and quartered white oak to match the template.
The glue dries invisibly leaving planks of white oak that were installed at the curves of the room. White oak strips were staggered between the curves and the entire floor is ready to be sanded, stained and polished to a lustrous glow.
Okay, so you're probably thinking "Sure, they can do it at the Country Club but can they do smaller curves, like in a home?" We can do curves anywhere: in a recessed alcove, under a bay window, along a winding hallway. And we can do curves using just about any species of wood. Follow this link to see the spectacular curves we created in hickory for a Houston-area homeowner. If you like what you see, weíd love for you to throw us a curve of your own.