Floor finishes are primarily used for two reasons: to add shine to floors and to protect them from wear. This may seem straightforward enough, but selecting the right floor finish can actually be quite tricky.
Floor finishes can vary in a number of ways. Here are the most important factors to keep in mind for making the right choice.
Solid content: This refers to the film that remains on the floor once the finish has dried. The higher the solid content, the thicker the film.
Durability: As a general rule, the thicker the film, the more durable the finish. However, this depends on the quality of the polymers used in the finish.
Sheen level: Every finish offers a certain level of sheen, which can range from matte to ultra-glossy.
Type of flooring: The type of flooring (hard or porous) will greatly influence the amount of maintenance needed to keep the finish in good condition.
Humidity: The humidity level is critical when applying a floor finish as it influences its drying and curing time.
Daily maintenance: Keep in mind that the time allocated to maintenance will have a direct effect on labour costs.
Number of coats and drying time: The number of coats being applied and drying time are important factors to consider, given that labour represents approximately 80% of the cost of applying a floor finish.
Other important criteria:
- Type and intensity of floor traffic
- Site-specific contract constraints that may limit your options
- Experience level of staff who will be applying and maintaining the finish
In short, to properly choose a floor finish, you need to understand the type of flooring you’ll be working with, along with your needs, budget, available staff and the facility in question. And don’t hesitate to speak with a floor finish specialist if you need help finding the right product for your needs.
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