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Steve Grimwood, Managing Director of Osmo, UK’s flooring and finishes specialist, provides an insight into what different wood finishes can achieve.

Wooden flooring is a beautiful feature of the home, but it is important to understand that as an organic matter, it will continue to need nourishment to ensure it stays in the best possible condition, both aesthetically and structurally.

My best advice is to make use of a high-quality finish, full of natural ingredients to complement the woods properties. This will ensure that the wood continues to breathe and respond well to environmental conditions, removing any possibility of cracking or blistering. I would recommend an oil or wax- based finish.

Protection A desired result by many is the natural rustic look. To maintain this, the finish applied needs to add durability to the wood surface, protecting it from every day wear and tear, stains and dirt. In this situation, a clear matt finish would be the answer. The finish will not detract

from the overall beauty of the natural wood, but will make it more robust, adding to the longevity. Oil and wax finishes penetrate deeply into the wood to create a micro-porous finish. This allows the wood to breathe, moisture to evaporate and ensures a flawless finish both upon application and for many years to come.

“A current trend within UK homes is for a light- wash appearance flooring.”

After treatment, the wood is strengthened from within and retains its elasticity. It becomes water repellent, stain resistant and more hard-wearing, because it meets the wood’s natural demands and does not crack, flake, peel or blister.

Colour Another feature of wooden finishes is the ability to apply colour to your flooring. Tired or dull rooms

can quickly be converted to gain a vibrant and exciting appearance. Whether it is a simple tint to change the shade of the wood, or a complete overhaul to a refreshingly bold colour tone – this can be a quick- fix way of improving the appearance of the room. The products which are available on the market that do just as we have said have been designed to combine creative design and perfect protection. Not only does it offer visual enhancement, but also a finish that maintains the natural characteristics of the wood. A current trend within UK homes is for a light-wash appearance flooring. Going for a pale finish can give an increased impression of space essential when many people are investing more in improvements over relocating.

Safety Depending on the location of the floor, safety needs to be considered when specifying the finish. Like any hard-flooring material,

wood can become slippery when wet, resulting in a slip hazard. To rectify this issue, many anti-slip finishes have been introduced to the UK market. These products apply a clear anti-slip finish to the floor, which doesn’t compromise the overall appearance.

Prior to the application of finishes, it is essential to ensure the flooring is adequately prepared in order to achieve the best results. Whether it be a newly laid floor or an old renovation, sanding out uneven surfaces will allow for the finish to achieve a better result. Without proper preparation and the removal of pre-existing treatments and varnishes, new finishes may appear uneven and will not saturate the surface sufficiency enough to perform the required job.


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