Selecting a timber coating

Selecting the timber floor coating that is right for you will often rely on a number of factors including expected foot traffic, maintenance, aesthetic considerations or health and saftey issues. There are literally hundreds of products that can be used to coat internal timber flooring. Basically they are classified in three broad categories: Solvent based, Water based and Oil based coatings.

Solvent based

Solvent based coatings are the most commonly used interior floor coatings in australia today. In general terms they offer superior resistance to day to day wear and tear and provide a low maintenance finish that is available in gloss, semi-gloss, satin or matt sheen levels. They are very high smelling during drying and usually require you to vacate your premises while they are applied (especially preganat women and people with respiratory problems such as asthma).

Water based

In years gone by, water based coatings have been regarded as inferior or lack lustre alternatives to traditional solvent based products. As technology has improved, water based products are now accounting for a much more significant part of the market. Improved resistance to wear, scratches and staining has seen water based coatings used on many more residential and commercial timber floors. Low toxicity and faster drying times are key advantages of water based coatings. The usually dont require you to vacate your premises. Gloss levels are much more subdued compared to solvent based products.

Oil based

Oil based coatings generally offer a very pleasing aesthetic appearance, although they do require more maintenance than solvent or water based coatings. Regular maintenance using polishes or spirit based waxes often mean oil based coatings are likely to be used more in commercial applications than domestic.

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