Hardwood Finishes/Wear layers
Performance is all in the wear layer, especially when it comes to hardwood floors.
Not only are they designed to resist scuffs and scratches, they clean up easily and continue to look beautiful thanks to high-tech wear layers that not only protect the wood underneath, but give it varying gloss levels to satisfy any style. Factory finished floors typically outperform site finished floors and are more durable. New advances in nanotechnology offer an increased level of protection.
This is one of the most commonly used finishes because it is tough, durable, easy to clean and offers increased abrasion to make floors less slippery.
Aluminum oxide is added to the finish which is cured by UV light, making it one of the toughest wear layers for hardwood flooring.
Some floors, especially for those used in kitchens and other areas where they can be exposed to moisture, are impregnated with acrylic to prevent moisture from seeping into the core. Moisture and hardwood floors do not get along; this treatment prevents water seepage.
Polyurethane is a common choice for on-site finished floors that are allowed to air dry. There are both water- and oil-based urethanes that are used as well. While these finishes are more than adequate for most residential settings, the fact is that they cannot compare to finishes that are applied in a controlled factory environment and are UV cured.
These offer a very beautiful look, but true oil finishes can be temperamental and require regular maintenance to prevent them from drying out. However, there are several companies that produce urethane coated floors that look just like oil finishes.