Al Havner & Sons

Flooring Finishes

Film Build Finishes - Oil Base & Water Base

For almost 30 years water based finishes (also known as water borne) have been my weapon of choice to fight the battle of every day life on a hardwood floor. Nothing else holds up as well to Fido's nails, the baby's walker, dad's wet dirty boots, the kids spilled drinks…you know the rest. There are probably thirty different water based finishes being made right now priced from 40.00 a gallon all the way up to 100.00 a gallon. Guess what? They're just like anything else, you get what you pay for.

Basic Difference - Oil Vs Water Based

I'm not going to try and razzle dazzle you with technical garb like I see others do. What I will do is explain the basic difference between oil and water based floor finishes. With oil based finish it's solvents that make the solids flow out to make an even coat of finish across your floor. With water base it's water that makes them flow.

It's been explained to me that poly resins in water base are of a higher quality, and your best water bases are two component finishes. Similar to that of a two part epoxy. There is a hardener that gets mixed in the finish just prior to applying the finish. Due to the fact that with oil base you have solvents evaporating into the atmosphere, and water base you have water evaporating into the atmosphere, water base is the green choice in film build finishes.

Back when water based finishes first hit the market in the metro Detroit area I started using them. The fact they were a greener choice is what sold me but it took forever for me to convince my customers this was the way to go. Greener and better! What more could you ask for? Now 30 years older and not as much into change as I once was in my younger days, I find myself getting real close to start pushing this next best round of amazing flooring products for the 4th and 5th generation of Havner hardwood guys to use.

Trending Fast! - Hard Wax Oils

Hard wax oils are 100% solids and 100% VOC free making them one of the few completely green finishes for the tree hugger in you. They are made from resins, waxes and oils like linseed and tung oils. These finishes penetrate deep into the pores of the wood. With a buffed on application friction helps to warm these waxes and oils and further push them into the pores of the wood. The end result leaves a very warm hand rubbed look to the floor surface.

The beauty in these products are that scratches and gouges in the floor can be repaired by the homeowner with ease. I read a statistic the other day that for every couple of liters of these products used saves a few hundred square feet of rain forest. This means a lot to me and I hope it does to you as well.

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Only Proven Finishes Used At Havner & Sons

Most hardwood resource sites want to list every form of finishknown to man. Why bother? I have listed three because that's all I will use. I know my business and I know what finishes are the best as far as durability, ease of application, and flow. Rest assured we will never use a cheap finish on your floor whether it be hard wax oils, oil based poly or water based. To quote the late great Frank Zappa, "nuttin' but the best for my dog."

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Floor Finishes

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