Color and Finish for Hardwood Floors with Waterlox
So you want color in your floor? If you can dream or desire it, then it may very well be possible.
All of our products are sold without sealer, stain or finish on them, so you can start with a blank canvas when selecting finish. A raw wood floor has millions of possible combinations of finishes that you can play with. Since we sell just the flooring, you will have your installer apply the finish. The most common finish is some sort of clear coat like oil-modified polyurethane finishes. These finishes can also be applied over traditional stains and dyes.
Our recommendations tend to be slightly different than mainstream, though, because we like to see a finish that is repairable and doesn't require extreme sanding between coats. Our most popular floor is the kitchen sink mixed hardwoods engineered. Since this is a textured floor where we work hard to maintain the beautiful original patina and texture, we would rather have the installer not do aggressive sanding on it because that removes the beauty that we tried to preserve. Our engineered floors are pre-sanded and pre-filled so it only requires light buffing upon install. Waterlox brand finishes perfectly compliment this scenario for a textured floor that requires somewhat of a build on the coats to give a smooth feel over rougher areas and protect the wood. They are also easily repairable where one can just wipe a little maintenance coat on scratches or traffic patterns which saves the homeowner many thousands of dollars over a full sand and refinish on their floor down the road. Also the floor and finish can be lived on, used, and repaired for many lifetimes instead of prefinished floors which are notorious for not be able to be refinished or repaired.
Waterlox recently came out with a new product that gives the customer a one stop solution for achieving different color options. Their buff-in-color True Tone finishes give you the option of a color compatible sealer coat all within one family of products. The other advantage we see with this product is a slightly lower sheen than their satin finishes. We did notice in some testing that the color tones tended to darken and take more aggressively on rougher or more textured areas of the floor. One may want to experiment on different species and textures if using on our mixed hardwoods floor to be sure that the color tone is desirable. In the attached picture you can see this product applied as a clear and two different variations of grey on some sample pieces. For finish application instructions Waterlox has excellent information here: Waterlox Install Instructions.