FLOOR SANDING & FINISHING

The sanding and finishing process is the key to bringing your timber floors and stairs to life. Vanguard Timber Flooring also specialize in the restoration and maintenance of timber decking, doors, walls and steps.

When trying to decide on the type of finish and effects to choose it’s best to first decide on a clear impression you would like the flooring to achieve and whether it will complement the other factors that may include, timber species and installation design.

To help our clients have an understanding of the choices Vanguard Timber Flooring offer we have a list of current products and services below that have been put together from years of experience and the research conducted by the Australian Timber Flooring Association “ATFA” and Industry Manufactures.

SOLVENT-BORNE POLYURETHANE

This coating type provides the highest durability and film build of all coating types as well as the highest loss levels for the gloss option if you are after the ultimate “WOW FACTOR”. This product is also the cheapest option and can last eight to twelve years in most cases before needing a maintenance coat.

After the flooring is sanded and clean a fast drying sealer coating is applied followed by the first coating off polyurethane. The flooring is then left overnight and then lightly buffed before applying the final coating. All Coatings in this process are done using rollers and brushes and causes toxic vapours so it’s advised not to stay in house while coatings dry.

The down side to using this product starts with the toxic smell, long chemical curing times and sometimes this product will reject if traces of silicon are present.

Other things to consider include that the polyurethane “plastic” will go a yellow – orange colour in time because of the UV effect sunlight has on the chemicals in the product. Because of this some areas on even red timber floors can be damaged so badly it looks like a white –yellow species and the only solution is to sand the floor back to bare timber and start again.

Also because the product is so tuff, any scratches will stand out more being a brighter white.

WATER-BORNE POLYURETHANE

This has the widest selection of sub-categories with some like the acrylic coatings being early technology to the latest polyurethane blends offering arguably as good wear resistance as solvent-borne polyurethane. The water-borne polyurethane products Vanguard Timber Flooring use have many benefits over the cheaper solvent-borne option, such as an absence of any strong solvent smells on application and much faster drying times.

After the flooring is sanded and clean a sealer coating is applied followed by the first coating off polyurethane. The flooring is then left overnight and then lightly buffed before applying the final coating. All Coatings in this process are done using rollers and brushes or dragged on using special foam applicators.

This type of finish looks more natural than the solvent-borne finish, it gets between loose floorboards and parquetry blocks to glue and seal them tight, does not change colour as much from UV light and scratches will not stand out as much.

The downside to this type of finish is that it goes darker when exposed to UV’s from sunlight (less visible change compared to solvent-borne finishes) and will need recoating after 8-10 years normally or the coating may need to be sanded off back to bare timber and start again.

TRADITIONAL STAINS

This process involves wiping special coloured liquid directly into the grain on the wooden floor and then wiping off the excess in a consistent manner. Traditional staining will always make wooden floors come alive as the full potential of the grain punches through to reveal grain and timber density lines once hidden. Apart from making any floor more awesome, staining is also great to disguise different timer species, colour match furniture, and hide stains and water damage to some degree.

There are many colours and colour variations that can be created using the “Polucure” staining products Vanguard Timber Flooring offer however the black can appear slightly purple and there are currently no white options for the “lime wash” look which seems to always be popular.

Porters Paints have a great white wash look product called “Palm Beach White” which is really the best choice if you are set on having a polyurethane coating instead of a white WOCA oil finish. This staining process is also referred to as “lime washing” and is often used to create a beach feel or a crisp clean classic look.

The Porters Palm Beach Black is a great alternative to the Polycure black stain if a deeper black or rustic effect is sort.

TINTED POLYURETHANE

This staining method is the cheapest and easiest to do as the colour is in a special polyurethane mix so it can be rolled and brushed on with little extra effort to change the colour of a floor by putting a coloured tint in the plastic coating.

There are two main downsides to using this type of staining method. The first is that it will not punch out the grain and bring the magical wooden grain patterns to life that are hidden in the timber flooring like a traditional wipe on wipe off method, and the other is that as the plastic polyurethane finish wears so will the colour in some areas more than others leaving an undesirable effect that will need to be sanded off back to bare timer to fix if regular maintenance coating are not applied.

BLEACHING

Bleaching wood flooring will make most timber species change to a honey golden colour with the colour variation that appears similar to the species Blackbutt or some Oak species.

This process is commonly used in Brisbane and the Gold Coast to make the pinkish looking Brush Box species into something with a lighter more modern appeal and is also great to disguise mixed species.

WAX

Wax coatings have advanced tremendously over the decades; with Whittle Waxes producing some outstanding Hard wax Oil timber finishes for the Australian Market.

It is easy to maintain and unlike polyurethanes, it will not be necessary to re-sand the whole floor for repairs or to replenish. The Hard Wax Oils contain no pollutants and minimal solvent content.

This type of finish has a natural appeal with a slight sheen and comes in clear or a wide range of unique pre coloured oil effects that will give any floor natural charm and beauty.

WOCA – PENETRATING HARDENING OIL

This product can produce the most beautiful wooden floor effects and be sure to keep in mind that “these oils are not just oils”.

After the floor is sanded and dust free the process would involve first washing the floor with a special wood cleaner to pop the grain so the oil can penetrate well. Normally the following day oil or sometimes a primer is applied before oiling by mechanically buffing the oils deep into the grain.

The end result is a floor that has an awesome raw popped grain feel normally, however if another light sand and oil coating is applied a smooth sheen can be produced. The “Diamond Oil” is the clear oil finish and there are also grey and white primers and many oil mixed colours to create effects such as “Old Drift Wood”.

It is easy to maintain and unlike polyurethanes, it will not be necessary to re-sand the whole floor for repairs or to replenish. The WOCA Oils contain no pollutants and minimal solvent content.

WOCA – PENETRATING HARDENING OIL

This product can produce the most beautiful wooden floor effects and be sure to keep in mind that “these oils are not just oils”.

After the floor is sanded and dust free the process would involve first washing the floor with a special wood cleaner to pop the grain so the oil can penetrate well. Normally the following day oil or sometimes a primer is applied before oiling by mechanically buffing the oils deep into the grain.

The end result is a floor that has an awesome raw popped grain feel normally, however if another light sand and oil coating is applied a smooth sheen can be produced. The “Diamond Oil” is the clear oil finish and there are also grey and white primers and many oil mixed colours to create effects such as “Old Drift Wood”.

It is easy to maintain and unlike polyurethanes, it will not be necessary to re-sand the whole floor for repairs or to replenish. The WOCA Oils contain no pollutants and minimal solvent content.