oil or lacquer for wood floor

Choosing a finish – The Beauty of Options

This article is to help with choosing a finish for your newly restored wood floor. In our current fast-paced world, we all want it easy and we want it now. We also want it cheap and we want it to be good and we, of course, want it to last a long time. In the art of wood floor sanding these few factors do not fit together well. In the world of wood floors and wood floor restoration, to get it good and to last a long time, is not fast nor it is cheap.

To get the best result for your wood floor restoration project it is always best to be as well informed as possible before you get the professional wood floor sanders in to provide you with advice and costings. As the owner of Art of Clean in Cambridge, I am lucky to have seen many floors and finishes as well many standards to which floor sanding professionals work.

One of the factors clients are most let down on is providing clients with options as to what finish will be best for their newly sanded wood floor.

Before we set out the guidelines on chosing a finish for your wood floor I would like to explore with you why so many floor sanders do not offer their clients enough options to the right finish for their floor.

Here are a few reasons:

Lack of knowledge.

It is true that there are some very talented wood floor sanders around. It is also true that there are some floor sanding contractors that do not have the required knowledge. Many of these floor sanders might have been trained in a hands-on fashion, working with other floor sanders, basically learning on the job. Though a floor sanding professional may have many years’ experience it does not mean they have the required knowledge.

Due to the fast-moving pace of the technology and science in the floor sanding industry, it is more beneficial for a floor sander to expand his/her knowledge by attending industry recognised training than to use the “slow lane” by learning from other floor sanders on the job.

Lack of Experience

It is fair to expect that if a wood floor sander knows and trusts a wood floor finishing product that he will use the product more if he has the option. This means that once he has to advise on the best product for the floor that he/she will naturally have a bias towards the product he is familiar with.

This is no problem until… new technologies offer products that outperform the product the floor sander prefers.

Pressure to meet budget requirements.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article we see many clients who have a budget to meet and therefore it pushes many floor sanders to offer a lower cost finishing product. Though this meets the budgetary requirement for the client it is plausible that due to the lower budget the quality of the finishing product will be reduced.

Now let’s move on and explore what options you can expect when choosing a finishing product for your wood floors.

Water Based VS Solvent Based.

In the quest to be as environmentally friendly as possible many floor finish manufacturers push for water based finishes. Floor sanding professionals worth their salt will aim to provide you with a water based finish where possible. It is a fact that water based finishes are better for the environment and better for your health, your family (domestic) your staff or clients (commercial) and the health of the person applying the product.

Single component VS Two Pack

To increase a wood floor finish’s durability the finish is manufactured as a 2 component product. This means mixing 2 components together and a reaction between the products causes the finish to be much harder wearing than a single component. Your floor sanding professional is obliged to offer you the best finish for your floor. For floors with standard to lower use, a single component product will be a good choice of finish. It is beneficial to choose a 2 component finish for your high traffic areas or areas where the floor is possibly exposed to higher levels of moisture or spills, examples include, Bathrooms, Kitchens, hairdressers floors and sport’s halls to name a few.

Choosing a finish – Oil Vs Lacquer

choosing a finish - oil or lacquerMore recent developments in the finishes of wood floor oils offer the option to get floors finished with an oil that provides a more natural finish (very good for older style homes) to compliment the feel of the premises. Penetrating oils like Pallmann Magic Oil also offer end users the choice to have localised repairs carried out on their floors. This eliminates the need to have floors fully sanded back in the future if only a small part is worn or damaged.

If a lacquer is used on a floor it will offer the option to give a matt, semi sheen or a high shine finish. This gives a polyurethane protective coating on the surface of the wood floor. Your wood floor restoration professional will be required to advise what finish will be best for your floor.

Benefits of choosing a wood floor contractor:

Ultimate Floor Sanding Affiliates are professionals that can discuss your floor sanding and finishing requirements and link this to the correct product for your need. This will save you time and money in the following ways:

The right product will mean the wood floor will last longer, the room will not be out of use for that long. It is also a well-known fact that a wood floor can only be sanded so many times before it needs replacing. Sanding a wood floor prematurely means it will require replacement much sooner.

Where to find the right wood floor sanding contractor

Choosing an Ultimate Floor Sanding Affiliate will mean you get access to a floor sanding professional that will have attended training on an annual basis and is up to speed with changes in our industry.

For wood floor finishing advice and getting the most for your wood floor including getting advice on what finish is best for your wood floor please contact Art of Clean who is a proud affiliate of Ultimate Floor Sanding.

About Art of Clean

Learn more about who we are, what we do and what we stand for by visiting www.floorsandingcambridge.co.uk www.floorsandingnewmarket.co.uk www.woodfloorsandingessex.co.uk also our main website at www.artofclean.co.uk

Areas covered by Art of Clean for wood floor sanding and restoration and wood floor sanding and  polishing include: Ely, Huntingdon, Godmanchester, Papworth Everard, , Cambridge,  Thaxted, Newport, St Neots

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moisture in wood floors - moisture reading

Case Study – Floor Boards Shrinking – Find Out Why

Art of Clean, the Cambridgeshire based wood floor sanding affiliate to Ultimate floor sanding has had a real interesting encounter recently. Here is their story:

An engineered oak floor was sanded and sealed using Pallmann’s high end primer and lacquer finish in the late summer of 2015. Our client just had a new kitchen installed and when the old kitchen cupboards got removed he noticed the lighter floor where the old units covered the floor. He loved this so much he asked Art of Clean in Cambridge to come in and sand and finish the engineered wooden floor.

To ensure we delivered the lightest finish possible we specified Pall x 325, a water based primer followed by Pall x Extreme with hardener as the lacquer,

Explains Pierre de Wet, the owner of Art of Clean

Our team worked extremely had on restoring the floor and took great care sanding around the newly fitted kitchen. In most cases it is far better to get your kitchen wood floor sanded and finished BEFORE you fit a new kitchen as this eliminates the risk of scuffmarks to your new units.

We finished the floor sanding and the client was really happy with the outcome.

Floor Boards Shrinking – 6 Months Later

About 6 months later Art of Clean received a call and the client expressed their concerns that some gaps had formed between the wooden boards in the kitchen.

wood floor moisture metre

Tramex Moisture Metre –
Taking a moisture reading from a wood floor

Not to worry – We are here to help! so Pierre went off to inspect the wood floor.  We conducted the investigation using Tramex high end moisture and temperature meters and we discovered that the room is very warm and that the relative humidity in the air was very low. This basically means the air is very dry; therefore the wood floor will let go of moisture retained inside of it, in turn this will cause the boards to shrink in size.

Change in Relative Air Humidity caused Gaps

It was at this point that the client shared the fact that following the kitchen install they also had the old boiler replaced. It all suddenly made sense. Due to a much more efficient boiler the room is much warmer and dryer. Our advice was to turn down the heating and allow some air movement by opening windows.

Once the relative humidity has increased the floor boards will reach equilibrium with the air surrounding it and will return back to normal.

Why the Ultimate Guarantee is Important

Had an inexperienced floor sander been contacted about this problem they might have opted to fill the gaps and re-finish the floor. The problem with this solution is that once summer comes and the floor absorbs moisture from the air again, the wood floor will start to expand. As the gaps have been filled, the floor will buckle as it expands.

This is one example of why it is so important to choose a professional, experienced, wood floor sanding company. The Ultimate Two Year Guarantee on our work means that our contractors will do a thorough investigation to understand the cause of problems and our experience means we will find the right solution to solve any issues.  That’s why our customers say we provide the ultimate peace of mind!.

What to do if you notice gaps in your wooden floor:

Always consider what might cause the change in the environment. 

  • Was a new boiler fitted?
  • Have living arrangements changed – If you are at home more and the heating is on during the day it will have an impact on the air in your home.
  • In some cases rugs on floors can cause heat to get trapped especially if you have under floor heating on your wooden floor.
  • Is your cleaning process leaving too much water on the wooden floor – that can cause swelling of the floor boards

Always get a professional’s advice before you take drastic action

This article was written by Pierre de Wet at Art of Clean, thanks to Pierre and his team for sharing this case study.

For professional wood floor restoration in Cambridge and surrounding areas including Newmarket, Saffron Walden, Ely, Huntingdon and Haverhill please call Art of Clean on 01223863632

If you are looking for an Ultimate Floor Sanding Company recommended floor sanding contractor in your local area, please check out our Find your Local Floor Sander page.

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Pallmann_Gecko Star_in use

What to look for in your Floor Sanding contractor?  

Your wooden floor has for many years cried out for help. The time has finally arrived for the restoration to commence. For many people choosing the right wood floor restoration contractor can be a daunting task. This guide is written to help you ask the right questions to help you make an informed decision, so your fully up to speed on what to look for in your floor sanding contractor.

Start with the end in mind.

It is extremely important to know what you would like to achieve. Know what the room will look like once completed. Will it have a modern feel or will it shine with a more contemporary glory? Knowing how you want your wood floor to look after it has been refinished helps your floor sanding contractor to understand the best options in finishes for your wood floor.

Pallmann PALL-X 98

Pallmann PALL-X 98

For a more natural look Pallmann Magic Oil will deliver a more matt toned down feel that offers easy repair properties and is very hard wearing.

Would you prefer a sheen to the surface? Your solution lies in a Pallmann 2 Part Lacquer finish such as Pallmann Pall-X 98 Gold or Pallmann Extreme. These also work extremely well on a wooden bathroom floor.

Prior to getting your potential floor sanding contractor to quote for the work ensure you research these products so you are well informed when discussing the process with your contractor. This offers a further benefit. If you discover that the potential contractor does not have all the facts or is not working to high standards, researching these wood floor finishing products in advance can help you can identify this early on. Find out more about Pallmann products here. You’ll be looking at the Surface Treatment products.

Be very wary of contractors that offer you a price over the phone.

When you are choosing a wood floor sanding contractor you should be very wary of contractors who offer a price over the phone. They should at least do a site survey to ensure they can identify the type of wood in use, if there is any potential asbestos risk and talk through with you what you are looking for. A good contractor will also be able to provide feedback on suggested finishes based on the light in the room and the amount of wear and tear the wood floor is subject to.

Choosing a wood floor sanding contractor – Prepare for the visit

As we mentioned before, it is greatly beneficial to get a good understanding of the floor sanding process and the best products for your wood floor prior to talking to potential floor sanding contractors so you can sift out the good from the bad.

Questions to ask your floor sanding contractor

Here are a few questions you can ask to help identify the good contractors:

Do you offer a money back guarantee for your work and for exactly how long? Ultimate Floor Sanding Affiliates offer a 2 year Parkett Profi Warranty (http://www.pallmann.co.uk/contractors/warranty/)  with the floor finishing service if the flooring conditions are right. Your contractor will be able to supply you with all the information.

Do you have current insurance and what does it cover? You would expect your contractor to have full professional indemnity insurance, which means that in the unlikely event of anything breaking or damage occurring, you’ll be fully reimbursed.

What training have you completed and when was the last course you attended? All Ultimate Floor Sanding Affiliates attend regular training events and are constantly update their knowledge and working practices.

What oil will you use on the floor and does it come with a hardener that makes it more hard wearing? Ultimate Floor Sanding Affiliates use 2 part Pallmann Magic Oil, in our opinion the very best floor oil on the market.

What lacquer will you use on the floor and does it come with a hardener that makes it more hard wearing? The Pallmann range of floor finishes comes in single component or 2 component finishes. If a room requires hardener (like a bathroom or kitchen in some cases) your Ultimate floor sanding Affiliate contractor will be able to specify the correct product

Floor Sanding Contractors Cambridge

This article was written by Pierre de Wet, one of our expert floor sanding contractors.

For a comprehensive floor sanding and finishing service in the Cambridgeshire area contact Art of Clean on 01223863 632 or visit our floor sanding sites at:


If you are looking for a local Ultimate Floor Sanding Company recommended floor sanding contractor in your local area, please FREEPHONE 0333 93 901 93 or check out our Floor Sanding Provider page.

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