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Which Are The Best Types Of Finishes To Apply On A Cork Floor?

Similar to most types of floorings, cork floors can also be refinished. But because this flooring material is extra soft, additional care must be taken when refinishing the surfaces, especially when using a commercial sander. If you apply too much pressure on a cork layer, you can sand right through it. However, a fresh layer of urethane can still be applied by being a little bit diligent. The best types of sanders to use on cork floors in this case are the square-shaped varieties that take the big pads. These do not cut as deep or as fast. Best of all, they can easily be found a hardware store near you.

Types of finishes to apply on a cork floor


Before we get started, experienced specialists in cork flooring in Mississauga recommend performing a light sanding to rough up the top coat of your cork floor before applying several thin coats of water- based polyurethane finish. This notwithstanding, there are several other kinds of finishes that can also be applied on a cork floor. These finishes, however, seem to fall into one of the two broad categories. But whichever option you opt for, the finish can either penetrates the floor or sits on top of the surface. A stain is a good example of the first type. Here, let’s look at the second types of the cork floor finishes since they are the most common.

UV cured acrylic finishes

These finishes are cured by ultra violet light rather than heat. Because all acrylic finishes are thinner than their oil-based polyurethane counterparts, they only need 3-4 coats to build a protective layer. Moreover, they require only 1-2 hours to completely dry between coats. This means that even where more coats are required, they are faster to apply and dry compared to their oil-based counterparts.

Wax finishes

Though not a very common type of a finish, it is one of the best to apply on your cork floor. You will normally find it on old glued down floor surfaces. As such, people that own one sorts of an old home or another are likely to find wax-finished cork surface hiding under the carpet. You will probably not find this kind of a finish being done these days since there are newer cork floor finishing products that last longer.

Wax-finished surfaces have a number of noteworthy advantages over all the others. To start with, a refinished surface can be buffed and then re-waxed without having to take away the existing layer of wax. Moreover, scratches in a wax-finished surface can easily be removed by re-waxing the affected tile, and all without having to refinish the entire floor.

However, depending on the amount of foot traffic, a wax-refinished surface must be re-waxed every six to twelve months. But rather than doing this, some homeowners simply strip all the old wax off the cork surface and apply a new polyurethane finish for ease of care and maintenance.

Polyurethane finishes

These are some of the commonest types of floor finishes in a majority of modern homes today. They are either water-based or oil-based. The water-based varieties must be applied in layers to enhance their longevity. Unfortunately, this is quite a time and effort consuming task. These kinds of polyurethane finished surfaces however are easy to clean up and emit no harmful fumes.

A number of oil-based polyurethane finishes also exist in the market today and that can be opted for. These kinds of polyurethane finishes are a favorite with the do-it-yourself types of homeowners as they are easier to apply than their water-based cousins. Unfortunately, their very strong odor and harsh chemicals are off-putting to a majority of people.

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