Hardwood Floor Finishes: the Waxed Look
Finishing a hardwood floor with wax imparts an old-fashioned atmosphere to a room. This is no coincidence; wax, in fact, was the most common method contractors had for finishing a wood floor in the decades before chemical finishes such as urethanes became available. Wax saw its heyday, perhaps, in the three decades following World War II, but today it is once again becoming popular. In part this is because wax greatly suits the “distressed” look that is all the rage; it also goes well with the hand-scraped look.
Some floor installers and finishers are now indicating that almost a third of their customers are requesting a wax finish. Style and fashion are not the only reasons to select wax, however. Another concern of some customers has to do with chemical sensitivity. As some kinds of floor wax – especially the authentic old-fashioned kinds – are natural products, they can be quite helpful to those whose immune systems react badly to the process of chemical ingredients.
Waxed finishes on hardwood floors are also popular because homeowners are able to renew the finish themselves. This is generally not the case with floors that are pre-finished or those that are finished with urethane products.
Regardless of finish, however, all wooden floors will need periodic floor sanding and finishing to restore them to their original unscratched condition. After sanding, a beautiful layer of new wood will be uncovered. This surface can then be finished anew with wax or another sealer of the customer’s choice.