In the carpet industry the “useful life” of a carpet is determined by the amount of time the carpet will retain it’s appearance. It is common knowledge that people replace carpet while 80% of the carpet fiber is still existent in the carpet, but it doesn’t look good any longer. The carpet may be crushed, or fraying, or there are stains that will not respond to cleaners. While the fiber is still there, the carpet just doesn’t look good enough to keep it on the floor.
The same consideration should be made for wood floors. When you are selecting a finish, you need to keep in mind the “appearance retention” value of your finish. There are a lot of promises that people are making about their finishes, but chemically there are differences between the two basic types of finish – acrylic polymers and urethane (Our Premium Finish). We no longer the acrylic polymer option, because the product did not retain it’s appearance for a long enough period. For the short term, we found a less expensive urethane that we recommend for people preparing their floors for a house sale, and sometimes as an inexpensive maintenance product for our commercial customers. The Premium Urethane Finish will look good much longer. It will have better “appearance retention” and therefore a longer “useful life” because you won’t feel you need to refinish your floors as soon as if you use the Base Grade Finish.
Excluding color issues at this time, the finish you select should be based on 3 factors:
- How long do I want my finish to last?
If you are preparing your house for sale, you only need a short “useful life” for your finish, and the Base Grade Finish is good for you. If you just purchased a house, you will want a longer “useful life” and you should get the Premium Urethane Finish. If you are preparing a rental apartment, you might want a short “useful life”, because you might have to “refresh” the wood floor each time a new tenant signs a lease. Briefly, if you only want a finish to look good for 2-3 years, you will save money getting the Base Grade Finish. If you want your finish to last longer than 3 years, you should get the Premium Urethane Finish.
- What is my price range?
The Base Grade Finish is 1/3 the cost of sanding a floor! The Premium Urethane Finish is 1/2 the cost of sanding a floor! In both cases, you are saving a lot of money by using SandFree instead of sanding the floor, but if your budget for floor refinishing is small, you might want to get the Base Grade Finish.
- Do I want a satin/matte finish?
The Base Grade Finish, does not come in a matte or satin sheen. It is available in Semi-gloss only. Frankly, the Semi-Gloss doesn’t look that much different than the gloss. The Premium Urethane is available in a Satin, Semi-Gloss sheen as well as a Matte (special order only) – which is a finish without any sheen (we only use this in museums). If you have dogs, we feel the Satin finish will tend to hide scratches more than the Gloss finish.
Satin is our most popular sheen because it emphasizes the wood grain of well maintained, aged wood. For museums, we have a special “no-sheen” finish to eliminate any glare onto the art work.