Before your floor can be treated with a wood sealer- whether as protection or for filling- it needs to be thoroughly sanded or buffed and carefully cleaned to remove any debris, dirt, and dust. A sealer is sometimes also called varnish, although technically a varnish is actually a type of wood floor sealer or, more appropriately, a self-sealing finish.
Yes, some finishes work perfectly without needing a sealer under them. In fact, finishes that cast a film on wood can work well on their own without a sealer underneath. Some good examples are shellac and oil-based finishes like polyurethane and varnish. But lacquer and other water-based finishes need a sealer under them so that they don’t get excessively absorbed by the wood.
Benefits of Sealing and Varnishing Wooden Floors
A sealer of professional quality should be able to
- Seal wood pores to present a surface that is smooth.
- Prevent excessive absorption of finishes.
- Reduce the number of coating required during finishing.
- Improve adhesion.
- Minimise grain raising, particularly underneath water-based coating.
- Protect your floor from stain.
Self-sealing finishes like varnish and other oil-based finishes can add protection to your wood floor. Depending on which one you use, the protection offered can lean more towards stain resistance than durability or vice versa. You can prolong the protection if you add in regular maintenance and routine cleaning of your wood floor.
Types of wood and their effects on sealing
The various types of wood out there play a part in determining whether a sealer should be used on a floor or not.
- Sealing is usually not required when finishing extremely dense woods—boxwood, for instance.
- Spongy woods, on the other hand, should be sealed. Sealing woods like poplar and softwoods are particularly beneficial when lacquer is chosen for finishing. The sealer forms a film over the porous wood, stopping the wood floor from absorbing the lacquer coating in excess.
- Also woods like rosewood, African blackwood, and cocobolo hold antioxidants that hamper the curing of oil-based self-sealing finishes. Lacquer, shellac, and the majority of water-based finishes are unaffected by these antioxidants.
Is quality important?
While a sealer doesn’t have to be overly expensive to be effective, a cheap sealer that is of poor quality could expose you to big expenses in the long run. This is because an inferior sealer, while requiring little expenses to acquire, offers low protection, and thus your wood floor will easily succumb to stain, scratches, or discolouration. These result in needing to sand the floor more frequently.
How GJP Floor Sanding Seal and Varnish Your Wood Floors
Do you need expert advice on sealing your wood floor? Perhaps you find the words ‘sealing’, ‘varnishing’, and ‘finish’ confusing, seeing as people often mistake one for another? Or you want your wood floor sanded, sealed, and finished by the book for optimum beauty and durability.
The staff at GJP Floor Sanding, Sealing and Varnishing has been in the flooring industry for over thirty years and have, through the time, gathered both immense knowledge and skilled professionals with the goal of giving your floor a treat of optimal durability and unflinching appeal.