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There are all types of wood flooring finishes on the market, but what should you really be looking for? Steve Grimwood, Managing Director of the eco-friendly flooring and finishes company, Osmo UK, offers his advice.

Wooden flooring is a beautiful feature for any home, but is important that contractors understand that as an organic matter, flooring will continue to require nourishment to ensure it remains in the best possible condition both aesthetically and structurally. My advice is to make use of a high-quality finish, full of natural ingredients as this will compliment the woods properties. An oil-/wax-based finish will retain the breathability of the wood by penetrating the surface deeply, allowing it to respond to environmental conditions, and removes any possibility of cracking or blistering.

With increased durability of the woods surface, it is protected from every day wear and tear and becomes more resistant to stains and dirt. The wood is strengthened from within and retains its elasticity.

Wood is usually specified for its timeless appearance. If the aim is to have a natural, rustic look, apply a clear matt finish, as this will not detract from the beauty of the solid wood. For those looking for a less-conventional appearance, finishes allow the introduction of colour to flooring. Tired or dull rooms can easily be converted to gain a vibrant and exciting theme. Whether it is just a simple tint change to the woods surface, or a complete overhaul with a bold colour tone, wood flooring can be completely transformed to create a new appearance that other flooring can only achieve through replacement.

Finishes also present the opportunity to increase the safety of wood flooring. Like any hard-flooring material, wood can become slippery when wet. To rectify this issue, an anti-slip finish can be applied.

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