Hardwood flooring can be a durable, long lasting surface covering material, but it has to be properly finished in order to protect it from stains, damage, and moisture penetration. in addition there are a number of colorful and creative decorative treatments that you can apply to make the floor take on a variety of unique stylistic appearances.
Hardwood Floor Surface Treatments
Stains: These consist of a variety of color changing chemicals which can soak down into the surface of hardwood planks, and tint them from within. These are often coated with a protective above surface finish treatment.The advantage of stains is that they color the wood, while still leaving the natural features of the material visible in its surface. You can stain darker or lighter depending on how many coats are applied.
Bleaching: This is a process that uses harsh chemicals to lighten the color of the wood. In this treatment some of the features are washed out, but the majority remain in a slightly lighter, more pleasant hue.
Distressed: This involves a number of treatments where you try to damage the floor in such a way that it looks like it is aged. This is often done by staining the material a very dark color, and then bleaching it to make the colors look like they faded over time. Other techniques include scratching, scraping, or denting the floor to give it seemingly random personality features.
Wood Inlays: This is a fairly advanced decorative treatment that involves setting different pieces of wood into an already installed floor. This allows you to include emblems, carved pieces, and contrasting species of wood colors directly in the material surface.