What is the best natural floor finish for wide plank New England Pine floors? We're active with kids, dogs and want a rustic pine floor look.
We have a 2,400 square foot home which we just laid unfinished wide plank New England Pine throughout. The floors are on the soft side (very easily dented). We have two young boys, a small dog, and live on 4 acres. We are a very active family, high traffic. We are located in Raleigh, NC.
We went with the pine knowing they were soft and easily dented, but wanted more of a farmhouse feel and didn't want to feel "worried" about spending a lot of money to then have our boys scratch and dent the floors.
We'd love something with no odor as it's a DIY project, fast drying, stain-look, and two part (separate stain and sealer applications). These are our preferences. Please give us some idea as to what we should be looking for.
We have many customers who have enjoyed the Bio Poly Natural on rustic pine floors. This is made from local pine resin, beeswax and our special linseed oil so it has those natural odors and takes about a day to dry. So, not sure it's a perfect fit for what you are looking for. However, it's worth considering since it's definitely the best thing I've ever seen on those type of floors as far as the all natural category goes.
We have a product called Aqualine Satin that many chemically sensitive people use on their floors. This is a lower sheen polyurethane replacement. It dries fast, has very little, if any discernible odor and can be mopped on in two days (2 coats a day typically). This creates a protective barrier on the pine and helps harden it up some as well. The color remains light in tone. In fact this product is also chosen by designers who want light colored woods with "whitish" hues to remain raw looking and light in tone. So, again, the fast dry low odor option doesn't quite match exactly since you said you want that stained look, which is something that happens more with the Bio Poly Natural.
I would try a couple sample pints and see which one feels best. The odor is almost never an issue with Bio Poly Natural since it's pure and clean, no petro solvents and that is what people usually have a problem with; the solvents and additives.
In time, Bio Poly will age into a deeper hue as air and uv rays are exposed to the floor. This tends to be a light amber, sort of light cedarish tone after awhile. No stain is needed to achieve this and many people who want that rustic look are actually looking for this effect, although they often think that stain is needed but it's not, it happens naturally. (sorry for run on sentence!)
Maintenance is different with a film vs a penetrating oil. Aqualine forms a film that gets washed and recoated as needed. If recoating that is done in sections, carefully or it will show up. The Bio Poly Natural is usually just washed and given a freshen up coat as needed. It works like furniture polish for most people. We just wipe a little on in our higher traffic areas when needed. It doesn't stop us from using the area much and blends in well as it cures.
We have had many customers apply Bio Poly Natural to their floors and then just live on it for a while and see if they wanted more protection. Generally, people don't but sometimes the entry ways and sink areas call for something extra, in which case NanoTech can be applied directly over the Bio Poly Natural and works very well on pine floors. The NanoTech is another option to consider although I haven't mentioned it much since it has more sheen than both Aqualine and Bio Poly Natural.
I hope this helps. Let me know how the testing goes or if you have any other questions.
Bio Poly Natural buffed into wide plank floors with a floor machine. One person mops it on, the other person buffs it in. This is fast, easy work but takes most people about 20-30 minutes to get the hang of the machine if it's their first time. This method is excellent for wood grain illumination and the wood has a very smooth feel that is enjoyable to bare feet!
Tom Rioux founded Earthpaint after becoming severely ill as a professional paint contractor.