When it comes to projects like installing or refinishing hardwood flooring, it’s not uncommon for customers to underestimate how much time the process will take. Everybody’s short on time, right? Your home needs to be ready to entertain in 17 hours, or your office will be fully functional tomorrow and definitely needs a floor by then.
Until recently, site-finished hardwood flooring meant waiting upwards of 36 hours for a floor to be finished and then days for it to cure fully.
This isn’t a problem for the concert hall that only opens Thursday, Friday, Saturday, but for a business that can’t afford that much downtime, it is simply unsatisfactory.
UV curing is a process where concentrated ultraviolet (UV) light is applied to a treated hardwood floor to cure the finish. You may have heard of ultraviolet light before. The main source of ultraviolet light is the sun.
Using the power of the sun to cure hardwood floors is the closest we get to calling ourselves mad flooring scientists.
UV hardwood floor curing consists of applying a special UV water-based finish to the floor. Then a machine, which looks a little bit like a buffer, is pulled over the flooring. This machine has a light that exposes the finished flooring to concentrated ultraviolet light.
The machine in action.
What you wind up with, is a great-looking floor in half the time it would usually take to cure a standard site-finished floor. Oh, I’m sorry, did I say half? What I actually meant was about 5% of the time traditional site-finished flooring takes to cure.
This technology is a complete game-changer for the flooring industry. A floor treated and cured with uv takes about 1 – 2 hours to cure. When you compare this to the traditional 36 hours (to multiple days), you see how this is like moving from the Flintstones run-along stone roller to a Range Rover.
Pictured: A beard that was grown waiting for traditional site-finished hardwood floor to cure
The speed benefit is especially useful for businesses that can’t afford downtime. Think about a bar that needs to have a successful happy hour every day to stay open, a VFW hall that serves free meals to veterans every night, or a hospital wing that has patients and equipment being wheeled through 24/7.
Asking these businesses to close, or partially close, for 30+ hours (and weeks to cure) just doesn’t work. They need a process that’s restorative and fast.
“So it’s fast,” you may be thinking “but I run a dance hall. We’re only open Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. Why would I need UV flooring?”
The benefits of UV flooring go beyond just speed.
It’s natural to equate a quick process with an incomplete process. In our business, quick fixes often mean thousands of dollars and many more hours of work down the road. Think of wallpaper. It’s easy to just paint over it, but down the road the paper begins to peel or tear and you end up having to rip it off and paint the wall underneath anyway.
We mean it when we say UV flooring is a game changer, though.
Not only are hardwood floors finished and cured with UV as durable as traditionally finished and cured floors, they are actually MORE durable. In fact, until its recent commercial availability, UV finishing and curing was used primarily for professional athletics and industries that required strong and wear-resistant flooring. So not only does UV give you a treated floor faster, but it gives you a stronger floor as well.
Finally, hardwood floors treated and cured with UV don’t give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs) making this process the best choice for your household health and the environment.
In every way, these floors are superior to traditional cured and treated ones. It’s like the technology was made by Daft Punk – Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.
You may have read our post “Hardwood Flooring Trends to Look Out For in 2016.” We talked about many of the color, texture and plank-width options that we thought would be huge (and are already proving to be correct).
For us, the future of flooring in 2016 and beyond means installing great looking natural finishes and easier access to site-finished flooring with the breakthrough of UV flooring. Ultraviolet flooring opens up possibilities for any type of business or home to have a beautiful site-finished hardwood floor without significant downtime.
If you can’t tell, we really appreciate and advocate this technology. For more information about UV finished and cured hardwood flooring or to request an estimate, contact us today!
Learn how to maintain and protect your hardwood floor, as well as how often it should be refinished.