Finishing an exotic hardwood floor is a little different than working with other woods. Get it right and it can add as much as 2.5 percent to the value of your property. Get it wrong and it can end up costing you big.
It's wise to know the right way to finish your floor before you begin, as some mistakes can be a bit difficult to resolve. Read on to learn what you need to know.
Oil-Based Finishes May Not Dry
It's common for oil to be used to finish hardwoods. This method requires less maintenance once it's applied compared to other finishes.
However, some types of exotic hardwood floor will not react well to oil-based finishes.
Brazilian walnut and cocobolo, for instance, can stay sticky for months after being oiled. Other woods may have the problem indefinitely.
Color can be an issue too. Some exotic woods will change color when exposed to certain common oil-based finishes.
Be aware of similar problems that occur when using glue with these types of wood. For example, if you're creating skirting boards with the same wood, the color may change.
Check Moisture Content Before Sanding
Before you start sanding wood, you need to check how much moisture the wood is holding.
Well-seasoned wood shouldn't have much of an issue, but each piece of wood is different.
If the wood is too moist, you can end up tearing into it rather than smoothing it when you go over it with a sander.
Hardwood is Hard
Don't expect to get on with the job quickly when working with hardwoods. Be patient.
They're much harder than even the hardest native woods, like oak.
Anticipate some resistance and take regular breaks. Don't be impatient and try to take shortcuts. You could damage that beautiful burl.
Some of these durable woods can be wire-brushed for a textured effect.
This process creates a more distressed look, which could suit a more rustic style. It might not fit as well in a modern apartment.
It's worth considering whether this method could be for you.
Safety Information for an Exotic Hardwood Floor
The dust of some exotic hardwoods can be harmful if inhaled. They may also trigger allergies in some people.
You should always wear a mask and goggles when using tools on these woods. Leave the windows wide open for plenty of ventilation.
It's also advisable to cover as much of your body as possible as the wood dust can irritate skin. Wear long gloves and long sleeves.
Where Can I Source My Exotic Wood From?
Exotic woods are an increasingly popular choice due to their durability. Plus, they look gorgeous. You can source wood for your project right here at Global Wood Source.
We sell a range of sustainable timber, slabs, and burl woods from many exotic species.
If you're unsure which type of exotic hardwood floor will suit your home, check out our guide to selecting the right wood for you.
Global Wood Source is a family owned and operated lumber yard and mill specializing in exotic woods from around the world and rare domestics. We personally acquire and inspect each piece of log and timber obtained from forests and jungles worldwide.