One of the hardest steps in making a hardwood floor is the finishing step. Folks generally agree that the feel of completely raw wood is too rough for socks and feet, and raw wood is vulnerable to moisture and damage. So, here at Steller, we use water-based polyurethane finishes to protect the wear-surface of your floor. As you can imagine, we take our finishes very seriously. We feel that it is extremely important that your hardwood floor both looks and feels like the solid hardwood that it is made from instead of plastic substitutes.
When you look for pre-finished flooring at big box stores, you might notice that many hardwood floors have a thick, plastic-y coating that doesn't differ much from brand to brand. These are called "flood coats" of polyurethane where a waterfall of polyurethane is run across the board. These coatings often have bubbles and other imperfections that can hide the true beauty of the wood.
Here at Steller Innovations, we spray coat all of our flooring and sand between finishes to get a "True-to-the Wood" look. This means that your floor will have all of the protection of the finish (in three different coats), but you will also be able to see and feel the natural grain of the wood.
For instance, in Oaks, you'll be able to feel the grain and the finish will enhance the look of the grain further when viewed in the bright light. Then, in our Hard Maple flooring (shown on the right), you might be able to find faint diffusion holograms where the grain distorts the light in the finish coating. In the lower photo, the diffusion is most evident at the top of the photo. Since we sand between coatings, the flooring is still completely silky and smooth to the touch, but in the right light, the reflection of light is broken by the character of the grain, which increases the authentic charm of this natural material. In fact, this aspect is so desirable that you can even find similar tactics used in LVT (luxury vinyl tile) when they are working to make plastic flooring look like real hardwood!