Hardwood finishes and sealers have dramatically increased the life expectancy and durability of these floors. Virtually any lifestyle is compatible with hardwood flooring in the 21st century, from the quiet bachelor's apartment to the multigenerational house filled with children.
What It Does
Aluminum oxide is not a hardwood floor finish in itself but is an additive for urethane-based finishes. It makes these finishes harder and more durable.
How It Is Used
Aluminum oxide is used on higher quality unfinished wood floors, because it can be added to site-based urethane finishes, and on prefinished floors, including engineered hardwood. Aluminum oxide finishes on prefinished floors often come with 25-year warranties.
Some manufacturers use diamond dust, rather than aluminum oxide, to achieve the same resistance to abrasions. Acrylic-impregnated finishes are also an option to increase durability. This process injects acrylic resins into the wood fibers to make them highly scratch- and impact-resistant.