Without question, conversion varnishes—also known as a “Swedish finishes”—are our most popular finishing option.
It’s been that way for years, and I don’t expect it to change anytime soon.
Why? Because Swedish finishes look great, while providing superb protection for the hardwood flooring. This combination of durability and beauty occurs because of the chemical reactions that take place during the curing of the finish, “bonding” the finish to the wood.
As a result of this bonding, the finish is harder than finishes that essentially “sit on top” of the wood, such as polyurethane finishes. A Swedish finish will stand up better to normal wear and tear, with less susceptibility to scratches, scuffs, water damage, and stains—meaning it will probably be longer before you have to refinish your flooring.
This durability appeals to everyone but is particularly attractive to families with children and/or pets, or who otherwise expect rough use of the floors.
As for appearance, because the bonding process produces a finish that doesn’t look at all “glossy,” the natural characteristics of the wood—color, grain, texture, etc.—really stand out. This rich, natural look is just what many people are after.
That’s true even for folks who want to adjust the natural color with stain. No stain, little stain, or some stain; it doesn’t matter—Swedish finishes make the desired color really “pop.”
Another advantage, related to both appearance and durability, is that Swedish finishes develop a pleasant, slightly amber tone as they age, rather than yellowing as some finishes do.
There are a few reasons Swedish finishes aren’t right for everyone. Although not necessarily a better value, many finishing options are less expensive upfront. Because of the complexity of the application, Swedish finishes must be applied by expert professionals, and the smell requires the homeowners to leave the home during the application process.
Even after returning, homeowners should be careful with the flooring until it completely cures, which can take a month or two. A general recommendation is to not walk on the floor for six hours after application, keep furniture off of it for 24 hours, and delay putting rugs on it for two weeks.
But in most cases, these reasons don’t deter our customers who want an exceptionally durable and beautiful finish.
We’ve been using the top-of-the-line Glitsa Swedish finish for more than 30 years, and we’d love to talk with you about the product and service we can provide. Give us a call at showroom to see samples and talk with us in person.(toll free: 800.354.9902) or stop by our