The Ecology of World-Friendly Wood Finishes

If moisture content ever mattered in wood flooring being finished, it is now. Consumers are diversifying by using more exotic wood species for home flooring.

As humans return to equilibrium with planet Earth, we are replacing chemicals with fundamental elements such as water. Eco-friendly wood finishes abound, and their quality has evolved to historic highs.

Painting on a Finish

The Catch

The new eco-friendly wood finishes are water-based, and they contain less solvent than conventional solvent-based finishes. Since water is the main ingredient, the water-based wood finish interacts with the moisture content in the wood itself.

Consumers need to be aware that two different moisture levels now converge: the moisture level in the water-based wood finish and the other is the initial moisture content level of the wood flooring itself.

Eco-friendly wood finishes still stain but contain water, plant extracts, and minerals. This is fabulous for the planet but creates a new and manageable challenge: moisture content in wood.

What Exactly Is Moisture Content?

Wood is always gaining or losing moisture even after it has been cut and processed. The changes influence the wood’s moisture content levels in the relative humidity (RH) and the temperature of the surrounding air.

Moisture content is the moisture percentage within the wood, which is extremely important. When RH rises, wood absorbs water vapors and expands; water evaporates from the wood and shrinks when RH goes down.

Even after the wood is successfully installed, moisture levels of the surrounding air still influence its moisture content. This is not to be feared but to be measured and managed. Wood retains its beauty and strength when we achieve the equilibrium moisture content (EMC): wood’s prime condition.

Free Download – Wood Flooring Installation: What To Expect

Eco-Friendly Wood Finishes: Conclusion

Water-based finishing products can enhance toughness, scratch resistance, and durability if moisture replenishes while beautifying your wood flooring. Monitor the moisture content of your wood flooring finishing project with Wagner Meters’ moisture meters, and ensure that your finished wood floor will provide the abrasion resistance necessary to enjoy your wood flooring for many years.

Last updated on May 2nd, 2023

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