Choosing the best finish for hardwood floors in Boise, Idaho, involves considering the local climate, lifestyle, and home aesthetics. Boise’s climate, characterized by dry summers and cold winters, can impact the performance and longevity of floor finishes. Here’s a guide tailored to Boise homeowners:

  1. Water-Based Finish:
    • Overview for Boise: Ideal for Boise’s climate, water-based finishes handle temperature fluctuations well. They maintain a clear color, don’t yellow over time, and have a quick drying time. However, they can impart a plastic-like appearance to the wood. Some of the best water-based flooring finishes for hardwood floors: Arboritec, Bona, Loba, Glitsa & Duraseal.
  2. Oil-Based Finish:
    • Overview for Boise: This finish is suitable for homes seeking a traditional, warm look. In Boise’s dry climate, oil-based finishes can add moisture and richness to the wood. They do take longer to dry and can yellow over time, which might be a consideration in the bright, sunny Boise summers. Duraseal & masterline are some of the better brands offeered and available.
  3. Penetrating Oil Finish:
    • Overview for Boise: A good choice for those who prefer a natural, matte look, this finish works well with Boise’s dry conditions. It enhances the wood’s natural grain but offers less protection than film-forming finishes. Brands who sell this finish: Arboritec, Rubio Monocoat, Pallmann & Loba.
  4. UV (Ultraviolet) Finish:
    • Overview for Boise: This finish is cured using ultraviolet light, making it a quick and convenient option. It’s similar to water-based finishes in appearance and durability, which is beneficial in Boise’s varied climate.
  5. Conversion Varnish (Swedish Finish):
    • Overview for Boise: Known for its durability and high-gloss look, this finish is a strong contender for Boise homes. However, its strong odor during application and potential legal restrictions due to VOC content should be considered. This is dominated by the Glitsa Brand of flooring finish.

What Boise Homeowners Should Know:

The way you use and maintain your hardwood floors in Boise is crucial. High foot traffic with outdoor footwear can wear down any finish, whereas careful use can extend the life of the floors significantly, irrespective of the type of finish.

Maintenance in Boise’s Climate:

  • Film finishes like oil and water-based should be recoated every 3-5 years.
  • Penetrating finishes might need yearly maintenance, especially in Boise’s dry climate.
  • Regular cleaning is essential to protect the finish from the dust and outdoor elements typical in Boise.

Boise-Specific Considerations for Each Finish:

  • Water-Based: Good for handling Boise’s temperature changes; doesn’t yellow.
  • Oil-Based: Adds moisture to wood, beneficial in dry climates, but may yellow in sunlight.
  • UV Finish: Quick cure time is advantageous for busy Boise lifestyles.
  • Penetrating Oil: Complements homes with a more natural aesthetic but offers less protection.
  • Conversion Varnish: Very durable, but consider the odor and local regulations.

For Boise residents, the choice of hardwood floor finish depends on individual preferences, lifestyle, and specific environmental conditions. Regular maintenance tailored to Boise’s climate and appropriate care are key to the longevity and beauty of hardwood floors. You will never get a definitive answer, because there is not one. All hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring finish works well and help keep your floors looking great.