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What Is An Aluminum Oxide Finish and How Long Does It Last? 

To many, the phrase “aluminum oxide finish” sounds completely foreign. Perhaps it rings a bell with a high school chemistry class? Or maybe you have done enough hardwood flooring research to recognize it? Whatever the case, Georgia Carpet Industries is here to tell you all about aluminum oxide floor finishes.

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First, let’s begin with a little background. What exactly is aluminum oxide? Aluminum oxide is a naturally occurring mineral, meaning it is unprocessed and found in nature. It's the chemical compound of aluminum and oxygen in crystal form. This is usually either ruby or sapphire gemstones. Besides flooring finishes, this mineral is generally used for making anything aluminum. It also helps manufacture many types of glass. Known for having resistance to heat and electrical conduction, aluminum oxide is prized for its hardness. Commonly, it’s used as an abrasive for sandpaper and even a substitute for industrial diamonds. So why is this so important with flooring? Aluminum oxide is grounded into a fine powder that is used as an additive with water-based urethane finishes, the finishes that are added to most hard surface floors like hardwood and LVP. This creates a durable, scratch-resistant layer to the flooring. Aluminum oxide’s hardness factor is essential for protection against scuffs, dents, and any other problems life throws at you. Finishes with metal oxides are the strongest produced in final floor coatings. They are the best for hardwood, bamboo, engineered hardwood, and even laminate.  Before Aluminum Oxide, there was a regular poly-urethane finish that didn't contain the metal compound.  Before that, hardwood flooring was typically oil-finished.

 

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Besides creating a quality finished surface for resisting scratches, aluminum oxide also amplifies the grain patterns, enhancing the aesthetics of the look itself. The finish penetrates the upper layers which enhance the grain of each plank. This brings out its character and depth so you are ensured beauty and strength. UV protection is another benefit of this flooring finish. The vibrant color and sheen of a new floor tend to fade over time due to exposure to UV rays coming in through windows, doors, and skylights. Wood protected with aluminum oxide fades slowly, preserving the original look for an extended period of time. For most flooring products, the coats of aluminum oxide range from 5-10 layers. This really seals and protects the floor and its beauty. Generally speaking, floors finished with aluminum oxide have an average lifespan of 20-25 years. This is double than floors finished with polyurethane, which has about a 10-year lifespan. Now that you know exactly what an aluminum oxide finish is, will you be adding it to your list of must-haves in flooring? I hope so! Here at Georgia Carpet Industries, we have a wide selection of flooring that features an aluminum oxide finish. Call us or visit us in-store/online at georgiacarpet.com and request a quote.

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