UV Curing Hardwood Floors: The Way of the Future, Part 1
Using ultraviolet light to cure a floor finish might sound futuristic, but it’s a logical leap to take for contractors. UV curing is quicker than any other curing process. It also gives you durable, abrasion- and chemical-resistant flooring.
UV curing systems are significant time savers for hardwood floor contractors.
The adoption of ultraviolet systems by hardwood flooring professionals is as effective as it is groundbreaking.
Using a UV floor curing machine, a hardwood floor can be finished in hours, not days. The process is instantaneous—the special UV finish cures within milliseconds of coming into contact with UV rays.
“You can put the floor back in service right away…and there’s no other coating that can do that,” said Rob Lesko, President of HID Ultraviolet, during the Philly Floor Store’s September 25, 2014 NWFA training event.
Whereas oil-based floor finishes usually require at least a full 24 hours in between coats and an even longer time to fully cure, with a UV curing system (which utilizes a water-based finish such as Basic Coatings LightForce), the floor is ready to be cured with the machine in as little as an one to two hours. The floor can be put back into use right after this process is done, since the machine cures the finish immediately. Click here to browse our selection of UV floor curing equipment.
Because of its quick turnaround time, ultraviolet curing systems are ideal for use in situations where the utmost efficiency is necessary, such as in hospitals, bars, or restaurants that never close or have a very small gap between closing and opening times.
A finish cured with UV light is particularly resistant to mechanical and chemical abrasion, also making UV curing the ideal system to use in settings that demand extreme wear resistance, such as sports floors and high-traffic commercial or residential hardwood floors.
“I think that turnaround time is important, especially for facilities that are limited in terms of their downtime—it’s important to get the facility up and running again. And floors cured with UV technology have a much better durability than the traditional finishes,” said Doug Harvey of Classic Sport Floors during the NWFA training event.
This cutting edge technology is catching on, and for good reason.
“I think in time UV floor curing systems will become part of the fabric of our industry,” said Pete Mansueto of Mansueto Hardwood Flooring.
This seems to be an accurate prediction. Ultraviolet light has already been adopted for different purposes in a number of different industries. Rob Lesko of HID Ultraviolet gave the example of ultraviolet nail drying systems, which are standard pieces of equipment in the beauty industry.
It’s only logical that hardwood flooring professionals would adopt the same technology, especially since it renders floors extra resistant to wear and tear as well as chemical abrasion.
The fact that the end user is able to put their floors back into full use immediately is also a gigantic benefit of UV floor curing systems that is sure to add to their popularity in the coming years.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to elevate your business with a UV curing system.
In addition to stocking the full line of HID Ultraviolet curing systems, City Floor Supply also rents UV floor curing equipment for those who wish to test the system out before making an investment.
If you have any questions about UV floor curing technology, speak with a hardwood floor professional at (908) 232-6600 or Joe@hugginsflooring.com
Ultraviolet Curing Systems for Hardwood Floors:
As we discussed in last week’s blog post about ultraviolet curing systems for hardwood floors, this technology provides contractors with the ability to put floors back into use almost immediately thanks to its quick curing process.
Now we’ll take a look at products from a company that’s stayed ahead of the curve by producing user-friendly UV floor curing machines for the past decade.
Features of the HID Ultraviolet floor curing system
UV curing systems for hardwood floors are completely new and different than traditional methods of finishing floors, so adopting this new technology may seem daunting. Luckily, HID Ultraviolet manufactures machines that make the transition to UV technology smooth and easy for hardwood floor contractors.
HID machines feature the curing speed on the control panel, making this information easily accessible so that the user can adjust accordingly.
Instead of using mechanical shutters, HID Ultraviolet curing machines utilize “hot re-strike” technology, which allows the machine’s lighting system to be turned on and off without a cool-down or warm-up period. This feature further adds to the efficiency and convenience of ultraviolet floor curing technology.
HID floor curing machines also have a number of safety features, including:
- Built-in ultrasonic sensors which can tell when the machine approaches the surface to be cured and allow the light to operate only when the machine is near the substrate.
- A shutdown mechanism that activates to prevent UV exposure if the lamp head is raised too far above the surface of the floor or if the machine is tipped over.
- A shutdown mechanism that activates to prevent the floor from being scorched if the user stops moving the machine for more than a few seconds.
Curing a hardwood floor using an HID Ultraviolet system
First, the floor is coated using a UV waterbased finish such as Basic Coatings LightForce and allowed to dry.
“You put the coating down and it dries like a regular water-based coating for one to three hours, depending on environmental conditions, and then you come back and hit it with a UV light and it instantly cures,” explained Micah Petersen of Basic Coatings.
“So your wood floor turnaround time is essentially just the time it takes to dry, as opposed to…waterbased or oil-based coatings, where you have a span of seven days up to two weeks for the finish to fully cure and obtain both wear and chemical resistance,” said Petersen.
Once the finish is dry, the MAKO 6 handheld, a 1,200-watt ultraviolet lamp, is used to cure a small portion of the floor on which the bigger machine can be placed. You can think of this as creating a “landing strip” for the next machine.
Finally, the big curing machine––the TIGER, the BULLDOG, and the HAMMERHEAD are the three variations that HID Ultraviolet offers––is run over the substrate to cure the floor. LightForce is a bright purplish-pink color when applied to the floor, and it turns clear once it comes into contact with UV rays to indicate that the floor has been fully and properly cured.
Once the curing process is complete, the floor is ready to be used. Furniture and rugs can be replaced right away, and the floors can be walked on without risking damage to the finish.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to elevate your business with a UV floor curing system.
In addition to stocking the full line of HID Ultraviolet curing systems, City Floor Supply also rents UV curing equipment for those who wish to test the system out before making an investment.
If you have any questions about UV floor curing technology, speak with a hardwood floor professional at (908)232-6600