Choosing a Finish for your Wood Floor

Polyurethane is the most popular finish for floors. Confused on which finish is best for YOUR wood floor or project, Brazilian Walnut wood floorwater-based or oil based polyurethane? They are both durable, good looking, tough enough to handle constant traffic and are resistant to almost everything. Though there are differences. As for durability, some experts maintain that oil-based polyurethane is still the standard for performance, especially for high-traffic areas. That said you can’t go wrong with either.

The water-based polyurethane has less fumes, low odor, DRYS FASTER and has a clear finish [as far as repainting color of stain]. You can recoat them in two hours. Also cleaning your tools is easier; just use water! Start your project early in the morning and you’ll be able to sleep in that room at night. However, because water-based dries quickly, you must work fast to maintain a “wet edge” during application or you’ll end up with visible lap marks where wet polyurethane was applied over dried or partially dried finish. And you can’t go back and work waterborne polyurethane, even when it’s wet, or you’ll leave marks in the finish.

The oil-based polyurethane has a stronger finish and is more SCRATCH RESISTANT. Great if you have dogs or cats walking on your floors! Oil-based polyurethanes will leave an amber glow, but require FEWER COATS. Though the five-hour wait between coats and twelve-hour [or preferably twenty-four hour] wait after the last coast will make the room unusable for a few days… and you’ll have to deal with a strong odor.  Although oil-based poly emits noxious fumes, it can be worked when wet; That means you can go back and correct mistakes — a crucial advantage for the beginner!

Natural Maple wood floorBoth the water and oil-based polyurethanes offer good protection; the biggest difference will be in the appearance of the finish. Do you love the natural look of maple? Then apply a water-based polyurethane. Although the water-based poly appears milky in the can, they go on clear and remain clear. Water-based poly will accent the character of your wood without giving it the amber tint of an oil-based poly. That said… some woods, such as oak, the amber tint of an oil-based poly is desirable. Though for a red-oak floor or a stained floor, use either type of finish.

Although you may be leaning toward the water-based, they do COST TWICE as much as oil-based polys. Also they won’t give wood the rich glow that oil-based polys will give; Some people consider the water-based cold looking.

Most water-based polys contain only 30 to 35 percent solids, compared with the 45 to 50 percent solids in oil-based products. Since these solids create the protective finish, you need to apply four coats of water-based, as opposed to two or three of oil-based poly. And if you go with water-based polyurethane you may need to apply additional coats every two years or so.

There’s debate over which finish is harder, but some experts maintain that hardness isn’t necessarily a good attribute of a floor finish. You want a finish that will flex along with the floor. And a super-hard finish shows scratches more readily. You’ll prolong the protective life of any finish by eliminating its number 1 enemies, dirt and grit. Sweep or vacuum the floor often to protect to finish and put rugs in high-traffic areas.
Call our showroom at 973-538-9090 in Morristown, New Jersey, today to select rugs for your floors!

Tauari wood floor

If you’re doing your project yourself, before applying any finish, vacuum twice and use a tacrag on the entire floor. Or to MAKE LIFE EASIER, have Speedwell Design Center in Northern New Jersey install and finish your wood floors! 


Shutters Shutters Shutters

We can’t say it enough…. Shutters! They are what is most popular right now. Most customers that are walking through our doors at Speedwell Design Center in Morristown, New Jersey, are asking about shutters for their windows and doors. Many of their New Jersey neighbors are installing shutters to cover their windows and they want to do the same. It isn’t just because they want to do what their New Jersey neighbors are doing, but there are many other reasons everyone is asking about shutters.


One reason is something all of us are always mindful of, PRICE! Maybe it is a surprise to you, but the cost of shutters is very reasonable. And if you buy your window shutters from Speedwell Design Center in Morristown, NJ, the COST of your shutters will be even LOWER. We are a Hunter Douglas Gallery Dealer and we not only design, sell, and install for residential customers in the tri-state area (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut) and Pennsylvania, we also have a commercial division. Our commercial division allows us to buy for less, but more importantly, SELL TO YOU FOR LESS.

Another reason shutters are the most popular window covering is they are less maintenance than other window treatments. We all have busy schedules, so having window treatments that you don’t have to worry much about the maintenance is DIVINE.

We have wide selection of shutters for you to choose from…

  • Hunter Douglas Heritance® hardwood shutters are crafted for maximum strength and durability. They have 100 color options and custom color matching paints and stains.
  • Another option is our innovative NewStyle® hybrid shutters. These combine the great style of wood with the strength, stability, and straightness of advanced modern-day materials, while being affordable.
  • Last, but certainly not least, ask about our Palm Beach™ polysatin shutters. These window shutters are guaranteed never to warp, crack, fade, chip, peel or discolor, regardless of extreme heat or moist conditions.

newstyle_truview_den_2In addition to shutters being less maintenance for you, they have a streamlined and clean look to fit with any lifestyle, home or office. Everyone who purchases Hunter Douglas shutters from us loves them and we never hear any complaints.

When purchasing from Speedwell Design Center your window treatment shutters will be installed by a Hunter Douglas Certified Installer.


If you are looking for window treatments for your home or office and don’t want to spend a lot of money or time maintaining your window coverings and want an array of options to fit your personal taste, shutters may be the perfect choice!

Call Speedwell Design Center today at 973-538-9090 and schedule an appointment to visit our Designer Showroom at 108 Ridgedale Avenue (behind Mazda dealership) in Morristown, New Jersey.

Learn more by CLICKING HERE to watch a video on Hunter Douglas Shutters.


Our showroom is in Morristown, but we are less than 20 minutes from surrounding towns, such as Mendham, Madison, Chatham, Bernardsville, and Basking Ridge.

Hypoallergenic Benefits of Hardwood Flooring

Many people suffer from allergies (dust, mold, mildew, bacteria, dust mites, etc). Allergy sufferers usually take lots of medications to minimize the symptoms, but usually don’t address the problem.

The solution could be using products in our daily lives that are hypoallergenic. Start correcting the problem of allergies.

Babies love to crawl around and put things in their mouths. Since babies spend a lot of time on the floor, you should look into flooring options that will minimize exposure to harmful germs, mold, mildew and bacteria. Choosing hypoallergenic options, such as natural hardwood flooring, could diminish the risk of harmful exposure to your little ones.

Health Conscious
Designers and architects agree that natural hardwood flooring is a great choice for a health-conscious, beautiful home. Hardwood flooring is being installed in more bedrooms. Wood flooring maintenance products have evolved to make it fast and easy to clean a hardwood floor. Hardwood flooring is the hypoallergenic solution for a bedroom, a room where we spend approximately one third of our time each day.

We also spend a third of our time at work. More and more commercial businesses are installing hardwood flooring. Wood floors in your commercial space or offices will lessen the chance of coming into contact with germs, bacteria and other allergens in the workplace. Changing to wood floors in the business environment can result in a positive and significant impact on productivity, thus lowering the cost of doing business.

An Ounce of Prevention
In Sweden and many parts of the world it is part of the culture to remove your shoes before entering a home. They feel it is a way of keeping their floors cleaner, longer-lasing and more hypoallergenic. Today’s finishes are considerably more scuff resistant than the hardwood finishes used in the past, but the hypoallergenic issues remain the same.

Maintenance Tips
Cleaning your hardwood floors has never been easier. One-step, easy to apply natural floors cleaners are readily available at grocery, box stores and home improvement stores, as well as retail floor covering showrooms, such as Speedwell Design Center on 108 Ridgedale Avenue in Morristown, New Jersey. For those who suffer from allergies, it is best to clean your floors on a regular basis. Another tip is to have wipe-off mats at every entry door to clean off the bottom of your shoes before walking info the room from outdoors. If you’re not going to remove your shoes before stepping inside, this practice of cleaning off the bottom of your shoes is the next best preventative measure.

Being aware of how to resolve the problem of allergies makes more sense than just treating the symptoms.

Stop into Speedwell Design Center today and one of our Professional Designers will help you select the best hardwood floors for your home of office! Call 973-538-9090 today.

Click Here to view some samples of wood flooring options at Speedwell Design Center in Morristown, NJ. Of course, there MANY more options in our showroom at 108 Ridgedale Avenue in Morristown.