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Taber Tests to test the resistance of abrasions of wooden floor finishes

Taber Tests to test the resistance of abrasions of wooden floor finishes


Before they come out to the open market, wood floor lacquer goes under several tests to ensure they are acceptable and durable for use as a protective layer over wooden floors. One test that is used and stands out is the Taber Test. This tests the abrasion resistance that almost reenacts foot traffic with grit traced from outside into wooden floor areas. When we speak about abrasion resistance, the lower the reading in terms of grams of lacquer removed from the abrasion test, the greater the durability and resistance to abrasion. This is great for foot traffic resistance, but when it comes to sanding it off, it can be challenging. However, the reason for these readings is to offer durable, long-lasting finishes. Tover introduced me to this test. They show low milligram readings (Which is a positive result) once their finishes have cured.  


How does the Taber test work? 

They use a small machine for this first, coating the white paper with your desired lacquer that has had the time to reach its full cured process. The paper disc is then put onto the machine closed, and a built-in weight of 1kg is added on top. There is an abrasive wheel that abrades the paper with the finish on for one thousand Rotations. After the correct amount of rotations, the paper disc is removed it is weighted again. They usually measure the difference in weight and lacquer remover in milligrams. The smaller the weight in milligrams of floor lacquer removed, the tougher and more resistant the lacquer is. Tovers machine is an industry-standard CS10 machine with a 1kg weight. The experiment was completed around 10 times to remove the average weight. Here’s a video of the Taber test being carried out on wood floor finish in Tovers lab in Italy.  

Let’s see what Tover’s reading is for their lacquers. Note these are not all the finishes available from Tover. These are just the core range of products we stock here at Ultimate Floor Care. 

When I think about abrasion testing and wear resistance it always reminds me of a story I was told when I first started.  

A pub over in Ireland had been sanded and lacquered throughout the week with keenness to have the floor opened for a party at the weekend. The job went fine, and the finish after was great. But a phone call the following week came about on the floor. The customer said that the finish had worn off over the weekend, leaving bare wood in large patches and most of the floor. The owner of the pub immediately thought that it was a failure in the lacquer that was used and that more investigation was needed. After a site visit of the pub, it was clear that the lacquer had peeled/stripped back in almost all the spots of the dance floor and walk areasWhich was very confusing over such a short amount of time.  

It wasn’t until the pub owner confessed that the party that had taken place over the weekend was a beach party and they had tons of play sand delivered and scattered over the floor! So, what happened was that as partygoers were dancing and walking over the sand on the floor, friction was created, almost like sanding the floor. And that’s exactly what it did. The footfall over the sand sanded most of the lacquer off back to bare wood. Wood finishes are by no means bomb proof and can withstand a lot thanks to tests like the taber test. But when it’s under that amount of stress there is no helping it. In the end, a full sand and re-lacquer fixed the problem, and as much fun and as high as the takings were over that weekend from the pub it is known that wasn’t a great idea. 

High resistance in wear is a great feature and technical benefit when you are the kind of person who loves these types of details. A decisive factor in choosing the right wood floor lacquer for your needs. Tover’s Taber test readings speak volumes about the durability and quality of their products, making them a reliable choice for protecting wooden floors against everyday wear and tear. 

As we’ve seen from the beach party goers turning from party animals to a team of wood floor sanders, even the toughest lacquers have their limits. Understanding the capabilities of different finishes and their performance under specific conditions is crucial for ensuring the longevity of finishes. 

While wood finishes like those from Tover undergo rigorous testing to ensure their resilience, it’s equally important for users to exercise caution and stop subjecting floors to extreme conditions beyond what the finish can handle. After all, a little preventive care goes a long way in preserving the beauty of wooden floors for years to come and avoiding that floor being pulled up off to landfill for another brand new floor to take its place.  

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