What Hardwood Floor Finish is Right for You?

You’ve finally chosen the perfect hardwood floor for your home, and you’re probably excited about how beautiful this addition will be. No matter which hardwood you’ve chosen for your home, it requires the right protective finish to ensure it lasts for many years.

When it comes to hardwood floor finishes, there are several types to pick from, and all of them benefit your floor in different ways. In order to find the right one, consider the following:

  • How much foot traffic will your floor receive?
  • What type of hardwood are you using?
  • What is best for your budget?
  • How much time do you have for this project?
  • How often are you willing to maintain your floor?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to confidently pick one of the following popular finishes for your hardwood floor.

Penetrating Oil Sealer

If you love the grain, depth, and color of your hardwood floor, we highly recommend using a penetrating oil sealer like tung oil. The use of tung oil allows the natural colors, characteristics, and features shine through, and the oil gives the wood a natural finished look without adding high shine or gloss. If you are restoring a historic home, this finish is ideal.

Penetrating oil sealers are absorbed through the porous flooring and will prevent some scratches. The floor will need maintenance every couple of years, but the oil is easy to apply and touch up. Just keep this in mind if your floor will be in a high-traffic area. Finally, this finish does take a while to dry, up to a full day.

Water-based Polyurethane

For a clean, clear coat that maintains integrity and clarity, we recommend using a water-based polyurethane finish. This finish is durable, so it works well for areas where you have heavy furniture or a lot of foot traffic, and you can get it in a high-gloss, semi-gloss, or satin sheen. Just be careful with a high-gloss sheen as scratches and dents are more visible with this option.

If you’re environmentally conscious, water-based polyurethane is also a great choice because it releases far fewer volatile organic compounds compared to other options. It also dries quickly, allowing you to walk around in about four hours.

Oil-based Polyurethane

Oil-based polyurethane has a slight amber or yellowish tint and can yellow even more over time, which adds a rich, warm, amber color to the floors. This finish is also popular with homeowners with high-traffic floors, and it comes in a variety of sheens. Finally, a floor with this finish is typically easy to maintain, only requiring the occasional sweep and mop. Just keep in mind that this finish does have a slow drying process, often requiring a day or two to complete.

Your hardwood floor adds character and charm to your home, so it’s important to maintain it properly. Now is the time to ensure that your floor’s natural beauty and characteristics last for many years. Call us today to learn which option is best for you. We’re excited to help you with your project!