When you make the decision to install new hardwood floors or decide to refinish your existing hardwood floors, choosing the right finish can be a challenge. The finish you choose is not only important for the protection of your floors but it is also important in enhancing the color and texture of your wood floors.
When choosing a hardwood floor finish, you should consider your maintenance choices as well as your life at home. Think about how the room will be used, how you want the floors to look and how durable it needs to be (especially if you have pets that can easily scratch the floors).
Here is a list of some types of hardwood floor finishes:
An oil-based polyurethane finish will provide you with a very durable hardwood finish that does not require much maintenance. It is easy to recoat if necessary and also adds a slight amber tint to the color of your wood that will soften with time. This type of hardwood floor finish is a bit slower to dry than others, has a strong odor and is also highly flammable making it dangerous to apply yourself so a professional should be hired. An oil-based finish is best for rooms or areas in your home that are used most often and experience a lot of wear since it is one of the more durable finishes for your hardwood floors.
A water-based hardwood finish will provide you with a clear coat so not to impact the color of your wood in any way, it is not flammable like oil-based finishes, it is moisture resistant and it is very durable. This type of hardwood finish is fast drying which allows you to be able to apply four coats in a day and then be able to move your furniture back in the room that night. A water-based finish has little to no odor and is much easier to clean from tools afterwards.
Moisture-cured hardwood floor finishes can range from clear to amber in color. It is a very durable finish that is also resistant to moisture. This is one of the more complicated finishes to apply and should only be done by a professional. A moisture-cured finish should be considered for rooms or areas in your home that experience a lot of moisture or spills.
A wax finish is one of the more traditional choices for hardwood floor finishes. This type of finish dries very quickly and is easy to repair if there are any scuffs or scratches that appear over time. A wax finish will be long lasting but will also require a bit more maintenance than the other types of finishes mentioned above.
Natural oil finishes for your hardwood floors include penetrating oils and hard wax oil finishes. These finishes are made from linseed oil and pure tung oil which help harden the wood as they dry making them very durable finishing options. A layer of wax can be applied as well for some extra shine. Although durable, these finishes are more high maintenance and require the use of certain cleaning supplies so the wood is not damaged.