Choosing the best hardwood flooring finish for your hardwood floors
The type of finish you use on our floors is almost as important as the type of hardwood you choose. The finish is what’s going to protect your floors, so you want to choose the right finish so that your floors stay gorgeous as long as possible before you have to sand and refinish.
No matter how gorgeous your naked wood beams are, you’ll need a finish to help protect them and make sure they stay gorgeous for a lifetime. However, the type of finish you use can depend on the type of hardwood flooring that you choose, from engineered to solid to reclaimed wood. Each has a preferred finish, and each finish has its pros and cons.
Oil-modified polyurethane hardwood floor finish
Our oil-modified polyurethanes and zero-VOC penetrating oil finishes tend to be more forgiving than the water based finishes if it is not applied evenly.
Oil based finishes will enhance the natural color of the wood. Dark wood will become darker and more rich in color whereas lighter wood will get a little more golden in color. Going with a matte or less shiny finish will help enhance the natural qualities of your wood.
Allow up to 24 hours for oil based finishes to dry, so you may want to plan a night out and leave your hardwood flooring craftsman to work their magic.
Water-based polyurethane hardwood floor finish
Besides being the most eco-friendly of the bunch – although the oil-based finishes do come in a zero-VOC option – water-based finishes will also make your hardwood floors look the most natural. They won’t darken or “enhance” the color of your floors like the oil-based finishes.
Water-based finishes dry a lot quicker than the oil based finishes, leaving more room for error. The application needs to be smooth, even and fast. If you’re going for the water-based floor finish, get a professional and avoid splotchy floors.Because they let the natural colors and characteristics of your hardwood floor shine through, a water-based finish is perfect for exotic or reclaimed hardwood floors.
Because they let the natural colors and characteristics of your hardwood floor shine through, a water-based finish is perfect for exotic or reclaimed hardwood floors.
There are a million different wood and finish combinations. It all boils down to the style of your floors and how much foot traffic you expect the floors to handle. Talking to a local hardwood flooring craftsman will help you find inspiration and choices for your next hardwood flooring project.
Hardwood floors are forever, make sure you research all of your options, so you get the exact wood and finish combination to match your home and your style.