6 Most Common Types Of Floor Finishes You Can Use

As you know, your hardwood floors need to be refinished now and then to keep it in good working condition at all times. When the time comes that you need to refinish your hardwood floor again, make sure that you check this list to know your options.

Hardwood Floor Finish Types

  1. Oil-modified Urethane. This hardwood floor finish is the most common one that you can find sold in the market today. This is the easiest floor finish to apply among the list. This finish is petroleum-based blended with plasticizers, synthetic resins, and other film forming ingredients that will help make any surface more durable and more resistant to moisture. This finish will dry about eight hours after application. As the finish ages, it will get more amber looking and will have different levels of sheen.
  2. Moisture-cured Urethane. This is a solvent-based wood finish that can make any hardwood surface more durable and more moisture resistant than when applied to the previous type of floor finish and other types of floor finish products. This finish is usually available in amber color and will appear glossy and satin looking. The downside of this type of finish is that it is not that easy to apply. Also, it emits a strong odor that most homeowners opt to have this applied by the professionals.
  3. Water-based Urethane. This type of wood finish is a mixture of plasticizers, synthetic resins, other film forming materials. This may fall into the boat as the oil-modified urethane, but the difference is that it is water-based. This also come in different sheen levels that are clear and non-yellowing. Once applied, it will take up to three hours to dry. Because of this, this type of finish priced higher than others.
  4. Swedish Finish. This is also known as Conversion-Varnish Sealers, which is an alcohol-based and acid-curing sealer. As you can guess, this type of finish is from Sweden, thus it is more known as the Swedish Finish.
  5. Penetrating Sealers. This is a solvent-based sealer. When applied, it is left on the floor until it is able to penetrate the wood. The excess amount of sealer that was not able to penetrate the wood can be removed by simply wiping it with rags. This can also be buffed away using synthetic wool pads or steel wool pads. This is good for when you want to stain your hardwood floor.
  6. Paste Wax. This is perhaps the oldest type of wood finish that you can buy. And in some ways, this is considered to be the best. Just like the first type of wood finish on this list, paste wax is very easy to apply. However, there is more. It is fast drying and is very affordable. It does not need a lot of maintenance, and with proper care, it will last for a long time. This can be applied over penetrating sealers.

Questions To Ask Before Buying A Hard floor Material

The decision has been made then to whether get a hardwood flooring or not. Making a decision whether to have hardwood floors or not is as easy as saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a closed question. However, picking the right wood for your home is not. You have to consider that there are a lot of factors that you have to go through before the right wood will be chosen. In this regard, here are the different questions you need to answer so you can pick the right hardwood for your home.

Question #1: Where will it be installed?

You have to decide which floor or storey of your house you want your hardwood installed. If you are planning to have your hardwood installed in your basement, then your floor will be installed below grade. If you are going to install it on the ground floor, then you are installing it on grade. If you are installing on your second floor, or any floor above the ground, then you are installing it above grade. Determining which grade you are installing will also determine the type of hardwood you need to install. As an example, basement hardwood flooring would need an engineered wood. Thus, answering this question will help determine which type of floor is best for your home project.

Question #2: What is your sub-floor material?

There are three most common sub-floors for hardwood flooring. These are concrete, plywood, and particleboard. If you have concrete sub-floor, then your option is limited to engineered wood. However, if you want to flex your hardwood options, you can always install plywood on top of your concrete floor. With a plywood sub-floor, it would be easier for you to nail any type of hardwood material on it. This will expand your hardwood material options. If you have an old house with particleboard flooring, you may want to have it replaced with plywood. Particleboard floorings are not as thick as plywood. It may be easy to nail something on it, but it is not a durable material to be nailing something on. Thus, it is recommended to have a plywood on top of it before you start nailing hardwood flooring material on it.

Question #3: What do you do on a daily basis?

When buying hardwood flooring materials for your home, you should also consider the amount of abuse, wear and tear, that your floor will go through on a daily basis. Do you have pets? Do you have small kids? Do you like hosting large parties now and then? Or, do you travel a lot? Houses that hosts a lot of parties and that go through high amount of foot traffic is recommended to have woods that are really hard. A red oak hardwood floor is a good example of this material. You also should consider how durable and dent-resistant the wood would be, especially if you have heavy furniture around.

Question #4: Do you have a traditional home? Or a modern home?

If you have a modern house, it is recommended that you have a natural maple colored hardwood flooring. If you want to maintain the clean aesthetic of your home, then you should go for a gray-stained oak wood or woods. This will surely keep everything in harmony from top to bottom. For traditional homes, you can opt for something like hickory. This allows blending of dark and light colors, which will give you the feel of a wood cabin. You can also opt for a board with natural wood knots as it goes well with traditional and antique furniture. However, you should not limit yourself from what is recommended here. You can always mix and match, and see which color goes best with the furniture that you have at home.

Question #5: Which is most important to you: cost, appearance, or maintenance?

Knowing what is most important to you will help decide which type of wood you will need to buy. If cost is important to you, then you should opt for something that is not so expensive, which will lead you to an engineered wood flooring. On the other hand, if appearance is what you are looking for, then you should opt for something that is within the oak and walnut variety. However, if ease of maintenance is what you want, then you should opt for something that will last for a long time like the harder wood variety. You may also want to consider how resistant they are of stains, and how easy it is to remove them.

Question #6: How can you test it?

This probably is the most important question that you need to answer. Before buying a hardwood material for your floor, you have to test it. You don’t want to install 500 square feet of hardwood floor just because it looks good on the photos, or because they look good in the showroom. Of course, they will good in photos and in showrooms. Before swiping that card or signing that check, ask for a sample first and see the consistency. Try staining it and finishing it. Does it look darker? Does it look better? If you are happy with what you are seeing, then buy it. If not, move along and find another one.

Hardwood Floors- Are They The Right Choice For You?


More and more people are choosing hardwood flooring because of its beauty. This type of flooring can impact the overall look and feel of any room in a home. There are many things that should be considered when choosing new flooring for your home, including allergy sufferers, ease of cleaning, durability, cost and more. Continue reading to learn about the pros and cons of hardwood flooring.

Reduced Allergens

Those suffering from allergies often find that hardwood flooring is the best flooring option. Dirt, dust and allergens can easily be removed with regular sweeping and mopping of your hardwood floors. Conversely, carpeting allows allergens, dust and dirt to remain embedded deep within the fibers of the carpeting. Did you know that regular vacuuming and steam cleaning cannot remove all of the allergens out of your carpets? What this means for allergy sufferers is increased exposure to pet hair, pet dander, dust, pollen and other allergens. If you or a loved one suffers from allergies, you should consider removing the carpeting from your home and replacing it with easy to clean hardwood floors.

Stain and Spill Cleanup is a Breeze

A spill on carpeting can quickly stain the rug. Most stains are extremely difficult to remove. Oftentimes, you will need the assistance of a professional carpet cleaner. If you have hardwood floors, spills can easily be cleaned up with nothing more than a moist cloth. If you spill something sticky, a wood floor cleaner can help make clean up a breeze. It should be noted that hardwood floors are susceptible to moisture, so wipe up spills immediately to avoid damaging your floors. Because hardwoods are susceptible to moisture damage, they should not be installed in bathrooms.


Hardwood floors are very durable. Generally, if you drop something heavy on them, it will not cause any damage. Compare this to ceramic tiles that will crack if something heavy is dropped on them. Hardwood floors are made to stand the test of time. However, they can become scratched, especially if you have large pets or move your furniture around often. If your floor becomes scuffed or scratched, they can be refinished; however, refinishing a hardwood floor can be expensive.

An Expensive Flooring Option

The biggest disadvantage of hardwood flooring is the cost when compared to other flooring options. Many people are put off by the expense of hardwood flooring. However, although the upfront cost is more than other flooring options, hardwood flooring can last a lifetime, which can save you a lot of money over your lifetime. Additionally, installing hardwood flooring can drastically increase the value of your home.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when looking at flooring. Do you want a floor that will last a lifetime? Although hardwood flooring costs more, it offers a number of advantages. For example, allergy sufferers can benefit from hardwood flooring as allergen exposure can be minimized. Hardwood floors also resist stains and are very easy to clean. Finally, hardwood flooring can add significant value and enjoyment to your home.

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