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.

DIY: How To Refinish Your Hardwood Floor

If you are one of the many homeowners who like to go the DIY route to repair and improve your home living, then you are reading the right DIY guide. This DIY guide will help you understand how a hardwood can be refinished at home with the most basic tools that are already available at home. If these tools are not yet available at your home, it is easy to find them at home centers where you can rent them out. All you need for this DIY project is a buffer, a paint brush, vacuum, a mop, and sandpaper.

Here are the steps:


The first thing you need to do is clean your floor. You can do this by using a hardwood cleaning product or your own mixture of white vinegar (one part) and 10 parts water. Remove all your furniture from the space you need to clean and finish. Once this is done, you can use your mop to clean the floor with the cleaning material that you have. Gently run the mop over the floor to give it a thorough cleaning. When doing this, it is advisable that you close all your windows and doors to contain the dust.


After cleaning your hardwood floor, the next thing to do is to prepare it. This can be done by using a 180-grit sandpaper. To prepare the perimeter of your hardwood floor, use the sandpaper to hand-sand the area concerned. Do this to areas that the buffer could not reach. Hand-sand the perimeter of your hardwood floor four to six inches out the baseboard. Do this until you see some powder and until the area looks dull and white. It is not recommended that you use a sanding block as it might not sand out uneven areas.


After the perimeter has been hand-sanded, it is time to scuff sand the entire floor. This can be done with a buffer. If you don’t have a buffer, you can rent one at any home center. To scuff sand the floor, you have to attach a buffing pad to the buffer. When doing this, make sure that you wear a dust mask to protect yourself. When scuffing, make sure that you move the buffer along the grain of the floor. Also, make sure that you are every scuff is overlapping. As you go, you will notice the old floor finish turning into white powder.


If you refinishing a wide floor area, then you should make sure that you vacuum the pad every five minutes. To do this, leave the room five minutes into the scuffing process and wait for 10 to 15 minutes to allow dust particles to settle on the floor. Use your vacuum to collect the powder produced in the scuffing process. Attach a clean filter to your vacuum to sweep the floor with. Use a felt-bottomed attachment for better coverage. Follow the strips on the floor when sweeping the powder. When all the powder has been collected, you can dry-tack the area using a microfiber cloth. Use the grain to push the microfiber cloth over the floor.


Before applying the finish, make sure that you wear boots. Also, make sure that you are wearing a respirator mask equipped with organic vapor canister to cover your nose and mouth. Start refinishing your floor from the edges furthest from the exit. You don’t want to be trapped inside the room as you are almost finished with the process. Use a wide paint brush to do this. Brush along the baseboard and cover at least 3 inches of the floor as you go along. To avoid laps, make sure that you stop 10 minutes into the process and proceed to the next step. Lap marks will appear when the edge of the finish stripe starts to dry.


Once you have made the necessary preparation along the edges, you can then pour an inch-wide of finish on the floor. Only pour as much as you can finish in 10 minutes. Remember, your time frame is only 10 minutes. You can spread the finish using a long-handled roller. When rolling the finish, make sure that each stripe is overlapping each other. This will help keep the edges of the stripe wet. After 10 minutes, you can go back to step number five and repeat the entire process until the entire floor is covered. Recoating should be done two to three hours after the first coat is done. Your furniture can be put back in a week after refinishing your floor.

How To Take Care Of Your Hardwood Floors

There are different things that you can do to protect your hardwood floor from damages, which will not cost you as much as replacing them due to irreversible damages. Your hardwood floor is an investment. And just like any other investment, you have to protect it so it will last several lifetimes. If your hardwood floor is not properly protected, repairing them will be more costly than the things that you can do to prevent it. In this article, you will find out ways on how you can safeguard your investment from any damage.

Regular Cleaning

The most important thing to remember in terms of proper care and maintenance of hardwood floor is by regularly cleaning it. Vacuum clean your floor on a regular basis to remove dust particles, crumbs, dirt, abrasive, dirt, etc. that can potentially scratch and damage your floor. You also need to spot clean whenever the situation calls for it. Don’t let water to sit on your floor as it may change its natural color. Also, you have to choose a cleaner that is suitable for the type of wood that you have. You can always consult the professionals to make sure. But, a little research should pay off.

Be Proactive

When you see a wet spot on your floor, make sure that you spot clean it. Always check if your door mats are creating moisture on the floor. Check your boots, coats, mittens, shoes, and other clothing materials that you use outside and make sure that they won’t bring water in. Your appliances should also be checked for leakage, especially the ones in the kitchen. It will also be helpful to teach your pets to urinate in the pee box or teach them to pee outside. In any cases, it is a must that you dry your floor whenever you see wet spots around.

Dents and Scratches

It is unavoidable to be wearing high heels or other shoes that have spikes or cleats all over it. To protect your floor from any dents or scratches that may be caused by these foot wears, you can use area rugs or mats. You can also place outdoor rugs so dusts, dirt, small pieces of stones, or moisture will be removed and collected. It will also save you from cleaning your floor again. Area rugs can also be used to protect your floor from furniture damage. They can be placed under the furniture to provide cushion. On the other hand, if you have pets, make sure that their nails are trimmed accordingly. For cats, you should provide a scratch post so they won’t have to sharpen their nails on your walls, or worse, on your floor.

Sun Damage

If you live in an area where it is sunny all year round, then you should remember to rearrange your furniture and rugs on a regular basis to protect the floor underneath it. If you have lived in your neighborhood for years now, then you should have an idea of when and where the sun will hit the most in certain times of the year. This will guide you where to put your rugs and furniture. Rearranging your fixtures periodically will give your floor the chance to age evenly. Closing your curtains and draperies on a hot summer day will also help prolong the life of your floors.

It may sound taxing knowing that you have to do this and that to give your hardwood floor the care that it needs. But, if you are able to maintain your floor, you won’t have to worry about having it replace for years to come.

Pro Tips to Keeping Wood Flooring Clean and Shiny


In today’s times where cement, tiles and carpeting have become king, many people still choose the warm and natural look of hardwood flooring. High quality hardwood floors does not come cheap, so it’s important that you know how to properly protect and maintain it, especially that it does not hide dirt and grime the same way carpets can. It might seem that hardwood flooring is high maintenance, but it won’t be so difficult once you establish your own routine. Below are some pro tips to keep in mind.

  1. Furniture polishes. Commercial polishes and even hairspray can cloud and damage hardwood finish. If these chemicals get to your flooring, wipe them off with a damp cloth immediately. For thorough cleaning, clean your floors with non-ammonia window cleaner instead.
  2. Water. Aside from ruining the finish of hardwood floors, water can also penetrate the wood and leave an unsightly stain. Make sure your flooring is protected from the rain and potted plants are placed on trays before they are set on the floor. Also, immediately wipe wet floors before they get a chance to dry out.
  3. Weekly vacuums. This might be the most important habit you need to get into. Vacuuming protects the finish and appearance of your floors, especially that dust can easily destroy it. If you can, get a vacuum that come with interchangeable attachments and use a brush or anything with a felt surface. Dust mops or microfiber sweepers also make for a great alternative.
  4. Wood floor cleaners. Ensure that a no-wax wood floor cleaner is within easy access so you can quickly clean small problems before they grow big. Immediately wipe liquid spills and remove any residue with the cleaner before they can stain the floor.
  5. Area rugs. High-traffic areas can wear down wood finish quickly. Reduce the wear with a beautiful throw rug that does not come with rubber or vinyl backing as this traps humidity, eventually staining and damaging the wood.

Yes, it will require some time and effort to get keep your hardwood flooring looking its best, but this is just a small price to pay for such a great investment. With the right maintenance tips, you can enjoy clean and gorgeous floors for years. But if you think that you won’t be able to keep up maintenance on your own, contact a reputable hardwood expert or company in your area now. These professionals will effectively do the job for you.

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