Wood Floor Finishes

When choosing the right type of finish for your wood floors, consider your lifestyle and maintenance preferences. All wood floors will require routine maintenance, such as sweeping or dust mopping, to keep them looking beautiful and new, but different wood flooring finishes will have a big impact on how you care for your floor long-term, as well as how your floor will look in the years to come.

Surface finishes are durable, water-resistant, and require minimal maintenance.They  remain on the surface of the wood to form a protective coating. There are several types of surface finishes available: 

  • Water-based finishes are clear and will resist turning yellow over time. They will dry in two to three hours and are very durable.

  • Oil-based finishes are amber in color. They have a moderate odor when applied, and will dry in about eight hours and are very durable.

  • Acid-cured finishes are clear to slightly amber. They will dry in about two to three hours and are extremely durable.

  • Moisture-cured finishes are clear to amber. They will dry in about two to three hours and are extremely durable. They are more moisture-resistant than other surface finishes.

Wax finishes soak into the wood and harden to form a protective penetrating seal, which will appear low luster and amber in color. They will dry in a variable amount of time depending on the type of wax used and the job-site conditions. Wax finishes are durable, but will show spots from water and other contaminates.

Acrylic impregnated finishes are injected into the wood to create a super-hard, extremely durable floor. Acrylic impregnated finishes rarely are used in residential applications. They most often are used in very high traffic areas in commercial settings such as malls and restaurants.

UV cured finishes are waterborne finishes that are cured using ultraviolet light. The cure time is instantaneous. Multiple sheen levels are available to suit your taste.

Penetrating and hardening oils are usually made of tung oils, linseed oils, or other natural oils, along with blends of additional additives that can assist in drying and hardness.

Talk to your installer regarding which type of finish best suits your needs and style.

Check out the Hardwood Floors Resource Book for all your wood flooring needs.

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National Hardwood Flooring Association NWFA Verified  Hardwood Federation