What is the best finish for oak flooring?

Water-Based Polyurethane

Arguably the most popular surface finish for hardwood flooring, water-based polyurethane provides a clear finish and has the traditional hardwood look and feel.

Should I use varnish or polyurethane?

The Verdict. Overall, polyurethane is generally used for indoor household projects like bookshelves and desks, while varnish is popular for outdoor surfaces such as a deck. Both offer durability, varied color options, and protection against elements.

What is the most popular finish for hardwood floors?


The satin sheen is the most popular finish for hardwood floors. This hardwood floor sheen has about 40% luster and is easy to keep clean. This level of sheen disperses light and doesn’t show all of the imperfections or dirt.

Which is better for hardwood floors lacquer or polyurethane?

While varnish is the more preferred choice for outdoor surfaces, polyurethane is certainly better suited for indoor household projects. Both of them offer varied colour options, durability, and protection against elements. However, polyurethane is the better option for your interior hardwood floor.

What do you put on oak floors?

Which Finish Is Right for Your Hardwood Floors?

  1. Water-Based Polyurethane. Best for: Floors in need of a clear finish that dries quickly. …
  2. Oil-Based Polyurethane. Best for: High-traffic areas. …
  3. Moisture-Cure Urethane. …
  4. Wax. …
  5. Shellac. …
  6. Penetrating Oil Sealer. …
  7. Acid-Cured Finish. …
  8. Aluminum Oxide.

How do you finish solid oak flooring?

Quote from the video:
Quote from Youtube video: So at that point we'll apply a floor filler then this is a dura seal latex travel wood filler you would be applying it with if you're doing an entire room we're gonna use a bigger trowel.

What kind of polyurethane should I use on hardwood floors?

Water-based polyurethane finish is the best polyurethane for hardwood floors, and many consider it the future of polyurethanes. High-level water-based polyurethane is as durable as oil, easier to apply, and better for you, your family, your pets, and the environment.

Is varnish stronger than polyurethane?

Varnish is less durable but it is more versatile and flexible. It is more durable on outdoor furniture than polyurethane because of its UV damage protection and water-resistance.

Which is harder varnish or polyurethane?

While it is similar to varnish in terms of application and appearance, polyurethane is generally harder and more abuse resistant, which means it is commonly used for sealing wood floors. Unfortunately, polyurethane is less flexible than varnish, so it may not be the best choice to use on wood pieces that move or flex.

What is the downside of oil based polyurethane?

The Cons: Oil-based polyurethane finishes take longer to dry than water-based finishes. This makes it more of a time-consuming process to refinish your floor as you must wait until one coat dries before applying the next coat of finish. This finish is not suitable for all woods.

What can I use instead of polyurethane?

Linseed oil is another commonly used natural alternative to polyurethane. People use linseed oil to treat their wood. It can help it to look better while also increasing the overall durability of the wood. This is a non-toxic product that you will be able to use without hesitation.

What is the best stain for hardwood floors?


  • MINWAX. Minwax products are the go-to floor stain for the everyman. …
  • BONA DRIFAST STAIN. Bona is an oil-modified stain that is ready for reapplication in two hours. …

How do you finish hardwood floors without polyurethane?

As an alternative to polyurethane finishes, natural oils like tung oil and linseed oil offer a healthier finish. Unlike urethanes, which dry on top of the floor, oils penetrate into the wood and harden. This process creates a low-sheen matte finish that brings out the grain and texture of a hardwood floor.

Is satin or semi gloss better for hardwood floors?

In terms of practicality though, Satin ends up lasting or looking better for a longer period of time than semi-gloss does. The reason for that is that the shinier you go, the more it shows the dents and scratches, as well as the dirt. So satin is the most popular and it also the most practical option.

What should I use to finish my hardwood floor?

There are three highly popular types of finish used for hardwood flooring today: water-based polyurethane, oil finishes, and wax finishes.

Is water based or oil based stain better for hardwood floors?

Oil base poly is a thicker product, and will build up a thicker layer of protection for your hardwood floors. It is a great choice for longevity and high traffic areas. We generally recommend and apply 3 coats of oil based polyurethane. Water based finishes will lay out thinner, but are slightly harder than oil based.

How many coats of polyurethane should you put on hardwood floors?

We recommend at least 2 coats of oil based polyurethane + a lacquer sealer coat as a minimum for hardwood flooring. Extra coats = extra protection, but only one coat of oil based polyurethane may be applied per day, as it needs 24 hours to dry before applying another coat.

Do you have to seal hardwood floors before polyurethane?

Most unfinished hardwood floors require one coat of sealer and at least two coats of protectant finishing. Sealing is very important, especially under polyurethane finishes, because it seals the wood and helps to prevent panelization; the separation of groups of boards from others or from the rest of the floor.

Can you leave oak flooring unfinished?

Is it okay to leave hardwood floors unfinished? The answer is yes, you do not have to finish a hardwood floor!

Do you have to stain oak floors?

Whether you are installing new floors or working with existing hardwood, staining is an extremely important part of the process and one that should be approached with great care.