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What’s the Right Finish for your Hardwood Floors?

Water-Based Polyurethane

Ideal for floors in need to return to use quickly, and with a clear finish.

Fast DryPrice per gallon is more than traditional polyurethane
Easy to Apply / Easy to Clean-upLess “open” time during application than traditional polyurethane
Low Odor 
Low VOC’s 

Oil-Based Polyurethane

Ideal for floors that are high traffic, provides richer and slightly amber look.

Very durable / tough finish Slow / longer drying time
Generally less expensive than water-based products Ambers over time
Easy to apply / Easy to maintain Stronger odor during application compared to Water-Based finishes
Resists moisture

Swedish Finish (Acid Cure)

Ideal for exotic wood floors or high-end elaborate wood flooring patterns.

Dries very fast High VOC’s / Flammable
Outstanding durability / hard finish Difficult to refinish once used
Long-lasting finish / more durable than poly More expensive than many other floor finishes
Pro-only application


Ideal for high-traffic areas and situations requiring the toughest floor finish.

Toughest floor finish / Extreme durability Very high VOC’s / Flammable
Fast drying allows for multiple costs per day Strong odor may last for weeks
Longest lasting finish Low humidity extends drying time
Pro-only application


Ideal for refinishing antique floors with shellac or where you want a natural product look.

Natural and sustainable productVery flammable
Very low VOC’sNot easy to apply
Low odor / low VOC’sApplication is labor intensive
Dries QuicklyMost contain wax, can’t refinish using other finishes
Inexpensive versus other floor finishes 

Penetrating Oil Sealer

Ideal for creating a low-shine or antique looking floor which highlights the grain of the wood.

Natural product, easy to apply Multiple coats required
Accentuates the natural wood beauty Requires recoating /maintenance
Low / mild odor
Subdued Sheen

Wax Finishes

Ideal for areas requiring low-sheen finish such as historic homes.

Easy to apply and touch-up Not as durable as polyurethane finishes
Penetrates wood / combine with stains Requires ongoing upkeep
Low odor / low VOC’s Application is labor intensive
Low luster finish Darkens and yellows over time
Can be walked on within hours Susceptible to water marks and to stains

Aluminum Oxide – UV Cured

Ideal for high traffic areas or for best protection against wear and tear.

Longest lasting finish / extremely durable Impossible to repair or touch up
Low maintenance Only available on prefinished wood