Hardwood flooring is available with a number of distinct surface finishes. The top coat not only helps protect the floor, but it can enhance the wood grain. Whether you’re looking for a shiny, high-gloss finish or something a little more matte, hardwood top coatings provide plenty of options.
Water-Based Polyurethane - Water Based Polyurethane is arguably the most popular surface finish for hardwood flooring. Water-based polyurethane provides a clear finish and has the traditional hardwood look and feel. Traditionally, this smooth, lustrous finish gives solid and engineered hardwood floors the signature look. Can be found in high-gloss or matte.
Oil-Based Polyurethane - Oil-based polys are the mainstay of floor finishing and widely used by professional finishers. A coat takes 8 to 10 hours to dry
*One difference is final color: Water-based polys dry clear; oil-based polys have a slight amber tint.
Hard-Wax Oil - If you’re looking for a natural finish that’s easy to apply, offers a warm look, and provides excellent protection, a hard-wax oil finish is a great option. Although wax treatments for hardwood may be considered outdated by some, they’re growing in popularity again thanks to homeowners who want a low luster finish that’s easy to touch up.