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Uncover Top Wood Floor Finishing Options | Mr Sander®

Posted on June 15, 2023

Wood Floor Renovations Articles

Discovering the Best Options for Finishing a Wooden Floor

A wooden floor adds a timeless appeal to any home. However, to preserve its beauty and longevity, the proper finish is crucial. A good finish not only enhances the floor’s appearance but also offers protection against damage. This comprehensive guide will delve into the best options available for finishing a wooden floor.

Understanding the Importance of Wood Floor Finishing

A wood floor finish serves as a protective layer that shields the wood from external elements such as moisture, UV rays, scratches, and general wear and tear. Moreover, the right finish can bring out the natural beauty of the wood grain, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your floor.

Types of Wood Floor Finishes

When it comes to wooden floor finishes, several options vary in their durability, appearance, and application method. Let’s explore the most popular choices:


Polyurethane finishes are some of the most popular choices for wood floors, known for their durability and resistance to moisture. There are two types:
  1. Oil-Based Polyurethane: This type provides a warm, amber glow to the floor. It’s durable and relatively inexpensive, but it takes longer to dry and has a strong odour.
  2. Water-Based Polyurethane: Water-based polyurethane dries faster, has less odour, and keeps the wood’s natural colour intact. However, it’s usually more expensive than oil-based polyurethane.


Varnish comes in various lustres, from matte to glossy. The higher the gloss, the more durable the finish. Varnish can darken over time, which may enhance the wood’s character.


Lacquer is a fast-drying finish that provides a clear, highly durable finish. However, it’s more challenging to apply, so a professional application is often recommended.


Shellac is a natural product that’s non-toxic and easy to repair. It provides a soft, warm finish but isn’t as durable as polyurethane or varnish.

Hard-Wax Oil

Hard-wax oils penetrate the wood’s surface to nourish and protect the fibres. These finishes are easy to maintain and repair, and they enhance the natural beauty of the wood grain.

How to Choose the Right Finish for Your Wooden Floor

Choosing the right finish depends on several factors:
  • Durability: Consider how much traffic your floor gets. For high-traffic areas, choose a durable finish like polyurethane.
  • Aesthetics: Some finishes alter the wood’s colour over time. Choose a finish that will deliver the look you desire.
  • Maintenance: Some finishes require more maintenance than others. If low maintenance is a priority, opt for finishes like polyurethane, which is easy to clean and doesn’t require frequent touch-ups.
  • Application: Some finishes are more user-friendly than others. If you’re doing a DIY project, choose a finish that’s easy to apply, like polyurethane or varnish.

Application Tips for a Successful Wood Floor Finish

  • Always prepare your floor properly before applying the finish. This often includes sanding the floor to create a smooth surface.
  • Use the correct tools. This will typically include a high-quality brush or roller and sometimes a floor buffer.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the finish. This will provide information on drying times, the number of coats, and safety precautions.
  • Apply the finish in a well-ventilated area to minimise fume inhalation.


Choosing the right finish for your wooden floor is crucial to its appearance and longevity. By considering your needs and preferences, you can select a finish that not only protects your floor but also enhances its natural beauty. Whether you choose the durability of polyurethane, the richness of varnish, or the simplicity of hard-wax oil, the proper application of your chosen finish will ensure your wooden floor remains a point of pride in your home for many years to come.

Some Useful Links:

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Master Wood Floor Sanding with Our Essential Guide The Ultimate Guide to Sanding Hardwood Floors Successfully Essential Guide to Wood Floor Sanding – Basics and Tools You Need How to Use a Drum Sander – Hints and Tips Sanding Wooden Floors – A Comprehensive DIY Guide for Beginners  
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Floor Sanding Service


We provide virtually dust-free sanding with our continuous belt machinery with mobile extraction units, giving you a safer environment for your family.

Floor Oiling Service


This organic finish not only adds beauty to your home but also has exceptional water-repellent characteristics, making it easier to clean and maintain.

Floor Waxing Service


This natural floor finish offers the softest and most mellow appearance – and leaves your floor able to breath.

Floor Buffing Service


Using soft buffing machines (and hand-polishing where required) will bring a wonderful sheen to your newly-finished floor.

Wood Floor Repairs


We offer a full assessment of your wooden floors to determine what repairs are needed to provide the perfect working surface for the later stages of sanding, staining and sealing. 

Floor Restoration Service


We offer a comprehensive restoration process designed to address floors that are improperly fitted or damaged over time through wear and tear.

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