There are two main types of finishes for wood flooring — surface finishes and penetrating finishes. And both have their advantages and disadvantages. So before choosing one, figure out what best suits your needs. (from There are two main types of finishes for wood flooring — surface finishes and penetrating finishes. And both have their advantages and disadvantages. So before choosing one, figure out what best suits your needs.
Surface finishes for wood floors.
Today, most surface finishes are a blend of synthetic resins like urethane or polyurethane. They form a protective coating that’s durable, water resistant and easy to maintain.
There are three varieties of urethane used to finish wood floors. Water-based urethane is a relatively new product that’s sometimes mixed with a catalyst before it’s applied. Water-based finishes dry more quickly than oil-modified urethane, which requires fewer coats. And they’re less toxic than some other finishes.
But oil-modified urethane yellows with age and takes a while to dry. Some people like the amber glow that older oil-modified urethane floors develop.
The third type of urethane, moisture-cured, dries quickly and is the most durable, but it‘s hard to apply. Do-it-yourselfers should avoid moisture-cured urethane.
Polyurethane is extremely durable and stain resistant. In fact, most basketball courts are finished with it. It’s also less expensive than other finishes.
(from Wood Flooring Guide)
Usually an additional coat of waterbased finish is recommended to achieve a thicker finish.
Thank you for your inquiry.
Answered on 2/25/2012 by customer care 2