Having Your Hardwood Flooring Refinished? Consider These Finish Options

Posted on: 20 January 2020

If the finish on your hardwood floor is beginning to look a bit dull and lifeless, you may be thinking about having it refinished. What this entails is having a refinishing company come sand down the surface and apply a new finish. That sounds simple, and it really can be, but first, you have one big decision to make: what type of finish should you use on the hardwood floor? Here are your top options.

1. Polyurethane

If you want a glossy finish that goes on fast, then polyurethane is a good choice. This is a water-based product, so it does not give off a lot of VOCs or smelly compounds, meaning it works well in the winter when you can't open a lot of windows and doors to ventilate the home. Polyurethane is clear, so it lets the natural character of the wood stand out, which is nice when you have wood with a lot of knots to show off. Of course, it does not look very natural due to its glossy sheen.

2. Wax

If you want a simple finish with less glossiness, then hard wax is a good choice for your hardwood. It's pretty easy to apply and does not have a lot of odor. Wax allows the wood's natural character to shine through, but it looks quite natural. The wax absorbs partway into the wood, and you can walk on the floor within hours of application. Wax is, however, tough to apply since it requires a lot of buffing. If you wax your floor, you can't use another finish in the future since the wax absorbs into the wood and will keep any other finish from sticking.

3. Shellac

Shellac is an old-fashioned finishing product that is making a reappearance because it is natural and sustainable. It is made from the secretions of a certain species of beetle. Shellac can be finicky to apply, and it gives wood an orange-ish tint. However, it dries quickly and does not emit a lot of pollutants. If your floor develops worn spots or dings in the future, you can just touch them up rather than re-finishing the entire floor with shellac.

To learn more about each of these hardwood floor refinishing options, reach out to a refinishing company near you. Each option has its pros and cons, which a contractor can discuss with you more fully before your project begins.