What is the best low maintenance finish for a hardwood floor


Q: What is the very best finish for hardwood floors that you can get? One that resists traffic flow wear, scratches, pet markings, etc.?

A: There are a lot of excellent finishes on the market. I was recently sent 4 gallons of one product to sample recently and was so impressed with it, I had 120 gallons shipped from Arkansas! The company is Poloplaz. The product is Primero. It is oil modified. High solids. Very tough when cured. Excellent drying, even under poor conditions. Applies like velvet. Absolutely the best finish in every way that I have ever worked with. And I have been applying coatings for more than 34 years.

Related Q: What is the best finish to use on hardwood (no stain) floors? Oil based polyurethane or shellac?

A: Oil or solvent based polyurethane is better. Much more durable and safer to apply. Shellac has a low flash point which presents a significant explosion risk when using over a large...

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Hardwood flooring is a popular surface covering material that has been used in a variety of interior spaces since the dawn of modern construction. It is durable, low maintenance, long lasting, and has a beautiful natural look that is prized by many homeowners. However, it does have issues when used in moist or humid environments, such as bathrooms. While certain types of hardwood flooring can be successful in bathroom use, it will require a higher level of maintenance than in other places.

Hardwood Flooring for a Bathroom? What to Consider

When deciding if hardwood flooring is right for your bathroom, make sure you consider these factors:

Finish: In its unprotected state, hardwood flooring will plump, expand, warp, and stain at the touch of any liquids, because wood is naturally a very absorbent material. However, the application of a finishing agent, usually a polyurethane-based sealer, can create an invisible surface over the wood, making it impossible (or...

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I recently had our floor refinished. No I didnt do it myself, waay too much work for the 1000 sq ft of solid oak flooring I have.

The guy that did the floor recommended Bona Traffic as one of the better all around finishes. It is allegedly a commercial product targeted for stores & such. Its a 2 part finish kinda like an epoxy. The stuff isnt cheap, around $80-100 per gallon. He put down 2 coats and the floor looks great.

One of my cousins used to install hardwood floors in Illinois, he was telling me the name of the best products you could get. I cant remember what it was, but he told me there was probably no way you could get it in California given its toxicity. If you are going to do it yourself, I would recommend sticking with something water based and not leathally toxic. No floor is worth your health...


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A screen and recoat is the best-kept secret in the hardwood flooring world.

But it shouldn't be, because it can save you money, labor and time over the life of your hardwood floor. Read on, and remember, the buffer is your friend.

If you have spent any time talking to your hardwood flooring professional (or reading the hardwood flooring blogs) you’ve heard the phrase “screen and recoat.” Here at Pete’s we know that people can toss around jargon like that in an attempt to sound knowledgeable, but in this case, the jargon actually means something.

Also known as "buff and coat"

The phrase “screen and recoat ” describes the process of sprucing up an existing coat of polyurethane by top-coating it. (This is sometimes referred to as "buff and coat" because the screen is often driven across the floor by a buffer). But the inclusion of the word ‘screen’ is vital because in order to get a new coat to adhere to the old one you must lightly sand or ‘screen’...

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Stunning 2-story home in Wildwood. Immaculate home shows like a dream. 2 story entry foyer opens to formal dining room w/ coffered ceilings, living room, wood burning fireplace, family room w/ bay window & built in bookcase. The kitchen has rich cabinetry, center island, pantry, recipe desk, access to designer deck and beautifully enclosed porch featuring vented gas fireplace, ceiling fans & TV’s great for entertaining. Master suite w/vaulted ceilings, luxurious master bath, separate jetted tub & shower. 3 more bedrooms, 2 full baths round out upper level of this home. Lower level is exquisitely finished w/full bar inc. oven, dishwasher & cooler. Recreation area has vented gas corner fireplace, sitting area, full bath & additional sleeping space. Walk out to covered patio area which extends into the backyard showcasing a stone firepit. The well-maintained lawn has an electric pet fence, & 1 collar. Other updates inc. a 5-year new roof, zoned HVAC & High Efficiency Water...

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Choose the right cleaning agent.

For general cleaning, choose a pH-neutral ,water-based cleaner, like those designed for vinyl floors or hardwood-specific cleaners. To dissolve grease and dirt, choose an alkaline, water-based cleaner: soaps, detergents, or a bit of baking soda dissolved in water will do, though should be used sparingly. To dissolve hard water or mineral deposits, choose an acidic water-based cleaner; white vinegar or lemon juice in water would make a good rinsing agent to this effect.

[2]Specific hardwood floor cleaners, of course, are your safest bet. Don’t use bleach, ammonia, abrasive cleaners, or anything that will leave a residue (ex. oil, furniture spray, wax). Not only will they damage the hardwood, but a few will even void the warranty on your...
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Don’t use vinegar and water to clean your floors. Vinegar is an acid and it can damage your hardwood floors. Use an almost dry-damp mop when wiping your floor and dry the floor with a clean rag after mopping. Maintain a proper humidity level of 35-55 percent to avoid trapping excess moisture in wooden floors.

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We bought this house a few months ago. The previous owner told us to use Bona cleaner twice a month and the microfiber pad at least every other day. These hickory floors are beautiful, so I am taking her suggestion. The pad picks up all our cat hairs too. Never use water on hardwood. Be careful of trying many different products on your floors; you will get a build-up.

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There are a few different choices that you can make when it comes to choosing a finish for your hardwood flooring. Knowing a little more about each possibility will make your decision much easier.

Hardwood flooring is an investment that when finished properly can be a lasting point of enjoyment and pleasure in your home. The finish you choose for your floors, from linseed oil, water based polyurethane or oil based polyurethane, can impact the way your floors wear and age over time.

One of the most natural approaches to finishing is using tung oil. Tung oil, which comes from the seeds of the Tung tree, can provide an all-natural, non-toxic finish that is relatively easy to care for. Compared to other forms of finishes, it doesn't provide the heavy-duty resistance to scratching. However, people that know and use tung oil recommend just re-oiling the scratched area and buffing with a cloth. This makes it ideal for do-it-yourselfers that are not interested in a...

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Hardwood floor finishes add more beauty and sophistication on each floor surface. The finishes help in making the floor and home have a natural feel. Those hardwood floor finishes also help in making the floors last a lifetime.

That’s why you need to be careful of what you choose. It’s critical. Aside from helping the floors last a lifetime, the right finish can also help reduce the need for replacements or repairs. As a result, the proper choice of a finish can actually help you save money in the long run.

So how do you choose among the different hardwood floor finishes? To help you answer this question, first we need to recap the difference between pre-finished and unfinished hardwood floors. Then we’ll also discuss the different hardwood floor finishes.

Pre-finished vs Unfinished Hardwood Floors

What is pre-finished hardwood? It means that the finishing of the hardwood was already done at the factory. It means you or your contractor just has to...

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When searching for your flooring, you will face three contrasting options

This can immediately make deciding which floor finish to choose a daunting task. And what's more, for best results you shouldn't decide based on visual effect alone. Think about how much wear and tear your flooring will get with your family's feet rushing over the surface, the spills and mishaps that are bound to occur over the years and how you are willing to maintain the flooring in the long run.

We all live busy lifestyles and don't want to increase the work in our lives with a high maintenance floor. In fact, the reason many of our customers buy a wood floor in the first place is for the ease of maintenance and to get away from endless carpet cleaning.

So what types of wood floor oils and finishes are available?

Lacquered Wood Flooring

Nowadays, lacquered floors are often heavily promoted. The finish is nearly always factory applied with no work left to be done on...

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We’re not going out on a limb when we say hardwood floors are one of the most popular, value-adding features in your home. Home-buyers love ‘em.

But what about the regular maintenance, like refinishing, these floors require keep them looking sleek for years to come?

How much wear and tear your floors get determines how often you need to refinish them and what product you use. A household with just two adults might only have to refinish every 10 years; a home with adults, kids, and a dog might need to refinish every three to four years.

There are a lot of finishes out there. Use our at-a-glance guide below to choose the one that’s right for your home.


Wax is the time-tested, old-fashioned way to refinish wood floors and was routinely used before polyurethanes became available in the 1970’s. Both paste and liquid versions are making a comeback with homeowners who want a mellow, low-sheen look, and with those who prefer to use natural...

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Your hardwood has lost its shine, and it’s time for a little refinishing.

With so many types of finishes on the market, deciding on the right one can be a brain teaser.

The finish you choose for your hardwood can affect the value of your home. You won’t want people giving you odd looks when they see your wood floor.

Finishing constantly can be a headache. It’s also an expensive process, so you’ll want to choose one that lasts for a long time.

Consider the amount of traffic your floor receives everyday. If you have children who play on it constantly or pets moving about, wear and tear would be higher. In such cases, your top concern would be durability.

There are many finishing options for you to consider. Included on the list are:

Water based Surface sealers Lacquer Oil based urethane Penetrating finishes Swedish finishes

Each of these are valid options, depending on your need. So which is the most durable?

Water Based...

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So you’re thinking about getting hardwood floors installed. What should you expect? At SVB Wood Floors, we put together a little information to help you know what to expect with a hardwood floor installation. We have found that when our customers are familiar with the process, everything goes a little more smoothly, and we end up with happier customers.

Five FAQs When Installing a Hardwood Floor

At SVB Wood Floors, we get lots of great questions from customers who are considering installing a hardwood floor in their home or business. If you’re thinking of enhancing your home with wood floors, these answers will help you decide which kind and learn about some of the other options you may not have even thought about yet. Here are the top five Frequently Asked Questions we hear:

1. What Are the Main Advantages of Hardwood Floors?

· Value – Hardwood floors may be a little more expensive to install initially, when compared with other flooring options, but no...
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Hardwood installation is a great choice. The next big decision is: are you going for DIY hardwood flooring or will you hire a professional?

Here are some things to think about when it comes to deciding which option is best for you: cost, time, tools, level of difficulty and convenience.

For many homeowners, do it yourself hardwood flooring comes down to cost. In most cases it’s more expensive to hire a professional contractor to install your floors but there are factors to consider other than just the overall price.

First, many contractors get much better deals on hardwood flooring materials from suppliers and manufacturers. You may find that the cost to buy materials yourself and the cost for tools isn’t that much different to what a contractor would charge you. Then, if you factor in the possibility that you make costly mistakes it might be worth going with to use an experienced installer instead (if you are not confident...

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Hardwood is the top choice for flooring on the market for a reason. If you want to put hardwood flooring in your home, there are some important things that you should consider before choosing your hardwood floor in Kennesaw, GA. There are a lot of different choices when it comes to hardwood flooring. You’ll want to ask questions like: Do I want solid or engineered hardwood? What species will best meet my needs? What finish do I want on my flooring? The following will help you answer these important questions.

Engineered or Solid Hardwood?

Making the choice between engineered or solid hardwood is important. Both are great options, but they come with different advantages. Engineered hardwood is becoming more and more popular because of some of its advantages. Engineered hardwood is made up of layers of glued and pressed wood with a thin layer of solid hardwood on top. Sometimes engineered hardwood is less expensive, but not in every case. If you're interested in some...

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Wood floors add beautiful durability to your home. However, they need to be properly cared for to maintain the qualities that caused you to fall in love with them in the first place. Perhaps the most important factor you need to consider with your wood floors is the finish you use on them. There are so many finishes on the market that the choices can become overwhelming. Here are some tips for choosing the best hardwood floor finish to meet your needs.

What does finish do? Before you can choose the best finish, you should know what the purpose of finish is. Finish enhances the color and texture of the floor. Specific types of finish add other qualities. It is important to pick the right one to achieve the final look you want to achieve.

Factors to consider

There are many factors to consider when you are deciding on which finish you will use to treat the floor. Try to envision what you want the floor to look like. Then, think about how the room will be used and...

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At one time penetrating oil systems were one of the most common wood floor finish options. When polyurethane (both oil-based and water-based versions) came onto the market, penetrating oil took a backseat. Nowadays, penetrating oil like those offered by WOCA are becoming more fashionable once again.

But what’s the difference? Why do some people prefer penetrating oil versus a traditional polyurethane finish?

Penetrating oil is more durable

The key difference between penetrating oil and polyurethane is how the finish interacts with the hardwood floor.

Polyurethane finish systems are applied on top of a wood floor. This creates a “wear layer” that people, pets, and furniture stand on top of. On the other hand, penetrating oil actually incorporates itself into the wood. Certain penetrating oils also contain hardening agents. This creates a finish system that soaks into the wood and hardens.

This fundamental difference between the two makes...

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Floor care can begin as early as selecting the right product before it's installed. By way of explanation, if you're a careful household with two adult residents, a large number of styles and types will compliment your maintenance duties. On the other hand, active households may want to avoid types that damage easily or those floors in the softer category, but it is not an excuse for lighter maintenance responsibilities.

For existing flooring it becomes a matter of awareness and following a consistent maintenance routine that may be dictated by use or household activity. Following are some of the key ingredients to a successful and long lasting floor.

Preventing Scratches - Don't Freak. There Will Be More To Come

It's going to happen. It's almost like buying a new car, but you can't simply park your floor in the middle of a parking (away from other cars) lot like you do with that new car. Following are several preventive measures in order of...

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There are two kinds of hardwood flooring: solid wood and engineered wood. Solid wood flooring is heavier and more resilient than engineered floor panels. The price of solid wood flooring depends heavily on the type of wood involved. Exotic woods, such as Brazilian cherry, make beautiful floors but are prohibitively expensive for modest budgets. However, solid wood panels made from domestic tree species often cost less than comparable engineered flooring.

The true cost of hardwood flooring includes more than the material. Installation, staining, finishing and maintenance costs are also important factors. Engineered hardwood flooring has a low installation cost because it does not require sanding, staining or finishing. Solid hardwood floor installation includes all three processes, and the floors require periodic sanding and refinishing.

There are several alternatives to solid and engineered hardwood flooring. Cork is an affordable, popular and ecologically sustainable...

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MinwaxSuper Fast-Drying 1-Gal. Polyurethane for Floors Gloss
The Minwax 1-Gallon Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors provides a durable, protective finish for hardwood floors. The professional, anti-settling formula levels to a smooth, even finish, and it does not require sanding between coats. It's ready for the second coat after 3 - 4 hours, so you can finish the job in just 1 day.

· Provides a durable, protective finish for hardwood floors
· Apply with a lamb's wool or synthetic pad applicator or a natural bristle brush
· Oil-based formula
· Anti-settling formula levels to a smooth, even finish, and it does not require sanding between coats
· Ready for the second coat after 3 - 4 hours, so you can finish the job in just 1 day
· Clear-gloss finish
· 700 sq. ft. of coverage

You can find me as Soheil_ HD_BOS at...

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Interestingly enough, one of the question we get the most from consumers while they shop for their hardwood floor is “Does hardwood floor hardness matter? ”. The perception is that the harder the hardwood floor—or the harder the finish—the better. Is this perception a reality? In today’s post, we will take a closer look at this.

Defining wood hardness

First, let me explain what wood hardness is by answering these 6 questions.

1. What most influences hardwood floor hardness?

The main element that influences hardwood floor hardness is the hardness of the wood species itself. It is important to understand that wood is a natural product—no manufacturer can influence the density or hardness of a wood species. It is inherent and unique to the species of the hardwood you choose.

2. How is wood hardness measured?

Wood species hardness is measured using the Janka Scale. The Janka Scale determines the hardness of a particular species of wood over...

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A scraping test can help you distinguish between other surface finishes, such as polyurethane, and a penetrating oil finish, but you'll need a sharper blade, such as that of a utility knife. Run the blade along the surface of an inconspicuous board and look for shavings, which are the sign of a film finish, such as polyurethane or shellac. Test for shellac by placing a shot glass over a single drop of alcohol and checking if the material dissolves; if yes, you have shellac. If that test is negative, the film coating is varnish, polyurethane or aluminum oxide. For cleaning and restoration purposes, varnish and polyurethane are essentially equivalent, but you need to know if the finish is aluminum oxide before purchasing any finish restoration...

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One of the University's priorities has been to improve the condition of restrooms throughout campus. Finish Line Floors has transformed a number of heavily used restrooms to 'like new' conditions. Their process helps eliminate odors and protects the floor making it easier to clean and maintain. The products is excellent, but the service is where I believe I receive the greatest value. They deliver what they promise and are easy to work with.

University of Minnesota

I wanted to personally thank you for being able to accomodate the Clinical Center at such short notice in preparation for President Obama's visit at NIH. I appreciate your being able to complete the work at the very last minute. Your team did a great job. They produced floors fit for a President.

National Institutes of Health – Washington, DC

Over the past 2 years I’ve had the pleasure of working with Finish Line Floors. Our lobby and restrooms are high traffic areas ans we are very pleased...

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Hardwood Floors: Removing Marks

Consider your floor's finish before trying to remove a mark. If the stain is on the surface, your floor probably has a hard finish, such as urethane. If the stain has penetrated through to the wood, the floor probably has a soft oiled finish -- common in older homes whose floors have not been refinished and resealed. Wipe surface stains from a hard finish with a soft, clean cloth. Never use sandpaper, steel wool, or harsh chemicals on such a surface because they can permanently damage the finish.

The following remedies are for hardwood floors with soft oiled finishes. If needed, end each treatment by staining the wood, then waxing and buffing the spot to match the rest of the...

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