Premier Floors

10 Hardwood Floors Finishing Options To Transform Your Space Today!

Best Hardwood Floors Finishing Options

Hardwood floors finishing options play a crucial role in enhancing the timeless beauty and versatility of hardwood flooring, a long-time favorite among homeowners and interior designers.

These finishes not only affect the overall appearance but also determine the durability and maintenance requirements of your floors.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the various hardwood finishing options, offering insights and tips to help you make informed decisions tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

Let’s discover how to enhance the beauty and longevity of your hardwood floors today!

10 Hardwood Floors Finishing Options for a Stunning Home Makeover 

With a variety of options available, it’s essential to understand the unique characteristics of each finish to make an informed decision that suits your specific needs and preferences.  

Let’s explore the best finishing options for your hardwood floors. 

Oil-Based Polyurethane 

Oil-based polyurethane finishes are known for their rich, amber hue, adding a classic touch of warmth to hardwood floors. They are highly durable and resistant to scratches, making them ideal for high-traffic areas such as hallways, living rooms, and kitchens. 

One downside to oil-based polyurethane is the long drying time, which can take up to 24 hours between coats. This may result in a longer overall process, especially if multiple coats are required for optimal protection.

Additionally, the strong odor during the drying process may be a concern for individuals with sensitivities to strong smells or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

Despite these drawbacks, oil-based polyurethane remains a popular choice for many homeowners due to its durability and timeless appeal. 

Water-Based Polyurethane 

Water-based polyurethane finishes have gained popularity in recent years due to their faster drying times, lower VOC content, and minimal odor during the application process. These finishes maintain the wood’s natural color and grain, offering a more contemporary appearance than their oil-based counterparts. 


A versatile hardwood floor finishing option that can be tailored to achieve a range of sheens, from matte to high gloss.

Varnish finishes offer excellent durability, UV protection, and resistance to moisture, making them suitable for areas exposed to sunlight or fluctuating humidity levels. 

However, applying varnish can be more challenging than other finishes, often requiring skilled professionals to achieve the best results. Additionally, varnish tends to have a strong odor (VOCs) during the application process and may take longer to dry than some other options. 


Wax finishes have been used for centuries to protect and enhance the beauty of hardwood floors. They provide a natural, low-luster appearance that accentuates the wood’s texture and grain. Wax finishes are typically easy to apply, requiring only a cloth or brush for application. 

However, wax finishes need regular maintenance, including buffing and reapplication, to maintain their appearance and protective qualities. This level of upkeep may not be suitable for all homeowners, particularly those with busy schedules or limited interest in ongoing floor maintenance. 

Hardwax Oil 

Hardwax oil finishes combine the benefits of natural oils and waxes, penetrating the wood’s surface to provide protection and an attractive matte finish. This eco-friendly hardwood floors finishing option is easy to apply and maintain, with periodic reapplication necessary to preserve its appearance. 

While hardwax oil finishes offer a natural look and feel, they may not provide the same level of durability as polyurethane finishes. As a result, they may not be ideal for high-traffic areas or spaces prone to heavy wear and tear. 

Aluminum Oxide 

Aluminum oxide finishes are renowned for their exceptional durability and wear resistance. They are typically applied during the manufacturing process of prefinished hardwood floors. The outstanding durability of aluminum oxide makes it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas, commercial spaces, and households with pets or children. 

However, aluminum oxide finishes can be more challenging to refinish, and repair compared to other hardwood floors finishing options, often requiring professional assistance. Additionally, as aluminum oxide is factory-applied, it may not be suitable for those looking to refinish existing hardwood floors. 

Penetrating Oil 

Penetrating oil finishes, such as tung oil or linseed oil, provide a natural, low-sheen appearance that enhances the wood’s texture and grain. These finishes create a warm and inviting ambiance while offering some degree of protection against moisture and wear. 

Penetrating oil finishes do require regular maintenance, including periodic reapplication, to maintain their protective qualities.

They may not offer the same level of durability as other finishing options, such as polyurethane or aluminum oxide. However, their ease of application, repair, and the natural look they provide make them an attractive hardwood floors finishing option for some homeowners. 

Acid-Cured (Swedish) Finish 

This is a highly durable and water-resistant finish that provides a glossy appearance to hardwood floors. Acid-cured finishes are known for their longevity, but they can emit strong odors during the application process and may take a long time to dry. 

Moisture-Cured Urethane 

This hardwood floors finishing option is known for its extreme durability and resistance to moisture, making it suitable for high-traffic areas and commercial spaces.

It can be more challenging to apply due to its sensitivity to humidity and temperature, and it also emits strong odors (VOC) during the drying process. 

Natural Oil Finishes (e.g., Danish Oil, Teak Oil) 

These finishes are similar to penetrating oils but may provide different levels of sheen and protection. They are made from a blend of natural oils that enhance the wood’s texture and grain while providing some protection against moisture and wear. 

Oil-Modified Urethane 

This finish combines the durability of polyurethane with the warmth and appearance of oil-based finishes. It is easier to apply than traditional oil-based polyurethane, but it still emits a strong odor (VOC) during the drying process.

Ceramic Finish 

A newer option on the market, ceramic finishes offer excellent durability and scratch resistance. They also provide UV protection, preventing the wood from fading due to sunlight exposure. However, they can be more expensive than other hardwood floors finishing options and may require professional application.

Which Hardwood Floors Finish Is Right for You? 

Determining the right finish for your hardwood floors depends on several factors, including your personal preferences, the specific use case, and the environment where the floor will be installed. Here are some key considerations to help you decide on the best finish for your hardwood floors: 


Besides the flooring color trends, consider the look and feel you want for your floors. Some hardwood finishes, like oil-based polyurethane, create a warm, amber hue (high VOCs), while others, like water-based polyurethane, maintain the wood’s natural color and grain. Finishes also offer varying levels of sheen, from matte to high gloss. 


Assess the level of wear and tear the floor will be exposed to. For high-traffic areas or homes with pets and children, a durable finish like aluminum oxide or polyurethane is ideal. For areas with less traffic, a wax or penetrating oil finish might suffice. 


Consider the amount of maintenance you are willing to invest in your floors. Some hardwood finishes, like wax and penetrating oil, require regular reapplication and maintenance, while others, like polyurethane and aluminum oxide, are more low-maintenance options. 

Environmental factors 

Take into account factors like sunlight exposure and moisture levels in the space. UV-resistant finishes like varnish can help protect floors from fading due to sunlight, while moisture-resistant finishes like moisture-cured urethane are better suited for damp areas. 

Application and drying time 

Be aware of the application process, drying time, and odor associated with each finish. Some hardwood floors finishes, like water-based polyurethane, dry faster and have a lower odor compared to oil-based polyurethane. If you prefer a DIY approach, choose a finish that is easier to apply, such as hardwax oil or penetrating oil. 


If environmental concerns are important to you, opt for finishes with lower VOC content or natural ingredients, such as water-based polyurethane, hardwax oil, or natural oil finishes. 

Your Ultimate Hardwood Floor Finishing Solution in Rockville, Bethesda MD, and the DC Metro Area! 

Are you looking for exceptional hardwood floor finishing services in Rockville, Bethesda MD, or the DC Metro Area? Look no further! Premier Floors provides top-notch hardwood floor finishing solutions that cater to your unique needs and preferences.  

With over 25 years of experience, our skilled team of professionals takes pride in delivering stunning transformations that will elevate the beauty and value of your home. 

5 Reasons to Choose Premier Hardwood Floor Finishing Services 

  1. Expert Craftsmanship: Our team of highly skilled professionals has extensive experience in the hardwood flooring industry, ensuring that your floors receive the highest quality finishing treatment available. 
  2. Customized Solutions: At Premier Floors, we understand that every homeowner has unique preferences and requirements. That’s why we offer a wide range of hardwood floor finishing options, including oil-based polyurethane, water-based polyurethane, wax, hardwax oil, and more. We’ll work closely with you to determine the perfect finish for your floors based on your desired aesthetics, durability, and maintenance needs. 
  3. Eco-Friendly Options: We care about the environment and your family’s health. That’s why we offer eco-friendly finishing options with low VOC content and natural ingredients, creating a safer space for you and your loved ones. 
  4. Unparalleled Customer Service: Your satisfaction is our top priority. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is always available to answer your questions, provide expert advice, and guide you through the entire process. 
  5. Competitive Pricing: At Premier Floors, we believe that quality hardwood floor finishing services should be accessible to everyone. We offer competitive pricing without compromising on the quality of our work. 

Transform Your Space Today! 

Don’t let your hardwood floors go unnoticed. Elevate your home’s appearance and showcase the timeless beauty of your floors with Premier Floors’ exceptional hardwood floor finishing services.  

Whether you’re in Rockville, Bethesda MD, or the DC Metro Area, our team is ready to provide unparalleled service and results that exceed your expectations. 

Get in touch with us today for a free consultation and discover the Premier Floors difference. Let us help you transform your space and bring your hardwood floors to life with the perfect finishing touch!

Ready to add value to your property?

Step up your floor game with our premium hardwood flooring options. Transform your space, and book a free estimate today!

Share the Post:

Related Posts