There are a plethora of hardwood finishes available in the market depending on your requirement and the area where your house is located. Here are the different types of hardwood finishes that you can find in the market:
1. Water-Based Polyurethane
This type of finish is suitable for providing a clear finish to the floors when they dry up. These are easy to apply and do not require much cleaning. Once it is applied, it applies a smooth and shiny finish and does not cause yellowing. It is low VOCs and odour. However, one needs to be careful while using this finish as it might magnify the scrape and scratch to a great extent.
You will find the polyurethane to be milky, but it dried up clear and is resistant as well. Apart from the glossy option, you can also find it in satin and semi-gloss options. This is often made out of resins and plasticizers. It is durable and is quite resistant to moisture as well. You just need a damp mop and a broom to clean up the finish but avoid waxing the floors as this often dulls the finish of the floor.
2. Oil-Based Polyurethane
It is ideal for use in spaces that see high foot traffic. It is inexpensive, durable, easy to maintain and resists moisture to a great extent. However, it dries slowly and releases yellows and VOCs to a great extent. It can even prove to be flammable at times. When it comes to its composition, it consists of synthetic resins and plasticizers along with linseed oil. It is highly durable and provides great strength to the floor, especially when used in the commercial buildings. Cleaning the floor is easy with this finish as you just need a vacuum and sweep the floor regularly to clean away the dirt. Moreover, make use of a dampened sponge to clean up the surface.
As it has a yellowish tint, the colour can deepen over time and add an amber colour to the floor. If you are fine with such a change, you can use it for the buildings.
3. Moisture-Cure Urethane
If you are looking out for a tough floor finish, then this particular finish is extremely useful and durable. However, at times, it can be difficult to apply and has high VOCs as well. This finish was basically created for use in a bowling alley as it is tough and gives shine to the surface. It is also resistant to moisture, stains, and general wear and tear. The VOCs that it releases can linger in the air for a long time, causing disturbance to the people living in the area.
The functioning of this finish is such that it draws moisture present in the air, which means it needs humidity when you are applying it on the floor. If the area around it is dry, then the finish would be dry evenly. Similarly, if it is too humid, then it might dry even before it is spread evenly on the floor. You will need professional help during its application; otherwise, things might get out of your hands.
4. Aluminum Oxide
It is perfect for use in areas that receive heavy foot traffic and can prone to wear and tear. It is long-lasting, low maintenance, and can available in multiple gloss types. However, it might be difficult to refinish the wooden plank and should be applied to prefinished planks. It is a long-lasting material and protects the surfaces from scratches and severe wear and tear. It does alter the colour of the wood.
It is recommended to use these finishes under the supervision of an expert to avoid improper application.