Hardwood Floor Seals and Finishes
Surface finishes and penetrating seals are the two main types of hardwood floor finishes.
Surface finishes. Surface
finishes, such as polyurethane coatings, represent a major
technological advance that has revolutionized hardwood floor care and
eliminated waxing. Hardwood floors coated with polyurethane are highly
water resistant and wear resistant. As a result, hardwood floors have
become popular in kitchens and eating areas. In addition to
polyurethane, other similar synthetic coatings with different
properties are available. Vacuuming, dusting, and occasional damp
mopping (as needed) keep these floors looking their best.
Penetrating seal finishes are not water resistant and should not be
used in kitchens or eating areas. An additional wax coating adds beauty
and increases the wear resistance of these wood floors.
For long-term care, Oak Flooring Institute experts recommend
recoating surface-finished floors and reconditioning and/or rewaxing
sealed and waxed floors.