top of page

 Finishes & Stains 

There are several options to coat an unfinished hardwood floor. Before a decision is made as to which finish method to choose, it is important to consider your lifestyle, traffic patterns, maintenance preference, and the wear and tear the floor will be subject to. All floors require routine cleaning and maintenance, but the finish type you choose will have an impact on how the floor will age and look in the long term. You will also have a choice to make concerning the type of sheen you prefer on the floor.

Oil-based polyurethanes and water-based finishes are the most popular as they offer tough protection for floors at a reasonable cost and are resistant to heat, water and many acids. The most notable difference between the two types is simply the appearance of the wood after the final coat. Water-based finishes go on virtually clear and will not alter the appearance of the wood to which it is applied. Oil-based polyurethane, on the other hand, will impart an amber glow to any hardwood floor.


 Water-Based Finish


· Dries within 3 - 4 hours of application.

. Harder than oil-based finish.

· Low odor emissions, with complete elimination in 1-2 days.

· Lower levels of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) than most other wood floor finishes.

· Easy cleanup, using just water.

· Preserves the color of the wood (clear finish).


·More expensive than oil based.

·Because of fast drying time, difficult to correct mistakes.

Oil-Based Polyurethane


· Slower drying time allows for corrections.

· Lower cost than water based.


· Long wait time between coats to dry (approximately 12 - 24 hours drying time).

· Strong odor emission during and after application (2-3 weeks for complete odor elimination).

· Although VOC amounts have been significantly reduced in recent years by federal and state mandates, they still have medium levels of VOC emissions.

· Will darken over time changing to a more amber tone.

Bona Poly

Natural Oil Penetrating Finishes

This finish option can be either penetrating oil or hard wax oil, and  has become very popular in the last few years. In this system the natural oil penetrates the pores of the wood to achieve a completely natural look with practically no sheen at all.


· Wood can be re-coated without having to sand the floor.

· No significant odor during or after application.

. No or very low VOCs.

· Damage and scratches to hardwood floors is generally easier to repair.

· They do not crack or peel as some non-oil finishes are known for.

· Complete natural look.


· They do not provide any sheen or gloss compared to other options such as polyurethanes.

· Require more periodic maintenance to “refresh” the look of the floor.

· May absorb more dirt into the pores of the wood.

· Caution must be paid with water or other liquid marks (e.g. wine, orange juice, oil, vinegar, etc.).

Gym Finish

Finishing a basketball, racquetball, aerobics or any hardwood sport floor requires a finish with a tough protective coat offering exceptional resistance to abrasion, wear, scuffs, perspiration, and common chemicals used on routine cleaning. Sport finishes are offered in either a water-based or an oil-based option. Please make sure you consider the different characteristics of each gym finish and choose the appropriate option for your project.

Moisture Cure

This is probably the hardest and more resistant finish for hardwood floors. A true urethane finish with strong solvents, it draws water vapor from the air to cure. Moisture-cure came to the wood flooring market from the bowling lane industry in the early 1970’s. Due to environmental and health concerns, it is practically banned today and is not commonly used in residential applications, but rather in commercial settings such as restaurants, dance floors and roller rinks.


· Excellent for high traffic areas and chemical resistance.


· Very high VOCs.

· Among the most challenging finishes to apply for the floor contractor, requiring use of a full-face respirator or a fresh-air-supply mask.

· Extreme caution must be placed during application with regards to pets, food, plants inside the house.

McGrevor Moisture Cure

McGrevor Moisture Cure


Florida Hardwood Floor Supplies offers an extensive line of hardwood stains compatible with oil, water, or oil-penetrating finishes.  A successful staining job requires easy application, uniform color and reliable drying. All the brands we represent offer these characteristics. Please consult with your floor contractor or call us for advice on the best alternative for a successful staining job.

PoloPlaz Fast Dry

bottom of page