Finish for hardwood floor: Water-Based Polyurethane Floor Finish – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Water-Based Polyurethane Floor Finish – Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

When designing a hardwood floor for your home or business, one of the final choices you’ll make is the finish for your new surface. A finish is a liquid substance applied to the wood that forms a hard coating to protect the floor from scratches, scuffs, spills and water damage. Ultimately, the finish can help maintain the beauty of your surface and add years to the life of your floor.

There are three highly popular types of finish used for hardwood flooring today: water-based polyurethane, oil finishes, and wax finishes. In this three-part series, we’ll explore the benefits of each finish along with options for sheen and for finishing the floor on-site vs. ordering a prefinished hardwood floor.

What is a Water-based Polyurethane Finish?

Water-based polyurethane is a finish that offers a smooth and lustrous look in a variety of sheens (or levels of shine.) Polyurethane is a plastic material or polymer that is used in many types of applications, from insulation and foam to plastic wheels and protective coatings. When used in a flooring finish, it’s applied as a liquid that dries and hardens to form a protective, moisture-resistant top coating on a hardwood floor. For years, oil-based polyurethane was the standard in finishes for hardwood floors, but water-based polyurethane is replacing it as one of the most popular types of finish for several reasons.


Rift & Quartersawn White Oak │ ID# 11480

Advantages of this Finish

A water-based polyurethane wood floor offers numerous advantages for your new floor.

A healthier, eco-friendly alternative

One of the biggest benefits of water-based finishes is that they’re far more environmentally friendly than oil-based polyurethane. A water-based finish has no or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gases emitted by the chemicals in the finish that can be harmful to the health of people and the environment.

Fast drying time

The water-based polyurethane finish dries quickly and becomes water-resistant once the resins in the finish have hardened. While oil-based products usually need several days to apply and dry, a water-based product will dry in a few hours, allowing the floor to be walked on the same day.

A clear finish

Oil-based products have an amber tint that can become more saturated over time as the floor is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. While this coloration is attractive to some, it immediately changes the hue of the floor or the stain applied to it. In contrast, water-based polyurethane dries to a clear finish that won’t alter or obscure the natural color or stain color of your hardwood floors.

Highly durable

The first water-based polyurethane products weren’t as durable or protective as their oil-based counterparts. But advances in manufacturing techniques have now made water-based polyurethane just as strong or even stronger than oil-based finishes.


Hickory │ Snow Drift │ ID# 10996

Disadvantages of this Finish

For all its benefits, water-based polyurethane does present a few drawbacks when compared to other finishes.

Difficulty hiding flaws

Smaller scratches are likely to be more visible with an oil-or water-based polyurethane finish. Any disruption to the smooth surface of polyurethane will draw attention to the mark, especially in floors with higher levels of sheen.

More coats required

Water-based finishes will typically require several more coats to get the smooth, even finish that’s desirable in a hardwood floor.


Water-based products may be twice as expensive as oil-based polyurethane.

Prefinishing your floor vs. finishing on site

When finishing your floor with water-based polyurethane, you may opt to order unfinished flooring and have the finish applied on site after the floor is installed in your space or to have it “prefinished” at the manufacturer’s facility before it is shipped to your location. While both approaches produce exceptionally beautiful floors that are well-protected from scratches, scuffs and spills, a prefinished floor may offer slightly more protection.


Brushed Hickory │ ID# 11923

On-site finishes typically involve three applications of finish, while a prefinished floor may have 3-5 coats or even more.  As a result, a prefinished floor is even more protected from deeper scratches as the thick layer stops heavy traffic from quickly wearing back to the wood or the stain color. Most factory-applied polyurethane finishes are more durable than site-applied finishes as additional additives can be used to enhance scratch resistance. It’s important to check with each manufacturer as to what additives are being used, however. High amounts of chemicals like aluminum oxide, for example, can result in a hazy, plastic-looking floor if overused.  At Carlisle, we use a small amount of aluminum oxide that helps improve scratch resistance without sacrificing the clarity and richness of the finish that is so desirable when working with exceptional wood.

Choosing a prefinished floor or a floor finished on-site usually comes down to factors like the timing of the job, conditions on-site and whether people in your space may be sensitive to certain chemicals. Carlisle design consultants can help you choose the best option.

Level of maintenance

Regularly sweeping and vacuuming your polyurethane floors is the best way to keep them free of dust and debris that can cause scratches. Using a damp mop with warm water and a little vinegar can help to remove stubborn dirt, but you must take care not to leave standing water on the floor. We recommend that you avoid heavy commercial cleaners or wax-based cleaners as these products will reduce the clarity and richness of the finish over time.

Ease of repairs

It’s possible to repair scratches in a polyurethane finish – depending on the type of finish. Some prefinished floors have so many additives in the finish that it’s nearly impossible to evenly sand the topcoat, which is typically a requirement for touchups. If this is the case, you may need to replace the board instead. Before attempting a repair, it’s wise to check with your manufacturer about the best way to repair scratches.


White Oak │ Picture Frame │ ID# 11837

If you have chosen a finish with minimal additives, you can typically touch up a small scratch by buffing it and applying a small amount of finish.  This will fill in the scratch and return some sheen to the area to make it less visible.  When you have wear over a larger area, it’s best to lightly buff the floor and apply a new topcoat of polyurethane to the entire room.  At Carlisle, we offer a “dustless recoat system” that allows the new topcoat of finish to adhere without having to buff the floor, which can create excessive dust.

Options for sheen

Water-based polyurethane products come in a wide range of sheens. (Sheen is the amount of gloss or luster in a finish or the amount of light that the floor will reflect.) A matte finish hardwood floor has a very low luster and will appear somewhat dull, but it lets the personality of the wood be clearly seen. High-gloss or semi-gloss hardwood floors have a high level of luster and will appear quite shiny. Glossy floors don’t hide dust, scratches and scuffs very well and need to be constantly cleaned. Matte floors, on the other hand, will hide dirt and imperfections fairly easily. A satin finish floor has a moderate amount of luster, offering a finish with a good amount of shine that is nevertheless easy to keep clean. One of the more popular trends in polyurethane floors today is Extra Matte Sheen, which has very little luster and tends to hide small scratches and imperfections exceptionally well.


White Oak │ Meditation │ ID# 11233

Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

At Carlisle, you’ll find the finest wide plank surfaces in the country. We’ve been handcrafting exquisite floors for more than half a century, and our products are widely recognized for their incredible beauty and quality. Our design consultants will work closely with you to understand your aesthetic and help you choose the wood, grade, and texture along with the finish that will make your Carlisle floor a defining feature of your home.

Read Part 2 of this Series:  The 3 Most Popular Finishes for Your Hardwood Floor:  Oil Finishes

Read Part 3 of this Series:  The 3 Most Popular Finishes For Your Hardwood Floor:  Hard Wax Oils

8 Hardwood Floor Finishes and Their Pros & Cons


You finally decided on the perfect hardwood for your floors—whether that’s a deep, rich walnut, a warm cherry wood, or a rustic oak. While there are many species of hardwood fit for flooring, each with its own look and own beauty, they all share one thing in common: They need a protective finish to keep them looking their best.

Choosing the right top coat for newly installed wood floors or refinishing boards that are a little worse for the wear, however, can be a little intimidating. Hardwood floor finishes have varying levels of ease, durability, even glossiness—one of the most important aesthetic considerations after choosing your preferred wood. Make your decision a little easier by brushing up on the basics of the eight most popular types of hardwood floor finishes, all outlined below.

Refinishing your floors?

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1. Water-Based Polyurethane

Best for: Floors in need of a clear finish that dries quickly
Pros: Easy application and cleanup; low odor and low VOCs; very smooth and shiny finish; no yellowing
Cons: High-gloss water-based polyurethane magnifies every scratch and scrape
Top Picks: In our Buyer’s Guide on the best water-based polyurethane finishes, General Finishes’ High-Performance Water Based Top Coat and Bona’s Mega Wood Floor Finish were two of the top performers.

Although water-based polyurethane sometimes looks a little milky in the can, it dries clear and resists yellowing over time. While most homeowners prefer to apply water-based polyurethane sealer with a high gloss, you’ll also find satin and semi-gloss options. Made with synthetic resins and plasticizers, water-based polyurethane is a very durable finish that resists moisture fairly well (although you’ll still want to mop up any spills or leaks ASAP). Otherwise, it’s easy to care for hardwood floors with this finish—a broom and a damp mop is generally all you’ll need. Never wax polyurethaned floors, as that can dull the finish.

These are just a few of the qualities that make water-based polyurethane one of the most popular hardwood floor finishes for the home. Water-based polyurethane also scores high in the environmentally friendly category, releasing far fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than many of the other options. It has little odor during application, which is a big benefit if you plan on finishing the floors yourself. It dries quickly, too: You’ll typically only need to wait two to four hours between coats (three to four coats total is the usual recommendation). After that, you’ll be able to walk on your new floors within a few hours, although you should wait at least 48 hours before moving all furniture back into place.


2. Oil-Based Polyurethane

Best for: High-traffic areas
Pros: Not too expensive; very durable; resists moisture; easy to maintain
Cons: Slow drying; releases a lot of VOCs; flammable; yellows over time
Top Picks: Dura Seal Polyurethane for Wood Floors,  Rust-Oleum Varathane Oil-Based Floor Finish, and Minwax Super Fast Drying Polyurethane for Floors are all quality selections.


Oil-based polyurethane consists of linseed oil, synthetic resins, and plasticizers. Its strength and durability make it a popular finish for commercial properties, but many homeowners like to use it in high traffic areas inside the house, as well. Luckily, those same hardwearing characteristics mean you won’t have to refinish the floors as often as with some of the other options. And it’s easy to maintain—just sweep or vacuum regularly, and clean away dirt with a damp sponge.

Oil-based polyurethane has a slight amber or yellowish tint and can yellow even more over time, which adds a bit of rich, warm, amber color to the floors if that’s your goal. You’ll find it in high-gloss, semi-gloss, and satin sheens.

This finish has a very strong odor and releases a high level of VOCs, so you’ll need to don a respirator to protect your lungs if you plan on finishing the floors yourself. You’ll also need to allow quite a bit more time for the project than with water-based polyurethane and clean up with mineral spirits rather than soap and water. Generally, it takes eight to 10 hours for each coat to dry (two to three coats total is the usual recommendation). After the last, you’ll need to wait at least 48 hours before walking on the floors in shoes and four days to fill the rooms with furniture once more.

3. Moisture-Cure Urethane

Best for: Situations requiring the toughest floor finish
Pros: Extremely durable
Cons: Very high VOCs; difficult to apply
Top Picks: Though most DIYers won’t be shopping for this product themselves because it’s typically used only by professionals, your pro may use products from reputable brands such as Dunham’s or Lenmar.


Originally created for use in bowling alleys, moisture-cure urethane is extremely tough and durable after it dries to a very high shine. It resists moisture, scratches, stains, and general wear. Its difficult application makes it less of an option for a do-it-yourselfer, though. Plus, the very high level of VOCs it releases can linger in the air for weeks, so all household members will need to relocate for as long as two weeks after application.

As the name might suggest, moisture-cure urethane draws moisture from the air to cure, which means that it’s affected by the humidity on the day of application. If the air is very dry, the finish won’t cure or dry evenly. Too humid, and it can start to dry before it’s spread evenly across the floor. An even application of this fickle finish requires a quick hand and an experienced touch.

Because of the many downsides of the finish, moisture-cure urethane is mostly used in commercial settings such as bowling alleys, dance halls, and restaurants—all places where its resistance to wear and moisture, high-gloss appearance, and strength outweigh its downsides.


4. Wax

Best for: Anywhere you want a low-sheen finish
Pros: Easy to apply and touch up; little odor or VOCs; penetrates into wood and can be combined with stain; dries quickly and can be walked on within hours of application
Cons: Application is labor-intensive; not very durable; yellows or darkens over time
Top Picks: Holloway House Pure Floor Wax and Lundmark All Wax are both high-quality choices.

Prior to the development of polyurethane finishes in the 1960s, wax was the hardwood floor finish of choice and had been so for hundreds of years. Even today, it’s still a popular option for historic homes and is also frequently chosen by do-it-yourselfers who like its low-sheen, natural appearance. You’ll find liquid and paste wax; both require several coats that are buffed in by hand, but liquid wax is usually applied with a wool applicator while paste wax is applied with a rag. You can even mix wood stain in with the wax to color your floors while you finish them.


On the flip side, waxing hardwood floors doesn’t create a very durable finish. Exposure to water can create white marks, so wax isn’t the best floor finish for bathrooms or kitchens. It’ll scuff and scratch, too, though these are fairly easy to buff away and hide under another coat of wax.

Be aware that wax sometimes yellows or darkens over time, so it’s best used over wood that already has a warm cast. And if you decide you want to replace your wax finish with polyurethane, you’ll need to completely strip the wax from the floor.

5. Shellac

Best for: Floors where you want a natural product that doesn’t emit a lot of VOCs and dries quickly
Pros: Natural, sustainable product; easy to repair or touch up; adheres well to oily tropical woods
Cons: Very flammable; not easy to apply evenly; far less durable than many other options; needs to be freshly mixed before application
Top Pick:  Zinsser’s Bulls Eye Clear Shellac is a quality shellac for floors.

Made from denatured alcohol mixed with secretions of the lac bug, an insect found in Asia, shellac has been used to seal and finish wood for hundreds of years. Shellac naturally dries to with an orange tint and high-gloss finish, although it can be bleached or tinted as well as mixed with extra denatured alcohol to create a more matte surface. Because shellac dries quickly, it can be difficult to apply without leaving visible lap lines.

This particular hardwood floor finish also tends to stain and water spot, and it’s vulnerable to damage from alcohol and ammonia. It doesn’t hold up to foot traffic nearly as well as polyurethane, but touching it up is fairly easy; just buff in a new coat of shellac when necessary.


While you can buff wax over shellac, you cannot apply one of the polyurethane finishes over it, so if you decide to change your floor’s finish, you’ll need to completely strip away the shellac first.


6. Penetrating Oil Sealer

Best for: Creating a low-shine finish that highlights the grain of the wood.
Pros: Natural product; fairly easy to apply; brings out wood’s beauty
Cons: Not very durable; requires recoating every couple of years; expensive
Top Picks: Both Bona Craft Oil 2K and WOCA Denmark Penetrating Oil will deliver top-quality results.

Very popular prior to the introduction of polyurethane floor sealers in the 1960s, penetrating oil sealers aren’t used much today but are still favored by some homeowners who love the way that oil brings out wood’s grain, beauty, and depth without adding high shine or gloss. It’s also a great choice if you are restoring a historic home.

Penetrating oils—there are several types, but tung oil is the most common—soak into the wood’s pores, helping prevent scratches and other damage. Unlike most other hardwood floor finishes, penetrating oils don’t leave a hard “shell” on top of the wood; for this reason, a final coat of wax often tops the oil for extra protection.

While penetrating oil sealers give wood a naturally lovely appearance, they don’t hold up well to foot traffic, so be prepared to re-oil your floors every three to five years if you choose this option. You should also be aware that water and chemicals can spot or damage oil-sealed floors, so you’ll need to use wood floor cleaners specifically formulated for this type of finish. If your hardwood floors get a scratch, it’s an easy job to touch them up, though; just buff more oil into the damaged spot.


Penetrating oils generally dry very slowly—often requiring an entire day between coats—so this isn’t a quick do-it-yourself project.

7. Acid-Cured Finish

Best for: Exotic wood floors or those with elaborate patterns, such as parquet flooring
Pros: Extremely durable; dries quickly
Cons: Very high VOCs; highly flammable; expensive; pro-only application
Top Picks: Though DIYers likely won’t be shopping for these products themselves, their pros will likely use a conversion finish from Glitsa, Synteko, or Mohawk.

The crème de la crème of hardwood floor finishes, acid-cured finish (also called Swedish finish or conversion finish) is even more durable than the polyurethanes. It has an alcohol base and uses acid for the curing process, creating a shiny finish that is extremely durable and resistant to chemical damage, scratches, and scuffs. Still, the finish highlights the wood’s grain, color, and natural beauty.

Before you select it for its resilience, know that acid-cured finishes release very high levels of VOCs and have a very strong odor. In the event that you apply it, you, your family, and your pets will need to stay elsewhere for several days while the floors cure. It also requires excellent ventilation during application, along with a full-face respirator. Once applied, it’s not easy to touch up or refinish an acid-cured floor, but you shouldn’t be troubled with damage or wear under most normal circumstances thanks to its durability.

8. Aluminum Oxide

Best for: High-traffic areas or anywhere you want supreme protection from wear and tear
Pros: The hardest, most long-lasting type of finish; low maintenance; available in several levels of glossiness
Cons: Difficult to touch up or refinish; only available on prefinished wood planks

Aluminum oxide is a naturally occurring mineral that provides an extremely long-lasting protective coating on hardwood floors. It protects the floor from scratches, fading, water damage, scuffs, and general wear and tear without changing the color of the wood or hiding its grain. Available in several levels of shine, it can go on as matte or as shiny as you’d like. You won’t apply this yourself, though; aluminum oxide is only available as an option on prefinished flooring planks.


On the downside, it’s not easy to remove or restore the aluminum oxide finish if there comes a time that you eventually want to touch up damage or switch to a different finish. You’ll need to call in pros to tackle the job, possibly even replace the floorboards. Still, if you want the most durable hardwood floor finish—it can last up to 25 years—that’s also low maintenance and you like the idea of installing wood flooring that’s already finished and ready to go, aluminum oxide is a good choice.

Refinishing your floors?

Some jobs are better left to the pros. Get free, no-commitment estimates from licensed flooring contractors near you.

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Hardwood Floor Finishing: Screening, Sanding, and Finishes

Most hardwood floors are made of oak, but despite the durable nature of this wood, it only looks as good as the surface finish.

How Do You Make Old Hardwood Floors Look New?

Water stains, scratches, dullness and whole areas worn bare by household traffic are signs that it’s time to refinish the floor. In the past that meant sanding down to bare wood—a dust-producing, time-consuming process that’s risky if you don’t have experience or expensive if you hire a pro. Some floors require this level of work, but many others can be revitalized by screening.

What Is Screening Hardwood Floors?

Screening is a process that takes off the top layer of polyurethane but doesn’t remove any wood. This relatively inexpensive technique gives you the option of doing the work yourself with little risk and saves you the cleanup and hassle associated with floor sanding.

Make overlapping passes using a 16-in. floor polisher outfitted with 60-, 80-, 100-, and 120-grit screening. Screen edges by hand with a palm sander fitted with 100-grit sandpaper.Photo by Andrew Kline

How Do You Recoat and Screen a Wood Floor?

Screens are clog-resistant sanding disks. Screening is done with a 16-inch floor polisher, which works like a giant oscillating sander. It won’t take off on you like a drum sander and doesn’t require a lot of strength. The weight of the floor polisher and a synthetic-wool pad hold the screen in place.

Screening removes the floor finish without cutting into the wood itself, so you should:

Pro2Pro Tip: You can’t screen a polyurethane floor that has been waxed.

  • Only screen a polyurethane finish, a non-penetrating plastic coating that sits on top of the floor.
  • Only screen when the finish is worn, scratched or dull but the wood beneath is not stained or damaged.

How much Does Screening Cost?

If you want to do it yourself, renting one costs around $25 per day. The 60- to 120-grit disks used with this unit cost $6 to $10 each. If you can’t find the time to do the work yourself or don’t want to be around that much dust, hire a professional floor refinisher. This will cost 90 cents to $1.50 per square foot, depending on how much screening needs to be done and whether the floor needs one or two coats of finish.

Use grit sandpaper to take the rough burrs off a screening disk before attaching it to the machine. This prevents the disk from cutting too deeply into the finish when the polisher first starts.Photo by Andrew Kline

Before You Start Screening

  • Remove everything from the room you can—especially items that collect dust, such as furniture, carpets and paintings.
  • Seal off all doorways with plastic sheeting and masking tape, seal off duct registers with plastic and tape around all cabinet doors.
  • Weather permitting, open the windows and place a fan in one to blow dust out. With or without a fan in place, wear a respirator.
  • Temporarily remove the quarter-round or base-shoe molding along the baseboard and countersink any flooring nails that stick up.

4 Tips for Screening Hardwood Floors

  1. Before attaching the screen, take the edge off it with 100-grit sandpaper loaded onto a palm sander. This knocks down any high spots on the disk that can dig too deeply into the finish when the polisher first starts up.
  2. You’ll be screening most of the floor with the floor polisher and screens. To be thorough, use four screening grits, from rough to smooth (60-, 80-, 100- and 120-grit). For corners and edges, use a palm sander or sanding pad fitted with sandpaper.
  3. Once you have completely finished, sweep down walls and vacuum dust from all surfaces.
  4. Then pick up remaining floor dust with a tack cloth, which is a 4-sq. -ft. treated cheesecloth ($2). Bag the sawdust and leave it outside, away from anything flammable (sawdust can spontaneously combust).

Disks are held in place by the weight of the polisher and a synthetic-wool pad. There are no clamps or screws.Photo by Andrew Kline

Do You Have to Sand Floors Before Polyurethane?

Sand floors down to bare wood if there’s a wax finish on top of the polyurethane, if the finish has worn through or if the floor has been stained or damaged.

Before Your Start Sanding Floors

Use the same preparations for screening, though you might want to create a double airlock (plastic on both sides of a door) to keep the dust confined — it really flies with a drum sander.

You may also want to think twice about doing this work yourself, particularly if it’s a large open area where any unevenness in the floor will be evident in the finish.

A drum sander can dig into the floor very quickly and leave unsightly gouges when operated by an inexperienced person. A professional will charge $1.50 to $3 per square foot, including finish application and cleanup. If you are going to do the work yourself, watch a how-to video (try a rental store or the local library) before you start.

How Much Does it Cost to Sand Floors Yourself?

You can rent a drum sander, which does the main floor, and edger for around $55 a day. Neither device reaches into corners fully, so you’ll have to scrape these areas with a razor-sharp floor scraper.

The disks for the drum sander typically cost $3 each; for the edger the disks run $2 each.

5 Tips for Sanding Hardwood Floors

To ensure a more even floor, keep the following tips in mind:

Pro2Pro Tip: Skip 20- and 36-grit disks unless you’re stripping paint off the floor.)

  1. Using the drum sander and working with the grain of the wood, make at least two passes in each direction with 60-, 80- and 100-grit sanding disks.
  2. Keep the sander moving; stalling it in one place will result in a noticeable swale.
  3. Move at a steady, even pace to take off a uniform amount.
  4. Don’t muscle the sander.
  5. Don’t drop the sanding drum down on the floor too quickly after picking it up to make a turn, or you’ll gouge the floor. Again, bag the sawdust and leave it outside, away from anything flammable.

An edger can get right against cabinets and walls, but for corners, use a razor-sharp wood scraper to hand-scrape all the way down to bare wood.Photo by Andrew Kline

What is the Best Finish for Hardwood Floors?

Polyurethane is the most popular finish for floors. It’s tough enough to handle constant traffic and is resistant to almost everything. There are two types of polyurethane finish: oil-based (solvent borne) and water-based (waterborne). Each type has its strengths, and neither is a poor choice.

Oil-based vs. Water-based

Oil-based polyurethane will turn a light amber color with age whereas water-based stays clear. If you want to preserve the creamy-white look of maple, for instance, use waterborne polyurethane. (For a red-oak floor or a stained floor, use either type of finish.)

Another advantage of waterborne polyurethane is how quickly it dries — you can apply two coats in three hours and walk on the floor in your socks after seven hours. However, because it dries quickly, you must work fast to maintain a “wet edge” during application or you’ll end up with visible lap marks where wet polyurethane was applied over dried or partially dried finish. And you can’t go back and work waterborne polyurethane, even when it’s wet, or you’ll leave marks in the finish.

Oil-based polyurethane dries slowly, which means you can’t walk on the finished area for 24 hours or more after coating. It also emits noxious fumes. But it can be worked when wet, which means you can go back and correct mistakes — a crucial advantage for the beginner.

As for durability, Lance Hemsarth, technical director for Minwax, a leading maker of polyurethane, maintains that oil-based polyurethane is still the standard for performance, especially for high-traffic areas.

Water-based polyurethane runs about $40 per gallon, enough to cover 600 square feet of floor space. A gallon of oil-based poly costs around $25, enough for 400 square feet. In either case, follow the manufacturer’s application instructions carefully.

6 Tips for Wood Floor Finishes

  1. Before applying any finish, vacuum twice and use a tack rag on the entire floor.
  2. For edges and corners, use a painting pad to apply a water-based finish; on open floor, use a synthetic-wool applicator.
  3. With an oil-based finish, use a china-bristle brush for edges and corners and a lamb’s-wool applicator for open floor.
  4. As you apply the finish, move the applicator with the grain of the wood from wall to wall, angling it slightly.
  5. For a truly smooth finish, sand lightly between coats with a pole sander using 100-grit sandpaper. Then use the vacuum and tack rag again with care before adding another coat of finish.
  6. Don’t sand the final coat — just appreciate how it reflects the light and know that you have a finish that will last for years.

An even coat of polyurethane finish is applied in long strokes using a lamb’s wool applicator, always maintaining a wet edge.Photo by Andrew Kline

What are the Types of Floor Finishes?

There are three general types of floor finish: polyurethane, penetrating oils and sealers, and waxes. It’s important to know which you have because not all finishes are compatible. If the old and new finish don’t mix, you’ll have to sand down to bare wood before refinishing.

1. Polyurethane

Today, most floors are finished with polyurethane, a durable, moisture-resistant oil-based or waterborne plastic coating. You’ll know your floor has a polyurethane finish if it looks as though it’s covered with a plastic film and you can’t scrape up any gummy residue.

If you’re not sure, get advice — other surface finishes like shellac, lacquer and varnish resemble polyurethane but require special treatment. For more information on these finishes, go to nofma. org.

2. Penetrating oils and sealers

These primarily solvent-borne finishes, including old-fashioned sealants like linseed oil, soak deeply into the wood pores. Many of these floors are then waxed.

These finishes are typically not compatible with a topcoat of polyurethane and have to be treated with the original finish or stripped completely.

3. Waxes

Some floors have wax as the only finish, or the wax is applied over polyurethane or a penetrating sealer. If you can scrape up a gummy, waxy residue, especially in corners, your floor has a wax finish.

A waxed floor also gets a hazy look when wet. Before you put down any finish on a wax-only floor, the wax has to be removed.

For a shallow burn mark on a polyurethane floor, scrape it up with an extremely sharp chisel or scraper. Then apply a dollop of oil-based polyurethane.Photo by Andrew Kline

Ways to Make Spot Repairs and Remove Stains

For a Water Stain on a Waxed Floor

Rub the wax lightly with No. 1 (medium grade) steel wool, being careful not to rub through the wax. Then reapply the wax with a solvent-based wax. If the stain remains, remove all the wax on and around the stain with floor-wax remover and clean with No. 1 steel wool and mineral spirits. After the floor dries, apply more wax and buff to a high sheen.

For a Shallow Burn Mark on a Polyurethane Floor

Scrape it up with an extremely sharp chisel or scraper. Then apply a dollop of oil-based polyurethane. A burn mark that has gone through the finish must wait for a full-floor drum sanding, and it must be sanded out by hand.

For a Burn on a Waxed floor

Try No. 1 steel wool moistened with soap and water. Let the floor dry thoroughly and rewax. Any burn that has gone through to the wood needs to be sanded out by hand when the floor gets drum sanded.

For Heel Marks and Deep Scuffs on a Polyurethane floor

See if the scratch has penetrated the finish by wetting it with your finger. If the wood darkens along the scratch, it has penetrated completely and you must apply more polyurethane. You can sand and spot-apply polyurethane, though you risk an obvious patch. The alternative is to screen and recoat the entire floor. To get rid of heel marks and scuffs on a waxed floor, polish the mark with 000 (extra fine) steel wool and hardwood-floor cleaner. Wipe the floor dry and rewax.

Water Stains on a Polyurethane floor

Indicate that water has gotten beneath the finish and into the wood, a difficult problem to fix. First, try a hardwood-floor cleaner (about $4) and buff with a clean cotton rag. If the stain remains, you’ll have to sand off the polyurethane and perhaps sand the wood itself. You can spot-sand down to bare wood with 100-grit sandpaper, and spot-recoat with polyurethane matched to the gloss of the existing finish (use an oil-based polyurethane to patch an existing oil-based finish, and a water-based poly to patch an existing water-based finish). However, expect the patch to be a different color and sheen than the surrounding area. Consider screening the entire floor or a discrete section.

Water Stains on a Waxed Floor

Often are just on the wax surface. Start by rubbing the wax lightly with No. 1 steel wool, being careful not to rub through the wax. Then reapply the wax with a solvent-based wax. If the stain remains, remove all the wax on and around the stain with floor-wax remover and clean the spot with No. 1 steel wool and mineral spirits. Then let the floor dry and apply more wax. Buff to a high sheen.

Pet Stains on Hardwood Floor

Pet strains are tough to remove from a hardwood floor, especially if the stain is old. Try a hardwood-floor cleaner or mineral spirits, but you’ll probably have to sand the floor. Some stains are so deep you may have to replace the flooring.

For an Oil or Grease Stain on a Waxed Floor

Try trisodium phosphate (TSP). Buff the wax with a clean cotton rag. On a polyurethane floor, wipe the stain with mineral spirits. Then dry with a clean cotton rag. Wax buildup can look cloudy, so remove it with wax remover or mineral spirits (the fumes are flammable, so extinguish all open flames such as a pilot light). Use 00 (very fine) steel wool and cotton rags to pick up the old wax. Seal the used cloths in a metal can and dispose.

Chewing gum, Crayon or Candle wax

Scrape up chewing gum, crayon or candle wax after you freeze the material by placing ice in a double plastic bag on top of it.

Where to Find It

Armstrong World Industries
Box 3001
PA 17604

Armstrong-Bruce-Hartco-Robbins Floors
16803 Dallas Pkwy
Dallas, TX 75248
Armstrong-Bruce Floors

US Plank Flooring
9597 State Rte 125
W. Portsmouth, OH 45663

Leslie Bros. Lumber Co.
Box 609
Cowen, WV 26206

Memphis Hardwood Flooring Co.
1551 N. Thomas St.
Memphis, TN 38107

Missouri Hardwood Flooring
15455 Conway Road, Ste 320
Chesterfield, MO 63017

101 Prospect Ave
Cleveland OH 44115

National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Assn
Box 3009
Memphis, TN 38173-0009

National Wood Flooring Assn
1688 Westwoods Business Park
Ellisville, MO 63021-4522

Stuart Flooring Corp
655 Dobyns Road
Stuart, VA 24171
Stuart Flooring

Zickgraf Hardwood Flooring
Box 1149
Franklin, NC 28744
Zickgraf Flooring

Ultimate Floor Finish – Professional Hardwood Finish

← Hardwood Floor Products

Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish works well for any hardwood floor and is ideal for light colored woods like maple and over light colored stains. Its water based formula makes it lower in odor than solvent based products and there is easy clean up with soap and water.

  • Self-crosslinking technology provides a tough floor finish that is great for any hardwood floor
  • Recoat in only two hours – complete your floor finishing project in just one day
  • No sanding between coats
  • Does not amber over time – especially good for use over light colored woods and stains


Gloss, Satin, Semi-Gloss, Matte



400 ft²/gal – 500 ft²/gal

For Use In Location



Clear-Crystal Clear

Dry Time

24 hour – 72 hour

Dry to Recoat

2 hour

Recomended Coats


Package Sizes



Water Cleanup


Get Inspired

See what’s possible, and then make it happen. Tag @minwaxusa on Instagram to have your project featured.

View More Inspiration

  • Preparation Warning

    Removal of old paint by sanding, scraping or other means may generate dust or fumes that contain lead. Exposure to lead dust or fumes may cause brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children or pregnant women. Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the use of proper protective equipment such as a properly fitted respirator (NIOSH approved) and proper containment and cleanup. For more information, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (in US) or contact your local health authority.


    • Apply a thin coat using a new synthetic pad applicator. Maintain a wet edge to avoid lap marks.
    • Allow the finish to dry at least two hours, but less than 24 hours. If this timing is followed, no sanding between coats is needed! But if you have let the finish dry for more than 24 hours, sand the finish lightly with 220 grit sandpaper. Do not scuff through to bare wood.
    • Apply a second coat following the steps above.
    • If you are applying Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish to bare wood, apply a third coat, following the steps above. If this is a “screen and recoat,” or if you are applying Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish over stain, only two coats are required.
    • Floor will bear light foot traffic in 24 hours. Avoid heavy traffic, and do not install rugs or clean floors for seven days. When replacing furniture, do not slide.
    • Apply a second coat following the steps above.
    • If you are applying Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish to bare wood, apply a third coat, following the steps above. If this is a “screen and recoat,” or if you are applying Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish over stain, only two coats are required.
    • Floor will bear light foot traffic in 24 hours. Avoid heavy traffic, and do not install rugs or clean floors for seven days. When replacing furniture, do not slide.

    CAUTIONS: Use only with adequate ventilation. To avoid overexposure, open windows and doors or use other means to ensure fresh air entry during application and drying. If you experience eye watering, headaches, or dizziness, increase fresh air, or wear respiratory protection (NIOSH approved) or leave the area. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Wash hands after using. Keep container closed when not in use. Do not transfer contents to other containers for storage. FIRST AID: In case of eye contact, flush thoroughly with large amounts of water. Get medical attentional if irritation persists. If swallowed, call Poison Control Center, hospital emergency room, or physician immediately. WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY. KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN.


Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner has been exclusively formulated for use on hardwood, laminate, and pre-finished floors. Unlike other surface cleaners, Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner is designed to clean wood floors without leaving a residue, which other all-purpose cleaners may leave.


Yes. Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner can be used on surfaces such as laminates and pre-finished floors in addition to hardwood floors.


No. It comes premixed and ready to use.


Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner will not permanently damage wood. If the product is accidentally left on a wood surface finished with wax or oil, the finish may turn white, as it would if water were left on it for a long period of time. If the application of more finish does not repair the whitened areas, then reapply the oil finish using fine steel wool.

Minwax® Wood Finish™

Minwax® Wood Finish™ is a penetrating oil-based wood stain, which provides beautiful rich color that enhances the natural wood grain. It applies easily, absorbs deep into the pores of the wood, and is ideal for staining unfinished wood furniture, cabinets, doors, trim, molding, and hardwood floors.

Minwax® Sanding Sealer

Minwax® Professional Formula Sanding Sealer is a clear sealer formulated for application over bare wood. Its quick dry feature allows for sealing and topcoating your project in just one day.


Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors 350 VOC

← Hardwood Floor Products

Minwax Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors is a clear, oil-based, durable, protective finish specifically formulated for use on hardwood floors.

  • Superior durability for hardwood floors
  • Optimized drying technology results in faster recoat time between coats
  • No sanding required between coats
  • Advanced anti-settling formula ensures less stirring and fewer highs and lows across large surfaces, resulting in an even sheen


Gloss, Satin, Semi-Gloss



600 ft²/gal – 700 ft²/gal

For Use In Location



Clear-Crystal Clear

Dry Time

12 hour – 72 hour

Dry to Recoat

3 hour

Recomended Coats


Package Sizes

1-Gallon, 2-1/2-Gallon


Mineral Spirits


Get Inspired

See what’s possible, and then make it happen. Tag @minwaxusa on Instagram to have your project featured.

View More Inspiration

  • Preparation Warning

    Removal of old paint by sanding, scraping or other means may generate dust or fumes that contain lead. Exposure to lead dust or fumes may cause brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children or pregnant women. Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the use of proper protective equipment such as a properly fitted respirator (NIOSH approved) and proper containment and cleanup. For more information, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (in US) or contact your local health authority.


    • Sand the floor

    STEP 3: APPLY MINWAX® SUPER FAST-DRYING POLYURETHANE FOR FLOORS– Before use, thoroughly stir Minwax Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors to rotate the product from the bottom to the top of the can. You will not need to stir again if the project will be completed in 1 day.– Apply a thin coat using a lambswool or synthetic-pad applicator, or a natural bristle brush. Maintain a wet edge to avoid lap marks.– Allow the finish to dry 3-4 hours, but less than 12 hours. If this timing is followed, no sanding between coats is needed! But if you have let the finish dry for more than 12 hours, sand the finish lightly with 220-grit sandpaper. Allow 3-4 hours dry time before you sand.– Apply a second coat following the steps above.If you are applying Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors to bare wood, apply a third coat, following the steps above. If this is a “screen and recoat”, or if you are applying Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors over stain, only 2 coats are required.Note: Sanding is not required between coats, but for maximum smoothness, you can choose to sand before the final coat, using 220-grit sandpaper or equivalent. Allow 3-4 hours dry time before you sand. Do not sand if the film is still tacky. The product appears dark in the can, but dries clear. Floor will bear light foot traffic in 12-18 hours. Avoid heavy traffic, and do not install rugs or clean floors for 7 days. When replacing furniture, do not slide. If Minwax® Sanding Sealer is used prior to Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors, apply following the label directions. Wait a minimum of 2 hours before sanding, and apply 2 coats of Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors.


    • Before use, thoroughly stir Minwax® Super-Fast Drying Polyurethane for Floors to rotate the product from the bottom to the top of the can. You will not need to stir again if the project will be completed in one day.
    • Apply a thin coat using a lambswool or synthetic pad applicator, or a natural bristle brush. Maintain a wet edge to avoid lap marks.
    • Allow the finish to dry 3-4 hours, but less than 12 hours. If this timing is followed, no sanding between coats is needed! But if you have let the finish dry for more than 12 hours, sand the finish lightly with 220 grit sandpaper. Allow 3-4 hours dry time before you sand.
    • Apply a second coat following the directions above.

    DANGER: Rags, steel wool, other waste soaked with this product, and sanding residue may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately place rags, steel wool, other waste soaked with this product, and sanding residue in a sealed, water-filled, metal container. Dispose of in accordance with local fire regulations. CAUTIONS: CONTAINS ALIPHATIC HYDROCARBONS. Contents are COMBUSTIBLE. Keep away from heat and open flame. VAPOR HARMFUL. Use only with adequate ventilation. To avoid overexposure, open windows and doors or use other means to ensure fresh air entry during application and drying. If you experience eye watering, headaches, or dizziness, increase fresh air, or wear respiratory protection (NIOSH approved) or leave the area. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Wash hands after using. Keep container closed when not in use. Do not transfer contents to other containers for storage. FIRST AID: In case of eye contact, flush thoroughly with large amounts of water for 15 minutes and get medical attention. For skin contact, wash thoroughly with soap and water. In case of respiratory difficulty, provide fresh air and call physician. If swallowed, call Poison Control Center, hospital emergency room, or physician immediately. DELAYED EFFECTS FROM LONG TERM OVEREXPOSURE. Contains solvents which can cause permanent brain and nervous system damage. Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal. WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY. KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN.


Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner has been exclusively formulated for use on hardwood, laminate, and pre-finished floors. Unlike other surface cleaners, Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner is designed to clean wood floors without leaving a residue, which other all-purpose cleaners may leave.


Yes. Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner can be used on surfaces such as laminates and pre-finished floors in addition to hardwood floors.


No. It comes premixed and ready to use.


Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner will not permanently damage wood. If the product is accidentally left on a wood surface finished with wax or oil, the finish may turn white, as it would if water were left on it for a long period of time. If the application of more finish does not repair the whitened areas, then reapply the oil finish using fine steel wool.

Minwax® Wood Finish™

Minwax® Wood Finish™ is a penetrating oil-based wood stain, which provides beautiful rich color that enhances the natural wood grain. It applies easily, absorbs deep into the pores of the wood, and is ideal for staining unfinished wood furniture, cabinets, doors, trim, molding, and hardwood floors.

Minwax® Sanding Sealer

Minwax® Professional Formula Sanding Sealer is a clear sealer formulated for application over bare wood. Its quick dry feature allows for sealing and topcoating your project in just one day.


What is the Best Polyurethane for Hardwood Floors?

Your hardwood floor is the main feature of your home, and finish is the final touch. Polyurethane is the water-resistant layer your contractor applies to protect the wood and give it a beautiful sheen. Water-based polyurethane finish is the best polyurethane for hardwood floors, and many consider it the future of polyurethanes. High-level water-based polyurethane is as durable as oil, easier to apply, and better for you, your family, your pets, and the environment. 

In this post, you’ll find out why the best polyurethane for hardwood floors is water-based and how it compares to oil-based polyurethane. By the end, you’ll know the most important factors to consider when it comes to floor finishes and the brands we recommend.

Oil Vs Water-Based Polyurethane: Past, Present, and Future

In the past, oil-based polyurethane was the standard finish for protecting and bringing out the beauty of the wood. As water-based alternatives were introduced, oil proved to be superior in almost every way. In the 1990’s, water-based finishes were especially terrible. They peeled, felt rough, and had a dull grey look. They weren’t much better in the early 2000’s, either. 

Today, you can buy a water-based finish that’s better than oil-based polyurethane. What’s the difference between then and now?  Advancements in waterborne technology. Water-based formulas have progressed to be more chemically efficient. Not only are they eco-friendly, but they’re also highly effective.

The finish of the future?

Water-based polyurethane has taken the lead over oil-based finish. One main reason is due to the health risks of products with high VOCs (volatile organic compounds). OSHA and the EPA list and label oil-based products with high VOCs as potential health hazards. Since 2007, states such as California, Oregon, Colorado, Ohio, and Utah have enacted legislation that restricts or bans the use of oil-based polyurethanes. Many other states are doing the same thing. As time goes on, you can expect more VOC limitations and restrictions to come into effect. On a national and state level, the outlook favors less toxic, water-based products.

Low VOCs Improve the Health of Your Home

One major benefit of using low-VOC products is improved air quality in your home. VOCs are one of the the main contributors to indoor air pollutants. When you breathe them in, they can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea. And exposure, especially over time, may lead to the onset of diseases, such as cancer and permanent brain and neurological damage.

All oil-based polyurethanes are combustible, odorous solvents that emit toxic chemical fumes as they dry. Off-gassing of VOCs occurs until the finish is 100% cured, which can take up to 21 days. Anyone in the space will come in contact with these chemicals as they off-gas.

Compared to oil, water-based polyurethanes have lower VOC content. This means they’re much more pet, and family-friendly. Which one would you rather have in your home? 

Applying Water-Based Finish is More Efficient

Water-based polyurethane is easier and faster to apply. You don’t need a respirator, and there’s less required for prep and clean-up. The main obstacle for contractors is uncertainty about waterborne products from bad experiences with products from the past. Another challenge is getting used to a faster-drying formula. Those who make the switch successfully appreciate the benefits. They complete projects faster and get better results.

Skilled contractors using water-based finish can apply a new coat every couple of hours without abrading between every single layer. Oil requires a mechanical bond, so they must abrade in between each coat of finish or the layers won’t stick.

How many coats of water-based polyurethane do you need?

Today, one coat of sealer and 2-3 coats of a high-end water-based finish will give the floor long-lasting protection in less time. In as few as three days, the finish will be fully cured, offering maximum strength against spills, scuffs, scratches and other forms of wear. In the past, contractors needed to apply up to five coats of water-based polyurethane.

The Appearance of Water-Based Polyurethane

Today’s high-quality water-based finish gives you more choice in your floor’s final appearance. You can achieve a variety of looks on any species of wood. Traditionally, some species, such as walnut, required a coat of oil to achieve added depth and richness. Water was reserved for light-colored wood species, such as maple, ash, pine, and fir. Now, though, you have plenty of style options with water-based finish for a stunning final look.

Oil-based finish ambers over time

A single coat of oil polyurethane adds an amber hue to the floor. Many floors with an oil finish look amazing when the finish is cured. Each year, the floor’s oil coating will change along with the wood itself. And if the floor gets regular sunlight, you can expect the color to intensify. Within 5-7 years, your floor’s beautiful initial glow can become a noticeable and unattractive yellow.

Does water-based polyurethane turn yellow?

Water-based poly does not turn yellow. It has high clarity and goes on clear, preserving the wood’s natural aesthetic. If an amber color is important to you, you can achieve a similar effect using stain, sealer, or a finish with additives.

How Long Does Water-Based Polyurethane Last?

A quality UV-resistant water-based finish can be even more durable than oil. An experienced contractor can apply water-based finish that won’t require maintenance for 10 years. A major misconception is that oil-based polyurethane is more durable than water-based finish by default. This used to be true. Oil provides a standard level of durability, but the durability of water-based finish depends on the brand, product level, and application. The overall quality of a water-based finish varies and you can often tell by the price.

The quality varies by brand and product level or tier

Not all water-based finishes are created equal. Overall, it’s important to distinguish between the different levels of quality available. When you choose the best product and a reliable brand, you’re also going to get the best results.

Low-Tier Water-Based Polyurethanes Can Work Depending on Your Lifestyle and Needs

A lower level water-based polyurethane is a great option for couples, or small families with less active lifestyles, without large dogs running around outside, inside, and in between rooms. For example, if you use Masterline Water-Based Polyurethane, which has a starting point of $39.99/gallon, then it won’t be as rigid and protective as a high-end Bona or Pallmann product. But you can still use it to get the job done.

Masterline Polyurethane

Masterline is a less expensive water-based polyurethane hardwood floor finish with coverage of 500-600 sq. ft/gal, and is fully cured in approximately 7 days, depending on application. It’s VOC content does not exceed 275 g/L, and it’s available in three sheens: satin, semi-gloss, and gloss.

The Best Water-Based Polyurethane Brands Form a Thin, Hard, and Durable Coating

The best water-based polyurethanes are priced accordingly. If you invest in the $100/gal price range, such as in Pallmann Pall-X Power or Bona Traffic HD, expect fewer VOCs and the highest level of protection. The products below provide you with a layer that dries fast, protects the wood, and pairs with sealers for customized looks. These products are specially formulated to withstand spills and intense wear over time, minimize indoor air pollutants as they dry, and produce a stunning sheen.

Pall-X Power

Pall-X Power is a mid-upper level water-based polyurethane hardwood floor finish with coverage of 450-500 sq. ft/gal, and is fully cured in 5 days. Its VOC content does not exceed 180 g/L, and it’s available in four sheens: ultra matte, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. For Pallmann’s best water-based polyurethane (comparable to Bona Traffic HD) see Pall-X Gold.

Bona Traffic HD

Bona Traffic HD is a top-tier water-based polyurethane hardwood floor finish with coverage of 350-400 ft/g, and is fully cured in 3 days. Its VOC content does not exceed 150 g/L, and it’s available in three sheens: matte, satin, and semi-gloss.


When it comes to the raw materials, look, feel, and protection of your floors, a quality water-based finish is the best polyurethane. Oil-based finish has high VOC content, requires more labor, and takes more time to cure, which means there’s more time for VOCs to off-gas. More regulations that restrict VOCs in consumer products are rolling out nationally and state by state. As people begin realizing the effects of VOCs on their well-being and on the environment, they’re choosing the finish of the future. In the hands of skilled contractors, a high-quality water-based finish is the superior product. Now that you know more about the best polyurethane for hardwood floors, read about the different kinds of sheens, sanding, hardwood floor wax, or take a look at our hardwood floor buying guide.

Leave a comment below or ask us any questions!

Parquet finishing |

Parquet planing

Parquet planing is the roughest finishing of both newly laid and worn parquet. Gouging is done, if the parquet is laid carelessly, some planks protrude or the parquet has lost its appearance and has noticeable defects, it is necessary to gouge the parquet. Parquet planing is carried out using special tools for parquet – sherhebel, for the primary processing of parquet, and a planer. Gouging is performed in the direction of fiber growth.

To make work easier, parquet is dampened to make the wood softer and more pliable, but excessive moisture can lead to chipping. You have to work on your knees and for greater comfort, you need to put a soft bed under them. But since you have to constantly move around during the work, it will be more convenient to purchase special knee pads made of soft felt.

Parquet scraping

Parquet scraping or sanding can be the second finishing step after planing or the first step of parquet finishing if gouging is not required.

After planing the parquet, it is necessary to clean its surface from fluff and dust, and only after that proceed with sanding. This process can be carried out both on dry parquet and on wet parquet. In the latter case, the finishing of the parquet is easier, but after the parquet dries, the remaining pile will have to be removed by repeated scraping, while the scraper must be well sharpened. The process of processing dry parquet is much more difficult, it is often necessary to sharpen and guide the scraper. But as a result, the floor remains clean and does not require a second process.

Scraping of parquet takes place in a strictly defined order. Before starting work, the surface must be wiped with a slightly damp cloth or a piece of foam rubber. It is very important not to allow strong wetting of the parquet with water, this can lead to its curvature after drying. Cycling is carried out by pressing the cycler with both hands and moving it parallel to the parquet towards you.

Chip residues must be immediately swept from the surface to be machined, they will interfere with further work. Cycling is carried out to protect the parquet, you can smooth and remove irregularities on the surface of the board only by repeating the process several times, this is not advisable, it is better to do it with a planer. It is very important to direct the cycle along the wood fibers during the work, otherwise the formation of notches is possible.

Finishing parquet with mastic

After finishing the sanding process, the parquet acquires a shine, and when treated with mastic or varnish, it becomes glossy.

Finishing parquet is completed by rubbing with mastic and painting it with varnish – this will protect the floor from dirt and moisture, give it a beautiful shine and highlight the pattern of wood. In addition, such processing will facilitate the care of the parquet, make this process simple and not laborious.

Different brands of mastics are suitable for parquet care, when using them, you must follow the instructions for use that are included with the purchase. Some types of mastics can be applied directly to the surface and rubbed either by hand or with a floor polisher. Others – must be diluted with water before use and only then used.

According to experts, water-based mastics are best used for oak parquet, and waterless mastics for beech and other tree species.

Water-based mastic should be diluted with hot water in a suitable container. The prepared mastic is evenly distributed over the surface previously cleaned of dust and dirt and rubbed with a rag or brush. After the first layer has dried, it is necessary to rub the floor again with mastic.

After waiting for the second layer to dry, proceed to the final stage – rubbing the parquet with a hair brush or floor polisher. The latter, of course, is more convenient to use and the work is of better quality.

Turpentine-based mastic does not require dilution with water. Its application process is identical to water-based mastic.

Lacquering parquet

Lacquering parquet is more convenient and safer. The varnish is stored in an airtight container, instructions for use are attached to it, it is important to wait until it dries completely.

Complete the renovation with a complete cleaning of the apartment.


Other articles of the section: Parquet works

  • Block parquet flooring on mastic

  • Parquet materials

  • Features and types of parquet repair

  • Tools for parquet work

  • Laying strip parquet on nails: materials and recommendations

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parquet work

Wood flooring finishing | Parquet care | Parquet Blog

The use of wooden floor coverings is associated with the need for finishing wood during installation, as well as cleaning and updating the finishing material during operation. Finishing performs the function of protecting such a hygroscopic material as wood from moisture, and allows you to solve a number of aesthetic problems.

In particular, we are talking about toning and coloring the wood surface, the possibility of giving it a different degree of gloss, patinating the surface to create the effect of artificial aging, up to the implementation of the “craquelure” technique in the collections of some Italian companies.

In addition to the almost forgotten traditional wax coating, modern technology offers lacquer and oil-wax mixtures as finishing materials.

Today, parquet workers have at their disposal the widest choice of protective varnishes for parquet, proven application technologies, various types of equipment and tools. Parquet chemistry has gone a long way from the acid hardener varnishes that started it all and are rarely used today. Varnishes have been developed and produced with acceptable levels of the release of volatile organic compounds during application, which are absolutely safe for the operation of the floors protected by them.

Lacquer surfaces vary in gloss from matt to high gloss with a range of intermediate levels. There are industrially tinted varnishes and tinting methods when applying varnish coatings. Some varnishes contain solvents, the evaporation of which activates the curing process of the varnish.

Lacquers that use water as a solvent are considered the most environmentally friendly. True, some water-soluble varnishes are less wear-resistant. A number of lacquers are formulated with components that determine, for example, their anti-slip properties for certain applications or have a filtering effect for ultraviolet radiation in order to prevent discoloration of wood under the influence of sunlight.

Working with glossy varnishes requires special care from installers. Due to their high reflective properties, such varnishes concentrate reflections of light sources in rooms. In these places, thanks to the backlight, any, even very small surface quality errors, small specks and scratches become very noticeable. Working with these types of gloss requires special measures:
care when mixing the varnish,
cleanliness in rooms,
high-quality sanding
and caution when handling lacquered floors . Here, more attention should be paid to ensuring the cleanliness of clothes and tools, dedusting building envelopes in rooms, installing filters in doorways, and blocking ventilation systems.

The lacquering technique usually involves the preliminary use of a primer. The primer of the sanded parquet surface impregnates the pores of the wood with a special composition, reduces the consumption of varnish during its subsequent application, protects the wood surface from direct exposure to the components of the varnish, in order to preserve the natural color of the wood if desired.

As priming compositions, for example, putties applied with a spatula and evenly distributed with the help of sanding nets are sometimes used, on which 1-2 layers of priming varnish are applied in the usual way. There are many liquid primers, the main requirement for which is compatibility with the varnish applied over the primer. Sometimes, in order to better reveal the texture of wood and give it the necessary color (“walnut”, “cherry”, “mahogany”, etc.), polished parquet is covered with special stains or tinting compounds. A similar effect is achieved with the help of tinted primers and varnishes.

Multi-layer coating of the parquet surface with varnish protects the floor from moisture and mechanical stress on abrasion, contributes to the creation of optical effects when certain elements of the pattern on the floor acquire a contrasting color or create apparent three-dimensional structures.

Depending on specific requirements, 2-3 coats of lacquer are used, sometimes with intermediate sanding between coats. It is very important to follow the varnish manufacturer’s recommended drying time for each coat. The quality of the varnish surface largely depends on the dust content of the room. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out repeated cleaning with vacuum cleaners, wet cleaning, in some cases surface insulation of walls and ceilings, for example, with a protective film.

Drafts are not allowed when applying varnish and any devices that create air flow or turbulent flows in the room must be turned off. If it is impossible to turn off the ventilation, you can try to tape the ventilation grilles in the corresponding room with tape. All used grinders must be equipped with built-in vacuum cleaners.

There is a fairly common misconception that increasing the number of lacquer coats up to 9-10 allows you to reduce the penetration of water vapor into a wooden floor covering and almost completely protect the tree from external influences. This is not so, especially since such a thick varnish film forms a layer that is very different in its properties from wood. In this case, the adhesion between the surface of the parquet and the first layer of varnish is broken, and such a varnish coating peels off over time.

In accordance with the design project or directly at the request of the customer, glossy, semi-matt and matte varnishes are used. In this case, the entire floor can be covered with the same type of varnish, or depending on the functional purpose of individual rooms (bedroom, study, children’s room), varnishes with different types of surface can be used for them. Colorless or tinted varnishes can also be used.

In the practice of parquet work, varnishes of various composition and base are used, including alkyd, polyurethane, acrylic, water-based varnishes, single and multicomponent, varnishes with hardeners. It is important to use proven high-quality varnishes from well-known manufacturers, which include a number of Scandinavian, French, American and German companies, including such a well-known manufacturer of parquet chemicals as Berger-Seidle with an 86-year history of development.

Known traditional methods and new technologies are used for applying varnishes. Good quality is ensured, for example, by high-pressure systems for airless varnishing. They make it possible to avoid granules in the structure of the lacquer layers and provide increased strength of the lacquer. At the same time, their use narrows the choice of varnishes used and requires certain measures to protect walls and ceilings. Varnishes can also be applied using rollers, spatulas, brushes.

Some types of wood flooring are finished with a protective finish at the factory and delivered to the site already finished. This is the so-called pre-finish finish. Most of the multi-layer parquet boards, some types of solid wood boards and even a limited range of block parquet are exposed to it. Such products make it possible to reduce the labor intensity of work at the facility, but this is associated with some limitations and is used for parquet if necessary.

The main disadvantage of lacquer coatings is the impossibility of their local renewal. Therefore, over time (as a rule, 5-8 or more years, depending on the level of mechanical load on the coating), the varnish coating is erased in the most stressed places and it is necessary to re-grind and re-varnish the floor covering throughout the room. When sanding, along with the remains of varnish, 0.3-0.5 mm of the surface layer of wood is captured, including in order to remove traces of heels-studs. The typical thickness of the wear layer for parquet and solid wood boards is about 7 mm, which makes it possible to carry out 14-20 lacquer renewal cycles. At the same time, the wooden floor serves three or four generations of its owners for 70-100 years or more.

Significantly later, in relation to parquet varnishes, oil was used on an industrial scale for the protection and finishing of wooden floor coverings. It is a mixture of vegetable and mineral ingredients, which was very useful at first when coating a multi-layer parquet board in the factory. This technology made it possible to reduce the time to readiness of the board during manufacture. In addition, the oil coating allows local repair and maintenance and does not require a complete regrinding of the room. For a parquet board, this also means an increase in the service life.

Quite quickly, the use of oil and oil-wax mixtures also spread to strip parquet and solid wood boards. For these products, oil makes it possible to avoid repairs every 5-8 years, replacing it, however, with more frequent and painstaking care of floors with this type of finish. There are thick, medium and liquid varieties of oils, differing in the content of solvents, respectively, from 10% to 75%. White spirit is often used as a solvent.

The oil penetrates into the thickness and pores of the wood and protects it from moisture. The oil finish brings out the surface pattern of the wood more texture, emphasizing its structural features, including annual rings and medullary rays. Toning varieties of oils may in some cases be more convenient than varnishes, especially if the tinting is not glazing, but tinting, for example, when whitening the surface of a tree. Oil is often used for artificially aged floors. This protective and decorative coating, unlike varnishes, does not form a thick outer film, but only fills the pores in the surface layer of wood.

Due to the absence of an external protective layer on parquet treated with oil, the wood itself “works” for abrasion, i.e. it wears out faster. Most often, oil is used in rooms with increased environmental requirements or where parquet is subjected to intense loads: in restaurants, bars, dance halls. Restoring oiled parquet does not require resanding of the entire floor, which is inevitable when refinishing the lacquer. Usually, on oiled parquet, only the damaged areas are sanded, which are then recoated with oil. One person can easily handle this operation with a single-disk grinder.

The absence of the need for total resurfacing has its advantages for premises where intensive dusting is contraindicated for certain reasons (allergies, asthma). Oil coating is also convenient because the floor can be restored fairly quickly, say, within a day. This justifies the use of oil for flooring in entertainment, retail and other establishments where it is undesirable to stop operations for a longer period.

Currently, there are several types of oils on the market that differ in the absence or presence of wax in the composition of the oil. In this case, the oil can be supplemented with “solid” or “liquid” wax. Hard wax oil provides a protective layer on the surface of the wood flooring, similar in effect to varnish and prevents wear of the wood flooring. Oil with liquid wax provides a special aesthetic surface of the coating, but requires somewhat more thorough maintenance, and its application is somewhat more laborious.

Oiled floors require more frequent and painstaking maintenance than lacquered floors. In order to prevent premature darkening of oil-impregnated parquet and remove impurities, it is recommended to treat it with special preparations produced for this purpose by oil coating manufacturers. Wet cleaning for cleaning involves treating the floor with soapy solutions.

The desire to combine the advantages of these two types of finishes and at the same time compensate for their shortcomings has stimulated the development of oil-lacquer combinations, which are currently offered by some manufacturers of parquet chemicals. Berger-Seidle, for example, and its exclusive representative are promoting on the domestic market a complex that combines compatible water-based varnish and solvent-free oil. It is characterized by high performance and environmental performance, the possibility of tinting in several options, no intermediate sanding requirements, reduced side gluing of planks or boards, resistance to mechanical and chemical influences and pollution, and ease of maintenance.

The use of a combined finishing system also makes it possible to preserve the appearance of an oil coating under a matt lacquer coating, which emphasizes the texture of the wood surface and its characteristic coloration.

So, varnish and oil protective coatings have their advantages and disadvantages and should be used depending on the conditions and requirements dictated by the specifics of the construction process, considerations of ease of use and assessment of direct and indirect costs.

Parquet floor finishing technology

Parquet floor polishing is designed to finally level its surface, remove dirt that usually occurs during installation, and also ensure sufficient adhesion of the varnish layer to the parquet surface.

Sanding can be started only after the final polymerization and stabilization of the adhesive, when all the inevitable deformations of the wood caused by the accumulation of moisture from the adhesive stop.

Sanding should be done with professional machines that provide a perfectly even surface without wood burns and unevenness.
Start sanding with sandpaper grit 36-40, gradually moving to finer ones, with an abrasive fraction of 60 and 80, although in each case it is necessary to take into account all the circumstances and plan the grinding cycles accordingly.

The operating time of the grinder depends on the size of the unevenness of the new parquet or the degree of wear and contamination of the old one (when changing the varnish). For grinding hard-to-reach areas (edges along walls, corners, stairs), special angle grinders are used.

Sanding usually reveals some unavoidable laying defects, such as thread-like gaps between planks, which should be filled in before the last pass of the sander.

The final fine sanding, carried out by disc machines, allows the best preparation of surfaces for varnishing, and to a large extent prevents the rise of wood fibers during the application of the first layer of varnish.
Single-disk parquet sanders Columbus, Wolff and three-disk 3DS, Trio are suitable for this purpose.

2. Parquet putty

For this purpose, you can use ready-made acrylic putty with added pigment imitating the color of a particular wood.

Professionals usually use as putty the finest dusty fraction obtained as a result of grinding, which is mixed with a special binder. The latter is selected depending on the type of varnish used (dispersion or solvent).

The advantage of this type of putty is the exact match to the color of the floor, the high filling capacity of the prepared mass and excellent adhesion.

After the putty mixture has hardened (the time depends on the size of the gaps and averages about half an hour), the last pass of the grinder is made, during which all excess putty is removed.

2. Parquet varnishing.
Most complaints about finished parquet flooring relate to varnishing, which is done by hand and usually under the harsh conditions of the construction site.

There is no such thing as a completely dust-free environment, and even the smallest dust particles settle on the fresh paintwork.

In addition, individual brush hairs or small inclusions in the paint film cannot be avoided. Therefore, even GOST 24404-80 “WOOD PRODUCTS AND WOOD MATERIALS. PAINT COATINGS” allows such defects.

The surface must be varnished evenly. However, the requirements for the same thickness of the varnish layer are not valid due to the different absorbency of the wood. However, the film should not have large roughness, sagging, distinct edges of varnish stripes, missing areas. The coating should have the same gloss.

Every self-respecting manufacturer of parquet chemistry provides its products with recommendations for their use and accompanying technical documentation. Therefore, before starting work, it is recommended to carefully study these materials, pay attention to the restrictions on the use of the product and the compliance of its shelf life with technical requirements.

If, during the application of the lacquer, obvious defects related to the quality of the lacquer are found, the work must be suspended and the manufacturer or dealer must be informed of this.

Parquet must be varnished immediately after sanding. There are several ways to apply varnish: using swabs, brushes, spatulas, rollers and mechanical airless spraying with an airbrush.

Generally only the primer or first coat of varnish is applied with a spatula. Subsequent coats must be applied by brush or roller. Strokes with a spatula are made in the form of S-shaped movements. The advantage of this method is that the varnish coating is more durable. At the same time, the joints of neighboring sections are masked. Since the absorption of varnish into the wood with this method of application is negligible, the wood remains light, retaining its natural color and texture as much as possible.

Application brush should be wide. Brush strokes are usually made in the form of U-shaped movements. This achieves an overlap of the adjacent area and at the same time no thickening of the lacquer layer is formed. At one time, the varnish must be applied to an area of ​​​​such a size that the brush is always in contact with the still freshly applied edge. During a break during work, the brush can be kept in a container with varnish. During long breaks or transport, this container should be closed.

If the varnish is applied with a roller, the direction of movement must always be oriented crosswise. When moving across, the varnish is applied, when moving along, it is leveled.

When screeding, the roller should only move back and forth, after which it rises, moves about 4/5 of its width – and the cycle of back and forth movements repeats.

Never make M-shapes when applying with a roller. This is due to the risk of shadow-like bulges appearing on the varnished surface.

If the roller has been in the lacquer bath for a long time, it must be thoroughly rolled out before resuming work, otherwise dripping may occur during the lacquer application.

In accordance with international standards, the acceptance of surfaces with varnish coatings is carried out exclusively by inspection from the height of human growth in diffused light from top to bottom, while it is forbidden to use artificial light sources and change position (kneeling, lying down, etc.).

Parquet floor. Substrate preparation and parquet finishing

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Published: 3.01.2013 Heading: Materials and technologies, Repair Views: 4716

Parquet floor. Substrate preparation and finishing of parquet

The topic of preparation of the subfloor for parquet and resilient floors has been raised more than once . As it turned out, this topic is so new that even parquet floorers, not to mention customers, do not always attach due importance to this. For example, in Germany, a parquet floorer gives a guarantee for his work for 4 years. This alone suggests that German specialists use materials and technologies in their work that can make the floor reliable and beautiful for many years.


Substrate preparation for parquet flooring

It all starts with the preparation and testing of the subfloor. Considering the fact that in almost 100% of cases a cement-sand screed is used as a base for elastic floors, we will talk about it. Our parquet floorers prefer to lay the floor on a plywood base, foreign colleagues have long abandoned this practice, working exclusively with screeds and leveling masses.

Before you start laying parquet, you need to carry out a large and serious preparatory work. It starts with sanding the screed . Even if it seems to you that the base does not have a superficial layer in the form of plasters, putties and irregularities, it is better to play it safe and perform this type of work. Do not forget that it is the base in the future that will directly affect the quality of the floor. A single-disk grinder will remove all unnecessary and reveal hidden cracks and other defects to the eye.

Next, armed with an ordinary metal brush, we begin to check the base for strength. Nothing complicated, run this brush over the base in the same place several times, and if it gets stuck in it for the third time, call the workers and make claims – you can’t glue parquet on such a screed.

Sanding the floor screed before laying parquet

There is another way to check the strength of the subfloor. In order to make sure that the screed will easily withstand loads in the future, scratch several lines crosswise on it, if the lines are uneven, their edges break off, then such a screed is fragile and soft, it is not suitable for parquet.

Even if the metal brush and the scratching method have given good results, one more way to test the strength of the base should not be abandoned: hitting with a hammer. If the mixture was done incorrectly, the dosage of the ingredients was violated, the soft layer may not be on top, but under the three-millimeter hard crust. In this case, with a hammer blow, the upper durable layer breaks off, and the marriage comes out.

In addition to strength, the screed must have another important quality – it must be dry. A simple visual inspection in this case will not give results; here it is necessary to work with tools. Our parquet floorers, in the absence of special equipment, manage with cellophane film, which is spread on the floor and checked after several days. If “sweating” has formed on it, it means that the screed is still wet and it is too early to start work.

In Germany parquet floors are armed with moisture meters, and the procedure for checking the humidity is mandatory, even if the screed has lain for 50 years. The data is recorded and communicated to the customer. It is not in vain that we focus on this – such a serious approach is not a whim, but a necessity, since in the future the moisture accumulated by the screed can cause serious damage to both the parquet and the elastic coating. Our specialists should pay attention to this.

Preparing crack filler

All deficiencies identified during the inspection should be eliminated, the screed should be strengthened, cracks, even small ones, should be filled with special compounds. To fill the joints, special two-component compounds are used, which are poured into the crack and fill it. For example, casting resin PS 205 from Wakol, which is very important – it does not emit any odors! This is generally a distinctive feature of all the company’s products – no smell, no volatile compounds that corrode the nasopharynx. Cast resin can also be used for bonding artificial and natural stone to absorbent and non-absorbent substrates indoors.

Polyurethane primer Wakol PU 280

With cracks, everything is more or less clear, but what to do if the top layer of the screed is not strong enough? In this case, you can use a polyurethane primer PU 280. It will strengthen the top layer and prevent capillary moisture from penetrating into the screed. If there are no such problems, then you can use the D3074 primer concentrate (it has a small consumption), let it dry and proceed with pouring the self-leveling mass.

Depending on the quality of the base, a primer with certain properties is selected

Despite the fact that our leveling (self-leveling) compound is not yet widely used, 100% of parquet and elastic floors in Europe are laid on it. In order to work with this mass, one does not need to have any special skills or any talents. Even if the parquet floorer has two left hands, he is lame on one leg and his eyes are not all right, he will still apply the leveling compound perfectly. She herself spreads evenly on the floor, you just need to help her a little.

Various leveling compounds are available, some of them can even out height differences of up to 3 cm, but usually it is enough to pour 2 mm of the compound, let it dry and start laying the coating. In the event that there are significant height differences (pits) on the surface of the screed in some places, use the special Wakol Z645 mass – it does not blur, has a small consumption and dries out after 45 minutes, then the entire floor is poured with Z615 and after 24 hours the parquet is glued.

Expert tip:

None of the coatings should be laid directly on the concrete floor. The new concrete floor dries for a very long time, only after a few years it will finally get rid of moisture. In order to level the effect of moisture, lay cellophane (0.2 mm) on it, lay foam on top (minimum 4 cm, but more can be), then pour the screed (min. 3 cm).

If the parquet is laid on top of the “warm floor” system, it makes sense to install temperature sensors in several places. This will make it possible to control the temperature of the floor, preventing its critical increase. On the other hand, the parquet floorer, thus, will be able to protect himself from unlawful claims of the customer, if the floor temperature was exceeded, which led to the marriage of the coating.

Applying the parquet crack sealer

Parquet adhesive

A few words about the adhesive. Our parquet floorers most often use tile adhesive for this type of work, however, it should be borne in mind that this adhesive does not have crystallin capable of binding water, so it takes a long time to dry and is generally not intended for that. The Germans, remembering that they need to give the client a four-year guarantee that the parquet will be like new all this time, use a special glue. Again, it can be different, the Wakol adhesive range is sufficient to choose the most suitable and convenient to use. Bribes here is another – the approach to the development of packaging.

In order for the glue not to dry out, and therefore not deteriorate for nothing, German specialists have developed special lids for buckets, which, even after hundreds of openings and closings, retain the ability to hermetically clog the container. But that’s not all: the glue is placed in a bag in which you can make a small hole, squeeze out the mixture, tie the hole, using the mixture as needed. Such nice little things lead to significant savings in materials.

Adhesive packaged in a plastic bag does not dry out during storage, which leads to its economical use

Finishing the parquet

Now that the parquet has been laid, it’s time to sand it. Many builders, having laid a wooden floor in their house (from now on, the processing of parquet and plank floors is the same), they rent a grinder and begin to spoil, yes, yes, to spoil a brand new floor. In fact, the grinding of a wooden surface must be carried out according to certain rules. It is necessary to take into account the pattern of the parquet, and what the floor will be covered with in the future: varnish or oil.

A minimum of three to four sandings are required before the varnish to achieve maximum smoothness of the surface, so that the varnish is evenly distributed over it without penetrating into the pores. If you are not sure that the floor is smooth enough, Lobadur WS Top Gel, a water-based polyurethane-acrylic gel, can be applied between the varnish coats. It will fill rough pores and prevent the varnish from “failing”. At the same time, if you decide to cover the floor with oil, then two or three sandings will be enough, the floor must remain porous before applying the oil, so that the oil penetrates deep into the wood and strengthens it.

After the parquet floor has been sanded exactly the number of times required, it is necessary to putty everything, even microscopic cracks. To do this, we take a water binder from Loba Lobadur WS EasyFill Plus (or another similar product), mix it with wood dust formed after the last sanding, mix until a paste is formed and apply with a spatula to the entire surface of the floor.

To fill everything, even microscopic cracks in the parquet floor, use Loba Lobadur WS EasyFill Plus

If your floor has large gaps, let the filler dry and repeat the procedure. After drying (approximately 1-2 hours), perform final sanding. Wait another 2 hours and apply varnish or oil.

If everything is more or less clear with varnish, then there are always questions about oil. It is applied with a soft rubber trowel, roller or wide brush (each manufacturer may have different preferences to consider). Apply the oil evenly, in a thin layer (excess oil will not be absorbed, you will remove it and throw it away, the oil is not cheap!). After that, the oil is allowed to soak in, and then its excess is removed and the surface is polished.

When processing large areas, use a grinder for all operations. If the oil is applied in several layers, then the operations are repeated. Contrary to popular belief, oiling a floor costs no more than lacquer, and it’s not that difficult to maintain it afterwards.

Pay attention to how important the choice of sanding paper grit is when preparing a floor for painting with varnish or oil.

In the case of lacquer, the floor is gradually sanded to a perfectly dense state, without large pores. If you choose oil as a floor covering, then the exact opposite situation arises: your floor must be porous so that the oil soaks the board as deeply as possible. If a situation arises when it is necessary to varnish a porous floor, a special composition should be used between two layers of varnish, which does not allow the varnish to “fall through”.

Maintenance of oiled parquet floors

Wet cleaning.

It is necessary to add a special agent to the water (1 cap for a certain amount of water), which, firstly, softens the water and, secondly, removes dirt well. And for manufacturers that produce oils with wax, this tool also renews the coating (there is a hard wax in the composition).

Dry cleaning.

Every six months to a year it is recommended to treat the floors with a cleaning agent (1 liter is enough for 100 m²). It is applied to the floor and rubbed with a special nozzle for a “mop” or floor polisher. After it dries, the effect of updating the floor surface appears.

Minor repairs.

Damaged areas are treated as follows: the floor is washed with a cleaning agent, then it is cleaned down to wood and treated with oil, often from “old stocks”. Oil in a tightly closed container can be stored for 5 years, so if you have some oil left after application, hide it until the next repair. Finally, apply a protective layer of hard wax oil.

Tags: parquet finishing, parquet, parquet flooring, subfloor preparation, screed preparation, parquet laying

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Do-it-yourself parquet finishing and how to do it

After laying the parquet, the new floor surface needs a special finish. For what? Parquet finishing has two main goals:


  • 1 Cycles
  • 2 grinding
  • 3 Parquet putty
  • 4 and again grind
  • 5 Grunning
  • 6 Lacques
  • 7 Distribution Parquet Parquet
  • 9005 Pariset Equal Equal. The natural beauty and pronounced texture of the wood will be visible only after finishing.
  • Protect the wooden floor from moisture, mechanical damage, make it durable.
  • Parquet finishing is an indispensable component of a high-quality floor covering. But if the special technology is not strictly followed in the process of work, then even the best parquet, laid in a highly artistic style, can be spoiled. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze in detail all the main points of processing a wooden coating.

    Read also How to install garden parquet with your own hands


    Sanding allows you to remove surface irregularities, such as differences between individual planks. Depending on the availability of professional tools, the work is carried out by:

    • Manual. A rather laborious process, absolutely unjustified on large areas. A manual cycle (steel) is used. A small section of the parquet is wiped with a damp cloth, after which the cycle is pressed with both hands to the floor. Further, with a movement towards itself (not sharp), thin chips are removed. It is recommended to cycle along the fibers.
    • Mechanized. Special electrical machines are used for this work. By moving the device on the floor, all irregularities are eliminated. The only inconvenience is the processing of junctions, corners, areas under heating systems, etc. In these places, you can use an electric planer or a manual cycle.

    Important! If the parquet was fixed with nails, before scraping it is necessary to check that there are no protruding caps on the surface.

    When sanding is completed, the entire parquet floor is thoroughly swept and additionally vacuumed to remove fine debris.

    Read also Finishing wood decor: professional advice


    After sanding, “waves, shots”, “furrows” and other damages remain on the wood. Sanding the parquet will help eliminate them. Usually, special belt-type machines are used for this. At this stage, an emery belt with P60 abrasive is used.

    If the work is carried out in manual mode, then the sanding paper is attached to the holder, but the efficiency of such grinding is noticeably lower.

    Once the wood floor surface is sanded, you can proceed to the next step – filling.

    Read also Sanding by hand is a prerequisite for a smooth surface

    Puttying parquet

    To eliminate the gaps between the “rivets” or parquet boards, puttying is performed. Until recently, the putty solution was prepared independently. To do this, sawdust was taken from the scraping machine (they are in a special dust bag) and mixed with parquet varnish. Proportion: 4 parts of sawdust to one part of varnish. However, today it is much easier to purchase ready-made putty in a trade organization. The range of mixtures is represented by all the color variety and it will not be difficult to choose the right one, in the tone of a particular tree.

    The process of finishing the floor is no different from painting the walls and ceilings. With a spatula, the composition is applied to the surface and distributed over it in such a way that the cracks are filled to the full depth.

    Sanding again

    When the putty has dried, the parquet must be sanded again. This time it is better to use fine-grained abrasives, such as P100 or P120. After that, a thorough cleaning is necessary.

    See also French polishing part three


    After vacuuming the floor, apply two coats of primer. This is a special composition (for example, NTs222), which will impregnate the wood and reduce varnish consumption. In addition, the primer will help preserve the original color of the wood. The composition is applied: the first layer is across the texture, the second (without waiting for the first to dry) is rubbed along.

    At this stage of finishing, you can emphasize the texture of the wood or give the parquet a rich shade. For this, various dyes and stains are used.

    Read also Parquet floors, correct laying


    The final stage of parquet finishing is varnishing. The work takes place in several stages:

    • The surface is treated with an organic solvent (degreased) and the first layer of varnish is applied (by brush or roller).

    Important! The varnish is applied only along the fibers, this will avoid streaks.

    • After the first coat has dried, polish the parquet floor. For this, polishing machines are used. This treatment will remove the smallest irregularities that may appear due to air bubbles.
    • The dust after polishing is removed, the floors are wiped with a damp cloth, and the second, third layers of varnish are applied. The multi-layer coating will protect the parquet from water as much as possible, increase its resistance to mechanical damage.

    The result is a beautiful, shiny parquet floor.

    Ensure that the room is well ventilated during application. It will not be superfluous to use respirators. During the drying process, it is recommended to avoid direct sunlight on the surface, otherwise air bubbles will form due to uneven heating.

    Read also Polymer putties for finishing works and their features

    Parquet finishing with oil

    Disputes about which oil or varnish is better do not subside. We will not give preference to one or another coating, but only clarify the nuances of applying oil to the parquet floor and highlight its main characteristics.

    After filling and sanding, the surface is ready for coating. The oil is distributed over the wood with a soft brush in a thin layer, evenly. Do not try to pour out more oil, it will not be absorbed and all the excess will have to be thrown away. Next, you need to wait for the composition to be completely absorbed, and then polish the parquet. If the deposition of several layers is calculated, then the operation is repeated.

    Unlike lacquer, oil penetrates the wood structure and does not form a film on its surface. Thus, the parquet looks more natural. However, there are also disadvantages. For example: after finishing with oil, varnish cannot be applied in the future (and after varnish, you just need to sand the parquet and you can use oil), careful care is required, updating the oil layer, waxing. And further. Only varnish can give the floor surface a unique, bewitching sheen.

    See also French polishing part two

    Parquet installation and restoration services

    Despite the emergence of many alternatives, parquet is still considered the highest quality flooring in terms of reliability, durability and aesthetics. So if you want
    to make perfect repairs in the room, contact the company “VERNISSAGE”.

    Our specialists will help you with laying your new parquet flooring, as well as carry out all related work. In addition, we can repair the existing coating by removing scratches, cracks and other defects from it,
    as well as eliminating squeaks and other unpleasant sounds. The list of our services even includes the restoration of artistic parquet – mosaic, modular or palatial.

    How is parquet work carried out?

    At the initial stage, the master technologist visits the site, draws up a work plan and coordinates it with the client. On its basis, an estimate is drawn up, and after the signing of all documents, the implementation begins directly.

    The list of operations depends on the ordered services – for the repair of the coating, installation of skirting boards, wood brushing and other works, it varies and is agreed on an individual basis. m2 200 Parquet cleaning, care products m2 200 Elimination of the Parnish and plywood

    555. restoration of wooden surfaces m2 from 4000 local repair of parquet floors m2 dog. restoration of historic parquet floors m2 dog. covering the finished parquet floor including materials m2 350 visit of an expert to resolve disputes on parquet work and materials m2

    dog. terrace grinding m2 500 Name of work
    units rev.
    dismantling of the old skirting board running meters 80 production of straight skirting boards of any profile from solid wood to order

    up to L2 9052 running meters production of a radius plinth from solid wood according to the pattern to order coating of skirting board up to 90 mm high with varnish or oil in 1 layer linear m 40 90 mm linear meters 70 skirting board structuring over 90 mm linear meters 100


    But as an example, we can give the sequence of actions when laying new parquet:

    • Demolition of an existing floor covering (if it is not a new building)
    • Subfloor preparation, leveling or subflooring
    • Laying plywood and/or other underlay
    • Base decking
    • Sanding (sanding) boards
    • Protective coating application
    • At the request of the client, the material can be brushed – deep brushing allows you to highlight its texture and give the appearance of antiquity. The company “VERNISAGE” also offers processing of parquet
      oils or its tinting to give a special shade. This service is especially relevant for rooms with interior design.

    What types of parquet are available to customers?

    It should be said right away that the VERNISSAGE company works with all wooden coatings, regardless of their properties and purpose. If we are talking about apartments, private houses and small offices, then the optimal
    the choice for them will be massive, parquet board or piece parquet. Also, good results can be obtained with industrial or end parquet, modular design, “French Christmas tree” with a diagonal arrangement.
    individual elements, or the more familiar English tree. We also work with artistic parquet, in the production of which several types of wood are used, forming an elegant pattern.