Builders, installers, and do-it-yourselfers should consider the various timber finishes that have already been installed or while installing timber floors. Typically, flooring finishing is made of urethane, water, oil, or alcohol. Understanding how moisture interacts with the floor and finish is necessary for installing timber floors with healthy and long-lasting finishes. The process begins with choosing the proper top coat, whether you’re protecting recently installed timber floors or restoring ones that are decades old. Discover the variations among these common finishes to select the one that is most appropriate for your project.

Moisture-Cured Urethane

This solvent-based finish outperforms conventional surface finishes in terms of toughness and moisture resistance. Urethane that has been moisture-cured is often offered in satin or gloss and comes in non-yellowing and ambering varieties. These finishes are best left to the pros because they are very challenging to apply, smell bad, or both. This type of finish hardens by absorbing trace amounts of moisture vapour from the atmosphere during the curing process. The relative humidity has a big impact on the curing process.

Oil-Modified Urethane

The most popular surface finish is typically simple to apply. It has a petroleum foundation and a mixture of artificial resins, plasticisers, and other components that create films, producing a tough surface that is moisture-resistant. It is a finish made of solvents, and it takes around eight hours to dry. This type of finish has several sheen levels and an ambering effect with age.

Water-Based Urethane

A waterborne urethane forms a tough, moisture-resistant surface thanks to a mixture of plasticisers, synthetic resins, and other components. These finishes come in various sheen levels and are clear and non-yellowing. They dry in around two to three hours and have less odour than oil-modified finishes. Urethanes made from water are typically more expensive.

Paste Wax

The most traditional and, in some ways, the greatest. Wax is the most affordable, fastest drying, easiest to apply, and repair material. With proper maintenance, wax can last a lifetime. Waxing over a deep stain seals in the system, allowing you to wear the timber itself rather than the finish. After applying the stain and/or sealer, wax is applied in thin coats to protect the surface before being rubbed to the appropriate sheen.


Vinyl-alkyd varnishes have replaced natural varnishes created from vegetable oils. Before the invention of urethane coatings, this substance was widely utilised.

Penetrating Sealers

Penetrating sealers are solvent-based, spread on the floor, and let to permeate. Use cloths to remove extra sealant, steel wool, or synthetic wool pads to buff it in. This kind of finish, which you can use to seal and stain timber flooring, frequently has a colour. Tung or linseed oil is used to make penetrating oil sealers, and additives are added to increase drying and hardness.

With the right information, you can obtain the best advice and locate the highest-quality, most-appropriate floor finishing that matches your preferences and financial situation. You can ask the experts to provide you with a sample of various floor finishes to decide which is ideal for you. Flooring experts from Eddy’s Timber Flooring are always ready to assist you with any of your timber flooring needs. Get in touch with us to get a free quote today!