5 Best Polyurethane for Hardwood Floors | Reviews & Guide

Best Polyurethane for Hardwood Floors

Are you an artsy and crafty house owner who has a great passion for aesthetic interior? Always busy making your place better.

Maybe it is the reason why you are here looking for the best polyurethane for hardwood floors. Right, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to have a properly managed wooden floor. It needs extra care and superior protection.

You need to apply a polyurethane finish for wood floors to keep the wood surface protected. It works like a shield for your hardwood floor. Applying polyurethane is not a simple task; it requires the best polyurethane and careful application.

In this article, I will review the five best poly and their uses with a buying guide at the end. I hope it helps!

5 Best Polyurethane for Hardwood Floors Review

Choosing the best poly for your hardwood floor is the most important part. How do you know which one is best for your project? And which one is in your budget? Just read the following reviews and find the perfect one to add to the cart!

1. Minwax 61370444 PolyShades – Oil Based Polyurethane for Wood Floors

Best Oil Based Polyurethane for Wood Floors

Minwax 61370444 is an oil-based poly that gives pure satin stain on your wood floor. The use of tough polyurethane protects your floor firmly. The satin stain makes the floor smooth, shiny, and elegant. The high-quality polyurethane keeps the shine of your floor last for a long time.

It brings a rich wood color to the floor which looks extremely aristocratic. You can choose from different colors as there are many options available.

If you are into spraying, you can use the aerosol can of this Minwaxpolyshade.

Unlike other polyshades, this one is very easy to clean. Just use some mineral spirit to remove any wanted splits. Regardless of any accident, this oil-based polyurethane for wood floors ensures long time protection for your floor.

Beware, this polyshade is for interior use only. You better not use it on external project least it might not work as good.

Key Features
  • High-quality polyurethane keeps your floor smooth and brings a beautiful shine.
  • It can be used on internal projects only.
  • Durable satin finishing with beautiful rich color.
  • Oil-based poly. Available in an aerosol can.

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2. Minwax 130250000 Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane Finish for Wood Floors

Best Polyurethane Finish for Wood Floors

We have another popular polyurethane from Minwax is Minwax 130250000. The astonishing feature of this product you will love is it is super-fast drying polyurethane. It comes with an optimized drying technology that helps to dry fast and you do not need to wait in between coating time. That makes recoating easy and fast.

You do not need to sand between coatings if you use this one.

It is oil-based polyurethane especially made for hardwood floors. Moreover, it is made with an advanced anti setting formula for less stirring and fewer lows and highs for super shiny finishing on your floor.

This smooth, shine and durable finishing is truly admiring. I hope you like it too.

Key Features
  • Oil-based polyurethane for hardwood floors.
  • Idle for hardwood floors.
  • Fast-drying polyurethane, no sanding is required between recoating.
  • Ensures amber clear, shiny and durable finishing.

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3. RUST-OLEUM FBA 230031 Varathane Gallon – Water Based Polyurethane for Floors

Best Water Based Polyurethane for Floors

Let us move to an excellent water-based polyurethane. Water-based poly is fast drying and brings sparkling finish, already liked by many people. RUST-OLEUM FBA 230031 is such a good poly. This one is so good that you will know once you will start getting compliments from people for the crystal clear floor you can gain by this gallon of magic.

This water-based durable finishing is best for the interior floor. I fear you might not get the superior result for outside finishing.

It is always good and recommended by the specialist to sand between coats. I also think it is the best sanding in the middle of the coating for the best result. However, this product doesn’t require sanding between coats. You just need to wait an hour and a half to dry. You can sand if you want which may result in better polished, finishing. This product is abrasion, scuff, household chemicals, and stain resistance.

This gallon GLS WB FLR finish is manufactured in the USA.

This best water-based polyurethane for floors gives a decent diamond finishing. The most pleasant news is that it doesn’t have a strong irritating smell; you can use it easily. You can use this from a spray can as well if you want.

Key Features
  • Water-based diamond finishing manufactured in the USA.
  • No sanding between coat times.
  • Provides crystal clear and durable finishing. Best for interior floor finishing.
  • Resistant to stain, scuff, chemicals and abrasion.

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4. ZAR 32912 Zar Ultra Polyurethane Clear Interior Wood Finish

Best Oil Based Polyurethane for Interior Wood Finish

Zar Ultra is love!

Ever got any fast-drying poly that is oil-based and for versatile use?

I know, you would name Zar quick-dry ultra poly. This incredible poly has been in our hearts since it came into the market.

It brings life to any bare wood with its velvety satin clear finishing in just two hours.

Like I said before, it does not beautify your hardwood floor only; it works on doors, furniture, cabinet, or any kind of interior woodwork.

This trendy oil-based poly is 57 in the list of MPI category. It provides an abrasion-resistant, self-leveling formula finishing service that is extremely satisfactory.

Key Features
  • Oil-based fast-drying poly for interior use.
  • Listed in the MPI category.
  • It provides smooth, clear and sparkling finishing.
  • Can be used on furniture, door and other woodworks along with hardwood floor.

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5. EcoProCoate Eco-Poly Polyurethane Sealer, Floor Finish

Best Polyurethane Sealer & Finish for Floors

Finally, I would like to introduce with you another high-quality water-based poly from EcoProCoate.

It is a non-toxic poly especially recommended for those who have serious problems in strong odor.

You can use this poly without confusion because it is a plant-based product made with bio-emulsion resin and advanced plant-based polyurethane technology.

There is no presence of any kind of red list chemicals, gases or VOCs.

Ecopoly sealer formula in this product provides ultimate durability. It is recommended to apply at least two coatings for ultimate satisfaction. It brings such a glossy and soft smooth finish that makes your place simply elegant.

Every woodwork lover should have this in their collection since it is for both interior and exterior use. It is the best polyurethane for pine floors, and also fits perfectly on the oak floor. Moreover, it is perfect for all kinds of projects without causing any loss because this poly is resistant to UV, moisture, crack, scratch, and chemical. Along with the wood floor, you can use this poly on a concrete surface, tile, and on various types of wood furniture.

This water-based poly is a must-try for mirroring floor finishing with long-lasting sealer.

Key Features
  • High-quality water-based poly for a lasting glossy finish.
  • Non-petrochemical product: no nasty fumes, non-flammable.
  • Durable sealer. Ideal for interior and exterior use.
  • Works with oak, pine and other floors.

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Polyurethane for Hardwood Floors Buying Guide

You should consider some important factors while you are up to buying the poly for your precious floor. If you know these basic facts, your money, floor, energy– everything will be invested in the right thing. So, read the buying guide and save you bucks.

Best oil based polyurethane for wood floors

Oil-based or Water-based Polyurethane

Oil-based and water-based are two types of poly. You need to determine which one to use according to your project type and personal preference. Both are equally durable and provide smooth and clear finishing. Water-based poly is an acrylic product that gives a thinner yet sturdy result. Oil-based poly is thicker but softer, most people think oil-based poly is much strong, but I don’t agree. Both are equally strong if applied and maintained properly.

Oil-based poly has an amber matte shine were water-based poly gives crystal clear shine.

Non-toxic Elements

If you have an intolerance to toxic elements, make sure you are choosing a poly that is free from high-end chemicals, gases, or VOCs. Choose a plant-based product like the one from Ecoprocoat.

Some poly may have strong ingredients that can be harmful to your skin as well. Make sure the product is totally free from any inflammable elements especially check if there is anything that you have an allergy to.

Dark Matte and Crystal Clear: Types of Sheen 

Polyurethane comes with clear gloss shine, but the clear shine has different types. There is a crystal clear gloss type that could also come with semi-gloss shine. Other clear finishes give the satin, matte or amber appearance which is different from crystal clear shine.

Oil-based poly gives an amber hue, and water-based poly brings crystal clear finish.

It is up to you whichever shine you prefer on which project. Most ash and yellow wood look good in water-based poly. Oil-based poly can change the color slightly of the color woods.

Sunlight, humidity, water, chemical, tolerance

If the poly is not resistant to sunlight or humid weather, it will damage your exterior projects like balcony floor, door, or anything where you want to apply the poly.

It is important to choose an ultra to violate resistant poly if you are using it outside. Similarly, choose sand, abrasion, scuff, chemical, or water-resistant poly for the interior floor.

FAQs about Hardwood Floors Buying Guide

I tried to cover almost everything in the review section above. But you may still need some information regarding polyurethane and its use.

Do not worry. I have decided to provide some important life hacks in this FAQ section that will help you use the poly in the right way.

Best polyurethane finish for wood floors

1. How many coats of polyurethane should I put on hardwood floors?

Ans. The more coat the secure your wood pieces.

It is good if you do double coating minimum, go for three if it is possible. Double poly and one lacquer sealer are recommended for a safe and smooth finishing.

If you are using oil-based poly, it is ok to use one or two coats since the liquid itself is thick and strong. Water-based poly is thin and needs more coating. It is best if you follow the particular product’s user manual.

2. How long to wait between coats?

Ans. You need to wait 24 hours for drying up an oil-based poly coating. In this case, you can recoat after a day of the first application.

For water-based, it is safe to wait 6-7 hours. Whatever finish you use to make sure it gets to dry properly.Otherwise, everything will be a loss project.

Make sure you wait at least a week after the final touch before placing carpet or furniture on the floor.

3. How do I finish polyurethane on hardwood floors?

Ans. Clean the floor with mop and vinegar water at first. Let it dry. Open up the poly gallon and never shake it to prevent bubbling up. Gently stir the paste and start applying with a brush from the corners to the center part. You can use a roller or pad. Some people simply use a piece of cloth. It is important what you find to work easier with.

4. Is it important to sand? 

Ans. Sanding is important for a faultless, spotless and smooth finishing. You will not like to see cracks or scraps after you are done working just because of a small mistake. Don’t be lazy, sand it!

But if you cannot manage to sand, you always have great products to make life smooth, try the polys I have mentioned in this article, these products create a fine protection layer without sanding.

Final Words

It sometimes gets really confusing whether to apply water-based or oil-based poly. But, trust me quality-wise both are great if you can select the best polyurethane for hardwood floors. Water-based poly is high in price, whereas oil-based is low cost.

Water-based poly is thinner; this is why it takes more coating.But it gives a sparkling shine that hardly fades.

On the other hand, the oil-based thinner is more durable and a one-time application is enough for a long time since it is thick in the consistency level. Hence most people think the oil-based finishing gets dark with time, but remember you have to apply water-based thinner more often.

So, it is kind of the same, but your personal choice makes the difference here.

What type of finishing you like and what is your budget? Which poly among the above five reviews meets both of the factors?

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