Hardwood Floor & Surface Top Coats

Hardwood Floor & Surface Top Coats

Before thinking about what kind of finish you may want, first consider sheen. Also known as luster, this references how much light will reflect off the surface of the hardwood. Depending on how glossy the finish is, any wood can have a high sheen to it. Selecting a sheen first will help narrow down the finishes available to you.

Hardwax Oil

This option enhances and preserves the natural beauty and texture of hardwood by seeping deep into the core. It will provide a soft, matte sheen, similar to unfinished wood.

Hardwax oil aids in the elasticity of the planks, allowing them to last longer. The sealant helps repel moisture without obtaining cracks, flakiness or blistering.

Organic and natural ingredients are combined to create this oil that easily saturates wood. Although the surface may still obtain scratches and other imperfections, it can be a lot simpler to fix than other finishes. Both spot and scratch repairs take minimal effort.


Oil- & Water-Based

Using a water-based polyurethane results in a lighter color when compared to oil-based. The water-based option keeps the original shade of the hardwood, whereas oil-based will darken the tone of the planks.

When it comes to colors from The Portfolio that are composed of mostly white or grey, water-based is the better option. Oil-based can begin to turn yellow over time and will not look good on these shades of hardwood.

Water-based polyurethane dries fast and up to four coats can be applied in one day. Only one coat of oil-based can be applied within a 24-hour period because it takes much longer to dry.


Clear or colored wax can be applied to hardwood and buffed to a shine. Solvents, combined with synthetic or natural waxes, help restore the sheen of the wood while increasing its lifespan.

When the solvents evaporate, the wax hardens and creates a protective seal. The wax leaves a glossy finish, and depending on the product, can enrich the color, enhancing the natural beauty of the floor.

Tung Oil

This finish is created by pressing seeds from the nuts of the tung tree. When exposed to air, this oil will harden, creating a transparent coating that almost appears wet. It doesn’t noticeably darken over time, but can bring out the deepest colors of the wood depending on the ratio of oil to solvent.

Moisture Cure &
Conversion Varnish

Lacquer and conversion varnish generally look the same, providing a clear coat that is highly polished while adding a sophisticated appearance to your space. However, lacquers usually need to be applied more often and with more coats to achieve the proper density and same glossiness as conversion varnishes.