Your Guide to Different Hardwood Flooring Finishes

You’ve made the decision to install hardwood flooring in your home, but now you have to decide what type of finish you want. Selecting the right type of finish for you flooring is just as important as selecting the flooring itself! There are many different types of hardwood flooring finishes and it can be difficult to know which one will work for you. Take a look as we break down the different options below!


A varnish finishing on your hardwood floors works best if you really want long-term protection. A varnish coating can be transparent or colored, and works to protect and highlight the wood beneath it. Varnish can be applied with several coats as needed and will be hard to penetrate once finished.


Staining your hardwood flooring means that a different color or finish will absorb into the wood itself, essentially changing the overall appearance of your hardwood. Stains come in a wide variety of colors and are chosen based on personal preference. If you are interested in staining your hardwood flooring, make sure that it will go well with the coloring of your furniture or décor in your home. Besides colors, there are several other options for stains, such as matte or glossy stains, or stains that are water-based versus oil-based.


While a stain goes deep into your hardwood to change the overall appearance of the wood, a dye will subtly enhance the existing hardwood. Dyes come in a variety of shades, and can also be made to match that hardwood that you already have. This type of finish is recommended for interior hardwood flooring only, and not suggested for exterior hardwood, such as a deck.


If you are interested in really showing off your hardwood flooring, then you may want to wax your floors. Wax finishes can be transparent or translucent, and some can be applied to make your floors appear glossy. While wax floors look glossy and beautiful, they also need several coats and require regular upkeep. We recommend waxing only interior hardwood flooring, such as a dining room.

Wood Preserver

For those interested in a finish for exterior hardwood, such as a deck or porch, consider a wood preserver. True to its name, this finish will protect your hardwood from things such as rot or insect damage. You can choose a clear or colored finish, as well as water-based or oil-based finishes. Using wood preserver on outdoor flooring will ensure that your floors stay in good condition for years to come!

For more information about your flooring needs, visit the Flooring Professionals online.


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