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There are a range of floor polishing stains and finishes available for sealing, staining and protecting your timber floorboards. Selecting the right timber polish and finish is an important first step and the consultants at National Floor Sanding will be able to assist you in advising on the best finish for your property. Some elements to consider when browsing available floor polishing finishes are:

  • The wear and traffic levels of the area
  • The ongoing maintenance that is required
  • The level of gloss you desire in a floor polishing and finish
  • The odour of the finish or stain and your living arrangements whilst it is applied

Waterborne Finish

Also known as water-based, the waterborne finish is a blend of resins, plasticizers and water, once applied and cured, the water evaporates whilst the solvents blend to create a strong, durable and water-resistant film over the flooring.

The characteristics of the waterborne finish make it the most viable choice for most timber floorboards in home or commercial properties. These advantageous characteristics are:

Characteristics of Waterborne Finish:

  • Most popular finish
  • Resistant and durable
  • Minimal odour during application
  • Matt and gloss finishes available
  • Enhances colour of the timber and darkens over time
  • Significantly reduces the risk of edge bonding
  • Number of coats required
  • Dries in approximately half a day
  • Non-toxic and environmentally-friendly

National Floor Sanding advises the waterborne finish for those that wish to continue living or working in the premises during the floor polishing and finish application.

Oil-Based Finish

The traditional oil-based finish uses a combination of synthetic resins with tung or linseed oil to achieve perhaps the most durable finish for wooden floorboards of all floor polishing and finishes available.

floor polishing

Due to the longer drying time, oil-based finishes often attain a smoother, glossier finish as they level further during the drying process.

Characteristics of Oil-Based Finish:

  • Resistant and durable
  • Cheaper than waterborne finish
  • Requires fewer coats than waterborne finishes
  • Widely available finish
  • Ambers over time leaving a warm finish
  • Flexible and unlikely to edge bond boards
  • Dries in approximately two to five days time
  • Moderate to strong odour
  • Provides harder finish that other oil or water finishes
  • Greater resistance to abrasions, scratches and cuts
  • Low maintenance required
  • Gloss levels from medium to high
  • Generally darkens over time
  • Very strong odour
  • Finish darkens with time
  • Unlikely to edge bond boards
  • Finish provides a subdued, satin to semi-gloss finish
  • Very strong odour
  • Dries in approximately two to three days

National Floor Sanding recommends oil-based finishes for those wishing to achieve a very smooth and glossy floor polishing finish.

Solvent Borne Polyurethane Finish

Solvent borne polyurethane finishes achieve a solid, hard finish with a high resistance to dents and scratches. Once applied, the finish is expected to darker over time. The risk of edge bonding is higher due to the inflexibility of the finish and the odour is very strong, requiring residents to vacate premises during and for a few days after, the application.

Characteristics of Solvent Borne Polyurethane Finish:

National Floor Sanding recommends solvent-borne polyurethane finishes for those that require very high resistance to abrasions or scratches and are not concerned with strong odours whilst floor polishing and drying occurs.

Composite Finishes

Composite finishes are a mix of oil-based and solvent polyurethane finishes, combined to create a finish with a good resistance to abrasions and scratches. During the application process, the odour of composite finishes is strong but will disappear as the finish dries over two or three days.

Characteristics of Composite Finishes:

National Floor Sanding recommends the composite finish for those who desire an understated satin to semi-gloss floor polishing finish for their floorboards.

For further floor polishing advice or to enquire regarding your floor polishing project, contact our qualified team at National Floor Sanding today via the online form on this page. You will receive a no-obligation free quote on your project and an independent industry buyer’s guide with helpful tips and advice on having your floor polishing project expertly completed.


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