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Living room with hardwood floor

Choosing the Right Hardwood Finish

Hardwood flooring is one of the most sought-after flooring materials in homes because of its natural beauty and durability. Hardwood flooring in Austin does require some regular maintenance to keep it looking its best and lasting as long as possible. A hardwood floor will need to be refinished every 3 to 10 years depending on the wood, the finish, and how much wear and tear it gets. At Austin’s Floor Store, we understand that there are many types of hardwood finishes. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular kinds?


Wax is an old-fashioned method to refinishing floors. It has a mild odor and is easy to apply, although labor intensive. It penetrates wood well and has a low luster for a more natural look. This is an especially useful method for antique floors. It has also releases a lower amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than most other materials. VOCs can be toxic to your health. The downside? It’s not as durable as other materials and requires some upkeep. The cost is $10 to$25 per 1 pound, which covers 400 to 500 square feet.

Water-Based Polyurethane

Polyurethanes are the finish of today. Water-based polyurethane is easy to apply and has a quick drying time. It’s great for DIYers. It’s not as durable as its oil-based cousin, but it has less VOC content and dries clear. The cost is $40 to $60 per gallon, which covers 400 to 500 square feet.

Oil-Based Polyurethane

For hardwood flooring in Austin, oil-based polyurethane is one of the most popular finishes. Professionals frequently use this finish for quality results, but it’s a less-expensive option than other, more intense finishes. Oil-based finishes are relatively easy to apply and very durable. They are less expensive than water-based finishes, costing around $30 to $40 per gallon, which covers 500 to 600 square feet. A professional will typically charge around $1 to $2 per square foot to apply it. It does have a longer drying time, higher VOC content, and dries with a slight amber color.

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