Choose the Right Finish for Wood Floors
Surface finishes, including varnishes and polyurethane, form a hard surface on top of the wood. They offer better protection against scratches and stains and are easily cleaned, so they’re more common on hardwood floors and in newer houses. Think of the finish on a gym floor—superdurable but plastic-looking. That’s polyurethane. Surface finishes can be removed if you change your mind later, but the process of stripping and refinishing is time-consuming.
Here’s a loose rule of thumb: consider oils if your floors get light use, and surface finishes if your floors get a lot of foot traffic from kids and pets. Choose your finish according to your circumstances and preferences.