The Pros and Cons of Hardwood Floor Finishes


Did you know that it wasn’t until the late 19th century that average Americans started having polished hardwood floors in their homes? If you are considering adding a hardwood floor to your home but are still debating, we are here to help you make a decision. Our guide below will share the top pros and cons of hardwood floor finishes.

Read on to learn more so that you can make an informed decision.

Pros of Hardwood Flooring

One of the major pros of hardwood floors is that there are plenty of style options to choose from. Because wood is a flexible kind of flooring you can choose from walnut, cherry, and oak, just to name a few. You can also use whatever stain color you want in order to create a unique look.

Not only can you change up the color, you can also arrange wood planks however you wish in order to create a different look vs just laying the pieces side by side.

Another pro is that wood flooring is fairly simple maintenance. They can either be swept with a broom or vacuumed. Unlike carpet, a wood floor does not nurture spores, fleas, or dust mites, so you don’t have to worry about decreased air quality in your home.

Once in a while you can also use a wood cleaner to prolong their life. The better you maintain a wooden floor the longer it will last. There are homes that have had the same wooden floor for a hundred or more years.

Another pro is that wooden floor is better for babies. Wooden flooring is non-toxic and harmless, making it the best choice for babies that are learning how to crawl. Also, it helps babies motor skills the more they crawl.

One last pro worth mentioning is that wooden floors will add value to a home. For those that intend on selling their homes in the future then, investing in wooden floors will more than likely pay off when you sell your home.


One of the cons of wood flooring is that they can be a nosier option than other floor types such as carpet. The reason is that wood floors do not absorb sound. Be prepared to hear footsteps no matter how new the wood floor is.

Wooden floors will also show scratches and scuffs a lot easier than other flooring types. This means that you will have to refinish your floor every now and then. Especially in high-traffic areas, refinishing is an extra expense you will have to consider.

For example, if you are installing floor in your garage, wooden floor is probably not the best option. Instead, you will want to look into Garage Force which will install flooring in your garage that will last without worrying about high maintenance.

Another con is that if you are on a budget, solid wooden floors are more expensive than other floors. Although, they will last more than the cheaper counterparts making them more cost-effective in the long run, you will still have an up-front investment.

One last con worth mentioning is that wood is not resistant to humidity. This means that if something spills or your home is subjected to high humidity you will have to be on top of maintenance to prolong its life. For those with younger kids you might want to reconsider placing wood floor down in the children’s rooms.

DIY or Professional Installation?

Unless you have experience laying down flooring, or you are a DIY master, you don’t want to install your own wooden floors. The thing with wooden floors is that it’s not only a matter of laying down a varnish coat if you want to install something that lasts and looks good.

Usually, opting for a professional is a better idea if you want the floor installed correctly. Sometimes installers will also offer add-on packages where they offer ongoing maintenance for a period of years.

Oil Sealer

One option when you opt for wood flooring is to seal it with oil. This option is nice because it will penetrate deep into the wood, so it will give the floor an even sheen. Keep in mind that oil sealer will need to be refinished every few years because it’s not as durable as other products on the market.

Shellac Finish

This is an easy finish product and it is not difficult to apply. The con with opting for a shellac finish is that it’s not very durable. You will have to re-coat shellac finish often and most other floor finishes are not compatible with shellac.

This means that if you want to finish with another product you will have to completely sand down the previous finish or else you run the risk of dealing with a chemical reaction on your floor.

Aluminum Oxide

Most pre-finished wood flooring is coated with aluminum oxide. This is a durable and hard finish that is designed to last for at least two decades. For those that want a tough finish that will last for years, aluminum oxide finish is a great choice.

Feeling Like a Pro When It Comes to Hardwood Floor Finishes?

Now that you have learned the pros and cons of hardwood floor finishes, you can make an informed decision if this is the route you want to take or if you want to go with a different type of floor.

If our article helped you out – there is more where this came from. Please look around the rest of our home section for more tips and tricks.

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