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5 Types of Hardwood Floor Refinishing You Can Use

Say goodbye to dull floors and hello to refreshed, shiny hardwood. Hardwood floor refinishing takes old floors and gives them new life easily and quickly. We’ve already discussed the basics of everything you need to know about hardwood floor refinishing, but we aren’t done yet. Now that we know a little more about it, it’s time to dig deeper into the different types there are. Below you will learn about five different types of refinishing you can use. 

Water-Based Polyurethane

Water-based polyurethane is one of the most popular types of refinishing that many homeowners and home service contractors use. It is one of the fastest drying refinishing options out on the market with it only taking a few hours to dry. Since water-based polyurethane refinishing is fast-drying, you can easily apply multiple coats in one day. Even though this refinishing looks milky when you first apply, it dries clear. While most homeowners prefer the high-gloss options, you can also choose from semi-gloss and satin. Many people choose this refinishing option because it has easy application and clean-up, releases low odor and low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and works well in moisture-filled environments. One thing you should remember about water-based polyurethane refinish is that it does scratch and scuff easily, so if you have pets or children, it’s best to move on to a different type. 

Oil-Based Polyurethane

For homeowners that deal with a lot of foot traffic and want to save some money, an oil-based polyurethane refinish is the way to go. Many commercial businesses or rental property owners prefer oil-based polyurethane refinishing because it is durable and long-lasting meaning they won’t have to replace it very often. It is also easy to maintain. All you need to do is sweep or vacuum daily and clean the dirt away with a damp sponge. Oil-based polyurethane refinishing adds a warm glow to lighter wood, but be aware that it can continue to yellow over the years. This type of refinishing doesn’t dry as fast as water-based polyurethane. Instead, it takes hours for each layer to dry. Oil-based polyurethane also releases higher amounts of VOCs and is flammable. 


If you have exotic wood floors or wood with elaborate designs, acid-cured refinishing is highly recommended by flooring experts. Acid-cured finish is one of the most durable refinishing options out on the market. The alcohol base and acid curing process make this finish shiny, durable and resistant to chemical damages, scratches and scuffs. It also dries quickly, so you can enjoy your floors right away. There are a few things to take note of while using an acid-cured finish. It is the most dangerous refinishing option because it releases high amounts of VOCs, strong odors and is highly flammable. All residents including animals and children will need to leave the property for a few days, and the person applying the finish needs a respirator during the process. For this type of refinishing, manufacturers and home service companies recommend for you to work with a team of flooring refinishing experts

Moisture-Cure Urethane

Just like acid-cured refinish, moisture-cured urethane is extremely durable. Moisture-cure urethane refinishing was originally created for bowling alleys. Eventually, it made its way into homes and other commercial businesses. Pros about using this type of refinishing include high shine, dries within one to two hours, and resists moisture, scratches and stains. Moisture-cured urethane refinish has many downfalls like it releasing high levels of VOCs to the point of residents vacating the area for weeks. Since it is moisture-cured, the environment affects how well it dries. Dry air won’t let the finish dry evenly while humid air causes the finish to dry before spreading evenly. To avoid any issues, many service companies recommend working with a professional contractor who has years of experience with a moisture-cured urethane finish. 

Aluminum Oxide

If you are looking for the most durable hardwood floor refinishing, then look no further than aluminum oxide finish. It can last up to 25 years after one application. Aluminum oxide is a naturally occurring mineral that provides a hard coating to protect hardwood floors from scratches, scuffs, water damage, fading and general wear without changing the color of the wood or grain. It also is low maintenance and is easy to clean. You can find aluminum oxide finish in multiple levels of shine whether you want matte or extra glossy; however, it is good to know that you won’t apply the finish yourself. Instead, it will arrive on prefinished wood planks. The major downside of aluminum oxide is that it is difficult to retouch or replace. You will need a professional team to come out to tackle the task, and even then, most homeowners prefer that they replace the entire flooring. 

Now that you know five different types of hardwood floor refinishing you can use, it’s time to talk to a wood floor refinishing service company to learn what works best in your home. If you live in Belleville, O’Fallon, Edwardsville or the surrounding areas and want to refinish your floors, contact Valor Home Services today.