Best Polyurethane for Hardwood Floors – [Reviews&Guide 2023]

The quality of workmanship matters a lot when it comes to finishing your hardwood floors but beyond that, the quality of the materials used matters more! Polyurethane is the protective coating for hardwood floors and the brand of polyurethane will have a huge impact on the durability and aesthetic properties of your floors. In this article, I am going to walk you through the best-grade polyurethane products available for the best results.

Minwax Polyurethane is a crystal clear satin, ultra-fast drying protective topcoat for hardwood. This exclusive Minwax formula is known to be an effective and high-quality polyurethane product for hardwood floors. It is made to have a relatively thin consistency which gives it a super-drying quality.

I recently tried out the Minwax 13022000 Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane For Floors and wanted to share my personal review of the product. Firstly, I have to say that the drying time is incredibly fast, which is definitely a plus. However, I did have some issues with the product leaving marks on my floor when I put heavy furniture back on it, despite the label stating that it was safe to do so. Additionally, it seems that there are some issues with shipping and returns according to some customer reviews, but luckily I did not have any problems in that regard.

Regarding the color of the product, it initially appears as a dark purplish-brown color but applies clear, which is something to keep in mind when using it. Furthermore, the fumes are noticeable so it’s important to have some windows open when using it.

Overall, I would say that the Minwax 13022000 Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane For Floors is a decent product with its fast drying time and durable finish specifically formulated for hardwood floors. However, it’s important to be cautious when putting heavy furniture back on the floor and to make sure that there is proper ventilation when using the product.

  • Super-fast drying time
  • Dries in a perfectly smooth coat
  • No extra sanding required between coats
  • Specialized for use on hardwood floors
  • Quick recoat time between coats
  • Good value for money spent
  • Hardens if not stored properly
  • May affect those with breathing problems
my impression
This product gives an excellent finish and a high standard of protection to your hardwood floors. More amazing is the fact that absolutely no time is wasted during its application on waiting and sanding as the formula eliminates that through an ultra-fast drying time with an evenly smooth spread. With excellent performance and minimal flaws, it is undeniably the best polyurethane for hardwood floors.

The Varathane Premium oil-based Floor Finish is painstakingly formulated to provide optimum protection for hardwood floors. Manufactured by Rust-Oleum, the Varathane Premium Floor Finish is made with a special Aluminum Oxide Nano Technology that gives your floors maximum scratch resistance and a lustrous finish.

Varathane Premium Oil-Based Clear Floor Finish provides outstanding scratch and stain resistance to keep your interior hardwood floors looking great. It is recommended for interior bare hardwood floors as it would not give good results when used on surfaces such as linoleum, vinyl, glazed tiles, or metal. It has astonishing durability hence, it is ideal for high-traffic areas in kitchens and hallways.

The Varathane Premium oil-based Floor Finish improves the quality of wood by improving its appearance and value of wood. It has an attractive semi-gloss finish that highlights the natural beauty of the wood. This product is designed to resist stains and household chemicals making it versatile and suitable for hardwood floors and keeping it in good condition for extended periods.

I recently used Varathane Premium Oil-Based Clear Floor Finish on my sanded Douglas Fir 3 1/4 strip flooring in my 1940s-era farmhouse and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed with the product. The oil-based formula provided a very warm finish that is also very durable, making it exactly what I was looking for in a floor finish. Installing it was also easy using a 4-brush rated for oil products. Overall, I am very satisfied with my purchase and would highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a high-quality floor finish.

  • Elegant finish
  • Low odor
  • Durable & scratch-resistant
  • Ideal for high-traffic areas
  • It takes a longer time to dry out.
  • It is slightly higher in price.
my impression
Overall, this product brings a different definition of durability. It is a very good choice that gives you a perfect finish on your floors with long-lasting goodness. It is suitable for houses with pets or children as you can be assured they wouldn’t be making a mess of your really expensive hardwood floor.

ZAR Oil-Based Polyurethane Wood Finish

 Best for Kitchen Floor

For those who detest the sight of brush strokes or any irregularities, this is another great product as its self-leveling feature is top-notch. It is manufactured specifically for interior use and is suitable for an array of wooden surfaces and furnishings.

It brings out the natural beauty of the wood as it applies a clear, smooth, and self-leveling finish to the surface. With this product, particular caution should be taken in its application so as not to make it too smooth to reduce the risk of accidents and falls.

This polyurethane toggles a tough abrasion-resistant layer on your hardwood floor, offering it unbeatable protection. Although it is an oil-based product, it tends to give a lighter finish to the hardwood surface, so be sure you love just that light natural look. The fast-dry nature of this product coupled with its durability makes it a great choice. In terms of cost, it is also a great deal as it sits comfortably between the extremes of ‘cheap’ and ‘expensive’.

  • It is made with a fast-drying formula.
  • It is self-leveling and gives a smooth finish.
  • It is specially formulated for hardwood floors.
  • It gives a strong finish to wood surfaces.
  • The floor may become too smooth.
  • It is a relatively expensive product.
my impression
In a world where there are several products out there to choose from, The ZAR Oil Based Polyurethane Wood Finish is truly a product that lives up to its advertisement and promises to keep your wooden floors in great shape and high quality for years to come ensuring that the formula remains clear. I would say it is a great product to go for if you seek quality results.

This is another great product when it comes to hardwood floor protection. It is specially formulated to protect and improve the appearance of interior hardwood surfaces. The Rust-Oleum Ultimate Polyurethane gives a protective matte finish that conceals fingerprints and smudges. It is made with a water-based acrylic formula that dries out quickly and can be cleaned with soap and water.

Rust-Oleum Ultimate Polyurethane provides a long-lasting protective finish for hardwood floors with a distinguished soft-touch texture providing resistance to scratches and stains. It has an easy-to-clean water-based formula with low odor. So, if you ever need to have this soft-touch feel on your floors, all you need is this product and an application brush to start you out.

  • It is very easy to use.
  • It is easy to clean.
  • It gives a nice matte finish.
  • It is water-based.
  • It is scratch and smudge-resistant.
  • Its matte design tends to alter the natural wood grain appearance.
my impression
Rust-Oleum Ultimate Polyurethane product is perfect for users who want to opt-in for outstanding beauty, easy application, and long-lasting protection. This product is user-friendly and relatively affordable while delivering amazing results. It is very easy to work with and smooth to feel. Very much recommended!

Dura Seal 1G Satin 310 Polyurethane

Best Satin for Hardwood floors

If you ever have had to deal with hardwood floors, this product must ring a bell. Being a household name, this polyurethane product is one of the best products out there with maximum durability. It has an awesome coverage capacity as one gallon could cover up to 500 square feet.

For this particular reason, it is very useful if you have a large surface to cover. The reviews from customers of this product are equally amazing as it rains praises for its durability and ability to form uniform coats with minimal troubles.

The pricing of the Dura Seal 1G Satin 310 Polyurethane is fair enough and relatively cheaper although the price tag appears massive compared to others at first glance. This is because this product comes in a one-gallon size whereas its close substitutes come in one-quartz, which is equivalent to one-quarter of the gallon size. The product may require more coats to achieve the advertised potential but this does not bring about an increase in cost. It is ideal for large projects or several small projects because of its increased content.

  • It gives very good value for money.
  • It has a very large coverage capacity.
  • It gives a durable finish.
  • It is not ideal for small projects.
  • It requires more coats to get the desired results.
my impression
The DuraSeal Satin Polyurethane gives a perfect finish to your floors. More importantly, it gives real value to your money. So if you have a large project or need several projects to be done on hardwood floors or perhaps, you handle hardwood floors on a commercial scale, this is a great product for you. You just have to scale your projects properly and cover more with less.

Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane

Best Semi-gloss for Hardwood

With this polyurethane, you can be sure to give your hardwood floors the best treat in a beautiful state by keeping them in a long-lasting thick film. This product gives your surfaces a semi-gloss finish with one of the hardest protective layers there is.

You can add a lot of value also to your furnishings as it can be used on both finished and unfinished wooden surfaces. It has a super-fast drying quality and levels out evenly on application.

This Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane is easy to use and makes wood easy to be cared for as it offers maximum protection against an array of potential damages. Upon application, this polyurethane dries very fast and is assured to bring long-lasting beauty on different wood surfaces. It gives a durable finish while enhancing the natural beauty of the wood grains. This particular product comes in a one-gallon container and is suitable for large projects.

  • It is very durable.
  • It gives wood surfaces a sparkling semi-gloss finish.
  • It is convenient for all types of wood.
  • It is suitable for large projects.
  • It is not suitable for small projects.
  • It can dry out in the can if not stored properly.
my impression
When your project is one that demands quality delivery and time is of the essence, this is a go-to product. The semi-gloss property is guaranteed to improve the appearance of wood that would not depreciate in quality even over time. This polyurethane provides an elegant finish to all wooden furnishings with a scratch-resistant property.

Varathane Gallon Gloss Waterborne Diamond Floor Finish will give your surfaces a glossy protective finish. It also improves the appearance of hardwood by highlighting its natural beauty. Because strength does matter, this polyurethane is specifically built to resist household stains and household chemicals keeping the wood surface in top form for longer periods.

It is manufactured with a water-based formula which increases its versatility and uses for a variety of surfaces, especially hardwood floors.

It has a gloss finish and can greatly improve the appearance of your hardwood floors and generally increase the value of your home. This product is ideal if you want to improve the appearance of your home and keep your wooden surfaces or furnishings protected for longer periods. It is suitable for hardwood floors with high traffic because of its scuff-resistant feature.

  • It gives a high gloss finish to hardwood.
  • It makes fast application possible with its quick drying time.
  • It is scuff and abrasion-resistant.
  • It is a water-based formula and is easy to apply.
  • It is very durable.
  • It has a little odor although ‘no odor’ is advertised on the manufacturer’s read.
my impression
This is a water-based polyurethane finish with an elegant design. It provides world-class protection for hardwood floors with superior durability, abrasion resistance, and scuff resistance. It provides a clear finish and although some users claim it doesn’t live up to what is advertised, the reviews are overall great and it’s a product I would recommend for excellent results.

Buyer’s Guide

Hardwood floors can add a luxurious feel to any room. However, hardwood floors require some extra maintenance in order to keep them looking their best. One of the most effective ways to protect hardwood floors from wear and tear is by applying polyurethane. Let’s take a look at what polyurethane is and how it can help protect your hardwood floors.

What Is Polyurethane?

Polyurethane is a type of protective coating that forms an impenetrable barrier on your flooring’s surface, protecting it from dirt, dust, and even water damage. Polyurethane also adds shine to your hardwood floors, making them look brand new again. There are two types of polyurethanes available on the market today: oil-based and water-based. Oil-based polyurethanes have been around for decades and are known for their durability; however, they can be difficult to clean up due to their stickiness. Water-based polyurethanes are more environmentally friendly but don’t last quite as long as oil-based ones.

Benefits of Applying Polyurethane to Hardwood Floors

Polyurethane helps protect your hardwood floors from wear and tear, making them look newer for longer. It also adds a layer of protection against water damage and dirt, as well as providing an extra layer of shine. All these factors combined make polyurethane one of the most effective ways to protect your hardwood floors.

Preparing the Floor for Polyurethane Application

Before you begin applying polyurethane to your hardwood floors, it’s important to properly prepare the surface. This includes sweeping or vacuuming up any debris, dusting with a damp cloth, and ensuring that all nails are recessed below the surface of the wood planks. You should also sand down any rough spots in order to create a smooth base for the polyurethane to adhere to.

How To Apply Polyurethane To Your Hardwood Floors

Polyurethane is a great way to protect and preserve the beauty of your hardwood floors for years to come. Applying polyurethane correctly, however, can be tricky. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply polyurethane to your hardwood floors:

1. Make sure that the surface you are applying it to is clean and free of dirt or other debris – vacuum, sweep and mop if necessary.

2. Sand the surface lightly with 180-grit sandpaper; this will help create an even surface for the polyurethane coatings.

3. Remove all dust from sanding by wiping down with a tack cloth or damp lint-free cloth.

4. Apply the first coat of polyurethane with a brush or roller, if desired. Start from one corner and move along in even strokes while avoiding puddling. Let this dry for several hours before starting on the next coat.

5. Sand lightly between coats with very fine grit sandpaper, such as 320 grit; this will help ensure an even finish. Wipe the dust away again with a tack cloth or lint-free cloth before applying each successive coating.

6. Gradually build up the required number of coats (typically 3-5), then let the last coat dry overnight before walking on it without shoes or socks on. Allow it to cure completely (2-3 weeks) before placing furniture, area rugs, or other objects on it.

Caring for Your Hardwood Floors with Polyurethane

Once the polyurethane is applied, you can begin caring for your hardwood floors as usual. Make sure to vacuum and sweep regularly in order to keep dirt and dust off of the surface. You should also avoid using any harsh cleaning chemicals on your hardwood floors, as these could damage the finish. When mopping, use a damp mop with a mild wood cleaner or just plain water.

Polyurethane vs. Wax

Many people debate over the best product to use on hardwood floors. Polyurethane is a popular choice, as it offers superior protection against wear and tear while still adding shine. However, some prefer wax for its deep luster and easy application. Ultimately, the best product to use will depend on your own needs and preferences. If you want superior protection, then polyurethane is your best bet; however, if you’re looking for an easier application and deep shine, then wax may be the better choice for you.

When done correctly, both products can help protect your hardwood floors from dirt and damage while also adding a beautiful finish that makes them look even better. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which one is best for your home. No matter what product you choose, taking the time to properly prepare and apply it will ensure that your hardwood floors stay beautiful and protected for many years to come.

Polyurethane vs. Varnish

When it comes to protecting hardwood floors, there are a few different options available. Two of the most popular products are polyurethane and varnish. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider which one is best for your particular needs.

Polyurethane is usually more durable than varnish and offers superior protection against wear and tear while still providing a beautiful finish. The downside is that it can be more difficult to apply than varnish and may require additional coats in order to achieve the desired level of protection.

Varnish, on the other hand, is easier to apply than polyurethane and can provide a beautiful finish with minimal effort. The downside is that it may not be as durable or long-lasting, so you may need to reapply it more often.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using Polyurethane on Hardwood Floors

How often should I apply polyurethane to my hardwood floors?

It’s recommended that you reapply a coat of polyurethane every 3-5 years in order to maintain its protective layer. You may need to reapply more often if your floor is subject to heavy foot traffic or direct sunlight.

Can I use an oil-based polyurethane on my hardwood floors?

Yes, you can use an oil-based polyurethane if you prefer. However, keep in mind that these types of polyurethanes can be more difficult to clean up due to their stickiness. Water-based polyurethanes are often easier to work with and provide similar levels of protection.

Can I use a regular paintbrush or roller when applying the polyurethane?

Yes, you can use a regular brush or roller for either oil-based or water-based polyurethanes. However, it’s best to use one specifically designed for the product you’re using – this will help ensure an even finish with no streaks or bubbles.


Polyurethane can be an excellent way to protect your hardwood floors from everyday wear and tear while adding shine back into your space! While applying polyurethane isn’t necessarily difficult, it does require some time and preparation beforehand in order for it to achieve its maximum effectiveness. Follow these steps closely when applying polyurethane so that you can enjoy beautiful hardwood floors for many years to come!


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