Best hardwood flooring finishes for high-traffic areas

Best hardwood flooring finishes for high-traffic areas

Navigating the world of hardwood flooring can be intricate, especially when considering which finish is most suitable for high-traffic areas. The finish you select plays a pivotal role in the durability, maintenance, and longevity of your wood floors. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the best finishes ideal for spaces with heavy footfall.

Types of hardwood finishes

Before diving into the specifics, it's vital to understand the primary types of finishes available. These include oil-based, water-based, and acid-cured finishes, among others. Each comes with its own set of advantages tailored to different needs.

Water-based polyurethane: a versatile choice

Water-based polyurethane is a popular choice for homeowners. It's clear, non-yellowing, and dries quickly. This finish offers a range of sheens from satin to gloss, depending on your preference. Best of all, water-based polyurethane is resilient, making it ideal for areas like hallways and living rooms with consistent traffic.

Oil-based polyurethane: classic and durable

Oil-based polyurethane lends a warm, amber hue to your hardwood flooring. Its thick, tough layer ensures protection against the usual wear and tear, scratches, and spills. However, it takes longer to dry than its water-based counterpart. This finish shines in spaces such as dining rooms and bedrooms, where a richer aesthetic is preferred without compromising durability.

Acid-cured finish: the premium shield

For those looking to invest in a high-end finish, the acid-cured (or Swedish finish) is worth considering. It’s perhaps the toughest finish available and provides an elegant sheen to the hardwood floor. Its durability makes it a top pick for commercial spaces or homes with heavy foot traffic.

Natural oil finishes: the eco-friendly option

Growing in popularity are natural oil finishes like linseed, tung, and soy. These penetrate deep into the wood, providing a natural, matte finish. While they might not be as robust as polyurethanes or acid-cured finishes, they're eco-friendly and easy to touch up. They are best for homes committed to green living but still expecting moderate traffic.

Visit our hardwood flooring showroom

When selecting a finish for your wood floor in high-traffic areas, it's essential to strike a balance between aesthetics and durability. By understanding the features and benefits of each finish type, you're better equipped to make an informed decision that matches your home's demands and design aspirations. 

Cherokee Floor Covering is here for your hardwood flooring needs. Our showroom in Woodstock, GA, serves Woodstock, Marietta, Canton, Acworth, and Kennesaw, GA.