Waterlox – The best coating for hardwood floors depends largely on the amount of foot traffic they receive. Most wooden floors are dyed with the desired color and then topped with an oil or plastic sealer. Before the availability of liquid resins and paints, the builders exposed wooden floors. Unfinished hardwood floors will certainly reduce the time and money spent on maintenance; they show wear and stains long before sealed wooden floors.
Painted and stenciled wooden floors provide color, but paint and sign placement tend to wear out quickly and need to be replaced constantly. Natural oils such as waterlox tung oil, linseed oil, and wax soak in wood pores and harden on the surface, creating a durable and relatively waterproof film on wood. The application of these natural oils, which are also called penetration seals, is extremely laborious, requiring multiple applications, careful and long drying times.
Sealers based on plastic resins, such as polyurethane and acrylic, do not penetrate into the pores of the wood but create a fragile high shell of the waterlox soil. These sealers, called surface sealers, are less laborious to apply than natural oils and require simple cleaning, but tend to scratch easily. When it comes time to reapply a surface sealer, the floor should be resanded and restained.