How To Apply Polyurethane To Wood Floors

How to Apply Polyurethane to Wood Floors?

After an excellent hardwood floor installation job, there is still more to be done to ensure that the whole job is completed.

You need to apply polyurethane to the floor to secure the installation and make the work done worth it. So this brings us to how much do you know about the application of polyurethane to a wood floor?

Polyurethane is shields that help protect an installed wood floor in their place ensuring that they are free from scratch and spills. They come in various types with a very tricky application procedure.

How To Polyurethane Wood Floors

To ensure you know how to apply a polyurethane finish to your wood, we have decided to bring you all you need to know.

Using Oil or Water-based Products


The first decision to make when carrying out polyurethane finish is whether to make use of an oil-based product or water based one. Even though both serve as floor protecting agents, they differ in a lot of ways.

Water-based polyurethane does not alter the color of the floor wood and dries faster than any other polyurethane solution. They are quite expensive, less flammable and do not contain harmful substances. The disadvantage of this product type is that they are not so durable and will require a replacement after 2 years of application.

Oil-based polyurethane, on the other hand, alters the color of the wood by enhancing it a bit. They are composed of very thick substances, and as such, they take a longer time to dry up when applied on wood. A respirator is needed when making use of this product. Oil-based products are also known for their fortification ability and their affordability as well.

Materials Needed In Applying Polyurethane

Having the right materials in the right proportion can make the whole application process a lot faster and the outcome a lot better. The materials are so affordable, so you should make sure you get them all.

  • The first material needed is the polyurethane itself. Make sure to choose one from a brand that offers a quality product with the right chemical and storage options.
  • You will also need to get an orbital sander of various levels to sand the wood to ensure it is smooth.
  • You will also need a 220 grit sandpaper to take care of coats in-between. A pole sander will also be required alongside the grit sandpaper.
  • Urethane brushes, a lamb’s wool and a plastic applicator, are needed to apply the polyurethane on the wood surface. If you are using a water-based solution, then you will need to get a T-bar as well.
  • A shop VAC, a respirator and some protective gloves are necessary material that will be required too.

  Preparing the Workspace

With all the materials ready and in place, you will need to prepare the workspace for the work that is to be done. You need to ensure you do this with care, paying attention to every detail.

  1. Start out by cleaning the surface upon which the polyurethane is to be applied with a vacuum. Take away dirt, dust and cobwebs from the surface. Allow for cross ventilation into the room.
  2. With the surface cleaned, you can then begin to make use of your orbital sander to sand the old finish.
  3. Avoid sanding an area for too long to avoid dents to that side and check the surface from time to time.
  4. Make use of a lint-free cloth and wood floor vacuum to take away dust when you are done.

Pro tip: If you have a multi-surface floor like a combination of hardwood and carpet or rugs, use the best vacuum for hardwood and carpet to avoid any scratches on your hardwood floor and to save some money by investing on a single vacuum.

Applying the Polyurethane

With the materials ready and the workspace prepared, you can now go on to start applying the polyurethane on the wood.

  • Avoid shaking the can of polyurethane instead stir with a paint stick.
  • Make use of the brush or applicator to apply the polyurethane starting from a corner and gradually moving towards the grain.
  • As you apply the product, make sure you clean off drippings before they dry. Check for blemishes as you continue to coat.
  • Allow the coat to dry off then after some time, you can repeat the process all over again.

In conclusion, it is possible for you to finish wood floors making use of polyurethane by yourself. All that is needed is both the knowledge and the ability that it requires.

Just like every other home improvement project, it requires that you select your materials carefully, and prepare adequately. Consider the glow your wood floor will produce if polyurethane is well applied to it, and make sure to maintain it regularly.