We’ve got another great question this week from Richard in Pompano Beach, FL
“What’s the best finish for the wood floors on my 1924 Bungalow?”
Richard, the gold standard for refinishing wood floors today is 3 coats of oil-based polyurethane. It dries relatively quickly and provides a very hard, durable finish.
It does have its downsides though. The odor is pretty tough for a few days due to the high content of VOC’s. It doesn’t dry as fast as water-based poly-crylics. If it’s scratched it’s not easily repaired.
Despite these flaws it still is my favorite choice for hardwood floors. On an old house I would recommend going with a satin finish since the glossier the finish the more flaws it shows.
Another option is a new product we’ve jet started using called Rubio Monocoat. It has been used in Europe for decades but is just now making a name for itself in America. This is an oil-finish and much simpler to apply than polyurethane. It only requires 1 coat, hence the name, and dries overnight.
Rubio gives you a very matte finish and it feels like you are walking right on the wood instead of 3 coats of polyurethane. If you want a very green product with zero-VOC’s that is easy to apply and simple to repair this might be the choice for you.
Founder & Senior Editor
I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.