How Finish Affects Hardwood Floor Care

There are several different styles of finishes for hardwood floors, each of which with their own unique characteristics. Consequently, when you clean your wood floor you have to take into consideration what kind of finish it has. The type of wood on the other hand is inconsequential. In order to tell what kind of finish you have, rub your finger on the floor. If it doesn’t smudge, this means the floor is surface sealed. If it does smudge, this means the floor was waxed after having been treated with a seal, oil, shellac, varnish, or lacquer which penetrated the floor.


Surface-sealed wood floors are sealed with urethane, polyurethane, or polyacrylic. Most new wood floors are sealed this way. These floors have the advantage of being stain and water-damage resistant. They are also the easiest to clean. All you need to do is sweep, mop, and you’re good to go.


Penetrating-seal-treated and oil-treated wood floors use a seal or oil finish that soaks into the wood grain and hardens to protect the wood. This type of floor is more difficult to clean as it must be protected with liquid or paste wax. Shellacked, varnished, and lacquered floors share these characteristics. In order to clean these floors, just sweep and vacuum, don’t use water. Once or twice a year you can strip the old wax and apply a fresh coat to give the floor a new sheen.



Signature Hardwood Floors has been servicing the entire Maryland, Northern Virginia, and South Central Pennsylvania areas since July of 2004. With more than twenty years of experience, we offer top quality products and exceptional craftsmanship. We are licensed and insured for both residential and commercial projects.

In addition, we are a recognized member of the National Wood Flooring Association, noted for our staff’s regular participation in continuing education programs on wood flooring. Our skilled and knowledgeable staff is proficient in new installation, refinishing, repairs, stain applications, oil and water base poly, and restorations. This expertise enables us to provide you, the customer, with the best results at an affordable price.

Contact the flooring experts at Signature Hardwood Floors, Inc. to help you determine which type of hardwood flooring is best for you. Contact us by calling 410.415.0755 or click here today!

Our mission statement is simple: stay small, personal, and in control of our work, all to ensure that you receive the best job possible! We have a passion for this industry.

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