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Floor Sealer And Finish Guide

Give customers the best floors by properly building it layer by layer.


Beautiful floors aren’t born—they’re built. When it comes to designing and building floors that customers love, flooring professionals and contractors understand the relationship between the layers of a floor and how to bring out a floor’s best with the proper tools and coatings.

Whether your customers want a traditional look or a completely customized creation, choosing the right coatings can help create a stunning floor. Aside from flooring material, the biggest impacts on a floor are the use of floor sealer and floor finish. When so many homeowners are looking to get fresh new looks for their floors, resealing or refinishing floors are great options for customers to transform floors without replacing them. Here are some things to remember when using sealers and finishes.

Floor Sealers 

Floor sealers provide an excellent level of protection as well as being an important build layer for other protective coatings. Especially for wood floors, a sealant coat gives installers more control over the look and durability of the finished floor.

Benefits of Hardwood Floor Sealers

  • Evens out the surface of the wood
  • Prevents tannin bleed and side bonding
  • Increases durability of floor and finish
  • Reduces the chance of negative reaction between wood and finish
  • Can preserve, customize or enhance a floor’s existing color

Bona provides an excellent line of wood floor sealers, giving installers a wide range of freedom and creativity. From waterborne sealers, oil-modified sealers and natural penetrating oils, our professional coatings provide an ease of installation with the performance and durability that flooring professionals demand.

Floor Finishes

While floor sealers protect floors by penetrating into the pores of the flooring material, the importance of a floor’s finish is, of course, the protective surface layer that is the first line of defense against floor damage. When it comes to a floor’s finish, professional installers have a wide range of finishes to choose from:

  • Oil-based/oil-modified poly
  • Waterborne poly
  • Moisture cured urethanes
  • Acid cured urethanes (AKA Swedish Finish)
  • Waxes and Oils

When it comes to helping customers choose the right kind of floor finish, make sure the following concerns are addressed to give clients a wide range of options.

  • Durability (abrasion/scratch resistance)
  • Look and style (color, sheen level)
  • Potential color changes over time
  • VOCs/green options
  • Maintenance
  • Dry/cure time

Fixing Floor Finish Mistakes

Proper care and preparation are needed for applying floor finish. Floors need to be properly sanded, cleaned or repaired before any finish is applied. Fixing flaws in a floor’s finish can be a costly, time-consuming job. Here’s a list of common floor finish mistakes and ways to prevent them.

  • Streaks. Ensure job site conditions are properly prepared for optimal drying. Most streaking problems can be traced back to the application or even the applicator itself. An easy way to eliminate problems with streaking is with the use of a roller.
  • Side bonding. Using a quality floor sealer will help prevent side bonding. Be sure to inform customers of their maintenance responsibilities, especially in climate regions where humidity can be an issue.
  • Peeling. Check to make sure the coatings you use are compatible with each other. Following manufacturer’s instructions will help give proper guidance on what abrasives are recommended when prepping the floor.
  • Blistering. Temperature control is often the cause of blistering. When finishing a floor, consider the sun and either cover the windows with plastic or plan the job early in the morning or late in the day. Make sure that the room is properly prepped to allow for proper airflow as the finish dries.
  • Uneven sheen. Make sure the floor finish is prepared according to manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure that the finish is mixed well. If multiple containers of finish are needed to complete a single application, batch them together to ensure a uniform sheen. 

To give your customers the best-looking floors with superior protection, Bona Mega ONE and Bona Traffic HD are optimal choices that have been designed specifically for the needs of professional floor installers. Check out our other options in waterborne finishes, oil-modified finishes and our natural penetrating oil finish.