This hardwood floor refinishing video explains some of the various types of wood floor finish available. In this video we talk about surface finishes, which rest above the wood flooring and provide protection. Understanding your finish choices is extremely important depending on your requirements.
The three traditional surface finishes you will hear about during contractor estimates are: oil-modified polyurethane, conversion varnish, and waterborne finish. If you are sensitive to chemicals, then you should consider catalyzed floor finish that ensures more rapid curing and consistent dry times. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are not an accurate measure for the smell of a finish in many cases.
We discuss the pros and cons of each finish from the perspective of a homeowner and the practical impacts on your living situation. Adhesion, durability, optical clarity, and aging characteristics will be important in the long run for the value of your project.
It is important that you evaluate all floor finish from a level perspective based on your needs. There are some finish manufacturers out there that market to the homeowner in a very biased way. Evaluate things based on cost, durability, smell and listen to multiple sources. My experience has shown that contractors who do not understand how to apply certain finishes will badmouth those products.
I hope this is helpful and contact us if you have any questions.