Best Polyurethane for Hardwood Floors 2023 | Top 5 Picks

Have you ever thought of giving the right finish to hardwood floors?

When you install hardwood in your home or office, you will probably need to use polyurethane timely. It helps to increase the lifespan of the floor. Besides, you get the floor as beautiful as if you have just installed it. You can use it beside sanding the floor.

It doesn’t matter if your area is heavily crowded or not. Polyurethane works as the protector of hardwood boards in any room condition. It prevents scratches, stains, and yellowing of the floor. Also, it creates a layer that prevents humidity or water from damaging on the surface.

So, what will the best polyurethane for the wood surface?

The answer is here!

Polyurethane is not only for the hardwood floors. You can apply the poly coat on wooden furniture too. The result will be the same astonishing.

Theresam versatile wood finishing products available at the market. Polyurethane is one of them that comes in mostly two popular forms. Water-based and oil-based – these are effective and most preferable polyurethane for home and commercial uses. Read the rest of the polyurethane buying guide for valuable information.

A Quick Comparison of our Favorite Picks


  • Size: Quart
  • Color: Semi-Gloss
  • Material: Oil based
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  • Size: 1 Quart
  • Color: Satin Finish
  • Material: Liquid
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  • Size: QT
  • Color: Clear Satin
  • Material: Polyurethane
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  • Size: 5 Gallon
  • Color: Matte
  • Material: Matte
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  • Size: Gallon
  • Color: Semi-Gloss
  • Material: Oil based
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Here is Top 5 Polyurethane for Furniture and Hardwood Floors details review

We are a group of home decoration or beautification experts. We have studied the current market to find out the top-rated polyurethane for hardwood floors. These are our outcomes:

1. Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish

Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish

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Minwax is one of the finest brands to provide different flooring products. You can find both water-based and oil-based polyurethane from this manufacturer. Fast-drying clear finish is an efficient water-based poly coating for woods.

As it’s a water-based product, it dries faster and seals the floor tightly. There will be no irritating odor after you apply the polyurethane. If you are new to hardwood floors maintenance, choose this product without any doubt. It will lock up the real beauty of the floor. After applying it, you can easily clean it with a regular soapy water solution.

When you apply Minwax polyurethane on wood, it will protect the wood for more than 7-8 years. It applies to different types of wood-made things like furniture, cabinets, doors, etc. So, you are saving money and time for the same product.

New or old, finished, or unfinished- you can apply Minwax on any of them. The durability of this coating is evident. You will feel the same even after years. However, you can find three different colors or finishes variations like gloss, semi-gloss, and satin. From 1 gallon to 2.5 gallons with five different styles, Minwax water-based polyurethane performs the best.

Notable Features
  • Multiple variations of finish or styles
  • Suitable for finished and unfinished floors
  • Applicable to any wood-made furniture, doors, cabinets, etc.
  • Dries faster with low odor and heavy durability
  • Water-based and environmentally friendly formula
  • Makes floor smooth, shiny and long-lasting
  • Size: 1-2.5 gallons

2. Rust-Oleum Water-Based Polyurethane

Rust-Oleum Water-Based Polyurethane

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If you are looking for the best water-based polyurethane, Rust-Oleum is a friendly solution for you. It comes with an all-rounder wood protection formula that works on any wood surface. You can cover any indoor wood furniture, windows, doors, cabinets, etc.

Multiple sizes and finishes of this product are available for sale. You can choose either 1-quart or 1-gallon size poly coating. If you love to bring a glossy look, choose the gloss or gloss finish of Rust-Oleum. Different finishes like Satin finish, semi-gloss finish is also out there. The satin finish would be the best idea for people who love the classic and original look.

Water-based Rust-Oleum finish dries faster, like within 30 minutes. You can recoat the surface within the next 2 hours. There won’t be any previous sand marks, stains, scratches on the floor. Even it will create a barrier against those nasty stains.

It won’t bother you by creating a heavy toxic scent. Instead, it has a low or zero odor when you apply it to your residence. It dries faster, but you can clean the surface with just soap and water. Never be worried about wood surface going yellowish. Get the ultimate beauty of a finished or unfinished hardwood floor.

Notable Features
  • High-quality water-based polyurethane for finish
  • Dries within less than 30 minutes
  • No more scratches on the surface
  • Works great on any wooden furniture, doors, cabinets and many more
  • Different types of finishes hit the market.
  • Satin finish for classic lovers
  • Less bad smell, easy to wash with soap and water
  • Size: 1 quart

3. ZAR Ultra Polyurethane Clear Interior Wood Finish, Satin – Quart

ZAR Ultra Polyurethane Clear Interior Wood Finish

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Oil-based ZAR Ultra Polyurethane is the trending wood finish product getting everyone’s attention. It works best in such room conditions where people keep feet now and then. It prevents all the coming threats on the surface of the hardwood floor. You will love the Satin finish of ZAR polymer coating.

Home or office room- you can apply this entirely natural oil formulated clean interior finish. There are rare polyurethane products that can beat this coat for wood floors. It’s designed to work on any interior wood furniture, doors, windows, cabinets, etc. It will prevent abrasions roughly since you apply it.

The wood surface becomes smooth, bright, and feels like something great. It takes less than 120 minutes to dry. You can apply the next coating within a very short time, yet it is oil-based. After several years, floorboards will look the same, attractive one.

ZAR polyurethane has a mild but pleasant odor. Even you can clean the floor quickly. Buy the clean satin finish of the 1-quart size. Apply and see the magic.

Notable Features
  • Preferable for heavy traffic area
  • The natural plant-based oil formula
  • Provides smooth, self-leveling appearance on the floor
  • It takes less than 120 minutes to dry
  • Protects wood surface from abrasion
  • Works great on hardwood floors
  • Size: 1-quart

4. Eco-Poly Polyurethane Sealer & Floor Finish

Eco-Poly Polyurethane Sealer & Floor Finish

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Toxicity in home improvement products can harm you and your kids alongside pets’ health. Eco-Poly brings you toxicity and VOC free single product that works both as a sealer and floor finish. Moreover, you can apply this sealer on the concrete floor too.

When you are taking care of the home floor, this can be a convenient and useful asset. It gives the ultimate multilayer protection to the wood and concrete surface. There will be no damages due to moisture, UV, chemical substances. You can repair or remove the old stains, marks, cracks from the wood or concrete floor.

We have found this polyurethane effective in any indoor and outdoor projects. Three different finishes like gloss, matte, satin are available. You can choose any of them according to your preferences. Bring either the shiny look to make it attractive or bold look to suit your personality.

Like other water-based polyurethane, Eco-Poly sealer takes very little time to dry. But there will be no virtual odor that can make you irritated. If you want a long-lasting finish, try applying two coats of poly-coating. After all, you can smoothen the wood furniture, doors, cabinets, windows as well as the concrete floors with this item.

Notable Features
  • Environment-friendly, natural, non-toxic sealer
  • Works on wood and concrete surface
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor surface sealing and finishing
  • Scratch, abrasion, UV resistant natural water-based formula
  • Dries faster, has a low odor
  • High durability with multilayer protection
  • Size: 1-5 gallons

5. Minwax Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane For Floors

Minwax Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane For Floors

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Minwax has been a trendy brand in the current market. It is oil-based 350 VOC polyurethane works as good as their other products. You would love to apply this poly coating on your VOC compliant hardwood flooring.

We all love to see our home looks shiny, clean, and bright as the new one. The Minwax durable natural oil-based formula for polyurethane gives you that satisfaction within a few hours. It dries faster than other ordinary oil-based sealers.

This product protects wood furniture and floors from adverse weather, humidity, harmful chemicals. When you put the coating, you can save time and money for sanding because it doesn’t require any sanding between the coatings.

It may look like liquid milk, but you don’t need to stir it before applying. The advanced anti-settling formula provides the same brilliant result in any large or small surfaces. However, you can choose any finish between three types: gloss, semi-gloss, and satin.

Notable Features
  • Gives long-lasting finish on hardwood floors
  • 350 VOC compliant floor suitable
  • Faster drying with low odor
  • Requires no or less stirring
  • Highly effective on any kind of hardwood surfaces
  • Size: 1 gallon

Things to consider before buying polyurethane for furniture and floors:

The smell of the polyurethane is a very important matter to notice. You should always choose the item that doesn’t create any health or breathing issues.

Water-based polyurethane dries faster while the oil-based item takes more time. But, you should take at least a day before you start moving on the floor.

If your place has heavy traffic, choose oil-based poly coating. For a small size area, the water-based product would be great.

Glossy, matte, satin- these are common types of finish you may get from hardwood polyurethane.

Cleaning becomes a significant fact after applying polymer coating on floors. So, choose the product wisely that is easy to clean.

For indoor or outdoor, the selected product should give high durability and damage resistance.

If you prefer affordable polyurethane, go for a water-based one. The oil-based formula makes the product a bit costly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use water-based polyurethane for my hardwood floors?

A: When you install hardwood floors, they require the correct finish. Polyurethane for woods increases the beauty, lifespan of the floors. Water-based polyurethane is a fine agent to get the durability, more than just sanding.

Q: Which one is better; water-based or oil-based polyurethane?

A: We suggest you use water-based polyurethane if you are thinking about the budget. Besides, it creates low odor. Also, it takes lesser time to dry. For smoother, and brighter floor finish, choose oil-based polyurethane.

Q: Do I need to sand between coats of polyurethane?

A: Most of the time, it doesn’t require sanding. But if you want to sand, wait first to completely dry of poly costing. Then use fine-grit sandpaper for sanding the floor gently. Then apply the second coating.

Q: How long water-based polyurethane takes to dry?

A: Usually, it takes 2-4 hours on average. But we recommend you to use the floor for at least a day.


A newly built house requires color coating to have the complete feel of shelter and place to spend time. Similarly, a hardwood floor, whether it’s new or old, needs a proper finish. This polyurethane, as mentioned earlier, products can match all your needs. Just be sure you have chosen the most suitable polyurethane for hardwood floors and furniture.

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