9 Best Polyurethane for Floors- Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Image of interior floor covered with the best polyurethane for floors

Wooden floors, with a proper finish, is the best thing that can happen to a home or an office. With time, the finishes on the floor lose the spark and would need refinishing to restore the beauty. Polyurethane is one of the formulas that you can use to finish your wooden floors.

For most people, it is always a tall order landing the best polyurethane for floors. As a result, a good number ends up spending their valuable resources on the wrong products. We want to bring an end to these common mistakes, and that’s why we have reviewed some of the best polyurethane for floors that you can find on the market today.

Our list includes:

1. Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish Satin 1 Gallon- Our Best Overall Product

We rate this product as the best polyurethane for floors thanks to its many reliable features. It’s a satin finish with so much ease of usage and comes at relatively low prices, making it best for people working on a budget.

The formula is water-based with oxygen crosslinking one-part Polyurethane that does not call for any kind of mixing. It uses atmospheric oxygen as a crosslinker; this makes it non-toxic and eco friendly.

The Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish comes in a variety of options that you can choose from, with the options of satin, gloss, and semi-gloss. Besides, this formula is almost odorless with no limited pot life, meaning you can keep it for a long while.

One fantastic feature of this formula is its faster drying time with just about 5 hours enough for you to walk on the surface following applications. For the best result, you need to apply up to 3 coats.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The formula comes with oxygen-crosslinking polyurethane (OCP) waterborne formula.
  • Other available forms include semi-gloss and gloss.
  • It has a natural wood color that enhances the beauty of the wood.
  • The product does not require any mixing, has unlimited pot life, and no wasted finish.
  • It comes with exceptional flow, leveling, and build.


  • The formula is easy to apply
  • Comes with low odor
  • It has an amazing look on the hardwood floor
  • The product dries quickly
  • It has bright shine and is non-slippery


  • Needs multiple coats for the best results
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2. RUST-OLEUM 200231 Paint, 1-Gallon, Satin

The brand alone is enough to make you want to use this formula. Just like the brand gives you confidence, so should this product. It works only for the interior surfaces and available in 5 various forms; gloss, satin, semi-gloss, transparent, and satin finish.

Cleaning this formula is quite easy as you only need soap and water to have the floor sparkling as if it were new. Additionally, this formula is resistant to scratch, dries in a short time, and has an advanced mechanism for stain protection.

Most polyurethane finishes fade on the floor, but this one does not; neither does it give a surface a yellowish appearance. Therefore, if you are looking to maintain the natural color of the wood, then this is the formula that you should buy.

If you settle for this product, you won’t need to apply multiple coats for you to get the best and durable finish. One or two application does the work well; above all, it is eco-friendly and affordable for many users.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It’s easy to use
  • The formula comes with so much durability
  • It is eco friendly
  • Available in as many as five forms


  • It is a non-toxic product
  • Easy to clean with just water and soap
  • It does not fade on the floor
  • Faster drying time
  • Resists scratch


  • Some users have issues with pricing.
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3. ZAR 33912 Oil Based Polyurethane Wood Finish, QT

We believe this formula is the best polyurethane for floors thanks to its fast drying time qualities. It takes this formula just 2 hours to dry to touch.

Other than the fact that it is fast drying, this formula is self-leveling something that appreciated by individuals who do not like seeing the brush strokes and have no time to level the surface. This formula dries into a very smooth surface, which might not necessarily be great as it can cause slipping, especially when wet.

As far as we can talk about the durability, this formula is one of the best you can find out there. The formula has a much lighter finish, which is why you should be sure that you are okay with lighter finishes before settling for this formula.

Pricewise, it favors almost any woodworker because you don’t have to worry about a too expensive product or paying to low for it.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It is for interior use only.
  • The formula comes with a tough abrasion-resistant finish
  • It cures into a smooth and self-leveling finish
  • It’s perfect for wooden floors


  • It’s a fast-drying that need just two hours to dry to touch
  • The product is specifically for hardwood floors
  • Gives a strong finish


  • Cures into a smooth finish that might be slippery when wet
  • It’s inflammable


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4. Minwax Water-based Wipe-On Polyurethane

Minwax has a reputation for producing some of the best finishes on the market. If you are looking for a finish that will give your wooden floor an adorable luster hue, you should go for the Minwax Water-based Wipe-On Polyurethane.

One thing we loved about this formula is its fast drying property. Its thin solution facilitates its ability to dry faster. Furthermore, you can use a piece of cotton cloth for application; this will also help prevent dripping.

What makes this finish qualify as the best polyurethane for floors other than its protective feature is the fact that you don’t necessarily need a tool for application. It works so well on both finished and unfinished wood surfaces. You will find it in satin, gloss, and clear.

Its usage is not limited to floors as you can apply it to wood furniture like bar table topschairs, and door. Other areas you can use it include wood trim, railing, cabinet, and most wood surfaces if you need a glossy look. It has a faster drying time of just a few hours.

The Summary of Top features

  • The formula has a fantastic durability
  • It is one of the fastest drying polyurethane finishes out there
  • Has low odor
  • The formula is easy to clean.


  • You can apply it on several surfaces
  • Available in up to 3 forms
  • Easy to apply as it does not require any tool


  • It’s thin
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5. Dura Seal 1G Satin 310 Polyurethane

Dura-Seal has a reputation for producing the best finishes over the years. This formula is an oil-based polyurethane product with exceptional durability and comes with one of the best coverages that you can find on the market. A single gallon of this formula can provide a coverage of up to 500 square feet. That’s why it is the best polyurethane for floors because it can cover a wide surface area.

Using this formula gives you a uniform and level finish effortlessly. This product is a good value for money if you put together it’s incredible qualities like the area of coverage.

You may want to do two or three coats of this product to attain the perfect finish, which guarantees you the much-needed durability. It is ideal for several midsize projects.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It’s a durable finish
  • Wide area of coverage
  • Cures into a level finish
  • Does well for midsize or large projects


  • It gives excellent value for your money
  • A very lasting formula on your wooden floors


  • It’s not great for small projects
  • It might require multiple layers to achieve the perfect finish.
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6. Bona Finish – Mega HD Clear Satin

Like any other Bona products, we wouldn’t blame you if you had high expectations from this formula because it does not disappoint. First, it is a water-based polyurethane finish with anti-scratch features coupled with other components that resist reaction to chemicals that might spill to the surface. As a result, it offers your wooden floor a top of the class protection.

Even though this formula only exists in satin form, it will give your wooden floor one of the most beautiful finishes imaginable while offering its protection at the same time. 

As experts, we were impressed by the fact that this finish is odorless, non-flammable, water-based, and above all, it’s friendly to the environment. It has no amber tint, unlike other water-based polyurethane finishes, and that’s why it is one of the best polyurethane for floors. The lack of amber hue means that it won’t turn yellow or fade for a very long period.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The formula is excellently clear upon application
  • It has a faster drying
  • The product can resist chemicals and scratches
  • Has no amber effect after drying
  • Using it gives your surface a level finish.


  • It’s clear when dr
  • The formula comes with excellent scuff resistant
  • It has excellent flow.


  • It has a shelf life of about 12 months.
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7. Minwax 710330000 Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane, gallon, Satin.

Here’s another Minwax formula that deserves to be on our list of the best polyurethane for floors. This formula is a crystal clear water-based polyurethane that gives the best results, especially on the interior surfaces like the living room and bedroom floors. It adds the wood surface more than just protection as it beautifies it in the process.

One thing about this polyurethane finish is that it contains elements of volatile organic compounds that make it dry with ease. Also, you can clean it easily, using just water and soap. 

Note: If you have respiratory complications, we advise that you use this formula in a properly ventilated area for safety reasons.

What’s more about this formula is that it comes with compounds that protect the wood from UV rays, chemical damage, scratches, and above all, it is non-flammable. 

Its application is a simple one with just the use of a synthetic brush or a lambswool applicator.

Minwax water-based oil-modified polyurethane comes with three different sheens that you can settle for; such is; satin, gloss, as well as semi-gloss. All these sheen adds the feel of luxury, elegance, and, most of all, beauty to your wooden floor surface.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The formula has Low odor 
  • Adds protection and beauty to the interior wood surfaces such as woodwork, door, furniture, wood cabinets, and floors
  • Faster drying time
  • Easy clean up using warm water and soap
  • The formula gives a clear finish with superior durability. 


  • Resist scuffing
  • Applicable to many surfaces
  • Easy clean up
  • Available in up to three distinct sheens


  • Not suitable for people with respiratory conditions especially on poorly ventilated rooms


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8. Deft Defthane Interior Exterior Clear Polyurethane Gloss, Quart

From our testing on different polyurethane products, we concluded that this particular product was created specifically to last longer. It is a high solid formula that will stand the test of time and is an oil-based formula that darkens your wood a little, which is not such a problem.

This formula is perfect for areas that experience high traffic floors. Much as it is waterproof, it does not qualify for a marine-grade finish. However, as long as you can keep it above the waterline, then it is okay to use this product on a boat or any other watercraft.

One aspect of this wood finishing that is fascinating is the fact that you do have to necessarily remove the existing finish that is on your floor before applying this one.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It is a high solids oil-based polyurethane formula for hard use areas
  • The product is excellent for both interior and exterior wood surfaces
  • Great for unfinished and painted wood, varnished, stained and lacquered surfaces
  • Available in a gloss finish


  • Great for high-use areas like floors
  • It’s waterproof to some degree 
  • You can use it over an existing surface or coating
  • Affordable


  • Available in small sizes
  • Takes longer to dry
  • Has a bit of chemical smell
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9. Deft Interior Exterior Water-Based Polyurethane Finish Gloss, Quart

What makes this formula one of the best polyurethane for floors is that it can serve up to two purposes-can work on the interior and the exterior surfaces of the wood. It contains 100% urethane, with the latest this deft product is formulated with the latest water-based oil technology.

Additionally, this formula features components that offer wood protection against things such as ultraviolet radiation, scratches, and extreme weather conditions. It does not alter the natural look of wood but instead improves its appearance.

The formula does not yellow upon application; it only cures into a beautiful crystal bright look on your wooden floor, cabinet, and all the wood surfaces where it is used. The good thing about this formula is that it meets the standard Volatile Organic Compound and odor level; hence it is environmentally friendly.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It’s for Interior/Exterior use 
  • Last longer than most oil-based polyurethanes
  • It needs only 2 hours to be ready for recoat
  • This product comes with the latest water-based oil-modified urethane technology
  • It certifies the environmental regulations for VOC with low odor
  • Comes with superior UV protection


  • Very durable 
  • It provides exceptional sanding
  • The formula is ideal for stained surfaces
  • It cures into a hard finish.


  • Emits harmful vapor


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Best Polyurethane for Floors Buyer’s Guide

Factors to Consider when Choosing Polyurethane for Floors:

If you are looking to shop for the best polyurethane for floors, you need to consider some factors. In this guide, we have discussed some of these factors. They include:

The Sheen

Polyurethane products are available in different forms, from clear, gloss, satin to semi-gloss. If you are looking for the best poly product, you should pay keen attention to these forms and ensure that you go for the ones that will be compatible with the type of your wood.

For instance, satin is excellent if you are using exotic wood.

The Odor

Regardless of whether you have respiratory issues or not, you need to have keen attention to the smell of a finishing product. Polyurethane formulas that produce strong odors are likely toxic to both users and the environment. Such products might end up causing respiratory complications upon extended exposure. 

Therefore, ensure that you settle for finishes with less or no smell at all. That way, you will be doing yourself as well as the environment a great favor.

The Longevity/Durability of the Formula

This aspect is essential. Ideally, you don’t need products that will wear out soon due to all the logistics involved. Using advanced formulas can guarantee your wooden floors a prolonged service life. Going for durable products will save you time, money as well as the efforts of the entire application process.

The Cost

It is a crucial factor that you need to consider. Going for products that allow you to work within your budget is essential. Much as expensive products might have some impressive features, you don’t have to buy them, especially if they are going to make you strain financially or use more money than you had planned to use.

Remember that there are formulas out there that are “cheap” and do more than what you can get from finishes that are on the higher end of the prices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you apply polyurethane using a sponge roller?

Yes, that is acceptable. However, you will always find the manufacturer’s recommendation on the application method indicated on the label.

Here’s a video on apply polyurethane using a roller

How long does it take polyurethane to dry?

Well, water-based poly needs about 6 hours to dry while the oil-based poly can take up to 24 hours to dry. These two need about one month to cure.

Is polyurethane Toxic?

Yes, mostly, the polyurethane products contain some toxic substances within their compounds. You need to be extra careful when handling poly products, especially before it dries.


Polyurethane finishes do a great job of protecting and beautifying the surface of your wooden floor, which is why we encourage that you only shop for the best polyurethane for floors. Even so, we understand that it is hard to land the very best products on the market.

In our bid to ease you through the process of selecting the best products on the market, we have reviewed and provided the buyer’s guide that we believe will help you get the best formula possible.

Our number one product, in this case, is the Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish Satin 1 Gallon. Other products on this list are equally effective. Choose the ones that perfectly fit your project. Also, feel free to talk to us about any burning issue regarding this topic or related. Happy Shopping.

Image of a woodworker wearing hearing protectors for woodworking

Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

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