Q: Do I have to put on a “sealer” after sanding a hardwood floor or is it okay if I just use varnish? And for what reason are people sealing wood floors? Is wood sealer necessary?
A: That is a somewhat complicated answer. It depends what finishes and sealers they are using. If it is a solvent/oil based finish then I would fall back to the older architects recommendation to apply only polyurethane with the first coat cut with mineral spirits by 10% to aid in penetration. Since those days some sealers in this category have been developed which are actually polyurethane but designed as a first coat sealer.
One such product is Poloplaz fast dry sealer. Excellent product. Great penetration and pretty tough in it’s own right. Remember, it is polyurethane. In Toronto where I learned my trade, everyone is using lacquer as a sealer. Really bad idea and will give you a floor finish that will not stand up in the long run. In the water borne category some sealers are designed to help avoid a condition called side bonding and panelization. In this category, a sealer is fine to use. In solvent based, any sealer should be a polyurethane product.
Related Q: After staining Red Oak should you apply a sealer to keep the grain from lifting before applying the urethene?
A: You don’t actually need a sealer when applying stain. However, I do use a polyurethane sealer which penetrates the wood really well from Poloplaz. Before this type of sealer was created architects used to recommend cutting the first coat of polyurethane with 10% mineral spirits.
Protecting wood floors between sanding and sealing
Q: We are sanding our painted wood floors. Is there some way to protect them until we can seal them? A: You could cover them with a drop sheet. Don't walk on them with wet or mucky foot wear. Keep liquids away from the area. Oh, be careful with lead…
Tropical climate and wood floors
We just installed N**** Floor Planks and parquet in our basement. We stained the wood and put dead flat finish as topcoat. It was 99% done, when some hairline cracks appeared, there were around 10 at first, but as the days progressed it multiplied. We sanded those parts and re-applied…
Protecting wood floors from insecticide treatment
Q: I have bed bugs and everything I read says to seal all cracks in the room before using insecticide. The wood tile floor (Parquet?) has little cracks all round them. It's very old and unfinished but I just want to seal it, not bothered by color or a bit…
How to Clean Wood Floors
Besides vacuuming regularly, you can wipe your floors clean with a solution made for the type of floor finish you have. Various homemade cleaners and general cleaners on the market can leave residues that will make your floors dull, or create problems with the finish when the time comes to…
Buckled wood floors and humidity
I laid a oak tongue and groove floor in winter on two layers of plywood. The humidity in the rooms was a bit low but last summer, when the humidity increased the flooring buckled up. Can this be because I didn't leave enough gaps in-between the plywood sheeting underneath. What…
Cleaning messy film on wood floors
I believe our wood is called K***** and it is in a redwood finish. It has a shiny finish which was beautiful when it was new. Well, 1 year later w/ 2 kids and 2 dogs, the floor always looks dirty. After it is mopped, you can see a film…
1 thought on “Sealing Wood Floors – is wood sealer necessary?”
You need something to rvemoe the oil, like a standard de-greaser. Vinegar won’t do that, which is why the stench is still there. Use Lestoil straight out of the bottle pour it on the spill area, and scrub with a stiff bristle brush. Rinse by soaking with HOT water, then wipe. Repeat this a couple of times, then pour non-sudsing ammonia on the spot and scrub with the bristle brush again. You may need to repeat this process a couple of times. This will NOT be as effective if you don’t use a bristle brush. A sponge just isn’t going to get into all the tiny spaces. You can get odorless Omega 3 capsules and avoid this problem entirely.