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5 Best Polyurethane for Floors [Reviewed & Buyer’s Guide]

While you may have gotten the perfect wooden flooring in your house, it can be filled with scratches and stains over a period of time.

Construction worker in a family home living room that grind the concrete surface before applying epoxy flooring.Polyurethane and epoxy flooring.Concrete grinding.

And that is why you need good-quality polyurethane. It will add a protective layer to the flooring and furniture, preventing them from getting scratches, stains, blemishes, and fingerprints. This also protects the floor from getting discolored over a period of time.

Moving on, we know that there are various kinds of polyurethane available in the market and it might be difficult to pick one. To prevent any confusion, we have curated a list of the top 5 polyurethane for floors which is followed by a buyer’s guide. We have listed down the pros and cons too of all the products for your benefit.

So, what are you waiting for? Dive in!

Best Polyurethane For Floors 

Construction worker produces the grout and finish wet concrete with a special tool. Float blades. For smoothing and polishing concrete, concrete floors

Here's the list of the 5 best polyurethane for floors, ensuring your wooden flooring stays protected from scratches, stains, blemishes, and discoloration over time.

1. Minwax Minwaxc Protective Finish - Best for Wooden Surfaces

We will begin with one of our top suggestions, and that is the Minwax 244444444 Minwaxc Protective Finish. If you were looking to protect all the beautiful wooden surfaces in your house, this would be a good pick. We were very happy with its finished effect on our furniture.

1/2 pt Minwax 24444 Clear Polycrylic Water-Based Protective...
  • PROTECT WOOD SURFACES – Minwax Polycrylic Protective...
  • CRYSTAL CLEAR FINISH THAT LASTS – The crystal clear...

Why Did We Like It?

The best part about this product is that it provides smooth and even coverage. You do not have to worry about stains, blemishes, or stroke marks, and the finish is perfect. We applied 3 coats on top of each other, leaving an hour in between to dry. This one dries very quickly, and you can work on a number of furniture or large floor extensions at the same time.

Next, this is a water-based formula; hence, it is very easy to clean. You will just need some soap and water, and that should help you do it.

Plus, the surface does not turn yellow over time. It stays transparent and slightly glossy, especially when the sunlight streams into your room.

What’s more, a strong paint odor can be problematic, and many do not like this at all. The brand has thought this through, and this product comes with a very low odor, which isn’t overbearing.

What Could've Been Better?

The only downside to this is that it is pretty expensive when considering how small the product is. You will need to buy a number of cans in order to cover large surfaces. However, if you are looking to cover a small area, this should suit you well.


  • Known for ultra-fast drying
  • Crystal clear layer
  • Low odor
  • Does not turn yellow


  • Expensive product

Type: ‎Water Based | Dimensions: ‎3 x 3 x 4 inches | Weight: 10.6 oz | Application Areas: Furniture, Wooden Surfaces | Durable: Yes

2. Rust-Oleum 260165 Ultimate Polyurethane - Best for Matte Finish

Up next is a very durable product that will protect your furniture and floors. The Rust-Oleum 260165 Ultimate Polyurethane will provide a matte finish and it is almost invisible. The texture of your furniture and trims will remain the same, and you can have them look like new ones for longer.

Rust-Oleum 260165 Ultimate Polyurethane, 1 Quart, Matte
  • Protects interior wood surfaces such as cabinets, doors,...
  • Water based acrylic formula dries fast and cleans up with...

Why Did We Like It?

First of all, this polyurethane adds a layer to the wooden surface and protects it from smudges and fingerprints. If you have kids or pets in the house, this will keep the furniture safe from their multiple finger or paw prints.

Next, this is a very durable item that will prevent scratches and most stains from forming marks on the surface. You will always be getting a smooth and soft finish which will keep the furniture looking new.

Plus, since it is a water-based formula, it will not take time to dry. This dries to touch within an hour, and it is safe to apply another coat in 2 hours. You can cover the entire flooring in one day, thanks to this. Also, it has the capacity to cover 150 square feet per 1 quart.

What Could've Been Better?

We found that the color of the coated wooden surfaces does darken with time. But it is not very visible, and it looks like the wood has been dampened with moisture. This does not affect durability or longevity, but it may not work for some.


  • Dries in an hour
  • Protective matte finish
  • Texture is soft
  • Resistant to scratches and scuffs


  • Darkens wood slightly

Type: ‎Water Based | Dimensions: ‎5 x 5 x 5 inches | Weight: ‎3.17 oz | Application Areas: Furniture, Floors, Trims | Durable: Yes

3. ZAR 32912 Zar Ultra Polyurethane - Best for Floors

Are you looking for an oil-based formula? Then the ZAR 32912 Zar Ultra Polyurethane will prove to be the perfect option for you. It works very well and is known to be excellent for floors. Apply 2 coats, and your floors should be protected from general wear and tear.

Why Did We Like It?

First of all, this is a super drying formula that will take up minimal time and is perfect for busy individuals. It will dry up within 2 hours, and you can apply another coat over the first one. Leave it for a few hours, and you can put back your carpets and rugs in place.

Next, this is a self-leveling formula that will not leave any brush or stroke marks behind. The substance levels itself and will provide an even finish that is free of any marks.

Moving on, once the finish layer is in place, it will prevent the floors from getting harmed due to abrasion. The floor will not catch scratches easily, even if you drop things on it.

Overall, this is a very cost-effective option to choose which will meet all your needs.

What Could've Been Better?

Since this product is oil-based, it makes the floor slightly slippery. This would mean that you will have to tread carefully, and kids especially are prone to falling over. We will recommend keeping rugs in case you have kids who are just learning to walk.


  • Super quick-drying formula
  • Resistant to abrasions
  • Very durable
  • Provides a satin finish


  • Known to be slippery

Type: Oil-based | Dimensions: ‎4.25 x 4.25 x 4.88 inches | Weight: ‎33.28 oz | Application Areas: Floors, Wooden Surfaces | Durable: Yes

4. Deft Defthane Clear Polyurethane Satin

If you were looking for a product for heavy traffic areas, then the Deft Defthane Clear Polyurethane Satin will serve you very well. It is formulated especially for areas where people keep walking, and that would include the front passage and living room. Rest assured that you will have a smooth experience, thanks to this.

Deft Defthane Interior Exterior Clear Polyurethane Satin,...
  • This high solids oil based polyurethane is formulated for...
  • EPA Regulated: No ship to AK, CA, HI, NH

Why Did We Like It?

This product works perfectly well for both interior and exterior wooden surfaces. You can use it for your front porch, floors, doors, and all other furniture. We were very happy with the versatility offered. This is like that one solution for all your finishing needs.

Moreover, you can use it on different types of wooden and metal surfaces, and that includes stained and unstained wood. We were able to use it on unfinished wood, painted, lacquered, and varnished surfaces. If you have a rustic interior, this will help protect everything entirely.

Next, 1 gallon of the product can cover an area of 500 to 600 feet. But these are available in 1-quart cans. You can buy as per the area that needs to be covered.

Further, this blocks out harmful ultraviolet rays and prevents them from causing harm to the surface.

What Could've Been Better?

Although the product description mentioned that it is clear and transparent, once you apply it, you will notice a warm honey color. This color remains and makes the surface slightly yellowish. Now, this could be an issue if you are using it on white furniture or flooring.


  • Covers a large area
  • Blocks out UV rays
  • Does not leave brush marks
  • Protects metal from rusting


  • Slightly yellowish color

Type: Oil-based | Dimensions: ‎‎4.25 x 4.25 x 4.88 inches | Weight: ‎33.6 oz | Application Areas: Interior and Exterior Surfaces | Durable: No

5. DuraSeal 550 VOC Polyurethane

One of our final recommendations is the DuraSeal 550 VOC Polyurethane. This is a very powerful formula that is known to be extremely durable. It is ideal for houses with kids and pets and will ensure that it stays prim and proper with no marks on the floor.

DuraSeal 550 VOC Polyurethane clear Oil-Based Wood Floor...
  • Patented Dura Seal formulation especially designed for...
  • Transparent oil-based formula for richer and deeper texture...

Why Did We Like It?

This comes with the patented Dura-Seal formula, which is the secret behind its amazing capacities. It resists even the most difficult stains and will ensure that your flooring stays like new for longer.

Next, this is a transparent formula that has a deep and rich texture. It will not create a yellowish layer or turn yellow in the long run.

Moving on to the application process, you can apply it yourself without needing any professional help. This has a high application rate of 500 square feet per gallon, and that makes the product cost-effective. It will not be heavy on your pockets, and you can easily apply it too.

The brand offers 4 different finishes, which include matte, gloss, semi-gloss, and satin. You can choose one that suits you best.

What Could've Been Better?

While most of its peers dry within an hour or 2, this one has to be left for around 8 hours to dry completely. You can then apply a second coat which will take another 8 hours. This can be pretty time-consuming, but the end results will impress you. Make a note of this before purchasing.


  • Known to be very durable
  • Can cover 500 square feet with 1 gallon
  • Easy application process
  • Resistant to scratches


  • Takes time to dry

Type: Oil-based | Dimensions: 4.85 x 4.25 x 4.25 inches | Weight: ‎32.8 oz | Application Areas: Wooden Floors | Durable: Yes

Best Polyurethane for Floor Comparison Table

ProductTypeDimensionsWeightApplication AreasDurable
Minwax Minwaxc Protective FinishWater Based‎3 x 3 x 4 inches10.6 ozFurniture, Wooden SurfacesYes
Rust-Oleum 260165 Ultimate PolyurethaneWater Based5 x 5 x 5 inches3.17 ozFurniture, Floors, TrimsYes
ZAR 32912 Zar Ultra PolyurethaneOil-based4.25 x 4.25 x 4.88 inches33.28 ozFloors, Wooden SurfacesYes
Deft Defthane Clear Polyurethane SatinOil-based4.25 x 4.25 x 4.88 inches33.6 ozInterior and Exterior SurfacesNo
DuraSeal 550 VOC PolyurethaneOil-based4.85 x 4.25 x 4.25 inches32.8 ozWooden FloorsYes

Buying Guide For The Best Polyurethane for Floor

Now that you have gone through the top products, it is time to move on to the factors that will help you find the best one. There are different features, and you have to determine your needs before purchasing. Read on to know all about the factors.

Water-based v/s Oil-based

There are 2 main varieties, and some formulas are water-based while others are oil-based. The water-based ones are easier to clean, and you will only need soap and water. They dry faster and will ensure your work process is done quickly.

On the other hand, oil-based polyurethane is more long-lasting and will add shine to the surface. They do take longer to dry, but they work for a long time.


What is the kind of finish that you are aiming for? While some prefer a matte surface, others will want a glossy or a semi-glossy surface. Having said that, you will have to fix upon the type and then select a variant. People generally prefer to use semi-gloss or satin finish for furniture, while the floor can be painted with a matte layer.


We will always recommend self-leveling liquids as they form an even layer without much effort. These options will not create brush marks on the floor and will help you achieve the perfect consistency. You can apply 2 coats, and that should be enough.


We will suggest that you first take into consideration the amount of area that 1 gallon or 1 quart of the liquid can cover. Once you know that, compare the prices. This is the perfect way to understand if the option is cost-effective or not.

Polyurethane for Floor FAQs

  • Which type of polyurethane finish is best for floors?

    The choice of finish depends on personal preference and the desired look. Some may prefer a matte surface, while others may opt for a glossy or semi-glossy surface. Semi-gloss or satin finishes are commonly used for furniture, while a matte finish is often chosen for flooring.

  • How can I determine the cost-effectiveness of a polyurethane option?

    To assess cost-effectiveness, consider the coverage area of one gallon or one quart of the polyurethane liquid and then compare prices. This will help you understand which option provides the best value for your needs.

  • How long does oil-based polyurethane take to dry compared to water-based?

    Oil-based polyurethane takes longer to dry compared to water-based. Generally, water-based polyurethane dries faster, allowing for quicker completion of the project.

  • Can I use the same type of polyurethane for both furniture and flooring?

    Yes, you can use the same type of polyurethane for both furniture and flooring. However, the choice of finish may vary based on personal preferences and the intended look for each surface.

  • Can polyurethane be applied over old finishes on floors?

    Yes, polyurethane can be applied over old finishes on floors, but it’s essential to prepare the surface properly to ensure proper adhesion and a smooth finish. Sanding and cleaning the floor thoroughly are typically necessary before applying the new polyurethane layer.

  • How long does polyurethane typically last on floors before needing reapplication?

    The longevity of polyurethane on floors depends on factors such as foot traffic and maintenance. On average, a properly applied polyurethane finish can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years before needing reapplication.

  • Woman worker cleaning the floor with polishing machine


    A good polyurethane should last for a long, and you should not see any marks on the floor. Remember to buy the exact quantity that you need. There are generally different sizes offered by most brands. You can also get a number of 1-quart cans depending on your needs.

    Having said that, let us move on to our favorites. If you are looking for a water-based finish, then the Minwax 244444444 Minwaxc Protective Finish is perfect. And if you want the most durable product, then the Rust-Oleum 260165 Ultimate Polyurethane will serve well.

    On the other hand, if you prefer an oil-based substance, then the ZAR 32912 Zar Ultra Polyurethane is an incredible choice.

    With this, we will take your leave. Let us know about your favorite option in the comment section below.

    Until next time!

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