What least toxic finishes do you recommend for flooring?

Asked by Ali Lemaitre
Reading, MA

Thanks - I read your opinion of finishes for wood countertops, but what about for floors? I assume we should avoid polyurethane, but I've also heard the argument that with a standard poly it will last quite a long time, whereas a waterbased finish might not last as long, so you'll likely have to reapply down the road. Our concerns are both environmental & healthwise since we have a baby that will be living in the space.


Bill Bradbury

Answered by Bill Bradbury

Smithfield, UT

Envirocon Home Restoration

December 31, 2012

I don't use ANY polyurethane products, Osmo, shellac or vegetable resin based only.

I have Osmo in my house, but use shellac more for clients since it is much cheaper.


For more information:

Read "What are the best low-maintenance, durable stains and urethane finishes for wood floors?" a Q&A answered by J Neufeld.

Also, check Victoria Schomer's Q&A "What is truly the healthiest wood floor option, and what are the safest finish products to use?"

Tagged In: hardwood floor refinishing

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