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Non-Toxic Wood Floor Sealers and Finishes: A Complete Guide

Non-Toxic Wood Floor Sealers and Finishes: A Complete Guide

Wooden floors have a classic charm and warmth that can make any home look good.

Everyone likes the cozy feel of a wooden floor in their home. But to keep it nice for a long time. You need to take care of it.

This leads us to a common question from homeowners: What are the safest and healthiest non-toxic wood floor sealers and finishes for a wood floor?

In this guide, we look at different choices for finishing floors.  We’ll talk about conventional floor finishers, polyurethane finishes, and alternative, natural oils.

Conventional Floor Finishers, Sealers, & Stains: A Health Hazard

These can be an unhealthy source of indoor air pollution. Regular floor finishes, sealers, and stains can release harmful substances into the air inside your home.

These substances, known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), include chemicals like formaldehyde and toluene. VOCs are bad for the environment as they are considered “greenhouse gases” that contribute to climate change.

Breathing in these compounds can lead to health problems such as headaches, flu-like symptoms, and asthma.

In the long run, exposure to VOCs may even increase the risk of cancer. Their effects may be felt over a long period.

Polyurethane Finishes: Water-Based vs. Oil-Based

Polyurethane finishes are widely used. They come in water-based or oil-based forms. Oil-based urethanes are most likely to contain VOCs.

1. Water-Based Urethanes

Water-based urethanes have some advantages.

  • They dry quickly.
  • They don’t smell much.
  • You can put on a second or third coat on the same day.

They make the wood look a bit better but don’t change its colour much. If you want to keep the wood’s original colour, water-based polyurethane is better than oil-based.

However, there are drawbacks to water-based urethanes.

  • They cost more than oil-based ones.
  • Also, they might not last as long.

So, you need to refinish them more often than floors coated with oil-based products.

Pros Cons
1. Low Odor 1. Higher Cost
2. Quick Drying
3. Multiple Coats 2. Wear and Tear
4. Appearance Enhancement
5. Colour Preservation

2. Oil-Based Polyurethanes Finishes

Oil-based polyurethanes have advantages.

  • They dry harder.
  • Bring out the wood’s natural colour.
  • Need fewer coats making them cheaper at first.

But they smell strong because of VOCs. This makes it tough to stay home when applying these sealants.

You might need to leave for a few days or a week until the air clears. Even after, the lingering smell from the sealant can still cause headaches or nausea.

Pros Cons
Dries harder Strong odour due to VOCs
Enhances natural wood colour Difficulty staying at home during application
Requires fewer applications Need to leave home for days or a week until the air clears
Initial cost savings The permanent odour after application can cause headaches or nausea

3. Natural Oils: A Healthier Alternative

Use non-toxic wood floor natural oils like tung oil or linseed oil instead of polyurethane finishes for a healthier result.

Unlike urethanes, which dry on top of the floor. Oils go into the wood and harden to finish and seal a wood floor. This gives a matte finish that shows the wood’s grain and texture.

You can choose clear or stained oils based on how you want the final look.

Floors treated with natural oils have fewer scratches compared to urethane-finished floors. Because the oil penetrates the wood.

Urethane-finished floors show more obvious scratches. On the flip side, urethane makes the floor more resistant to dents and dings by creating a protective coating on the wood.

Natural oils might have a smell but these odours are not harmful. Like the harmful VOCs that urethanes release.

Choosing Between Clear and Stained Finishes

Natural oils offer convenience in finishes, presenting options for clear or stained results based on the desired aesthetic.

Final Maintenance Tips

  1. Immediate Spill Cleanup: Wipe spills quickly to prevent wood damage.
  2. Avoid Harsh Cleansers: Avoid ammonia or vinegar-based cleansers, as they can dull the finish. Use formaldehyde, solvent, and VOC-free commercial products like Orange Cleaner Perth for deeper cleaning.
  3. Control Dust: Use a microfiber broom for dust and dirt. Followed by a slightly damp mop for cleaning. Avoid excessive use of water and soap.
  4. Mat Placement: Neatly place mats to catch drips and spills, especially near entrances and key areas.

Choose Safer Sealants: 5 Key Factors to Consider

Selecting a wood floor sealer requires considering various factors, including

  1. Cost
  2. Odour
  3. Durability
  4. Health impact
  5. Ease of application

Choose the least smelly option Use it when you can have windows and doors open for good airflow.

Turn on fans to help the air move and make things dry faster. Especially in bedrooms and nurseries. If you can, finish treating wood floors well before you plan to sleep in that room again.

Companies like Planet Ark offer some of the safest and healthiest sealants in their online store. You can check their website or talk to them on the phone to find the best one for your home.

Are you searching for safe wood floor sealers to protect your floors?

Here are some brands they have. Check out these options.


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KUNOS Natural Oil Sealer creates a clear and shiny protective surface that repels water. It’s great for use on indoor wooden furniture and floors.


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This special oil mix, made from natural plant oils like Mustard Seed, is designed to make wood shine when rubbed quickly. It goes deep into the wood, making it look warm and rich from the inside.


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ALIS Decking Oil is a great way to protect your deck. It goes deep into the wood and makes a barrier that stops water from causing damage.

KUNOS Floor Maintenance

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KUNOS Floor Maintenance is a top-notch product that helps keep your floors in great shape. It works well on different types of floors, such as hardwood, softwood, and concrete. Use it to protect and care for your floors.


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Livos ARDVOS Universal Ark Oil Perth enhances the natural colour of the wood grain. Apply it 2 to 3 times, and it will give the wood a subtle shine and make it resistant to water.

Planet Ark’s healthy and eco-friendly products are not only limited to the above products. Discover a range of eco-friendly paint options for your home.

  • Volvox allergy free paint Perth ensures a safer living environment.
  • While Ark Paint Perth provides vibrant and lasting finishes.
  • Go for Volvox ProAqua enamel for durable and sustainable coating solutions.
  • Add a touch of nature to your spaces with Volvox natural paint.
  • Achieve a beautiful home makeover with the quality and eco-friendly Volvox dispersion paint.

Share Your Experience

Have you ever used non-toxic wood sealers or stains?

Share your experiences and insights in the comments below. Your firsthand knowledge can contribute to a community seeking healthier alternatives for wood floor finishes.

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