How to Choose a Non-Toxic Hardwood Floor Sealer or Stain

Hardwood floors are undeniably beautiful. They are also versatile, which makes them appealing to homeowners throughout not only the Carolinas but the entire world. Whether you live in an Asheville, NC cabin, a historic Charleston, SC residence, or a beach bungalow on the coast, hardwood floors can work for you. It is, however, sometimes challenging to figure out which sealer or stain is the best non-toxic choice for your flooring. In this guide, you’ll learn more about several of the options that are available to consumers like you today.

Traditional hardwood sealers and stains

Most of the hardwood sealer and stain brands that immediately come to mind are polyurethane-based and come in oil or water varieties. It does bear noting that oil-based polyurethane sealers and stains generally contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde. In addition to having a potentially toxic effect on your health, VOCs are terrible for the environment as a whole. Oil-based options, though, provide richer color and last longer than their water-based counterparts.

Water-based sealers and stains may not cover as well as oil-based options, but they typically do not have VOCs. This does not, however, mean they are completely free of chemicals. If you do decide to go with a mainstream sealer or stain, though, water-based is certainly the less toxic of the two options.

Natural oil sealers and stains

Some brands offer sealers and stains that are manufactured using natural oils. Tung oil and linseed oil are both popular options. As a general rule, natural oil-based sealers and stains seep into wood grain, enhancing its natural look, but not adding overt shine. One major perk of natural oils is that they tend to protect hardwood from scratches, keeping it looking new for longer than it otherwise would. When natural oil sealer or stain is applied, it will have an odor, but you can rest assured it isn’t laden with VOCs like synthetic products.

In the next section of this guide, you will discover a few brands that make high-quality sealers and stains that won’t harm your family’s health or the environment. If you can’t find these at home improvement retailers in your region of North Carolina or South Carolina, you can order them online from a number of websites.

    • Safecoat Polyureseal – Safecoat Polyureseal has extremely low VOC content and meets the standards set forth by every state, even California where standards are quite stringent. This product is free of formaldehyde and is safe for use around those who are sensitive to chemicals.
    • Ecos Wood Shield Stain – Ecos Wood Shield Stain is a water-based option that is made with no VOCs, glycols, or other undesirable chemicals. It is important to note that this particular product needs to be used with a non-VOC finish. It will not last well on its own.
    • OSMO Polyx Oil – OSMO’s Polyx Oil is a non-VOC option that repels water, making it ideal for use in kitchens and bathrooms. It is also easy to clean spills off of this finish, so it is incredibly popular among families with pets and small children.

Hopefully, the information in this guide has helped you understand some of the non-toxic sealer and stain options that you can choose from today. If you have questions regarding any of the products outlined in this guide, contact a home improvement store in your Carolina town or call a qualified local contractor.

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