Finish for a White Oak Shop Floor

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I was able to get unfinished T&G white oak flooring REALLY cheap so I decided to go all out and install this over 1 1/2 insulation and plywood. Despite the fact that the flooring was "seconds" it looks great.

I am looking for recommendations for finishing this flooring. My thought was to forego any sanding and just apply some type of protective sealer (oil, poly?) to permit easy cleanup and to prevent any staining or glue sticking. I am not trying to achieve a "gym floor" highly polished sheen. In fact, I like the look of the unfinished floor but I know that look won't last long once I start tracking in water and mud.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a product that is easy to apply and fits the bill? Can I get away without sanding or do you think I need to sand first?

Thanks, Jim

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I would greatly prefer to NOT sand but I wasn't certain how not sanding might effect the finish. I read some good reviews of Bona Traffic, a two part water based finish, last night. Anyone have any good/bad experience with this product?

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Kind of a tradeoff...slick sweeps nice, rougher=mo' traction. But...since you don't care about the shop being a showcase (attaboy) why put anything at all on it? Natural wood just gets a little dirty looking over time. An occasional glue drip isn't that big of a deal....if you're worried about traction, leave it bare. If not, a sand n' seal or poly will give a coating. Poly with some sand will coat and give gripshun.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If your going to finish it I would sand it, I would add an additional step though, there is a wood filler that you use a trowel or a rubber gum float to apply , much like a "pore filling " on a piece of furniture, it will fill in all the little gaps between the boards where stuff can get trapped, being that it is "seconds" the boards aren't going to be perfect, then sand after that is applied. The Bona Traffic is a great water bourne finish, very commercial and durable. You could do like you normally would do with raising the grain, and go around with a water spritz bottle after the filler and light sanding, then apply the Bona.

I wouldn't finish it without a sanding, I think you may regret the way it looks afterwards, how many of us have rushed to apply finish to a project and then stripped it off only to do it again.

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