Wood Floor Finish Selector

Synteko believes that it is very important, once you have selected your unique timber floor species, to select the appropriate floor finish or coating that will not only enhance the look of your timber floor, but achieve your desired taste. Different floor finishes or coatings will alter the appearance of your timber floor. Synteko’s goal is to assist you in tailoring your desired colour and tone of your timber floor so that it will meet your needs.

How to Select the Right Finish or Treatment

  1. Identify what species of wood your floor is made out of
  2. Determine what finish type is suitable
  3. Determine which specific product from the finish type has the attributes you want
  4. Select a sheen option for that product (available on Waterbase and Solventbase finishes)
  5. Find a distributor
  6. Find a contractor

Example Finish and Treatment Colouring

In order to assist you in making your choice, Synteko has reproduced three identical floor panels, that have been coated/sealed with three different types of Synteko floor finishes. The options are displayed in this order: Waterbase Finish, Solventbase Finish, Penetrating Oil Treatment.

Waterbase Finish

Waterbase Finishes

Low VOC environmentally friendly waterbase floor finishes lighten up the overall appearance of the timber. For example, Brush Box will have an insipid colour tone whilst Blackbutt will have a muted colour over its various colouring within its species. As the coating oxidizes with age and exposure to UV light, the timber colour will lighten up. This type of finish is known as a ‘Surface Coating’ finish as it sits on the surface of the timber.

Waterbase Finish products: Nova Best, Top, Pro

Solventbase Finish

Solventbase Finishes

Solvent based Synteko Classic, commonly known as the Swedish Finish, has the opposite effect to waterbase coatings. Classic enhances the natural rich colour range of the timber with crystal clarity. This is especially evident with the rich red and brown tones associated with the Australian hardwood species. As the coating oxidises with time, Classic will naturally darken with age. This type of finish is known as a ‘Surface Coating’ finish as it sits on the surface of the timber.

Solventbase Finish products: Classic, Urethane

Penetrating Oil

Penetrating Oil Treatment

Penetrating oils which have zero VOC, give the timber a rich deep natural tone irrespective of the species. As the timber ages, there will be minimal colour change. Penetrating Oil treatments sink into the grain of the timber and come in one sheen: matte.

Penetrating Oil Treatment products: Hardwax, DomoNatural

Surface Coating
Water Based Solvent Based Oil Modified
fast drying fast drying slow drying
3 gloss levels 3 gloss levels 3 gloss levels
clear in colour / non-yellowing / NMP free slightly amber in colour amber in colour
very good durability very good durability very good durability high solids
non-toxic, no odour strong odour, non lingering moderate odour
non-flammable combustible combustible
easy to re-coat easy to re-coat easy to re-coat
low maintenance low maintenance low maintenance
no edge bonding no edge bonding no edge bonding
Low VOC’s Meets new VOC rules Meets new VOC rules
Penetrating Oils
Natural / Domo / Hardwax
fast drying
matte finish
amber in colour
excellent durability
very mild odour
very high solids
renewable by consumer
low maintenance
no edge bonding
Zero VOC’s

Finish Comparison Table

Compare the various features of Surface Coating finishes (Waterbase and Solventbase) and Penetrating Oil treatments via our comparison table.

Application Suitability

Now we have explained the floor finish types (Waterbase, Solventbase and Penetrating Oil), one needs to assess which product from each of these finish types is suitable for your application.

Product Application
Nova Best (Waterbase) Heavy commercial and domestic floors
Top (Waterbase) Light commercial and domestic floors
Pro (Waterbase) Domestic floors only
Classic (Solventbase) Light commercial and domestic floors
Urethane (Solventbase) Light commercial and domestic floors
Hardwax (Penetrating Oil) Heavy commercial and domestic floors
Natural (Penetrating Oil) Heavy commercial and domestic floors
Domo (Penetrating Oil) Light commercial and domestic floors

Selecting a Sheen or Gloss Level

Following the step of selecting the type of floor finish/coating you want for your unique floor application, you must finally select the sheen or gloss level. All Synteko Surface Coating finishes have 3 sheen levels.

Sheen Product
Surface Coating Finishes
Gloss* Nova Best 90/Top 90/Pro 90/Classic 90/Urethane 90
Semi-gloss / Satin* Nova Best 45/Top45/Pro45/Classic50/Urethane 45
Matte Nova Best20/Top 20/Pro 20/Classic 35/Urethane 20
Penetrating Oil Treatments
Natural Matte** Synteko Hardwax/Natural/Domo Oil

*Please note that the European sheen levels are not as glossy as products manufactured in Australia.
**All Synteko Penetrating Oils are only available as a matte finish.

Finish Maintenance

The key to the lasting beauty of your timber flooring investment is proper maintenance. Today timber or hardwood floors can be cared for with minimal effort and in many cases, a little preventative maintenance will keep your floor looking beautiful for years to come.

  1. View our Maintenance Guide for Surface Coating Finishes (Waterbase and Solventbase)
  2. View our Maintenance Guide for Penetrating Oil Treatments