Three Coats Of Polyurethane For Wood Floors


I’ve noticed everyone recommends 3 coats of polyurethane (I’m using Polo Plaz semi-gloss on a newly sanded floor). I’ve already put on a coat of sealer and two coats of poly. Is that my 3, or do you recommend one more coat of polyurethane? I notice that my floor isn’t quite as smooth feeling as I’d like, but it looks awesome.

Thanks in advance,



Dear Jeremy

As long as you used the Polo-Plaz vinyl / urethane quick dry sealer you are done. This is one of the better sealers on the market. One of the reasons I use only Oil Modified Polyurethane for all coats is that it makes future touch ups really easy. And expensive sealers, while nice to use are really not needed for durability, just speed of drying. You should have spent more time screening the sealer and second coat, and getting the floor really clean. Now that’s yet another reason why I use a thin coat of OMU for the first coat. I simply want that coat to be as smooth as possible, so I may screen it to the point of going through the first coat of finish, in a few spots. I really only want the first coat of OMU to fill up the pores of the wood, I don’t want a build of rough finish.

Now that said, if I happen to scuff through my first thin coat of Oil Modified Polyurethane, that’s not a problem for me, as I am using the same finish for all three coats. If on the other hand you mistakenly screen through the first coat of these lighter toned sealers, you will have a dark spot in the floor, as the urethane top coat hits it, and a major touch up dilemma. But like I said your method is faster, just not better. I have to always wait over night for my first thin coat of OMP to dry.

But in any case I would never use any type of sealer over a stain. Sometimes mistakes will occur in the middle of finishing a job ( like having to replace a bad board), and knowing all three coats are the same is nice, as I know any mistakes can be corrected and still blend it in.

I have just completed an extensive article about just how best to apply OMP to hardwood floors, without the associated bubbles and pits.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.