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How Do You Know If Your Hardwood Floors Are Sealed?

How Do You Know If Your Hardwood Floors Are Sealed?

Hardwood floors are highly durable and even more so with the right coating, but how do you know if your hardwood floors are sealed or not? Luckily, it is very easy to tell if your hardwood floor is sealed.

Simply place a droplet of water directly onto your floor and leave it for 5 minutes. If the droplet doesn’t soak into the wood, then your floor is likely to be sealed.

There are a couple of other things you can do to make sure your floor is sealed after doing the water droplet test.

Ways Confirm Your Floor Is Sealed

If your floor passes the water test, this is a great indicator that your floor is sealed. This is because hardwood flooring is not naturally waterproof until a waterproof coating has been applied to seal it.

Wax is one of the most common hardwood floor sealants, and you can check specifically for wax in 2 ways.

Use a Coin To Scratch The Surface

Locate an out of the way part of your floor, perhaps where there are already some scratches present, and gently rub the edge of a coin in one area.

If there is a buildup of wax forming as you rub then that confirms that your floor has been sealed with wax. For this method to work you only have to rub very gently and try not to scratch the hardwood.

Use A Wet Rag To Wipe The Surface

If you soak a rag or hand towel in a mineral spirit and gently rub one area of hardwood floor that is coated with wax then the rag will become discolored.

This is the other way to easily check for a wax finish.

What About Penetrating Oil Finishes?

After a successful water droplet test, run your hands along your floor and check for an oily residue on your fingers.

If an oily residue is present then this would indicate a penetrating oil finish, such as linseed oil.

How Do I Know If My Hardwood Floor Is Polyurethane?

Polyurethane is a synthetic type of hardwood floor finish that has become popular over the years.

It is usually either oil or water-based, and the simplest way to check for polyurethane is to simply look for a characteristic glossy finish. If your floor passes the water droplet test and is glossy in appearance, it is likely that polyurethane has been used to seal it.

Are All Hardwood Floors Sealed?

Generally speaking, the majority of hardwood floors are sealed. This is because sealing a hardwood floor provides a wide array of benefits and protects the investment of the floor itself.

We’ve rounded up the major benefits below, but there are even more than these!


If any water gets into a hardwood floor it can lead to warping and discoloration.

These are major issues that can only be fixed by replacing planks of wood which is expensive. By applying a coat of sealant you don’t have to worry about water damage as the coating will act as a waterproof barrier.

Improved Appearance

A layer of sealant can bring a hardwood floor to life.

Not only will the make a floor appear shinier and newer, but it will also enhance the colors in the floor and bring out graininess and textures that you may not have noticed before.

Easy Maintenance

Another big benefit of a sealed floor is maintenance.

You don’t have to worry about spillages, as the floor will be protected from any of these. Dust will simply settle on the surface ready to be vacuumed away at your next convenience.

Protect From Damage

Despite being a small barrier, a sealant can protect a hardwood floor from small scratches and bumps caused by everyday activity such as moving an office chair or other pieces of furniture.


We’ve included some frequently asked questions that we have discovered through researching hardwood floors and how they are sealed. If you want to see any other questions added then please let us know.

What If Your Floor Isn’t Sealed?

If your floor isn’t sealed the best advice is to get it sealed as soon as possible.

While unsealed your floor is susceptible to becoming damaged by scratches and spillages which can be very costly to fix. Luckily, applying a sealant is not particularly hard to do and once you’ve picked the right type for your floor all you need to do is follow the instructions.

Remember that before this you can remove any scratches with sandpaper, as this is not possible to do after the layer is applied.

How Often Should Hardwood Floors Be Sealed?

Luckily sealing is not a very frequent chore.

Most commercial sealing products last between 7 and 10 years, but this can vary depending on how much you use your floor.

Final Thoughts

Checking whether your hardwood floor is sealed is a crucial job as without a sealant your floor can be susceptible to lots of damage. Once sealed, however, you can relax as it will last for years at a time.