Gross or satin.
Very durable, very hard, popular “buzz word” today. Problems are amber coloring over light colors, customers expect forever, scratching, poor inter-coat adhesion, stain compatibility, more difficult to apply, difficult to repair, weather sensitive, and today , high solvent content or volatile organic compounds (VOC)
Excellent durability, most wear-resistant of all surface finishes, for the most part gloss only. However MCU is expensive, smells awful, very difficult to apply, extremely sensitive, and loaded with VOC’s.
Acid-Curing Urea Formaldehyde
Excellent durability, fast dry, non-yellowing, called “Swedish Finish.” Smells like, WOW! It is difficult to apply, low flash point, high VOC’s and expensive.
The newest corner, and at this tremendous research is Water-Bourne Polyurethane. It’s a little less glossy or satin. Some are non-yellowing. Advantages are: crystal-clear, fast dry, water clean up, non-flammable, VOC complying, and virtually odor free. Fast turnover to owner, easy application, recoats, any existing finish except wax. Disadvantages: Cost (can be offset with labor saving application and dry time) and water causes grain raise, which requires careful attention by the finisher.
This finish can last the life of your floor. It soaks into the wood and permits the oak to take the wear. With proper maintenance a penetrating finish may last the life of the floor without refinishing. While those wishing for high gloss will not accept this type of finish, it accentuates the beauty of the wood in the same manner as hand-rubbing shows the soft warm grain in furniture.