I just finished staining the quarter round for my floors and I want to know if it's necessary to apply polyurethane? I followed someone's advise to condition the wood before staining and I didn't see any difference between the conditioned wood and the wood that wasn't, so I'm trying to figure out if this is another unnecessary step. I was going to poly the t-molding since it gets a lot of traffic, but the quarter round will only have a vacuum occasionally brush against it.

  • Is it necessary to put on two coats or will one coat be sufficient?
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 15:44
  • That's also a matter of opinion. In mine, one coat of urethane is rarely adequate. It absorbs into the fiber somewhat and also raises the grain. Your stain and pre-treatment may mitigate that, though. Try a coat and decide at that point.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


Urethane is a sealer and durability layer. It keeps cleaning equipment and shoes from scuffing through the surface of the stained wood and degrading appearance. It also prevents liquids from soaking in and staining. Whether you do it is up to you, but I've never seen un-sealed wood installed as base trim.

  • I would apply the urethane coat on all surfaces of the quarter round (including cut ends) since wet mopping could force water under the quarter round. Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 15:32
  • I don't know anyone who wet-mops. I was referring more to mist-mopping (Swiffer and the like) and spot cleaning. We never sealed the back sides of interior trim and it's not really a problem.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 15:50

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