There are a number of considerations when choosing the type of finish you want to use. These include durability, ease of clean-up, odor, etc. But one consideration doesn’t seem to be fully appreciated, and that is the color the finish imparts to the wood.
The accompanying picture shows water-based finish on a pine floor. The pine will darken some as it ages, but for a number of years the water-based finish will give the floor a unique and attractive look. This same look can be achieved with all white woods such as maple and birch. And these woods won’t darken.Most finishes give wood a yellow/orange tint. Until water-based finishes became available a couple of decades ago, color was never much of an issue because all finishes added this tint. But now you have a choice because water-based finishes (all finishes that thin and clean-up with water) don’t add any color at all. They just make the wood a little darker.