why is everyone pushing water based poly?

NYMKApril 8, 2013

Everyone that I have gotten estimates for is pricing for water based poly. One company that has a good reputation won't even do oil based. Is there a reason people are pushing water based poly? Is it better than oil? Or is it just the fact that it takes more time for oil based poly to dry and it smells a lot more?

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glennsfc

Water based polyurethane, or what we also call waterbourne polyurethane, is the state of the art material for film-build wood floor finishes. We no longer use oil based for several reasons: slow dry times of oil, not as durable as quality waterbourne, finish yellows over time, slow cure time and the stuff stinks and is flammable. Those are just a few reasons why most floor finishers have switched to waterbourne.

Yes, it is better than oil.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:39PM
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jfcwood

For a change I'm going to disagree with glennsfc.
Based on personal experience and a direct quote from a technical rep from a major water-borne finish maker, oil based poly wears better than ANY water-borne finish.
It still has the other issues, smell, slow drying and yellowing, but dollar for dollar it outperforms water-borne urethane.
If I'm doing a standard stain and poly finish I'll always use oil poly unless there are time or smell issues.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 8:55AM
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brickeyee

Mostly do to EPA rules trying to reduce VOCs.

Water is not a VOC.

1 Like    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:55PM
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SparklingWater

Sadly, our white/red oak floors were sanded, stained and, at the highly recommended wood floor expert recommendation, a waterborne poly finish selected. He told us "waterborne is more durable than oil-based". As JFCWood stated, waterborne poly is NO where as durable as oil based polyurethane-don't believe that line.

I would never, never recommend waterborne poly, even the newer formulations.

Just to add further frustration I am told once you use waterborne poly you can't screen the floors to stain, seal and finish with oil based poly. I'm still investigating this.

You are smart to ask this question: do further research and get a detailed floor contract. Such disappointment and aggravation.

1 Like    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 5:26PM
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NYMK

Thanks for everyone's feedback. Everyone says that oil based poly is more durable so I was wondering why the push for water. I also read that when you do your three coats of oil based poly, you should do the first two coats in high gloss and then the last coat in a matte finish in order for it to be the most durable.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 5:54PM
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brickeyee

The matting agent makes the grain look 'muddy' with multiple layers.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 6:07PM
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NWRunner

Learn from my experience and go Swedish. We went with the waterbased recommendation, gave it five days to dry and put a huge scratch in in the first day back. It isn’t the end of the world but it definitely makes us sad. We do not feel this would have happened with a Swedish finish.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 7:24PM
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NYMK

Brickeyee - Can you clarify what you mean by the matting agent looking muddy with multiple layers? thanks

NWRunner - haven't heard about a Swedish finish. I'll have to look that up. thanks.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 7:27PM
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glennsfc

Sorry to hear about some consumer problems with waterbourne polyurethane. However, that is not my experience. Not one of my customers has ever had a wear problem with the products I use, and I have been doing this for almost twenty years with waterbourne the only fim-build finish I specify. I would not specify or use anything else; the results are consistent and the technology is proven. If you use top shelf products, you will get top shelf performance.

Any wood floor finish can be problematic when applied contrary to manufacturer directions, so that sometimes can be factored into disappointment with a product. Also, there are cheap products in both types of film-build finishes and quality ones in both. You generally do get what you pay for in wood floor finishes. My guess is those who experience disappointment with waterbourne polyurethanes is because either a cheap product was used or it was improperly applied.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:13PM
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buildinva

Glenn--Can you specify the brand(s) of water-based poly that are top quality and the ones that are not? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 3:32AM
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NYMK

glennsfc, could you post your recos for waterbourne polyurethane. also, you've been using the water based poly for your entire 20 years? I thought, maybe the discrepancy in opinions could be arising from that fact that water based poly has recently become a much better product. i've read that the professional products include a hardener that nonprofessionals can not buy.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:24AM
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rwiegand

The phrase "water based polyurethane" (same for oil) covers an incredibly broad range of products with completely different performance characteristics. Without specifying the product it's like describing the characteristics of a "car" without saying whether you're talking about a Hummer, a Yugo or a Ferrari. Some properties are shared among varieties, but many (such as wear characteristics, appearance and durability) are not. A product like Minwax from the Borg bears little resemblance to Bona Traffic HD on a floor. On my floors, an unknown (probably dirt cheap) oil poly wore through to bare wood in under two years, the Bona Traffic I replaced it with looked like new 11 years after that.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 2:26PM
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brickeyee

One of the typical agents used to make the finish less glossy is very fine silica.

When you put multiple layers of finish down with this material in them it starts to not look as clear as gloss.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 2:46PM
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SparklingWater

Well, if any of you floor experts know what to do with my Bona Pacific Strong finish coated original wood floors (over Minwax), sure would be appreciative.

My main point to the OP is that you must do serious research on your floor expert and products used and have everything spelled out in your contract (products, specific numbers of coats, sealer coats, and finally finish coats and drying time in between for square foot area being done. That's where I messed up: I trusted reputation and didn't do my homework. Now I know in hot summers, with a large square foot area, and two non-tested products by the manufacturers (MinWax stain) and Bona Pacific Strong Finish it resulted in horrible finish and $10K out. Put remedial actions (NOT certified floor inspectors who are in cahoots with the floor finishers) in your contract and use them soon. I was sick and couldn't get the response needed.

As to Bona, well they will pass the buck on to the floor refinisher, never to their Bona Floor Finish. But I did learn that manufacturer durability tests use like kind manufacture stain and the finish (i.e., their own brands). I missed that important aspect too, but given this pro floor finishers reviews it never dawned on me to ask such detailed specific questions. Do it.

I'm going to have to cough up major dollars to fix this. When the certified floor inspector came, he took greatly magnified pictures of hair and specks on the floor and said the floors were dull because I was a dirty housewife! Ha, that's a good one. No mention of the lack of finish on the floors in his report and that's what he was called out to examine. Sickening.

Sorry OP, but use great caution. And if anyone knows whether I can screen these Bona Finish floors down and use oil poly, please post here. I can not recommend Bona products, even though to this day I use Bona Floor Cleaner to no absolutely NO avail in floor improvement.

Buyer beware!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 3:13PM
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glennsfc

I cannot list the good and the bad with any creedence, because I can only comment responsibly on those that I have actually used. There is loads of anecdotal references by colleagues in the floor finishing business that can have some value, but I cannot verify how much of it is fact. That is why the industry has standard methods for testing finish durability.

I will say that the heresay from floor finish professionals is that the products offered to the DIY public are generally speaking not very good, although they can cost about $46 to $49 per gallon. The poster rwiegand has given us firsthand experience with finish from one particular manufacturer.

As for the comment from NYMK: " i've read that the professional products include a hardener that nonprofessionals can not buy." Yes, those products are for "professional use only" and do contain a hazardous hardener that you must mix with the resin formulation, but you can get these products from a floor materials dealer who will sell to you. However, should the product fail on you, either during application or after, you probably won't receive any support from the manufacturer.

Sparklingwater's advice on doing your homework is completely on target. You shouldn't have to spend time researching and doing product comparisons and all that...but as a consumer of products and services you really do need to know what you're buying. It is hard to have anything expensive fail on you, especially when someone didn't follow a manufacturer's material or application guideline. And it is inexcusable behavior for a certified inspector to make any comments to a consumer during an inspection and it is unprofessional.

There are many skilled and trained professional floor finishers in this business and some that shouldn't be allowed to hold a sander. Hopefully you will hire the right person after your interviews. It shouldn't be that hard...but it is.

Lowes sells Bona products. A DIYér may be able to custom order their finishes through them. Also, if you navigate a finish manufacturer's website, you can get a list of distributors in your neck of the woods and from there you can get leads to dealers and even certified finish applicators.

P.S. to Sparklingwater: I used Bona Pacific Strong just once. And I once switched from one big finish manufacturer to another because I received no product support from them, even though their stain was the cause of the finish failure. And when I meet reps from that manufacturer at conventions and they ask why I don't use their products, I tell them straight and they just look at me and blink! Ha!

Be careful out there!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 9:04AM
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jsmeltz

NEVER EVER use a water based poly for hardwood floor finishes. It will never be a quality job with quality results. If a contractor won't use oil based, then find another Wood Floor Finishing company. With that said, a good quality water based polyurethane can be used on other wood finishes such as mouldings and other custom shelf or indoor window use for a nice natural wood look. You will need to stain first with a water based since it doesn't have that nice atonement to the wood like an oil based does. Use a pre stain wood treatment especially for soft wood like pine. I totally stand by the pre stain treatment after my first use last year (Except on oak). I also prefer the water based for interior woodwork (Except on flooring and stair rails) due to the "dullness effect it has to keep your trim looking a bit rustic. I prefer the semi gloss, but it's up to the owner. I have much experience using both and each has it's pros and cons. I don't care about the smell, because it does go away in a couple of days. Just keep the area ventilated a little bit. You need patience for a decent job. It all really depends on the kind of work you're doing. A good oil based goes on with two coats. Lightly sand after after one day, wipe down with damp cloth and rewipe with a dry lint free cloth, put second coat on. I have done 3 coats, but find that two is just as sufficient. I do that for stair railings. They always come out spectacular especially when I start with a nice golden oak stain on white oak. But when I do large indoor window sills or shelving bases on bay windows, I use a water based poly (I like Rustoleum Ultimate). Keep in mind, for decent results, you will need at least 5 coatings. Sometimes I'll do 3 coatings and lightly sand the area the next day wipe down with a slightly damp lint free paper towel and dry and then put another 2 or 3 coats on. Comes out beautiful with a silky smooth finish. As far as durability, I do feel that oil based is more durable. Even the best water based I don't feel is as durable as the oil based. However, the last will depend on how much you drag across the work. If you just display sculpture on your shelf, then "Great!" it will last forever no matter what you use. If your cats are always fighting on your bay window flat, then of course it will get scuffed up and scratched. As far as UV rays, I've seen both types fade. The lighter your stain, the less fade you will see. The less gloss, the less fade you will see. I also seen work last a lifetime like it was done yesterday. It all depends on the conditions surrounding the area. I hope my experience and opinion helps make a difference just a little bit. If nothing else, thanks for reading this! Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 8:22PM
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glennsfc

I disagree with your assessment of waterbourne polyurethane. Any floor finisher worth his salt uses these state-of-the-art finishes. Even those who swore they'd never switch from oil based polyurethane to water have become believers and users of waterbourne. They have left the old technology behind, where it belongs.

Also, many have begun to work with the new natural oil products, such Rubio Mono coat. The look is fantastic and it can be easily refreshed and restored.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 9:21PM
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rwiegand

Sorry, JS, you're just wrong about water based poly. Yes, it requires more skill to apply well, but this is far outweighed by the vastly superior durability and lifetime of the surface. I have not seen any oil based poly that will begin to have the durability of a high quality catalyzed water-born product.

For surfaces that don't have to take the abuse that our floors do I often use an oil based poly, and often other finishes like shellac, lacquer or tung oil to get the look I want.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 1:39PM
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snookums2

Be very careful selecting your floor and finish. Good old fashioned solid wood site finished flooring would be my choice. I do not like today's prefinished, engineered floors and finishes at all, poly and aluminum oxide. To me, they are "pretend" wood floors that do not stand the test of time like the old ones do.

I did do a bit of water based poly myself on unfinished wood and it held up better than the prefinished did. So DIY is not always the worst route. I put quite a few coats on, probably five or six, plus the tongue & grooves were sealed (though not noticeably so).

I haven't had an oil based poly, so can't compare. I would check out an oil finish. Have read some good things about the Rubio monocoat as a finish option and I'd be testing that one out.

Good luck. It is very difficult to figure out without testing the specific product.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 2:50PM
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jfcwood

When the Synteko expert told me that oil-modified polyurethane would wear better than Bona Traffic (and better than any Synteko waterborne product) in the hair salon I've been maintaining, I figured I could take that to the bank.
For the same reason, many painters still paint interior trim with oil paint despite latex paint being "state of the art".
While high quality waterborne finishes do well in Taber abrasion tests, real world durability doesn't equal that of oil poly. Factor in the lower cost of oil poly and it makes a strong case unless you're looking for something non-yellowing, fast drying or odor free.
The milkiness someone referred to is indeed caused by the flatting agent in oil poly. On a dark floor, one can get a silvery sheen after applying several coats of satin oil poly.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 5:33PM
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mordaal

I have been in the Hardwood Floor business for 26 years. Reason #1 for using water based finish, I want to keep my last remaining brain cells. #2 It does dry faster with less prep in between coats. It is a complete MYTH that oil base is better than water borne poly. The only difference between the 2 is the medium to carry the polyurethane, oil or water. The oil evaporates and leaves the polyurethane just as the water based does. Ask you contractor what brand water base he uses, we use Bona. Anyone that says oil base is better is either a dinosaur or is being misinformed. From our experience many contractors buy cheap oil base and talk down the water based because professional water based can cost up to $90 per gallon

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 12:54AM
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Needtoknow411

The ONLY reason why contractors are recommending the water-based is because they can apply it much quicker and move on to the next project. When done properly, oil-based will take approx. 4-5 days depending on outside factors. They could put a water-based down in 1-2 days and move on to their next project and will do their best to talk you into it... Oil-based is much more durable.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 9:43AM
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rwiegand

needto-- could you please cite data to support this assertion? It conflicts both with lab based testing and with the first hand, real world experience many of us have.

I'd suggest many "pros" like oil because it is very easy to get a very good looking job with minimal skill in application, while the catalyzed waterborne finishes have a significant learning curve.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 10:03AM
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glennsfc

mordal - "Anyone that says oil base is better is either a dinosaur or is being misinformed."

I will add to that, "Or they are being cheap."

The assertion by needtoknow411 that contractors use waterborne film-forming finishes because the jobs get done quicker is not entirely true. Yes, they dry and cure much quicker than oil based products, but using them does not cut the time expenditure as much as being implied. In fact, the increased product cost outweighs most of the suggested time expenditure savings. Skilled floor artisans used two-part waterbourne polyurethanes because they are state-of-the-art finish materials which don't yellow or amber over time and provide excellent durability.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 10:31AM
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houseostyle

I came across this website for brown bag floors and they recommend Bona Traffic which is a water based poly. The reviews were good ( as long as directions were followed ) this is the poly I plan on using. This can be used on wood floors and other flooring types...

comes in two parts, which you mix together before application
goes on easily and dries perfectly clear (other sealers are somewhat cloudy)
One gallon covers 350-400 feet (you only need 2-3 coats)
must read directions carefully
does equally well over oil and water based stain
very durable and difficult to scratch
doesn’t smell and dries quickly
basically the best thing ever

Here is a link that might be useful: Domestic Imperfection Link to poly testing

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 5:06PM
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Jim001001

DO NOT USE water based polyurethane.

We built a home in 1991 and installed on-site red oak flooring that was finished with oil based polyurethane. After 12 years with 3 dogs, the floors were in great shape and only required screening and refinishing of the kitchen and stairs.

We moved to a new home in 2004 that had 1750 sq ft of red oak hardwood flooring, finished on-site. The installer convinced us to go with the water based poly. We had the floors installed and finished right after making settlement and immediately went on a 10 day trip to Europe which should have provided more than enough time for the floor finish to set-up.

We came back, moved in our furniture and the floors showed permanent marks from the air filled rubber tire hand trucks that were used to move in our belongings. We still had two dogs and the floors became a total mess with scuffs and scratches everywhere. We had the floors screened and refinished in 2007.

The flooring company that did the refinishing assured us that they were using the best water based polyurethane on the market.

The long and short of it is that the water based polyurethane just does not hold up. We are both in our 70s, no young kids and have a small spaniel that weighs 21 pounds.

The floors are an embarrassment with scratch marks and scuffs everywhere. Water based polyurethane is a product that is not worth even considering.

We are now faced with moving our furniture in to storage, having the floors sanded, re-stained and finished with oil based poly.

1 Like    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 2:15PM
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glennsfc

You don't say which brand and quality level of waterborne polyurethane that was applied to your floors...only that your finisher assured you that is was "the best water based polyurethane on the market." That is not enough information to go by in assessing the quality of waterborne polyurethane wood floor finishes.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:23PM
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NYMK

One full year later, and I can tell you the results of using a water based poly. I'm happy with it. I can not compare it to a oil based poly because I've never used it. I used Bona Traffic HD which has the hardener that you have to mix in (or your floor guy has to mix in). Granted, we do not wear shoes in the house and we have no pets. I do have scrapes in it but not a lot (at least not any more than my other friends who have a oil based poly).

For those who used a water based poly and they did not get good results, I would suggest posting the brand so others know not to use it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:47PM
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josephrohdes221

The advantages of water based are easier cleanup and less odor, the odor part being the main selling factor. The disadvantages are higher costs and I think not quite as good a finish although I have obtained a good finish with the water based with an extra coat or two. I prefer the oil based and admit this could just be a reluctance to change on my part from what I've always used. The durability of both are about equal.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 7:34AM
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Sandman12

glennfsc had a 100% accurate post:

"Water based polyurethane, or what we also call waterbourne polyurethane, is the state of the art material for film-build wood floor finishes. We no longer use oil based for several reasons: slow dry times of oil, not as durable as quality waterbourne, finish yellows over time, slow cure time and the stuff stinks and is flammable. Those are just a few reasons why most floor finishers have switched to waterbourne.
Yes, it is better than oil."

Somebody after glenn said they disagreed, repeating what a floor rep told them about oil base. (floor rep being somebodywith no hands on experience) 15 Years of exp sanding and refinishing floors here -- Water based Poly is without a doubt better.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 7:01PM
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Sandman12

There is no easter bunny, no santa, and no gods. However, Co2 global warming is real, Ron Paul was the best candidate in years, and water based poly is hands down better than oil based. If somebody chooses oil, they are probably older folks who have not taken interest in the new innovative finishes. With Streetshoe or Hydroline waterbased finishes, you will be able to play raquetball in your living room with no orange crap look over the years. No contest. WATER BASE WINS. You get what you pay for.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 7:11PM
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kef53

I have read so many of these with people bickering back and forth of which is better Oil base or waterborne polyurethanes.

The truth there are good oil base finishes and there are bad; just the same as in waterborne polys also. It really depends on the resin in the finish. Oil base polys are made up of poly and fillers. The more poly in a finish the more expensive it will be and in turn will cost much more money, These finishes will last longer and wear better. The more fillers in a polyurethane the cheaper they will be and will last no where as long as a top quality with 100% Polyurethane would. In a waterborne finish it is urethane vs acrylic. The more urethane solids in the finish the longer lasting it will be and the more expensive it will also be. Some companies have a large amount of acrylics in theirs and will not last very long and will wear very quickly.

The products that are found at the big box stores and hardware / paint store is not the same products professionals can purchase. A real contractor would never buy their products from them. a real contractor would only buy from a reputable flooring distributor; who only carries finish for the contractor . These places do not sell to the general public.

Now except for the VOC laws (which are past by each state individually) the oil base finishes have NOT changed except for the amount of solids in the products. The amount of solids in a product can be made up of anything - Oil base can have as much oil or alkyds (a filler) as long as the company meets the solid content. In water solid content runs approx. 28 - 31% this can be urethane or acrylic to make up the solids. The solids is what is left on the floor after the water or thinner gasses off.

The oil has no place to go and since their inception waterborne has far surpassed the oil four fold. They are more durable and some even have aluminum oxides and isocyanide hardeners. The catalyst is old school for finishes however still a very good finish when used with this type of a crosslinker. There are also finishes out there that the chemistry has come so far as to be a very durable 1-part waterborne finish.

Why is it that homeowners do so much research on what kind of car or television or cell phone yet NO ONE researches the finish on that is going on their floor.. Your car, TV and Cell won't last as long as your floors and you put a greater dollar amount into your floor than these other items. However those rate a more intense research. Why do you do this?

Do you ask your contractors what finish they are using, do you ask for literature? Do you ask why they use that particular finish? Well you should start; let me tell you if You Don't Ask these questions then the contractor could use anything he wants and get away with it. So for them to make the most money they use the cheapest finish (Oil base or Waterborne) It won't matter. So you lose in the end because (not all but some) will use the least expensive to make the most money out of you.

There are also waterborne finishes and sealers that look like oil base and No Oil Gloss under a satin or semi will not make you floors last longer that is a myth. There are so many things you as a customer should be asking but you don't. And everyone else that says oil better than water and water better than oil has got to stop arguing.

I use a waterbase sealer that looks and acts like an oil base. Then I put on top of that a waterbase polyurethane that has aluminum oxide and a hardener with a 15 year wear warranty. It is The best finish on the market and use it for all my customers ( cost $80 - $95 per gallon) Nothing but the best for my customers. They keep coming back year after year. I just recoated a house I did 16 years ago in water and it looked great, they just wanted another coat on for the sale of their home.

1 Like    Bookmark   October 20, 2014 at 1:30PM
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Adirondack_Bob

KEF53, can you tell us what products you use? I'm planning to refinish our hardwood floors and am trying to find the answers I need. Sometimes we don't know what we don't know. Also, any description and/or advice on finish: satin, semi-gloss and gloss would be appreciated.

It's very hard to decide what finish we want when it's so hard to see what they look like. My bro-in-law just had his floors done in an oil base, satin finish. The floor seemed to have rough spots which we didn't like at all. Personally, I think he got ripped off. I'll be doing my own work.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2014 at 8:39PM
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ralphevans

Water-based poly provides a clear finish and have a low odor. It's virtually free of volatile organic compounds, although the isocyanates in most formulations can irritate sensitive individuals. It also dry quickly, allowing you to apply several coats in a single day.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2014 at 4:34AM
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mmartine10

Not many mention that the durability is directly related to how many coats were applied to the hardwood floors regardless of the type of the finish, oil or water based.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2015 at 10:42AM
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charabrown

Advice please- I had my oak hardwood floor sanded and screened. I applied 2 coats of light golden stain and the floor looked great-uniform stain. I applied one coat of water based poly and the floor looks milky white- like the stain was bleached out -not uniformly. What went wrong and how do I proceed. I sure would appreciate some help. Thank you in advance.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2015 at 1:12PM
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jfcwood

charabrown, for best response it would probably be better to start a new thread.

How long did you wait to apply the urethane after the stain was applied? How long since you applied the urethane? What is the temperature and humidity in the area being finished?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2015 at 1:29PM
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charabrown

Thank you - I was not sure how to start a new thread.

I was working on this mid January 2015. Room temp was 66 -68 F and dry air . Stain was applied 24 hrs. or less prior to poly. I have not done anything with it since. We are using the room as is.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 21, 2015 at 4:56AM
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charabrown

jfcwood - I did start a fresh thread 2-21-15 Including the information above. Thanks

1 Like    Bookmark   February 21, 2015 at 5:06AM
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tomr1212

can a homeowner buy the commercial quality Bona products? If so, where?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2015 at 5:16PM
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gregmills_gw

If you have a local HW distributor you could try there. but you can always buy online.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2015 at 6:58PM
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Steven Tate

Swedish finish is the Cadillac of Floor finish. The Swedish Finish adds far more character and a richness that cannot be achieved with any other type of finish. Bona water finish has to be re-coated every 1-2 years. Our Sanding jobs with 3 coats swedish last 18-20 years with normal use. we are now getting calls to resand floors we did 18-20 years ago which could have been just re-coated if the customer would have called us after 10-15 years of wear to re-coat. Swedish costs pennies more than oil base poly's and half the cost of water borne.
Swedish
Yes the odor of swedish is brutal while the finish is drying but the windows can be opened 4 hours after the final coat is applied and the odor is "gone" after 24 hours and is then safe.

Swedish allows the true color of your wood to show through. Water borne leaves a milky look. Swedish does not amber or yellow. Swedish is a 2 part epoxy like finish Which dries Hard very quickly which makes it a difficult finish to apply which is why many finishers reluctant to use it. Only a small percentage of wood floor finishers are proficient enough to apply Swedish. Swedish

    Bookmark   March 5, 2015 at 8:36PM
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gksilva

Hi, interesting reading. Although a lot of to and fro not a lot of product names being put forward by either. (I'm in Australia)

My wife has a dance school which has oak timber floors about 80 years old. After a number of repairs and some new timber installed, I purchased (a non professional myself) Dulux Floorproof Pro from local hardware store which was supposed to be extremely durable compared to all other products available.

Floorproof Pro is an oil based product.

Now this was going down on an old floor that is now being used for tap dancing, so my expectation was this will need a new coat every year to maintain a reasonable finish. After a year and a couple of months, this has proved to be correct. Mainly scratches and dents from the taps. I don't expect any product to last many years with this type of abuse. I found the Floorproof Pro good at sort of self leveling and filling little dents when first put down.

So I head on back to the local hardware store to purchase new 10 litre tin and apparently the product isn't made anymore. Been recommended towards another oil based product I previously used that I had to add a hardener to. (I didn't like the finish very much and it didn't prove to be very hard even with the hardener added). Looking at water based poly finish, I have been advised that you can't put a water based finish over an oil finish without taking the wood back to bare? Anyone know if this is true?

But, I am looking to the future knowing a re-coat will be required annually, and in the interim, will probably stick with an oil finish. Any recommendations on 1. Water based over Oil without sanding back to bare? 2. Good oil based products? or do you recommend see a local professional to determine product that they use?

Cheers.

    Bookmark   Yesterday at 4:02AM
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zaq29

Based on personal experience and a direct quote from a technical rep from a major water-borne finish maker, oil based poly wears better than ANY water-borne finish.

1 Like    Bookmark   Yesterday at 8:53AM
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glennsfc

1. Yes you can coat an existing fully-cured oilbase polyurethane with a two-part (catalyzed) waterbourne polyurethane. You need to professionally prepare the existing coat to receive the new coating. Whoever told you this cannot be done does not know what they're talking about.

2. There is much debate over the durability characteristics of each finish category. Because there are cheap and premium products in each category, it becomes difficult to reach fair conclusions regarding each as to durability.

2 Likes    Bookmark   Yesterday at 12:17PM
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gregmills_gw

Glennsfc said everything I was going to say. Being you are in Australia im not familiar if they carry certain products locally.

For a dance floor that gets used often that's going to be tough to recommend a product, something like is going to need routine maintenance in order to keep it looking good.

I would suggest something specifically made for gym floors, i.e. basketball courts and so forth.

3 Likes    Bookmark   Yesterday at 3:10PM
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