Water vs Oil Based Polyurethane

Water vs Oil Based Polyurethane

Find out which finish is the best for you project, water-based or oil based polyurethane. They’re both durable and good looking, but there are differences. We’ll help you decide.

Both water based and oil based poly offer good protection; the biggest difference is in appearance. If you love the natural look of maple, apply a water-based (waterborne) polyurethane. They appear milky in the can, but go on clear and remain clear.

They’ll slightly accent the character of your wood without giving it the amber tint of an oil-based poly. (However, some woods, like the oak shown, cry out for that amber tint.) Water-based finishes dry fast—most within two hours—so you can apply several coats in a day and use the room that night. They have minimal odor and clean up with water too.

But water-based polys have their trade-offs. It will cost twice as much as oil-based polys. They won’t give wood the rich glow that oil-based polys impart; some even consider them cold looking. When I applied waterborne poly recently, I found that it went on so clear I had to use a bottle cap to mark each 8-in. wide swath of finish as I went.

There’s debate over water vs oil based polyurethane which finish is harder, but some experts maintain that hardness isn’t necessarily a good attribute of a floor finish. You want a finish that will flex along with the floor and a super-hard finish shows scratches more readily. You’ll prolong the protective life of any finish by eliminating its No. 1 enemies: dirt and grit. Sweep or vacuum the floor often and put throw rugs in high-traffic areas. We are also providing hardwood floor refinishing with best price at hardwood now.

Oil Based Application

Water Based Application

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to remove all furniture from the room before we arrive to start work. Insurance policy prevents us from moving furniture.

Water-based polyurethanes provide a clear finish and have low odor. You can re-coat them in 2 hours and clean your tools with water. If you start early enough in the day, you can apply the recommended 4 coats and sleep that night.

Andre Meneguini

Oil-based polyurethanes leave an amber glow and require fewer coats. But the five-hour wait between coats and 12-hour wait after the last coat will put a bedroom out of commission for a few days—and you’ll have to put up with a strong odor.

Andre Meneguini

WATER vs OIL BASED POLYURETHANE, ASK OUR TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS

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Andre Meneguini

Andre Meneguini

Owner

Rock Leue

Rock Leue

Flooring Professional

Alexandre

Alexandre

Flooring Professional

Robert Talinista

Robert Talinista

Flooring Professional

WHAT OUR CLIENT SAYS ABOUT REFINISH WOOD FLOORS

I and my wife loved the refinish process. dust less and no smell. Thank you!

- Teobaldo

Andre did a great buffing job at my living room, thank you!

- Deal Romero

Andre did a great buffing job at my living room, thank you!

- Deal Romero

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