Floor is the most used part of an installation, no matter where and what material it is made of. Naturally, it is more likely to get worn and torn due to constant use. And, things go worse when it comes to wooden floors. Regular maintenance is the only resistance there, while proper refurbishing is the only solution to the occurred damage. And, in both cases, use of floor-specific quality polyurethane is a must!
Experts have long suggested using oil-based polyurethane for floor coating, though it contains more volatile organic compounds (VOC’s toxicity). But now they are highly-convinced by some advanced quality water-based polyurethanes for non-toxicity, and of course, effectiveness! The Bona Traffic HD, Bona Mega, and Rust-Oleum are some glowing examples of those.
However, we have a shortlist of the best water based polyurethane for floors, along with a comprehensive analysis defining the reasons behind those selections (why should you use those) and other necessary information. Further reading will help you understand every small detail and decide.
Best Water Based Floor Polyurethanes
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Is Water Based Polyurethane Good for Floors?
Use of water-based polyurethane has become and is still gaining popularity for woodworks. Is it good for floors? Why? You probably have got hints from the introductory words like low VOCs and eco-friendliness, but here are some more reasons why you should use water-based polyurethane for your floors.
It can coat your floors and dry up those quicker than oil-based polyurethane. It looks lighter on wooden floors but does not alter the original wood color; instead, it makes the grain texture more visible. Where you want a true-clear wooden surface without added warm amber effect, waterborne poly is the only solution - an excellent reason, isn't it? Water-based solvents tend to turn the surface no or less yellowish. Last but not least, everybody dislikes cleaning up with chemicals, so using water and easy-cleaning is simply a bonus, which is possible when you use waterborne polyurethane.
Full Reviews - Best Water Based Polyurethane for Floors
1. Bona Mega Wood Floor Polyurethane Finish - Best Bang for Buck
If you roam deep down the web researching this topic, you will notice that many sellers, experts, and product analysts have included this Satin floor finish from Bona on top of their list of best water-based polyurethane for floors! They have done so after adequate research and verification of its usefulness, not without reason or for the sake of paid marketing. We tried to cross-check the facts and finally have decided that it is good enough to get attention for specialty on floor-use, eco-friendliness, easy-applicability, durable performance, and overall value for the money, despite being a mid-grade product in this category. Thus, it is unlikely that experts could have recommended anything else when they have Bona Mega Floor Finish!
Much can be said, but we have basically included the most critical points. As said, it offers the best bang for your bucks, and all customers can afford it, even those with a lower budget. But the manufacturer did not compromise with quality to keep the price lower, though most products of this brand have 30% to 40% higher prices. You will get the intended outcome for sure unless you mess up while applying.
This polyurethane made following the tested and proven waterborne-formula is an oxygen-crosslinking agent, where the crosslinker is the atmospheric oxygen. Naturally, you don't have to worry about mixing and toxicity, making it safe for kids and pets. It produces nearly no odor and causes insignificant or no breathing problems to the applicants. Although mid-grade, it offers a reliable result on high traffic floors too. But, we suggest using Bona Traffic HD or Bona Traffic for high traffic spots if you have no budgetary issue.
With a damn high refinishing quality, it will give your floor a bright, soft look like a brand new floor, even if it is too old. The floor will be non-slippery. If you don’t know - many call the Bona Mega best at revamping old floors.
You will feel no hardship to apply the solution on floors, as the instructions are pretty much straightforward. If you apply this, you don’t need to use any additional polish to shine the floor (but you are always free to apply wood floor polish to keep it shinier at any time later, and for that, you can consider the Bona Hardwood Floor Polish).
With this Bona Mega, you have an opportunity to choose from an array of options, such as satin, clear satin, gloss, semi-gloss, and extra matte. The waterborne polyurethane finish has no wasted finish - this claim from the manufacturer is quite right. And, it will probably impress you that it has a long pot life, pretty much eternal! It stays longer on the floor if appropriately applied, and you can avoid refinishing or refurbishing your floors often, which will save your time and money simultaneously. However, giving a full guarantee will be wrong in terms of high-traffic spots, and in that case, product number 3 of this list is the best solution.
Right way to apply Bona Mega
As already said above, the manufacturer's instructions regarding application are straightforward. It is better to apply more than one coat, while three coats offer the best output. Start with removing moisture or humidity from the area where the polyurethane will be applied to the floor - don’t keep the doors and windows closed. Wear socks instead of shoes, as using shoes will leave marks on your floor permanently.
Open the pot, get the satin finish, mix nothing such as water, and apply the first coat to the floor using the best quality floor finish applicator. You can consider several options for the purpose, such as brush, roller, t-bar, pad, or foam. To dry, it may take at least 2 hours if you apply airflow, or a few hours more. It is very unlikely for the floor to be smooth after the first coating. Take a 400-grit screen & orbital pad, and sand for a while once the first coat is ready. Apply a second coat then, and for some floors (based on wood type and condition), this should bring the ultimate result. If it still does not look perfectly smooth, sand again before applying the third coat - things are perfect now!
Having no additive, whatever you chose from the array of options of this polyurethane, it will no way discolor the original color of woods (floors); instead, we notice it enhances the wood appearance with extra glimmer. Our experiment shows you can get it ready to walk within five hours of applying the last coat, although 24 hours should be your entry point. But, wait at least one week and let it fully cure before you start living inside the room or moving furniture on the floor.
How much area can you cover by 1 gallon Bona Mega?
Although the manufacturer says it can cover 600 square feet, we would say that the coverage is actually 500 to 600 square feet, or even rarely (due to the age, location, and structural nature of some floors) less than 500 square feet. We applied it on a light maple wood floor in a store room, which is more than 33 years old and had been neglected for years. It was close to 70-degree Fahrenheit when we applied, and our experience was a little different. We had to use 1 gallon to cover 504 square feet in the first coating and later used 1.2 gallons to give the next two coats, which may take some more less in your case.
We didn’t see any significant shortcomings. There were no bubbles left after brushing. And as said initially, we didn’t feel any eye burning or breathing difficulty for having low VOCs. Curing took the normal time described above.
It’s true that there are few complaints about curing this particular polyurethane of Bona that it remains relatively soft even after the prescribed time, resulting in scratches on the floor coating. We thought it was actually the result of not maintaining the right humidity or partial failure of following the instructions.
There is one more complaint that it does not last long. Actually, you will never get durability like Bona Traffic from it. The Rust-Oleum, second best choice in our list, is also more durable than this one. Where it is said that it is a mid-grade product, how do you expect commercial-grade durability from that! So, we think this kind of complaint is certainly not expected if you use it for less-traffic spots.
You can expect better returns than you expect from the Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish in proportion to the price you are paying. It is the best floor polyurethane unless you need a high-traffic solution. And one thing that we did not say yet, we know from experience that it is multipurpose, meaning you can use it for many other wood-related purposes even if you buy it for the floor.
2. Rust-Oleum Varathane Polyurethane Floor Finish - Long Lasting
We had to start from where we ended up the analysis of our first choice, meaning the versatility. Our second best choice is an absolute allrounder, although we have enlisted it here for having specialty on hardwood floor finishing. Practically, you can apply the Rust Oleum Varathane on any wooden object from floor to ceiling. It is applicable to both interior and exterior floors, while you may consider the Rust-Oleum Ultimate for interior floors.
Being manufactured in the USA, it is quite a favorite choice for those who prefer US-manufactured (originally) products. If you ask experienced carpenters to tell names of their desired water-based hardwood floor finishes, you will most likely get more 80% who will include at least one from Rust-Oleum in their list, and this particular one from that brand shall prevail over others ( saying again, for floor use particularly).
You can approximately cover an area between 450 and 550 square feet with 1 gallon of Rust-Oleum Varathane for first coating, while the second and third will require half of a gallon. The process is pretty much similar to as described above. Furthermore, it comes with such a clear apply-guideline from the producer that you can never mess up while applying. It is pet safe and eco-friendly. Drying time between two coats is quicker around four hours, and you will get a hard-rock floor surface within five to seven days.
The satin waterborne finish offers a crystal clear outlook, keeping the wood texture lively, which will seem more elegant compared to a bit cloudy finish of Bona Mega. In addition, the non-yellowing excellent scuff helps the coat to ensure a glossier result. The abrasion resistance feature prevents easier flow of stains and other household chemicals over the floor. As regards durability, it is superior to other products in this list, including our top selection, but the Bona Traffic. That means you can apply it on high-traffic areas, where instructions say 4 coats. It is also a reliable choice to use on oil-stained paper floors installed over concrete.
We want to let you know what kind of negative experiences users have had before with our observation. There is no denying that this product has received relatively more negative comments (around 10% of all feedback) than the previous one (about 5% of all feedback) to date.
Some found it thinner than several other polyurethanes they had used, such as the Minwax’s Satin Water-based Polyurethane. Yes, they are right with their complaint. But, being thin does not reduce its durability; instead, we’ve noticed it performing pretty decently, though you should use more solution on high-traffic spots. What they tell about flat sheen seems to be not reasonably accurate in our observation.
It’s a surprise to us that some said it’s cloudy (they claimed they followed instructions, including right humidity)! If you can maintain humidity below 85%, this should give you a crystal-like result. But we still want to consider the complaint and tell buyers to be very precise on following the instructions. It is eco-friendly, but some of you might experience odor at the time of or after applying on your floors.
Perhaps you realize that the allegations that it has received from some users are worth ignoring. If you’re a carpenter or expert in this line, probably you will understand how common these allegations are! So, those should not be your deciding facts. Instead, think that the glossy elegance and durability (on high-traffic spots too) you are getting at half the price of our premium choice is merely awe-inspiring! It seems to be the right option for heavy-duty and long-lasting polyurethane at relatively low cost. And with that in mind, we put it in second place. But if money is not a problem, then, of course, go for the third one listed below.
3. Bona Traffic HD Commercial Floor Finish - Premium (Most Durable)
When it comes to heavy-duty, we believe you should straightly go for this one - Bona Traffic HD. It is the successor of Bona Traffic, with advanced features and an added pricing. While making our list, we were stuck in this place for a long time, wondering why we would actually put it at number 3, where it has all the qualifications to be number 1! In fact, it is the best polyurethane for hardwood floors in any condition when many hardwood floor finishes can not ensure the desired durability in high-traffic areas, such as restaurants, retail stores, and classrooms. But the fact is - most places are not high-traffic, and it’s not mandatory to apply heavy-duty and expensive thing where it is not necessary. In the end, budget and area-specific utility was the point of consideration for what we have placed it at number 3 instead of 1.
With the highest durability among the existing options, it belongs to commercial-grade polyurethane. It is a 2 part product - polyurethane and hardener. When you mix the hardener in it, the solution becomes ready to be damn hard and super durable when dried. It looks more natural and cleaner, similar to that of Rust Oleum Varathane, when applied compared to other heavy duty agents. But it has less coverage than the previous two. With 1 gallon, you will probably cover an area between 250 to 350 square feet. However, it is also recorded that, based on the desired coat-thickness, some finished 1 gallon for only 200 square feet or even went up to 450 square feet.
As it rarely tends to get yellow, it is the best choice for maple-wood floors, along with white and gray wash stains. It should be your first choice if you want to ensure maximum lightness in your oak floors. Not only is it the least-yellowish, but also it contains the lowest possible VOCs, less than 125 in specific (if you don’t know the Bona Traffic has less than 150). It has less odor, but not entirely odorless. It has received the GreenGuard certification means it is safe for children, pets, and the entire environment.
It dries faster, as it is applied after mixing with hardener. With proper humidity and airflow, 4 hours should be enough as the drying-interval between two coats. And, within 24 to 48 hours, the floor should be fully ready - strong and scratch-proof. After that period, you can even move furniture and other heavy objects. Bona Traffic HD is available in several forms - satin, semi-gloss, and extra matte.
We are a bit hesitant about what exactly to call it an advantage or a disadvantage that it cannot be used individually without Hardener! To be on the safe side, we are recording it as a downside of Bona Traffic HD. If you sand and screen the floor a bit inappropriately than required, you may end up with a bad result, as this finish seems not to stick well to floors with even a bit contaminants.
Using sanding paper with different grits, from 24 to 100, and screening is challenging if you are not an expert. That means the application is not easy, which you enjoy with many other polyurethanes. But you can still avoid this with the guideline it includes. You should not also believe in the self-level capacity of the Bona Traffic HD. Instead, maintain your own mechanism and care for that. But, we’ve found no downside regarding the product quality.
Bona Traffic HD simply outperforms all polyurethanes, including its predecessor Bona Traffic, regarding strength, fast-drying, wood texture, and of course, durability. No doubt it costs more than others, but it is worth the money. Go through the best floor polyurethane reviews, or ask any flooring professional - you will find they have the same saying! Why then late if some more bucks is no more a problem?
4. General Finishes High Performance Topcoat - Best Seller
Compared to the options we have discussed so far, the General Finishes High Performance is different. Shortly, the former were just polyurethane, where it is a hybrid of polyurethane and acrylic, though both are water-based. It is unique with brilliant performance tracks, and therefore, is currently the bestseller in its category. Although we have enlisted it for floor-oriented tasks, it is quite a good option for other woodworks like building a table or refurbishing a cabinet.
The unique polyurethane combined with acrylic gives super toughness, water-resilience, and durability to your wooden floors and other applied spots. As stabilized with UV-resistance mechanism, the crystal clear solution protects paints and stains on your wood structures, in addition to ensuring the protection of wood-underneath. But, never apply the topcoat on white or bright white paints, which may result in yellowing. Light color paints are also free from the risk of getting slightly yellowish because of the substrate's reaction.
You can cover an area around 400 to 500 square feet with 1 gallon High Performance Topcoat. It is fast-drying (takes 1/2 hours between two coats), non-flammable, and low-odorous, making it a smart alternative to traditional lacquers. But, do not use it on outer objects, as it is built for indoor use only. Last but not least, other than the yellowing complaint, we have nothing significant to identify its downside. Naturally, it has occupied the bestseller position, as it deserves.
5. Varathane Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane - Great Value
Although we put the Varathane Ultimate at fifth in our list, it offers a great value to users. You will find it listed in most water-based polyurethane reviews as a contender for floor finishes. The manufacturer has straightly indicated to use it for indoor only, such as doors, cabinets, and furniture. It is specially designed with the highest clarity to enhance wood's natural beauty and keep the texture more visible. Your floors and wood-made structures will stay protected because of Varathane's maximum resistance against scratch and stain.
Application is straightforward, followed by easy soap and water cleaning, to keep you free from hassle and save time. With 1 liter of Varathane Ultimate, you can go maximum up to 125 square feet for each coat, though we think 100 square feet should be right for it. The waterborne low-odor poly dries so quickly (within 2 hours) subject to proper humidity assurance.
It does not make the spots yellow until you apply it directly to paint. You should have ensured that the paint on your wooden surface is well-sealed before applying coats with Varathane Ultimate. Moreover, the product will not do magic regarding self-leveling, so you should maintain enough caution and follow your formula to keep the surface level while applying the polyurethane. As it is made with propylene glycol ether, less toxic than oil-based options, you can consider it safe for children, pets, and the environment. But we still suggest those to keep away unless the coats get dried. Overall, you will get a reliable result, adding additional value and utility to your wooden floors.
6. Minwax Ultra Fast-Drying Floors Polyurethane - Fastest Curing
Minwax is one of the most trusted brands in the field of wood care products. Wood preservation, beautification, reshaping, maintenance, repair, or cleaning, whatever the purpose is, you will get Minwax beside you with their super-efficient product lineup. Our current selection - the Minwax Ultra Fast-Drying Floors Polyurethane is a glimpsing example of those products!
Initially, we thought to include the Minwax Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane but later refrained. That was water-based and, at the same time, oil-modified. It is interesting, of course, but pretty simple. That implies the polyurethane has every feature that a water-based one does have, with an additional oily look or color. So, you will get oil color (not oil-based) in the water-based polyurethane. However, the formation will inspire many, but those who want both color and low VOCs of waterborne polyurethane may get frustrated, particularly when it is for interior use. That was why we had kept ourselves refrained from enlisting that one for this position, and, instead, enlisted Minwax Ultra Fast-Drying, a new production with many advancements from Minwax.
But, we’ve realized that our decision was precise. There are many reasons, and the first among which is Ultra-Fast Dry is the fastest drying wood-based polyurethane that is solely built for floor use. Being optimized with the faster drying technology, it takes the least possible time between two coats (manufacturer says 2 hours, but we have experience of only 1 hour). You have to sand and screen the floor surface very well using 100 grit sanding paper to get perfect adhesiveness. But, you don’t need to sand between coats.
Applying Minwax Ultra Fast-Drying Waterborne Polyurethane at room temperature and on the stained floor surface will offer the best result. You should not apply the poly before 2 hours and after 6 hours of staining (manufacturer tells 8 hours, but we suggest 6 hours). A freshly bought synthetic pad applicator should be used to apply for the desired result. Floors should be ready for light and heavy traffic within 24 and 7 days subsequently. Being waterborne, it is cleanable by soap and warm water.
The advanced anti-setting formula makes sure there are less stirring and minimum lows & highs on the applied floor surfaces, giving a pretty even sheen. It means it has a very reliable self-level capacity, though you should be careful. Minwax Ultra Fast-Dry Satin provides the floor with a slightly amber tone. You will get it available in satin, gloss, and semi-gloss formula. Being a newer one, we have not yet been able to figure out the product shortcomings. But we shall keep an eye on and will update over time.
7. Deft Water-Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane - Best Indoor & Outdoor
Although we’ve said before that water-based polyurethane offering a color like an oil-based polyurethane could be frustrating for some. The irony is, if you want a water-based polyurethane for outdoor use, it is safer to be oil-modified, primarily because of its UV resistance. That means an oil-modified water-based polyurethane may not be accepted by some users (though that may be compatible to indoor use) who want everything of pure water-based polyurethane (color and other features); but, they do not know that a pure water-based poly is not a right choice for outdoor. And, that’s the reason why we denied selecting an oil-modified option at number 6, as that was for interior use; but, now we are choosing an oil-modified option for this position, as it is for outdoor use.
The Deft Topcoat is built following the new water-based oil-modified technology with a specialty in outdoor functionality and a simultaneous capacity of indoor works. Its UV protection is excellent at weather resistance, particularly the harmful rays that damage the paint and surface of outdoor wooden floors, ensuring longer durability. Added self-priming feature helps a lot, as the user will require no sealer for better adhesion. Although it offers oil-oriented color, the Deft topcoat does not contain much VOCs and odor (don’t forget it is a waterborne solvent), so safe for the environment, pets, and children. Available at satin, gloss, and semi-gloss formation, and it does not make your floor surface yellow unless it contains white paint. Easy-to-apply on both exterior and interior floors, furniture, doors, windows, frames, and other wooden objects with pad, brush, and spray. We found no significant drawbacks of the product but seems to be not freely available, and you may need to wait for days after order.
Types of Finish for Wooden Floors
Although we have discussed waterborne floor polyurethane details in this article, some more popular finishes are there for wooden floors. Here is a brief but meaningful overview of those floor finishes (including waterborne type) with their applications, utilities, benefits, and limitations.
i) Water-Based Polyurethane
Most Suitable for - Wooden floors that requires a truly clear finish with quicker drying
Benefits - Ease of application; fast drying; less VOCs, less odor, and eco-friendly; non-flammable; less yellowing; smooth and shiny; easy clean up
Limitations - Takes more amount for desired result; less fit for high-traffic spots; scratch and scrape visibility
ii) Oil-Based Polyurethane
Most Suitable for - Those spots that are high-traffic and require long lasting durability
Benefits - Inexpensive; super durable; moisture-resistant; less amount is enough for desired result; warm amber effect
Limitations - Slow drying; high amount of VOCs; health risks; flammable; tend to get yellow over time
iii) Moisture-Cure Urethane
Most Suitable for - Where you require the toughest and moisture-proof floor finish
Benefits - Super durable and heavy duty; anti-moisture facility
Limitations - Difficulty in application; much high amount of VOCs; health risks;
Most Suitable for - Where you need a low-sheen floor finish
Benefits - Simpler application; less VOCs and odor; can be applied with stain where penetration into the wood is necessary; quick drying
Limitations - Though simple, application requires much labor; less durable; tends to get yellow or dark quickly
Most Suitable for - Wooden floors and surfaces where a natural product with low VOCs is necessary
Benefits - Natural; sustainable; easy touch up and no complication to repair; great adherence to tropical oily woods
Limitations - Highly flammable; evenly-application is tough; very less durable; fresh mixing necessary before application
vi) Penetrating Oil Sealer
Most Suitable for - Where you need a low shiny finish that makes the wood grain more visible
Benefits - Natural; highlighted natural beauty of wood; ease of application; perfect penetration
Limitations - Less durable; recoating requires fairly often than other protective coats; more expensive
vii) Acid-Cured Finish
Most Suitable for - Exotic or elaborate pattern wooden floors
Benefits - Maximum durability; quick drying
Limitations - High amount of VOCs; not safe to children, pets, and ecosystem; very flammable; expensive; professional assistance required for application
viii) Aluminum Oxide
Most Suitable for - High-traffic floors or any surface that requires maximum protection against wear & tear
Benefits - Unparalleled (longest) durability; hardest possible surface; very low maintenance; availability in different glossiness levels
Limitations - Tough touch up and refinishing; available in no other form except for prefinished wood planks
We will discuss all of these in detail elsewhere, but in pursuance to this article, we think we have been very specific and these should be enough to meet your needs.
Best Polyurethane Brands for Floors
The global wood and wood products industry is immense, with an approximate $450 billion market in 2020, as reported by the Forestry wing of the Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations! This is huge, simply huge, where the wood coating industry is just a part with an approximation to reach around $11 billion by 2025, as reported under chemical market trends by Reportlinker.
The report indicates massive underlying business opportunities, and, naturally, many brands have stepped on the field, where a good number has already been popular. Not all but a small portion of those brands produce floor polyurethane, either water-based or oil-based, and we have included their products on our list. That means you’ve already known the best brands for floor polyurethanes if you read the product reviews. But to remind you, we are stating those, along with some new, again as follows:
- Rust Oleum
- General Finishes
- StreetShoe, etc.
Water Based or Oil Based - What is the Best Polyurethane for Floors?
The question may also come in the form of - “is water based or oil based polyurethane better for floors?” Well, the following comparison shall help you get a reliable answer.
How to Apply Water-Based Polyurethane on Floors?
Going straight - always try to follow the manufacturer's instructions accurately. It is better to apply more than one coat, while three coats offer the best output. Start with removing moisture or humidity from the area where the polyurethane will be applied to the floor - don’t keep the doors and windows closed. Wear socks instead of shoes, as using shoes will leave marks on your floor permanently. Take a 25-grit to 400-grit screen (based on the particular floor and manufacturer's instructions), and sand for a while before applying the first coat.
Open the pot, get the finish, mix nothing such as water, and apply the first coat to the floor using a quality floor finish applicator. You can consider several options for the purpose, such as brush, roller, t-bar, pad, or foam. To dry, it may take at least 2 hours if you apply airflow or a few hours more. It is very unlikely for the floor to be smooth after the first coating. Sand and screen the coat once it dries (if necessary) before applying the second coat. Apply a second coat then, and for some floors (based on wood type and condition), this should bring the ultimate result. If it still does not look perfectly smooth, sand again before applying the third coat - things are perfect now!
Our experiment shows you can get it ready to walk within five hours of applying the last coat, although 24 to 72 hours should be your entry point. But, wait at least one week and let it fully cure before you start living inside the room or moving furniture on the floor.
What is the Best Applicator for Polyurethane?
Among the floor polyurethane applicators, the brush is the best and most used option. You will see an uncountable number of brushes available out there, which will make you confused about what to choose. Actually, any brush with soft and dense bristles is good as a polyurethane applicator. Our recommendation for the best option goes in favor of the Pro Grade Soft Bristles.
What kind of polyurethane do you use on floors?
Going straight if you want to know the personal experiences of our review team members. We prefer water-based polyurethane for indoor use. Even if it is high-traffic spots like inside a restaurant, we prefer waterborne solvents, although it requires much more to cover an area during application than the oil-based solvents. But yes, for outdoor floors where UV and color are a big concern, we consider oil-based polyurethanes, moisture-cure urethanes, or aluminum oxide finish based on circumstances.
What is the drying period for water-based polyurethane?
Fastest drying water-based polyurethanes take 1 hour to less than 2 hours to dry for the next coat. Standard waterborne polys take at least 2 hours or a couple of hours more (not more than 5 hours in total) when you can apply the second coat. But if you ask about full curing time, then it should be anything between 24 hours to 72 hours. To stay on the safe side, particularly if you need to bring heavier items like large cabinets on the floor, you should wait for 5 to 7 days maximum.
How many coats of water based polyurethane do you need on hardwood floors?
It depends on several facts, such as the type and age of your floor, thickness you want, and of course, the instructions coming with the polyurethane. But, the generally accepted fact is - you may need to apply one coat to three coats for low-traffic floors, which may increase up to four coats (more than that is rare) when it is a high-traffic zone with a potential threat of UV and dampness.
Can you sleep in a house after water based polyurethane?
Simply, no! Water-based solvents contain fewer VOCs, therefore, create low health risks to humans and animals. But there is still a chance of emitting toxicity until it dries completely. Though minor, we suggest you not sleep in a house after applying any polyurethane as long as it is not dried.
Do you need to sand between coats of water based polyurethane?
Not always. It is unlikely for the floors to be smooth after the first coating. So, sand and screen over the coat once it dries (if necessary) before applying the next coat. But in some cases, where the surface is smoother, or the polyurethane has excellent self-leveling, you may not require sanding between two coats.
Polycrylic or Polyurethane - What’s the DIfference?
Polyurethane can be either water-based or oil-based, while Polycrylic is solely water-based. Therefore, compared to waterborne polyurethane, polycrylic has less difference - both are similar in many ways. But when it comes to oil-based polyurethane, the difference is huge. All differences between water-based polyurethane and oil-based polyurethane (discussed above) are present when you compare polycrylic with oil-based polyurethane. But the common distinctions of polycrylic against both water and oil based poly is that it is less smelly and inexpensive.
What is the best non yellowing polyurethane?
Compared to oil-based counterparts, of course, the water-based polyurethanes are non-yellowing. In some exceptional cases, for instance, on white or bright white paint, most of the waterborne agents make a less yellowish impact on wooden floors over time.
How long does water based polyurethane last?
Durability differs based on which grade of waterborne polyurethane you use. Generally, water-based solvents have less durability compared to their oil-based counterparts. But if you properly apply the high-grade and expensive water based polys like Bona Traffic HD, you can expect long-lasting performance like their oil-based alternatives, ranging from 10 to 20 years. But, mid-grade waterborne polys have significantly less durability ranging from 2 to 4 years, although inexpensive. But things may be different based on use and surroundings.
What is the most durable finish for hardwood floors?
The Aluminum Oxide is the most durable finish for hardwood floors, a single application of which may last up to 25 years. For high-traffic floors or any surface that requires maximum protection against tear and wear, aluminum oxide is the best solution. It requires minimum maintenance throughout life, but touch up and refinishing is tough.
How many coats of polyurethane are too many?
1 to 3 coats are standard, while 4 coats are recommended for high-traffic spots and longer durability. But, anything more than 5 coats is too many.
Is 2 coats of polyurethane enough?
In most cases, 2 coats give a reliable result. But for the desired result, 3 coats are believed to be standard.
Water-based polyurethane exists in several grades, by which their capacity and durability are defined. The use of waterborne solvents is increasing as opposed to their oil-based alternatives, although the latter has more durability. Although water modules cost a bit more, they are easy to apply, fast-drying and curing, safe to the environment, and enhance the original color and texture of woods. So, unless you particularly need an oil-based solvent, get the water-based options.