Refinishing hardwood floors: water vs. oil


I'm refinishing (professionally) 36 year old floors that haven't been done since they were installed. I'm getting conflicting advice on whether to use oil or water based finish. I have two dogs that play a lot, so I want a finish that is the longest lasting. Any input? And thanks in advance for your help!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NAL wrote:

One thing I can tell you is shy away from the super high gloss finish. I did that and its a slipping disaster. If you wear socks your looking for a blown out back/knee etc.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NAL wrote:

the same way. i have select white oak and i don't like the way the oil yellows. i is just a matter of taste.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NAL wrote:

The other problem is the smell. Oil based finishes are going to stink to high heaven for a long time and give off more VOCs. I think a high qaulity water based finish is fine. And if you have large dogs, the floor will get scratched eventually no matter what.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On a side note....is there much of a cost difference between the two options?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
johnnymo wrote:

I can't recall what the difference was. It might be that the water base product is less expensive but Im not 100%. Here is some info I found.
Red oak with oil-bottom,latex-top/urethane Surface Finishes - Surface finishes are very popular today because they are durable, water-resistant and require minimal maintenance. Surface finishes are blends of synthetic resins. These finishes most often referred to as urethanes or polyurethane's remain on the surface of the wood and form a protective coating. They are generally available in high-gloss, semi-gloss, satin and matte. Any one of the surface finishes are appropriate for the kitchen.
There are basically five (5) main types of surface finishes:
1.Oil-modified urethane is generally the most common surface finish and is easy to apply. It is a solvent-base polyurethane that dries in about eight hours. This type of finish ambers with age.
2.Moisture-cure urethane is a solvent-base polyurethane that is more durable and more moisture resistant than other surface finishes. Moisture-cure urethane comes in non-yellowing and in ambering types and is generally available in satin or gloss. These finishes are extremely difficult to apply, have a strong odor and are best left to the professional.
3.Swedish finish or acid cure urethane is a clear and fast drying finish. It is durable and non-yellowing. These finishes have an extremely strong odor and should be applied by the highly skilled wood flooring professional.
4.Water-based urethane is a waterborne urethane that dries by water evaporation. These finishes are clear and non-yellowing. They have a milder odor than oil-modified finishes have and they dry in about two to three hours. Water-based urethanes are generally more expensive.
5.Alumiunum Oxide Finishes- The newest in wood floor finishes offers a long lasting more durable coating than past wood floor finishes. These finishes carry a limited 20 year wear warranties, and is the latest trend by major prefinished wood floor manufacturers.
Penetrating Stain and Wax - This finish soaks into the pores of the wood and hardens to form a protective penetrating seal. The wax gives a low-gloss satin sheen that wears only as the wood wears. It will not chip or scratch and is generally maintained with additional thin applications of wax. Usually, wax finishes are applied more often than surface finishes. Only solvent-based (never water-based) waxes, buffing pastes or cleaning liquids specifically made for wood floors should be used.
Wax- The oldest, and in some ways the best. Wax is the easiest to apply, least expensive, fastest drying, easiest to repair, and with proper care will survive forever. Wax over a penetrating stain, and the system is in the wood so you wear the wood, not the finish. Proper care involves maintenance with colored waxes. Water will spot the waxed surface and must be removed (or prevented). Buffing is required. Periodically, wax must be added, and this conjures up the memory of Grandma on her knees.
Looks like a good water based is more expensive than oil.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Once cured, no difference.
Water is clear and has no odor drying
Oil will have a yellow tint and will give off an odor for a couple of days.
Some people prefer the clarity of water based, others like the warm color of the oil base. Oil, IMO, brings out hte grain of hte wood better. You may want to try a dab of each in a corner and see if you have a preference. Many pros are using water because of hte odor. In either case, it takes a couple of weeks for the finish to be fully cured.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for all the response. The cost for the water is more than oil by a little bit. The finishers seem to prefer the water because it's quicker drying. If using water based, are there different qualities (commercial use vs, residential)?
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NAL wrote:

any heavy furniture and use felt pads under everything.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
[...]

I have heard/read recently that felt is not the best, because it somehow interacts with the floor. The clear plastic ones are better, this theory holds.
Could someone straighten me out on this?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Plastic pads placed on dining tables have caused problems with interacting with the finish. Result has been refinishing was required. Named "plasticizing'. Search for it at www.homesteadfinishing.com or www.refinishwizard.com
On Fri, 03 Nov 2006 17:09:04 -0800, aspasia wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
aspasia wrote:

rubber like tips on canes for chairs in kitchen.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NAL wrote:

FWIW, it will take about 5 coats of a water finish to give you the same durability of 2 coats of oil finish (installed 48 hours apart).
-Lee
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Call companys that makes both oil and water base to see whats harder etc.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's like copper vs PVC. Oil is the best but my god, the smell is hideous. The food in your fridge will smell like oil.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

not to bad. one reason to go with water is in correcting scratches the water base will match easier than the oil as it ambers.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NAL:
I installed oak floors in the family room and kitchen and put down four coats of water-based MinWax Polycrylic and it has not held up well. The kitchen has access to the backyard and is the most heavily abused floor in the house. The kids are gone, but we've still got the 75 pound dog.
Small print on the can: "When used on floors, Polycrylic may require more frequent recoating." I didn't read all the small print when I used it. In my last house I did the floors in oil and it held up great (although we only had cats then) and it didn't include the kitchen..
When the dog dies I'll redo it with oil.
dss
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.