While there really is such a thing as an aluminum oxide finish on
pre-finished flooring, it's a proprietary finish applied at the factory. It
is exceptionally tough and durable, much more so than polyurethane. But it
won't last forever, and it is possible to scratch/mar/damage it. Note
however, IT CAN NEVER BE REFINISHED, because it is virtually impossible to
remove the old finish. Once the finish is damaged or worn to the point it
is no longer acceptable, either pull it up and make firewood or buy area
rugs or wall-to-wall.
Which brings the real question. Is it aluminum oxide powder in a binder or
it is pure aluminum oxide applied by some exotic process? If it's pure
aluminum oxide then solvents aren't going to do a thing to it.
There are a number of companies making Polyurethane / Aluminum Oxide flooor
finishes. Check with your local paint distributor and it's likely that they
can help. If that is not convenient, we carry CrystaLac Poly-Ox which is a
water based Poly / aluminum oxide floor finish that doesn't require a decade
of experience to apply successfully. Feel free to call our tech support line
for additional info, or check out
Jim Ray, President
McFeely's Square Drive Screws
Thanks for all the responses guys but I still need to know what a
proper formula is to mix aluminum oxide with polyurethane to achieve
the best results. I am looking for mesh size as well as amount to use
you know something like "well I use 200 mesh and add a half pound of
AO to 1 gallon of polyurethane" or something like that. Some would
have people believe that it is a complicated process but it really just
consists of adding AO to polyurethane you can use UV lights to fast
cure if you want but that is about as complicated as it gets. I just
wanted to get a good formula instead of doing the old trial and error
The flooring manufactures produce AO finished products so I assumed
that onsite finishers would have devised a similar solution to do this.
I have personally blended boron carbide and diamond powder with
polyurethane to produce anti wear coats in high end furniture and it is
extremely strong but these powders are cost prohibitive to use in
flooring applications. So I figured someone might know the recipe for
using AO with polyurethane.
Yes, you can only use boron carbide when you are trying to achieve a
darkened look such as staining or ebonizing, it is hidden fairly well
when using it on dark walnuts and mahogany. Diamond powder is fairly
translucent and seems to me to only add a sparkle to the finish and can
be used on light maple, oak ect. it is just more expensive.
The reason you aren't getting useful responses is probably because no
one who has read your message has done this. Don't assume it's
something personal against you.
FWIW - almost everything I have read talks of AO being a "factory" only
method. That probably just means that the products haven't made it to
the wider community yet. Which means that your chances of finding
someone here who knows this is probably pretty slim.
I did Google and found in about 10 minutes this link:
There someone has listed two possible commercial premixed solutions -
Trek Plus and Fuhr Aluminum Oxide Modified Urethane
Thanks for the response and I did not assume that it was personal; I
was just trying to refocus on the issue I am trying to resolve. If I
came off short, I apologize and I did not mean to sound tripe or rude,
I just wanted to remind everyone that I would still like to find a mix
if anyone has one. When I asked the question, I realized that I very
well may be the first one to try this and if I am so be it. I will
defiantly come back and post my findings if I have to do the Guinea Pig
As for the AO being a factory finishes, I believe that it is put out
there by the manufactures. It is no different than using Boron Carbide
or diamond powder to reinforce a finish and both of those are done by
just mixing the powders directly into polyurethane. You just have to
make sure that you get the right mesh size and mix the right amounts
about 5% powder to volume of finish for boron and 3% powder to volume
for diamond at a mesh size of 600.
Interesting. I had never heard of anyone doing this - but then I am by
no means a finishing expert. (much much closer to newbie than expert.)
So in your experiments with born and diamond powder - do you have any
measurement of how much more wear resistance this provided?
I don't have measurements on the amount of resistance to damage using
diamond powder or Boron have as opposed to using straight urethane,
just subjective evidence that convinced me to use them on my better
pieces of work. My father worked for a high-end paint company that
makes a product consisting of 300 mesh diamond powders mixed with
urethane, one day he applied some to some scrap yellow pine and then
smacking it with a hammer after it was dry to see how strong it was.
The pine did not dent the finish cracked a little but it did not dent,
after seeing that any surface I need durability on such as a desktop or
a table top I have always added one or the other to the mix and have
never had to refinish a piece of work . Not to mention that diamond
powder creates a beautiful finish.
Diamond is the hardest substance registering a 10 on the Moh's scale
as well Boron is right up there with a 9 and AO weighs in at 7.5 so
they are extremely hard substances adding them to urethane in
sufficient amounts causes a nearly solid coat to be applied to the
surface. It is not as hard as solid diamond or solid boron but is far
harder than just urethane by itself.
One thing to remember with Boron though is that it will change (darken)
the pigment of the urethane. As well I belive AO turns white if too
much is added.
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