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!
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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