Learn what you need to know to choose between and oil based wood floor finish and a water based wood floor finish. While linoleum and carpets last maybe 10 years, and wood laminate can last 20, real wood is virtually ageless. Strip the old wax with stripper (following the manufacturer’s instructions) or mineral spirits (rub into wood and then wipe off with a clean, soft cloth). It’s not hard to understand why: installing or refinishing a wood floor is a serious investment, so homeowners are tempted to save a few bucks by going with the cheapest quote. Sorry to say that the picture you used to show the difference between oil and water are actually 2 different species of wood.
It is also more likely to match existing wood if you are only refinishing portions of your home. You should know: Oil-based urethane finish is slow to dry; it’s flammable; and it will add an amber shade to the natural color of the wood. Most pro’s will not attemp it. Maple can’t be stained because it is a hard and tight wood that does not soak up a stain. You can get three wood flooring contractors in a room and all three will have a different idea about how things should be done.
OBP offered a significant leap in durability over paste wax and changed wood flooring forever. If you’re looking to have an oil-based polyurethane applied to your wood floor, we’d love to chat with you to discuss your thoughts. I’d have to agree that Bona Traffic Master HD is the best of the water based polyurethane. Enhanced chemistry in the WBP means that your floors won’t need recoating as soon as they would have if OBP was used. Every floor looks different based on species (e.g. red vs. white oak), grade and age.
Margo – I hope that you are able to do your top choice, but if they have a rule, they may not allow it. Your one argument can be that water based actually has higher VOCs than oil based. Apparently it’s a pretty rare thing to find here in Indiana, on top of this having been a school, since Fir isn’t the hardest wood for a high traffic area. When I’ve gotten bids for hardwood refinishing, I found that the added cost of water-based polyurethane varied greatly from company to company.
Oil-based polyurethane is slightly more durable than water-based, especially when it comes to handling heat, so a kitchen table is a good candidate. Mr. Floor follows a strict NWFA ( National Wood Flooring Association) sanding sequence to ensure that the wood pores have been closed correctly during the sanding process. Oil-based or oil-modified polyurethane have been around in the United States since about 1936 when it was first made for bowling alleys. You want your wood floor company to treat your property as if it were their own.
The Classic system also provides unsurpassed beauty, bringing out the natural colour of your wood floor in addition to scratch and scuff resistance properties. Though you can walk on a water-based polyurethane floor within 24 hours, we recommend that you do not put down rugs for at least 14 days. Use only slightly warm water with NOdetergents, soaps, ammonia or chemicals added to clean dirt.
If you decide to use an oil based paint, which I actually think is a more practical solution, then the main issue with that is that white paints will discolour to a creamy, or even yellow tone over time, especially in areas that don’t get sunlight ie under a rug. We have many customers who are in a rush to move into their new home, but we always recommend that it’s worth delaying move in by a few days and get their floors done right. About a year ago I had my kitchen wood floor refinished by professionals with Bona Traffic, it was worth every penny. The durability and quality of the finished floors are not dictated by the coatings alone.