When choosing new hardwood floors for your space, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is what finish you will use.
Once your floors are installed, a finish is applied as a liquid, which then dries to create a hard coating to protect your flooring. The finish can prevent scratches, dents, water damage, and more. It also helps extend the life of your floor by keeping it in good shape and maintaining its aesthetic appearance.
You have a few options when it comes to choosing your finish for your hardwood flooring. The most popular options on the market today are wax finishes, oil finishes, and water-based polyurethane. While there are advantages to each, today we are going to discuss water-based polyurethane and why you may want to choose it for your home or business.
Water-Based Polyurethane Finish
What exactly is a water-based polyurethane finish? Polyurethane is a plastic or polymer that can be used for a variety of things, including protective coatings. As a finish for your flooring, it is mixed with water to form a liquid and then poured over your hardwood in an even coating. It then dries and hardens, creating a protective barrier over your floor. Polyurethane is water-resistant and easy to clean, which is why it has become such a popular choice.
Previously, oil-based polyurethane was the most popular option when it came to wood flooring finishes. However, water-based polyurethane is becoming an increasingly popular choice for a variety of reasons.
Advantages of Water-Based Polyurethane
Here are a few reasons why water-based polyurethane is quickly becoming one of the most popular choices for hardwood flooring finishes.
An Eco-Friendly Option
A big reason why water-based polyurethane has been able to take the top spot from oil-based finishes is due to the fact that they are much more environmentally friendly. As more people take a closer look at the products that we surround ourselves with and put into our bodies, many are making the decision to avoid potentially harmful materials. Many oil-based finishes emit low volatile organic compounds, which are harmful gases that can impact humans and the environment. By choosing a water-based finish, you are avoiding all the harsh chemicals that are emitted by other finishes.
Quicker Drying Time
If time is a priority, water-based polyurethane is a great option because it dries much quicker than other finishes. Once the resins within the finish have hardened, it is fully water-resistant and safe to use. This means your floor will be dry and ready to use within a few hours with a water-based finish, compared to several days if you choose an oil-based option.
Stays Completely Clear
If you love your choice of hardwood flooring and want to make sure you get to enjoy the coloring and details for years to come, water-based polyurethane is going to be your best option because it dries and stays completely clear over years of wear and tear. Oil-based products, on the other hand, naturally have a subtle amber tint which becomes more visible as your floor is exposed to UV light. This can change the color of your flooring or distort the natural details of the wood, so choose a water-based finish to avoid this down the line.
While initially, water-based polyurethane finishes were not as strong as oil-based finishes, there have been many advances in the way these finishes are manufactured over the years. Nowadays, many water-based finishes are even more durable than oil-based finishes and last longer under even the heaviest wear.
While some of these advantages do mean that water-based polyurethane may be a bit more of an expensive option than oil-based alternatives, we believe it is one of the best options in the long term due to the multiple advantages above.
Oak and Broad – Your Wide Plank Flooring Experts
Contact us today to learn more about our flooring and how we can help bring beautiful floors to your home. We are happy to have a consultation call with you to learn what you want and make suggestions based on our expertise and experience. We look forward to hearing from you!