Water Based Polyurethane Finish
A water based finish is a non-toxic, high performance, extremely hard-wearing finish that is the product of choice for floors that require a high quality finish. It provides excellent resistance to scuffs and scratches.
It is important to use non toxic products that dry quickly, not releasing toxic chemicals, so you can safely stay at home whilst your floors are sanded and polished.
Water based flooring products deliver great looking, durable floors that are environmentally friendly and easy to maintain. Water based finishes are also non-yellowing so the colour will not change over time.
Water based floor finish has a lighter appearance and dries faster so most projects can be completed in two days!
Solvent Based Polyurethane Finish
This coating type provides the highest durability of all coating types as well as the highest gloss levels.
Polyurethanes are typically resistant to water exposure, high humidity, temperature extremes, and fungus or mildew, which makes them the perfect finish for timber floors.
There is a strong solvent smell on application and are highly toxic until the coating has cured.
Solvent-based polyurethane finishes can yellow the wood finish slightly. This will not typically be noticeable on darker coloured wood, but on light wood, it can cause a noticeable color change. The finish will continue to darken over time.
Oil Based Finish
An oil based finish is less expensive, feels smoother and tends to have a richer look than water based urethanes.
Over time the finish will amber, leaving a warm natural look. They can be very slow curing in cold weather, darken significantly with age and some types can also yellow in the dark or when covered.
On the downside, oil-based finishes are more toxic, containing higher VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds). They're also stronger smelling which usually precludes staying in the house while the coating is taking place. Once dry, the odour from the solvent may still be discernable for several days but shouldn't' cause any discomfort to the residents unless they are sensitive to smells or have acute allergies. The finish is also less durable than water based finish and takes longer to dry.