Water Base vs Oil Base
Make the right choice about floor treatment
If you want to recieve more information to make your choice, we will be happy to help you.
Many people ask me, “Maestro, why Water Based finishes..?”, well… in my own personal humble opinion using Water Based Finishes is a smarter choice because it is as durable, not as toxic, non-color changing finish that cures in faster time. You can use your floors faster compared with oil based finishes. Below we compare the two side by side for your own benefit.
Polyurethane On-Site Floor Finishes
Water baseThe advantages of a water base finish are:
- Water-based polyurethanes provide a clear finish and have low odor. You can recoat them in two hours. If you start early enough in the day, you can apply the recommended four coats and sleep in the room that night
- Choices:Different products for “ambered” or clear appearance. Multiple sheens for a variety of gloss levels.
- Green:Uses low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) finish means less harmful fumes.
- Dries in 2-3 hours.Multiple coats of water based finish can be applied in one day. The coating job will take less time and the floor can be back in use faster.
- Cures in 7 days: This means less downtime and you can be back on the floor faster. It also means that the VOC is removed from the floor faster.
- Low Odor, Less yellowing
- Clear coat: Water based finishes will retain a clear non-yellowing appearance.
- Basic Coatings Green Solutions: As nature lovers and environmental caretakers, we recommend this product
- Basic Coatings products allow you to prepare, finish and maintain this natural beauty with Low VOC, NMP-free and low impact green products.
- DuraSeal products are certified to Greenguard standards for low chemical emissions into indoor air during product usage.
Oil BaseThe advantages of an oil base finish are:
- Oil-based polyurethanes leave an amber glow and require fewer coats. But the eight-hour wait between coats and 12-hour wait after the last coat will put a bedroom out of commission for a few days—and you’ll have to put up with a strong odor.
- Oil based is considered more durable (but it is possible to apply several coats of water-based polyurethane in order to make it more durable; there are some very durable water finishes available).
- Looks darker:The only reason to use oil based polyurethane. (Sometimes preferred in traditional or country style designs or pine flooring).
- Each coat dries in 8-12 hours. So it takes longer to reach the final coat.
- Cures in 30 days. Leaving a smell too strong for some residents to handle during this time.
- High odor, at the early curing stage: toxic
- Porous: Some oil based polyurethanes, and depending the temperature, humidity index and ventilation factor, tend to dry with a porous (non smooth) finish feel to the hand.
- Yellowing:May turn to an unsightly yellow appearance over time.
- Has high VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) level which are emitted as gases which can have adverse health effects. They also combine with other elements in the presence of sunlight to form smog, a major air pollutant.