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 Post subject: Water based v oil based poly, # of coats
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:37 pm
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I recently bought a house where the 30-yr-old mixed red and white floors need refinishing in Long Island, NY. We are not living there yet, so drying times don’t concern us; house is near beach and sand gets tracked inside. Floor refinishing contractors have said vastly different things about products and number of coats needed, so I’d appreciate input from a neutral party.

Re oil-based v water based polyurethane: Bona Traffic and Bona Traffic HD are purportedly the best of the water-based, but do they last longer than oil-based, and are oil-based all created equal re longevity? I’ve heard that Absco is poor quality, but two contractors said that’s what they use for oil. With reasonable care, how long can I expect oil to last? Traffic HD?

Re Bona: can different grades of poly be layered on top of others or should all coats be the same product? Does Amberseal provide protection or just color?

Which of the following combinations sounds the most long-lasting, the quoted prices were similar: A) 1 coat Bona Mega + 2 coats Bona Traffic; B) 2 coats Mega + 1 coat Traffic HD; C) 1 coat Bona Amberseal + 2 coats Traffic HD; D) two coats oil. Also, I’ve been told that for a small household Traffic HD is overkill yet also that 5 coats of water based poly was necessary.

Stain/dye: I am uncertain about whether to stain the floors, and would use a traditional medium brown/ honey color (no grey or white). While I like the look of oil (stain or poly, I don’t know), I like the idea of the color not changing with time. Can water-based products look like oil? Do any oil-based products yellow less than others?

If anyone has had any experience living with any of these refinishing options, you’re most welcome to chime in.

Amish made hardwood

 Post subject: Re: Water based v oil based poly, # of coats
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:02 am
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The oil vs water discussion is ongoing. The main advantage of water-based finishes is that there are less VOC's in water-based finishes so they are better for the environment. Wear tests have demonstrated that water-based finishes wear as well as oil or solvent based finishes. Most floor finishers have a proffered finishing process that is successful whether oil or water. Water-based finishes do have more solvent, water, so more coats have to be applied to get a smooth film. Water-based finishes tend to be less hard so the gloss level can get dull with fine scuffing that you don't see on oil-based finish. This doesn't affect the wear though because the film is very tough. as demonstrated by wear tests. The wear through really is appreciated at doorways or traffic patterns and can be affected by the application of the finish by the technique used to apply the finish. Use the recommended coverage per gallon.
As for stain I think that the darker you go the longer the color will remain the same since the dark color will protect the wood from light , which will darken the wood at first but bleach it in the long run. Oil-based stain will seal the surface protecting the wood from tannin pull when water-based finishes are applied. Follow directions from the finish manufacturer.
The yellowing effect of solvent based poly-urethane depends on how thick of a layer as much as the kind of oil that is used to modify the urethane. A moisture- curing poly-urethane on the market is called non-yellowing can be used besides the non-yellowing water-based poly. It is extremely wear resistant but was developed for the Southeastern US and relies on humidity to cure rapidly. Without high humidity it can take a week before it could be walked on with stocking feet.
This time of year a water-based finish will probably cure fastest and have the least amount of smell. With modern film finishes you can re-coat when necessary before the coating has worn through to keep the "new" look if no wax or other contaminant has not been applied.
Ask your contractor if they re-coat floors successfully.

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