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Water-based finish vs. Oil-based finish


Professional waterborne finishes contain acrylic and/ or urethane particles suspended in air.

As a thin film is applied to the floor, the water evaporates as the particles settle. A cross-linker added tot the finish causes the particles to fuse together.

Usually 2 to 4 coats of finish are required for a durable finish.

The best of the waterborne finished are as durable as the oil base finishes.

Non- toxic, but potentially harmful to appliers; proper respirators and appropriate safety equipment required for application.

Waterborne finishes have more of an opaque look the oil based finishes. Natural finished appear lighter when coated with waterborne finish.

Waterborne finish is ideal for low odor, non-flammable, quick drying requirements. It is easy to use and won’t yellow over time.


Oil-base finish contains higher concentrations of resins which lead to a thicker consistency then water-base finishes.

Usually 2 coats are sufficient for a durable finish.

Oil base fumes are toxic to people, pets and plants until the finish had dried and the home has been aired out. This is a professional product and must be handled and applied using the proper safety equipment. Homeowners will have to be out of the house for 2 to 5 days.

Oil-base finishes have more of an amber look. Natural finishes appear darker when coated with oil-base finish.

Oil-base finish is suited for residential and commercial use. Highly recommended for sports floors, offices and residences.


Gloss finishes are harder and more scratch resistant than satin finish.

Both solvent and water base finishes need time to cure and harden. Finishes will scratch easily during the first 48 hours after their application. Heavy traffic or movement of furniture should be avoided for the fist week after finish application. Proper caution during the first two

weeks after finish is applied will add greatly to the long term durability and appearance of your finished floor.

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