July 18, 2000. It can also help bring out the beauty of wooden surfaces with the downside being it leaves a light-yellow tint. They are a lot more durable of the two types and are best for exterior wooden projects. In terms of durability, oil-based polyurethane has its water-based counterpart beat. Below are advantages of each however in our opinion oil based polyurethane is better for use on a gym basketball court floor. How would one be better than the other? At Eagle, we usually suggest oil-based polyurethane to bring out the warmth and brilliance of wood surfaces. Also, keep in mind that oil-based polyurethane is very flammable, so ensure that you keep it far away from any sparks or extreme sources of heat. If you attempt to use oil-based polyurethane over a water-based paint, you will have a difficult time getting the topcoat to take to the paint, and it could lead to flaking. What are the key differences between a water-based polyurethane and a oil-based polyurethane? The application process requires less preparation. Oil-based polyurethane deepens the color of the hardwood and over time will darken slowly.Oil-based polyurethane: Is less expensive. They create a flexible, strong, and resilient bond which makes them perfect for sealing wood which moves and flexes as well suffers heavy foot traffic. That’s a vital feature that you must have if you have some kind of breathing issues. oil vs water-based polyurethane – how to choose which one to refinish your hardwood flooring December 27, 2020 December 27, 2020 by Blooming Gardener There are two different types of protective layers of Polyurethane that are used on the hardwood floors to make … We suggest applying 2 coats of oil based polyurethane because it’s more vulnerable to incur dents, and 3 coats of water based because it’s more likely to scratch. The Difference You should consider using water-based polyurethane if you have used water-based paint in a flat or eggshell sheen. None mentioned there are two kinds! Finally, water-based poly dries a lot faster, giving dust less time to settle out of the air into your finish. Therefore, one should wear a respirator while applying it. 3. Oil based polyurethane cost less than water based. Pros/Cons of Applying Water Based Polyurethane Over Oil Based. Two coats can be completed within a day. Water vs Oil based Polyurethane on hardwood floors: Which option is best for you? In general, most flooring professionals will tell you that oil based polyurethane is more durable than water borne poly. Dries slower. Whereas water-based polyurethane has a very minimal odor, the VOCs are much higher in oil-based, causing the robust and funny odor. Water based polyurethane has evolved over the past few decades with the demand for a product which is safer, more eco friendly and more efficient. Don’t forget to also consider the durability required for your finished product, whether you put poly on flooring furniture or other wood projects. Before you can decide whether water based polyurethane or oil based polyurethane is best for your project, you need to define what you want the end result to look like and how you want it to perform. With oil-based, you typically have to wait until the next day to add another coat of polyurethane, but water-based polyurethane can be recoated in as soon as 2-3 hours. Urethane – Oil Based Paint vs. Water Based Finishes Painting - Staining | Remodeling text: Tim Carter. Water-based polyurethane, then, will be thinner and have less shine. While drying, it produces smelly fumes that are toxic if inhaled. Oil based polyurethane was suddenly a totally different product to work with and the new formulation is definitely not as durable; but to this day is sold under the same name. 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