Oil vs Water finish infographic

When it comes to refinishing hardwood flooring, you’ll learn there are two polyurethane finishing coats: oil and water based. While the most significant difference between the two is their appearance, there are more differences to consider when making your decision. Both deliver excellent results, and neither is better or worse than the other. It ultimately boils down to your preference. As a the premier hardwood flooring refinishing company in Jackson County, with many years of experience, the professionals at JRK Flooring will discuss the pros and cons of each.

  • Appearance
    Like mentioned previously, the appearance between water-based and oil-based polyurethanes is a noticeable one. Water-based provides a more transparent finish and isn’t expected to change color over time. On the other end, oil-based polyurethane will accent your wood with a rich amber tint. Some people don’t appreciate this change in color, so this is an essential factor to consider and discuss with any hardwood flooring company you decide to hire.
  • Drying Time
    Which finish you choose will determine how quickly furniture can be put back in its place. If you elect oil-based polyurethane, you should expect the rooms your are refinishing to be a little out of place for a couple of days. With oil-based, you need to allow at least two days for coating and another 48 hours after the last coat to move the furniture back onto the floor. Water-based, however, dries much faster and requires up to three coats. Two coats can be completed within a day.
  • Odor
    Along with the extended drying time of oil-based, a strong odor also comes along with it. Whereas water-based polyurethane has a very minimal odor, the VOCs are much higher in oil-based, causing the robust and funny odor. While it is not harmful, the smell is an important consideration, especially if you have young children and pets. We suggest keeping the area as ventilated as possible as the scent will linger for a few days.
  • Durability
    Both finishes are highly durable; however, there is a difference in how susceptible they are to abrasion and how to protect the finish. Depending on which wood flooring refinishing company in Jackson County you talk to, you might hear different opinions on which is more durable. At JRK Flooring, we have been utilizing oil-based finishes with excellent results, but different products will deliver different results depending on your flooring material.
  • Cost
    You’ll find water-based polyurethane is nearly two to three times more expensive than oil-based polyurethane. Again, it truly comes down to whether or not you want the amber glow of an oil-based.

For refinishing hardwood flooring in Jackson County, we highly suggest contacting a hardwood floor refinishing company in Jackson County to do the job. At JRK Flooring, we have the knowledge and experience to make your hardwood floor refinishing a thing of beauty. If you are uncertain whether to use water-based or oil-based polyurethane, we will provide our insight on which one will perform the best on your floor. Contact us today to receive a free estimate!