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Water based polish vs. Oil-based polish - What's the difference?

Water Based Polish Vs. Oil Based Polish Whats The Difference

As we mentioned in our last articles, there are two types of floor finishing method, sanding floor and polishing. Today we will talk about different types of polishing methods, namely oil based polishing and water based polishing. This article will help you decide which finish is right for your wood floor. To do this, we must first compare water-based or oil-based polishes. Both methods are durable and will give your flooring a good look, but there are some differences you should know before making a decision. Follow us for the rest of the article.

Water-based polish vs. Oil-based polish


Advantages of water-based polish

Water-based polish for hardwood floors does not produce as much volatile or pungent odor as many organic compounds. And there is no need to clean tools used to apply water-based polish to hardwood floors with paint thinner or any other solvent.

Water-based floor polish produces a clear finish that stays light over time, so it can be safely used on light-colored floors without darkening over time. For natural maple floors, water-based floor varnish is the only way to maintain the original color. If you have gray painted floors, if you want the same color, for wood floors, you are limited to water-based varnish only.

Water-based polishes, depending on the brand and additives in the floor varnish, can dry through in an hour and be ready for a new coat in less than two hours. If you want to finish applying floor varnish in one day, you must use water-based polishes.

Water-based floor varnishes are also not as flammable as oil-based polishes.

Disadvantages of water-based polish

Water-based varnish does not increase the resistance of wood to scratching or impact.

Oil-based polyurethane floor varnishes are much cheaper than water-based varnishes. Water-based polishes can be up to 50% more expensive. However, natural oil varnishes are even more expensive than floor wax.

Water-based floor varnishes require 3 or 4 coats, which means more time and cost. Oil-based varnishes only take two hours to apply.

Water-based varnishes are not as shiny as glossy oils, but that depends on your personal taste.


Advantages of Oil-based polish

Polyurethane is an oil-based polish that provides more resistance to foot traffic. This will extend the life of your hardwood floor.
Generally, polyurethane lasts longer on a wood floor, so you will not have to clean up the floor too often.

If you are installing reclaimed wood floors that cannot be repaired without losing their character, a thick coat of gloss oil may be the only way to protect the surface and extend the life of the hardwood floor.

Disadvantages of Oil-based polish

Oil-based polishes, such as polyurethane, discolour to light amber over time. Red oak floors or varnished wood floors will not cause this problem, but you should not use it on white maple floors.

It takes a day or more for the oil-based polyurethane to dry, so you may not be able to use your wood floor for a day or more. It takes a weekend to apply two or three coats. In contrast, water-based polishes dry in a few hours.

The oil-based polishes make the oil look worse.

So Which polishing option would you choose?

If you want a light-colored wood floor, such as a maple floor, to retain its natural color over time, use water-based floor finishes. If you do not have a problem with floor wax over time or have a darker red oak wood floor, oil-based floor waxes are a good choice.

If you want to minimize the amount of time you spend working on the floor, you should treat your hardwood floor with water-based polishes. If you want the most distance between floor treatments, use oil-based polish on wood floors.

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