Oil based polyurethanes are the tried and true option for hardwood floors. They have a consistent track record of durability, giving clarity and richness to the wood floors, while being more cost-efficient as well. They are great options for residential and commercial floors. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits, and what makes oil based polyurethanes stand out as the clear choice for so many people.
Oil based polyurethane gives the “classic” look to the hardwood floors.
A classic looking wood floor never goes out of style. For the majority of hardwoods, oil based polyurethanes will give a nice “shine” to the wood, giving it the timeless look. The oil based also gets an amber hue to it the longer it cures over time, giving the wood a richer look, and will also show more detail in the wood compared to a water based polyurethane.
Oil based polyurethane lasts much longer
Oil based polyurethane is a thicker polyurethane to begin with, so it requires less coats to be applied versus water based polyurethanes, and will last significantly longer also. On average, the oil based polyurethanes last roughly twice as long as water based, and the color also ages better and gets a deeper amber color, versus fading like water based can. It is also naturally stronger once fully cured, so it is much more scratch and dent resistant than water based. This makes oil based polyurethanes a great choice for restaurants and floors with high amounts of traffic.
Oil based polyurethane requires less maintenance.
Just like how oil based polyurethanes last longer than water based, they are also less maintenance due to the organic compounds making them thicker and more durable. Oil based polyurethanes have less of a chance of cracking and chipping like water based can do over time, and they do not require potential “maintenance coats” like water based may require every two years or so. So even though the initial application time can be longer than water based, the long term payoff is more than worth it.
Oil based polyurethane is significantly cheaper.
In addition to lasting much longer than water based, oil based polyurethanes are also much cheaper. While the oil based is cheaper right off the bat, they also require around only three coats due to being a thicker base with a lot of organic compounds, versus water based which requires four to 6 coats. Oil Based Polyurethanes last twice as long as well, also saving money in the long run.
Oil based polyurethanes will always be the look we think of when “wood floors” pop into our head, so they are here to stay for years to come. Even though the “flat” look is popular right now, the shine and detail that oil based polyurethanes provide are still the most popular in the world. There will always be people who prefer the classic look, shine and durability of an oil based polyurethane, and there is no questioning why.