A few questions about polyurethane

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Old 02-08-08, 11:59 AM
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A few questions about polyurethane

I had my hardwood floors refinished with an oil-based poly about 6 years ago. Recently, I remodeled my kitchen and took up some area rugs I had down.

I noticed that the covered areas were much more yellow than the exposed areas. I guess I can attribute that to wear.

In any event, I needed a few scrap pieces and my buddy at work was able to assist with giving me some pre-finished ones. The boards he gave me are completely clear without the yellow / amber tint to them (which I really hate yellow).

I called Minwax and they said that oil poly will yellow over time more so than water based poly, but water based poly will yellow as well (just to not as much of a degree).

Eventually I want to get my floor looking as nice as the boards he gave me. So here are my questions:

1) Are pre-finished floors done with water or oil based poly?

2) Do water based finishes yellow as Minwax said (I searched the board and everyone said no).

Thanks..
 
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Old 02-08-08, 03:31 PM
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I don't know what the prefinished hardwood is finished with and there may be a difference in finishes between brands. You might contact the manufacture to find out what type of finish they use.

Unfinished wood will darken some over time. Oil base poly/varnish will darken the wood it is applied to and will yellow/amber as it ages. Areas that have a different exposure to light will amber at a different rate.

It has always been my understanding that water based poly/varnish doesn't amber. I know it does very little to change the color of the wood it is applied to. It is possible that it will amber a little over time but compared to the oil base formulas it would be a minor amount.
 
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Old 02-08-08, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
I don't know what the prefinished hardwood is finished with and there may be a difference in finishes between brands.

Shame on you!

We sell some prefinished Bruce hardwood instock.
 
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Old 02-08-08, 09:52 PM
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I did some experimenting today and sanded down 2/3 of a spare piece and recoated it with an oil on 1/3 and water on 1/3 and kept the middle the old 5 year finish.

After two coats I can bearly tell that the water based was on (although it was not made for floors) and the fresh oil based was MUCH less yellow than the old finish. I couldn't beleive how much different it was but I guess time just yellows it.

I am going to try more with the water based as that side had no color change at all but it just does not seem as good as the oil.
 
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Old 02-09-08, 05:56 AM
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Personally I like how oil base poly deepens the colors in the wood. To get this initial effect with a waterbased poly you need to stain the wood, let it dry and then apply the water based poly.
 
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