Polyurethane for Floors: Water-Based or Not?

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  #1  
Old 09-30-10, 12:08 PM
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Polyurethane for Floors: Water-Based or Not?

If this is answered in another thread, apologies; my lame Searching skills don't always fit the bill.

Four years ago we moved into our house, and I scrubbed down the wood floors and put two coats of Minwax water-based polyurethane on them, and they looked great. Never dreamed I'd still be in the house this long, and so now it's time to spruce them up.

I'm NOT doing any heavy sanding. I just want to clean and reseal.

I look at the water-based vs. the non-water-based, and I see a few key distinctions:
  • Water-based cleans up easier
  • Time between coats is less on water-based
  • Total dry time is faster for NON-water-based
  • It appears I can put my furniture back sooner in NON-water-based

I'd presume that the non-water-based is more durable, and will hold a shine longer. I'm only doing one room - but it's one that's most heavily trafficked.

I'm open to suggestions on which medium to choose.

Thanks.

(By the way, I start at 0800 tomorrow!)
 
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Old 09-30-10, 12:36 PM
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The water based is going to have less odor, the oil based will cure a little harder

The big difference, though, IMO is the oil based has a little bit of orange color to it while the water based is clear. Thus, if you really like the color as is, stick with water based.
 
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Old 09-30-10, 01:20 PM
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Ya, I'd be inclined to stick with the waterbased also. It will dry quicker than the oil base but may not cure quicker. Oil base does dry to a harder film. As Mitch said, the oil base will amber as it ages. Also if there are any places that have raw wood - the oil base would deepen the color of that wood, waterbased poly will not.
 
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Old 09-30-10, 06:19 PM
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Good advice, thanks.

There IS one place where the finish peeled up a while back - about the size of a quarter; I was a but worried that further use of waterbase would get continued results like that. But I figure I'll hit it with a piece of 200 or 220 grit (220, 221, whatever it takes) and go over it.

One concern is I thought the oilbase self-leveled better. The floorboards around the perimeter of the room run parallel to the walls, and the boards between the walls all run the "short" way. I'm always concerned about brush marks.
 
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Old 10-01-10, 03:04 AM
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220 grit will be too much work I'd start with 120 or 150 grit to remove the failing poly then finish sanding with 180-220.

You should always apply the poly with the same direction as the grain - that will help reduce the visibility of brush marks. Thinning the poly slightly will also help it flow together better - but that's an option better reserved for a multiple coat job.
 
  #6  
Old 10-01-10, 05:20 AM
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Really? 120/150 for a patch area? I would have thought that was too coarse.

I know I ought to follow the grain - but here's a pic of the alternating boards in the living room/foyer... Hard to go with ALL of the grain! I have to pick the dominant grain and follow that, right?




Also - I'm toying with doing the hallway upstairs, but NOT the room that it leads into. Will that leave a really obvious mark between the two rooms?

Lastly - it says on the bottle not to "expose" to rugs or heavy traffic for a week - does that include re-setting furniture? No biggie, just wondering.

My red-eye was two hours late, so I'm ALREADY behind schedule on this project.
 
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Old 10-01-10, 09:36 AM
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The coarser grit will remove the failing poly quicker, you then use the fine grit to get rid of the sanding scratches. You will need to carefully quit sanding and change directions when you meet boards running a different direction.

How does the hallway hardwood transition into the bed rms? If there is a threshold at the door ways you won't have any problems, even if the boards run the lengthwise of the door opening, you'll be ok. If the boards runs directly into the the rooms where you can stop the fresh coat at a wood seem - it will show.

Basically most of the traffic for the 1st few days should be stocking footed. It will be ok to move the furniture in - just don't scoot it across the floor!
 
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Old 10-01-10, 10:05 AM
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No threshold:


My concern was not sanding with the grain, but putting down the poly on the "ribbon"...

I'm even farther behind - two hours getting the screws out of the legs of the couch that I'm less than four percent certain I'll be able to move out of the room on my own. (I think my only option is to take it directly outside. Which isn't an option, really.)
 
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Old 10-01-10, 10:09 AM
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At the bedroom doors I suppose you could draw a straight line with a paint brush or tape but it will be noticeable

In you living rm/foyer pic, you'd still want to apply the poly with the direction of the grain. I know that's easier said than done, but that's what's needed to minimize or eliminate brush marks.
 
  #10  
Old 10-01-10, 10:45 AM
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Well no matter what I do, I can't get the couch out of the room. There's an added benefit; by trying, my furniture dolly rollers dented the floor. So now my floors actually look WORSE for trying.

Today was my one window for months - and i couldn't get anyone to help with the couch.

Oh, well. I think I'll return a bunch of stuff to Lowe's and take a nap.

Thanks for your advice...
 
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