Oil vs. Water-Based Floor Finished – Which is right for your facility?

2nd_LVL_Main_woodBoth oil and water-based floor finishes look great, but there are differences between the two that should be considered when selecting which product to finish your floors with. They both serve as a protective layer that sits atop your wood floors and also create a noticeable sheen that most people correlate to a high quality wood floor, but the similarities really stop there.

Oil-Based Floor Finish: 

  • Many people prefer oil-based floor finish because they bring out the richer amber hues in the floor, thought to be a classic/traditional gym floor look. Over time, oil based finish will continue to darken to an even bolder tint.
  • Requires fewer coats than water-based finishes however has a much higher drying time, takes between 24 and 48 hours to dry
  • Typically has a stronger odor and higher VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) than water-based finishes
  • Lasts longer than water-based finishes
  • Are more forgiving in their application

Water-based Floor Finish: 

  • Water-based floor finishes dry clear, which is great if you want to preserve the natural colors of the wood, or if you have a lighter wood like maple
  • Have less VOC’s than oil-based finishes which means less odor and better for the environment
  • Have less solid content than oil-based finishes and therefore produce a thinner film, which dries quickly but requires more coatings to reach the recommended thickness

The good news is that with our products, it is easy to switch between the two and have them still be compatible on the gym floor. Need help deciding which product is right for your facility? Or better yet, let us refinish your wood floor for you. Call today for a site visit and estimate! 

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