There are two main types of coating that offer good protection to a wooden floor. As well as oil based coatings you can opt to have a water based wood coating. Now whilst water based coatings do sometimes contain some of the same ingredients as oil based cleaners (e.g. alkyd and acrylic) the majority of harmful chemicals have been replaced with water. This is a complex scientific process because resins and water don’t usually mix, and urethane is added to make the coating more hardwearing and resistant to heat.
Just like with their oil based counterparts, water based wood coatings have their pros and cons which need to be considered before deciding on the product for your floor. The first thing to consider is the odor. A water based option has far less of an odor which is preferable when there are children, pets and vulnerable people around. A well ventilated room does help to reduce the odor but the water based version is quicker drying and more convenient.
If you opt for a water based product it could cost you more than the oil based alternative. This is because more coats of the water based version are needed to provide the same protection so you can use up to twice the amount of product. It is quicker drying though and you don’t have to leave as long between coats.
One reason that many people prefer water based coatings to the oil based type is the appearance of them. If you like the look of a particular wood and don’t want it to have change in appearance then you will want a water based product. This won’t change the look of the wood like an oil based product which tends to give off an amber glow. Some woods benefit from that amber tint but a wood like maple looks much better with a water based coat.
Perhaps the biggest drawback to a water based coating is that it requires re-coating every two years whereas an oil coating will last you a lot longer. If you avoid harsh chemicals and the floor is not subjected to too much wear and tear it can last longer though.
The best thing to do is to talk to a member of our team who will be able to advise you on the differences in the two products and which they believe is the best choice for your floor.