FINISHES & FAQS

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of finish is best for wood floors; water- or oil-based?

Water-based polyurethane finishes provide a clear look and have low odor. You can apply an additional coat in two hours, and clean tools clean up with water. By starting early in the day, the recommended four coats can be applied, and you will be able to sleep in the room that night.

Oil-based polyurethanes have an amber-like cast, and require fewer coats than water-based. However, there is a five-hour wait between coats, and a 12-hour wait before furniture can be replaced, and the room used. Also, oil polys have a strong odor before they are totally dry.

Both water-based and oil-based poly offer good protection. However, if you want the natural look of maple, use a water-based (waterborne) polyurethane to slightly accent the character of your wood without giving it the amber tint of an oil-based poly. Some woods, such as oak, are enhanced with an amber tint, so oil-based would work. Water-based finishes dry within two-three hours and a room can be used the same day. Oil-based requires two days.

Cost is a factor as water-based polys cost twice that as oil, and require more coats. They also should be reapplied every two years.

What is the best product to use to clean my hardwood floors?

We highly recommend Bona, which can be purchased on any hardware or home goods store. For more information, go to the Bona web site.

How often do I have to refinish my floors?

That depends on you, the homeowner, and on whether there are active children or pets at home. Hardwood floors are coated with a polyurethane which is like a chemical. As it ages, and especially when it gets exposed to sunlight, the polyurethane turns yellow. The amount of wear and tear on kitchen, bathrooms and foyers will dictate when an occasional a buff and coat procedure is required, though we recommend every 3 to 5 years.

When can I place furniture on the floors?

Water-based finishes dry within two-three hours and a room can be used the same day. Oil-based requires two days.