How hard should water based polyurethane get?


Assuming 70°F, 7 days to cure. You stated your temp has been 40°-60° and did not state humidity. There is nothing wrong with the product, you have used it outside of parameters recommended by the manufacturer (see text below). Take it into a temperature and humidity controlled space and hopefully it will cure hard.

Dry times are based on 70°F and 50% relative humidity. Dry times may be affected by temperature, humidity and ventilation. Allow more time at cooler temperatures. Triple Thick Polyurethane will be dry to touch in approximately 2 hours and can be recoated in 2 hours. Allow 48 hours cure before light use of the project. Allow 7 days for full...

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Applying Polyurethane

Polyurethane is widely revered as one of the most durable yet easy-to-apply protective wood finishes. Polyurethanes are now available in both oil-based and water-based, and there are differences in the way in which both are applied and in durability. However, for many projects that will see a lot of wear and tear, few finishes are as appropriate as applying polyurethane for the final touch.

Which is Better? Oil-Based or Water-Based Polyurethane?

The decision to use an oil-based or water-based polyurethane will depend on your project. Oil-based polyurethanes are easier to apply and less temperamental than water-based polyurethanes, as two or three applications will usually be enough to protect your project. Oil-based polyurethane finishes are susceptible to brush marks, and they take some time to dry, which may subject your finish to bugs or dust.

Water-based polyurethane versions dry much more quickly, are a bit more self-leveling...

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Hardwood floor refinishing - Which is better - oil or water based polyurethane?
This is Part 2 of a 2 part series, and it’s best to start with part I. You can find Part 1 here:

Many customers want to know whether oil or water based will last longer. This video discusses:
- The pros and cons of oil based poly
- The pros and cons of water borne poly
- The circumstances of when you might choose oil over water or water over oil based

This is part 2 which focuses more on water borne polyurethane.

Hi. My name is Debbie Gartner, and I'm known as The Flooring Girl and you can find me at

This is Part 2 in my question to answer the question about Oil vs water based polyurethane and which is better for refinishing hardwood floors.

If you have not listened to Part 1, you may want to listen to that first. As I...

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Hard water contains a significant quantity of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. In general, hard water is not harmful for health. In fact, it may confer some benefits because it is rich in minerals and reduces the solubility of potentially toxic metal ions such as lead and copper. However, there are some industrial applications where hard water may lead to inefficiencies or damage to containers and pipes. In such instances, water softening methods are used. When water is softened, metal cations are exchanged for sodium ions.


The most common technique to determine the hardness of water is by looking at sud formation with soap. There is less lather formation when soap is used with hard water compared to soft water. Instead a white precipitate (soap scum) is produced. Another way in which water manifests its hardness is scaling i.e. forming deposits through calcification that clog plumbing. These scales are usually white because calcium...

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Begin with a screening

Flooring wholesalers and veteran floor finishers agree that you can recoat water-based poly with oil-based as long as the original coating has completely cured—generally 30 to 60 days. You’ll have to lightly buff the old finish with a power buffer to prepare it for the new polyurethane.

Rent a power buffer and buy a fine (150-grit) screen. Use a light touch to avoid cutting through the finish and into the stained wood. Before applying the polyurethane, vacuum the floor thoroughly and then wipe up the remaining dust with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits.

Ventilate the area well and wear a respirator rated for organic fumes (follow the label warnings on the polyurethane can) when applying the finish. Stay off it overnight and give it a few days to cure before bringing in furniture or laying rugs down (or they may stick permanently!).

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up...

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Water based polyurethane is a very important product that is sold in the market. This is because of the effects that it has on the cork floors. Many people are now turning to the use of the cork flooring making it to be used more and more. It prevents the floor from being damaged by water. This is because the cork tiles are made from wood which gets damaged by water if poured on it. This helps people who like to use the cork flooring in their kitchen to use it freely without worrying that it will be damaged when water pours on the floor.

How to clean cork floors in different ways

Cleaning of floors vary depending on the material that has been used. There are those floors that need special care for them to be cleaned this is to prevent them from being damaged. There are some detergents and soaps that corrode the floor when used. One need to get the instructions of maintaining and cleaning the floor when one is purchasing the tiles. The best thing about the cork...

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Refinishing Hardwood Floors: Should I use Water-Based Polyurethane?

Sometimes customers have heard about this because they want to go more green and use less chemicals; other times they ask about this so that the project will get done faster.

My general preference is to use oil-based polyurethane rather than water based poly and heres why:

1. Oil based polyurethane looks better than water based.

Its hard to explain this until you see the two side by side, but oil based just looks like the way we are accustomed to wood looking it has some sheen (you can adjust whether its satin finish, semi gloss or glossy). Water based poly is just duller the color is a bit duller as is the finish. Take a look at at the National Wood Floor Association pictures for a comparison of water based vs oil based polyurethane. Some have such a dull finish that they almost look fake like laminate.

2. Oil based polyurethane lasts longer than water based polyurethane. I...

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Some stores carry the Minwax waterbased polyurethane in jug form - but not all stores do. I was able to pull a Q and A section directly from the Minwax site offering you the comparison you were looking for. It is very similar to the PRO product PatNPaint mentioned in his post.

Q. How durable is Minwax® Water Based Polyurethane for Floors?

Water Based Polyurethane for Floors provides durability that is comparable to oil-based polyurethanes. It is significantly more durable than most water-based finishes available to consumers.

Q. What is the difference between Minwax® Water Based Polyurethane for Floors andMinwax® Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors?

While both products provide superior durability for protecting hardwood floors, Water Based Polyurethane for Floors has little odor, dries in 2-3 hours and application tools clean up with warm water.

Q. Can I Sand and Recoat a floor that was previously finished with an...

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Welcome back to another round of Ask the Home Flooring Pros. Following our recent post on maple flooring we had a question from a reader in Texas asking us to explain more clearly the difference between water based and oil based polyurethane and to outline the pros and cons of each. So lets compare and contrast these two types of polyurethane and see how they match up.

How Water Based and Oil Based Polyurethane Are the Same

The difference between water based and oil based polyurethanes isn’t one of better and worse. We use both types with excellent results. It’s the project, not the product, that determines our choice.

Oil-based finishes were once more durable, but the new generation of water-based polyurethane is remarkably hard and long-lasting. There is no discernible difference in how long they last. Also, professionally finished floors should feel satiny smooth, whether the finish is oil or water based. Click here if you want to learn how to keep...

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Search results for:

Water Based Polyurethane

Every human being needs water to live. We all use it to drink, wash ourselves, make laundry. Reassuming: water means living. But many years ago people were not aware that water supplies need to be clean. Hygiene was at a very low level. Not before nineteenth century when the epidemics of cholera and typhoid started, people thought about ability of water to transmit diseases.

The water heater in your home is what gives you hot water for your showers, dishwasher, washing machine, and more. When there is an issue with your water heater, it can cause some serious problems. This is mainly because not many people want to shower in cold water, or wash dishes in cold water. Thankfully there are things you can do to get rid of these issues without calling a plumber. However, if you are uncomfortable doing it yourself, contact the plumbers in Phoenix who work for ACE Home Services.

There are a lot of purposes why you...

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By John Shearer

Polyurethanes: A Definition

Polyurethane coatings were invented in the mid-20th century. Plastic resins in liquid form, they are used primarily to protect wood surfaces. Their main ingredients include acids derived from vegetable oil, nitrogen-based chemical amalgams, isocyanates, and mineral spirits. Nitrogen helps keep polyurethane finishes from chipping, isocyanates make them hardier in general, and mineral spirits constitute the base that supports the other components.

A polyurethane coating cures when some of its chemical elements form powerful links with one another after reacting with atmospheric oxygen. These links allow the finish to resist damage due to external factors. In contrast, lacquer does not stand up well to strong chemical agents. However, polyurethane is prone to eventual discoloration, and its application may make light woods darker.

Water-Based Polyurethane Products

Ecological awareness has prompted...

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Hello everyone! I can’t believe it’s already Thursday — this week just flew by. Thank you for all of the suggestions last week. I’m going to try and tackle them one at a time, starting today with polyurethane.

Many of you have asked how to apply it, what tools work the best and whether you should use water-based or oil-based varieties. In today’s Before and After Basics, I hope to answer all of your questions about this tricky liquid! — Barb

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

Water-Based Polyurethane (I really love a matte finish)


foam brushes soft-bristle synthetic brush fine-grit sand paper foam roller

In reading lots of articles on application, you will find that some people prefer to use foam brushes and some prefer bristle brushes for application. I personally do not like foam brushes, as they get over-saturated and fall apart! It makes for a frustrating venture, so I use either a bristle...

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When it comes to sanding and refinishing hardwood floors, one of the key questions customers ask me is “how long does it take for the floors to dry?”

Well this of course depends on the type of polyurethane you are using – is it oil based or water based polyurethane? And, this article on “How long does it take to refinish hardwood floors?” should come in handy for an overview of the whole process from start to finish.

For purposes of this post, this timeline is from the time the last coat of polyurethane is applied. Please note that these times are estimates and times can vary, especially based on humidity levels.

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

Length of time to dry for oil based polyurethane:

Oil based polyurethane takes longer to dry than water based poly.

24 hrs before you can walk on the floors Hours 24-48, you can walk on the floors with...
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Polyurethane is a protective finish that is available in both oil based and water based forms. It comes in 2 varieties - glossy and satin finish.

Water based polyurethane is famous for being low odor and low toxic. It is transparent as compared to the oil based version which has a slight color.

The water based version also dries much faster. Water based polyurethane is good for things that are not exposed to extreme or rigid temperatures such as picture frames, side tables, bookcases and desks etc.

Water Based Polyurethane For...

Side Tables Picture FramesDesksBook Cases

Oil based polyurethane is comparatively more durable than water based especially when it comes to handling extreme heat.

It brings about the richness of wood but can add a slight yellowish tint.

Kitchen tables and wooden flooring are good candidates for oil based polyurethane. Both oil and water based versions can be applied on acrylic/latex paints.

Oil Based...

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If you have hardwood floors in your old house, the chances are good that they are coated with a protective layer of polyurethane.

Today, polyurethane is by far the most popular finish choice for wood floors. Here’s what you need to know.

Polyurethane, while not revered by woodworkers and furniture makers, is usually the best choice for the harsh conditions and traffic your floors have to endure.

Ultimately, whichever type of polyurethane you use the most important part is how you care for your floors. You can learn all about How To: Care For Hardwood Floors in my earlier post.

Oil-based vs Waterborne

There are generally two types of polyurethane, waterborne and oil-based. The performance can be quite different between these two as is the application.

Oil-based Polyurethane

Slower dry time (18-24 hrs before normal foot traffic) Ambers slightly with age Mineral spirits cleanup Thick, hard finish well-suited for heavy traffic areas...
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The subject of a polyurethane or epoxy coating for a garage floor eventually comes up when deciding on what materials to use for your project. Admittedly, it can become a bit confusing when asking around or researching which floor coating is best to use.

Epoxy and polyurethane are great for protecting your floor against stains, damage, chemicals, oils, and wear. They are both light reflective, easy to clean, and long lasting. They also have their own advantages depending on the application. So which one should you use and what is the difference? Well, the short answer for most applications is to use both. Let’s see why.

Epoxy Floor Coating Benefits

Epoxy is a thermosetting polymer which is available in three different formulations for a garage floor coating and sealer; water based, solvent based, and 100% solids. These formulations allow for varying degrees of thickness from 3 mils to over 10 mils for a single coating for a garage floor. They also...

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