How Many Coats of Water-Based Polyurethane on Hardwood Floors | Learn Now


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Quite a few people commonly wonder how many coats of water-based polyurethane on hardwood floors?

This question commonly arises when people sand their wood floors with water-based polyurethane, primarily because these coats are thinner. And many brands of water-based polyurethane are not as durable.

But the reality is that there is an easy answer to the proportion of polyurethane coatings you should use. This requires dispelling some myths about the durability of water-based polyurethanes because some brands of water-based polyurethane are very high-definition (and as durable as oil-based polyester). Still, others are much less durable.

Water-based polyurethane for flooring is an important material. First, it is considered to discuss what virtues there are in using a water-based polyurethane (as well as the disadvantages). Next, it is considerable to examine the superior brands of waterborne polyurethane. We will also try to provide some key pointers when working with polyurethane to achieve special results.

How Much Water-Based Polyurethane Should I Use?

It is preferable to use 3 layers of waterborne polyurethane to achieve special results. And this is primarily considered on the second-floor polyurethane of your living space and high traffic surfaces (e.g., kitchen, entryway, family room).

Polyurethane from water is narrower and raises the wood grain, so floors sometimes can feel rough with only 2 layers of polyester (especially if it is an economical brand of polyester). 3 layers give you more cushioning and an added polish to smooth out the area and show fewer wood deficiencies.

A minimum of 3 layers of water-based polyurethane is suggested, as it covers thinner but harder layers than oil-based polyurethane. Polyurethane from water dries very quickly, and you have the possibility of using up to 4 layers in one day.

Jobs from 1,500 to 5,000 square feet, 2 to 4 days for completion.

How Many Coats of Water-Based Polyurethane on Hardwood Floors

Recommendations and Drying Times for Water-Based Poly

It is feasible for a water-based poly finishing job to stay in the house while the venture is underway if the rooms are not made.

Polyethylene from water can be walked with socks only 3-5 hours after applying the layers. We suggest removing your shoes to walk on a floor treated with water-based polyester for at least 3 days after applying the final coating.

Polyethylene from water dries and cures faster than polyethylene from oil, but we suggest waiting a minimum of 3 days before placing any furniture on the floor – 5 days is more ideal! Just as this can be done with polyester from oil, you should not allow pets (especially dogs) on a newly treated floor with polyester from water for at least a week after completion.

The spray-on polyurethane can help a lot in the whole process.

Learn More: How To Remove Candle Wax From Hardwood Floor

Advantages of Water-Based Polyurethane

Polyurethane from water smells less.

One of the superior problems of repainting floors is odor. Polyester from water smells much less than the others. It smells less while the work is being done, and the leftover odor dissipates much more quickly.

Polyurethane from water has less VOC

VOCs are volatile organic compounds, and the lower, the better. VOC compounds have a very low index (only 125), being the most reduced compounds in the market. (In the vision, most of the polyurethanes from medium level water have about 200).

So this is healthier for you and your family / and, of course, it’s preferable for the environment.

Polyethylene from water dries and cures faster.

How Many Layers of Polyurethane do you need when it is made from water?

It is a big advantage since you can move into your house much sooner (or, if you are doing this while on vacation, you can come back much sooner). ) Sanding and refinishing usually takes a lot longer than most people think, especially when you consider how long you have to wait before the furniture is put back on the floor.

With water-based polyethylene, you can save many days in drying time. So you can get around faster and color more quickly. The first stage is drying, but there is also a curing time. For oil-based polyurethane, it usually takes 30 days to fully cure. But, with water-based polyurethane, the cure time can be reduced to 2 weeks.

Beyond the fact that you can walk on the floors quite a bit earlier (often after 24 hours), the floors are still attackable throughout the curing process, and that means they can be scratched much more easily. This is fundamentally significant if you have a dog. (And you’re going to want to hold the dog off the floor longer).

Polyethylene from water does not yellow as much. And has a color virtue for many species and lighter colors.

A clear coat for wood can leave your floor in excellent condition.

water based polyurethane for floors

Gray hardwood: how many layers of polyester do you require?

This is a huge benefit since yellows tend to be outdated these days. Polyurethane from oil adds an amber dye to the floor. And as it ages from exposure to the sun and interior light, it becomes more amber. Most people look to remove the yellow, and the way to do this is to use a water-based polyurethane.

So, if you are looking for a natural and fast style without the amber tones, water-based polyester is the way to go. And, if you’re doing a bleached blend or gray (or beige), water-based polyethylene is a must.

Also, if you have a clear hardwood class, like maple, you’ll want to use a water-based polyester. With an oil-based polyester, maples become super-yellow and look old (and unhealthy). In most cases, you would use a water-based polyester on other lighter species like bamboo or ash. Or, if you’re trying to find a way to reduce the yellow and orange tones in Douglas fir or pine, water would be the way to go.

Learn More: How To Remove Orange From Wood Floors

water based polyurethane cure time table

Best Brands of Water-Based Polyurethane

Bona traffic HD:

It is, without a doubt, the most remarkable water-based polyurethane on the market. It has the longest durability and is considered commercial grade, which means it is perfect for crowded food sites and retail stores and will be precisely in your residential living space. Bona traffic costs more, but it’s worth it. If you ask an experienced polyurethane flooring professional, he’ll agree.

Street Shoe Polyurethane:

It would be a water-based polyurethane alternative.

This is a strong polyurethane and lasts much longer than basically all water-based polyurethanes on the market. It costs a little less than most other polyurethanes on the market because it is a superior grade.

Bona Mega:

It’s a medium level water-based polyurethane. We use this when our users wish (or are required by their cooperative) to use water-based polyethylene. It’s an optimal water-based polyester. There are precisely superb ones out there, but there are precisely many lower-level ones out there.

Some quick tips when using polyurethane

Stir the can, never shake it. Shaking will introduce air bubbles that have the possibility of manifesting themselves on the floor.

Maintain indoor air temperature between 65-75 degrees and normal humidity settings (even if you do not live there). And keep it that way throughout the sanding, drying, and curing process (i.e., up to 30 days after the last coat).

You must keep the space well ventilated (but do not open the windows as dust and pollen have a chance to enter and settle on the floor. After the most recent coating has dried 24 hours, you can open the windows to help it dry and cure more quickly.

Without a doubt, sanding between coats of water-based polyurethane is important. This can keep the polyethylene much more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are two layers of polyurethane enough?

It provides roughness to the area enough to give it some grip. Multiple layers make the coating bulkier, stronger, and brighter. Be sure to wipe the part well with a cloth slowly before using the next coating.

How long does it take for polyurethane from water to dry on wood floors?

Floors take 30 days to cure, so it is ideal to wait 30 days before placing mats in the area. If you require/want to put them on earlier, 2 weeks is another good guideline, but 30 days is preferable.

Learn More: How To Dry Water Under Wood Floors

What happens if you don’t sand between the polyurethane layers?

No sanding between layers of polyurethane does not have a significant impact on the finish. Even so, for the moment, it is advisable to use sand between coats when applying polyurethane since this will help increase the adherence between coats to offer you a more level finish.


Hopefully, this will help clarify water-based polyurethane virtues, when it makes sense to use it, and the superior brands. If you’re trying to find my suggestions for the most remarkable oil-based polyurethane, check out The Superior Polyurethane Brands (this has information about water and oil brands, so scroll down to the second). Thanks to their durability, facade, low odor, and agile drying time, these compounds are admirable. So, keep these advice pieces in mind, and start learning more about coats of water-based polyurethane on hardwood floors.

Read More: How to Lay Vinyl Flooring on Floorboards

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