“What’s the difference between oil-based and water-based finish” is one the most common question among homeowners that plan to install or refinish hardwood floors. These two finishes have major differences and should be discussed in detail. We will do side-by-side comparisons here to get better idea about the two.
Let’s start from a look:
- Oil-based materials have a warm, yellowish color. Once applied, they make hardwood stand out more and make the entire room look warmer. Oil-based finishes tend to darken with time, so we always recommend moving furniture once in a while. In general, you can see some differences a couple years after application. Once applied, any color stain will saturate and deepen a color. If white stain is applied, a dull yellowish color is the result.
- Water-based material has a white to transparent color. The final result looks a bit dull but more constant throughout the entire floor. If your hardwood has a lot of shades due to knots or material character, water-based material would cover some of them for you. If used with any stain, final result is more dull. It is recommended that water-based stain be used only with light or white stains. Latex (water-based material) also has better UV protection, but still can be affected by strong direct light – it tends to fade with time.