I have bleached oak floors that I want to have sanded and refinished. Two quotes were obtained. One swore by oil based the other by water based. What are the pros and cons ?
Are there major differences?
I’ve sworn at both types of finish. But you mentioned that you have bleached oak floors, and I presume that you want to keep them white in colour. In that case you really should use a water based finish. You should make sure that the contractor applies at least 4 coats of good quality finish as this material has a lower build than oil based finishes. I recommend the Dura Seal 2000 (800-364-1359) for it’s long lasting clarity, or Basic Coating’s Impact (800-247-5471) if you need exceptional durability, and the Bona Kemi product called Pacific One (303-371-1411). You really should call each manufacturer and get their lastest recomendation of just what stain to use with their finish, they are improving these finishes all the time. These are very expensive finishes and if I were to quote on sanding, white staining and applying 4 coats of water based finish, the price would be around $4 per square foot, as opposed to a dark stain and 3 coats of oil poly at $3.50.
Water based finishes are only about 10 years old and not all the contractors have adapted to their new application methods, so you might find lots of resistance out there. If it is a dark stain or just a clear blond finish you want by all means use the oil based urethane, the job will be less expensive and just as durable. But as oil based finishes age they will turn a yellow to orange cast, which would be really noticable on a white stian. If you choose the correct water based for clarity and durability you will have minimal ambering effect over the years, but call those numbers and get their current information.
As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.