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  • Writer's pictureFERNWOOD

Advantages of Water-Based Polyurethane

At FERNWOOD WNC we occasionally use oil-based products, but we prefer water-based polyurethanes for the many great advantages they provide. Three great reasons to use water-based poly include low VOCs, faster drying time, and shorter curing time.

Loba and Bona brands are our top finish choices.


Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs are substances that evaporate at room temperature mostly during the curing process. These can be found in hardwood flooring finishes and epoxy flooring products among other things.

High volumes of VOCs can be harmful, irritating eyes, causing headaches, and driving you out of the house for a few days during the curing process. Some studies show that even after years, products containing high levels of VOCs continue to evaporate throughout their life span, polluting the quality of indoor air. FERNWOOD WNC chooses to use high quality water-based polyurethane products with low VOCs.

For more information about the dangers of VOCs please visit the EPA site at:

Faster drying time

The drying time between each coat is drastically shorter comparing to an oil-based polyurethane. With an oil-based poly it is recommended to wait at least 8 hours before applying another coat, while a water-based poly can be re-coated between 1.5 to 2 hours. Making it convenient for us to do multiple coats in day and be able to finish projects sooner.

Shorter curing time

The curing process starts after the polyurethane is applied. Gases evaporate and the polyurethane slowly bonds with the floor and hardens completely during this period. A water-based polyurethane typically fully cures after 5 days. On the other hand, with an oil-based polyurethane it is recommended to wait at least 1 week before resuming any normal traffic and to wait 4 weeks before moving any furniture or area rugs back in the house. An oil-based poly can take up to 4 weeks to fully cure!

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