When choosing among the available wood finishes for new home construction, one often neglected, yet highly impacting area is hardwood floors. Most clients aren’t given adequate choices to make a valid decision on the product that they will choose to maintain their floors. Over the years, polyurethane has become by far the most common choice for a wood floor finish. Unfortunately, this is probably not the best finish you could choose. Polyurethanes are glassy and filmy and lay on top of the wood where they can become scratched and show scratches and wear and tear much more quickly than a hardened oil finish like Waterlox.
Polyurethanes (Water-based and Oil Based) require sanding between coats, and when recoating. Waterlox never needs sanding between coats, or when recoating. If you have kids and dogs, then polyurethane is probably not going to be the best finish to choose. Polyurethanes lay on top of the surface of the wood in a filmy layer that is prone to scratching. Many times polyurethane scratches result in a white-ish scratch, which is much more visible on darker wood. This points to a tremendous advantage of Waterlox Tung oil finish in that Waterlox soaks in and becomes part of the wood, and actually hardens the surface of the wood. Waterlox does not form a film on top where it can look plastic, or get scratched easily.
Waterlox cleans easily and is highly resistant to moisture and water. When it’s time to recoat, no sanding is needed. You simply clean the surface, and apply another coat of the Waterlox finish of your choice.
The bottom line is that in all our experience, the choice is always the same. It’s Waterlox, I can honestly say that no client that I know of has ever used polyurethane again, once they’ve lived a couple years with a Waterlox finish.
Waterlox is 80% Tung oil, a renewable resource, yet it is highly regulated in about 15 states.