Waterborne Polyurethane - How to

Waterborne Polyurethane floor finish system - With new technology on water base polyurethane floor finishes coming out every year. It is always hard to choose the right system that will stand up to abuse and have longevity. You need a finish that will match your lifestyle. Something durable and has exceptional scratch and chemical resistant. Something that will last at least 15 years. Luckily, with new technology,  it has become easier and easier to apply high quality products with great long lasting results. You just need to do the proper prep work and floor sanding. And applying a high quality finish is pretty easy.  Just how easy? Continue reading and find out.

Waterborne Sealers - Why use it?

Waterborne sealers, why use it? Simple, because it is what makes a successful waterborne polyurethane system. The sealer enhances the natural tones of the wood and adds additional protection to the polyurethane system. When choosing a wood floor sealer choose a high solid, building sealer and one that will not cause side bonding or panelization. You will get great protection, eliminate tannin pull and maximize your film build from the polyurethane. For, more information on sealers and application, click the link here: Sealers

Application for high build sealers

 Sand your wood flooring according to NWFA procedures, making your final cut with 120 grit and clean thoroughly. Unless, you like the feel of sandpaper, sand the floor as smooth as possible. You can apply the sealer using a Nylon brush, water base block applicator, T-bar or roller (1/4" nap mohair or 3/8" nap microfiber ). Apply the first coat at a rate of 500 sq. ft. per gallon. Don't skimp out on the product. Get this stuff down at the proper rate. Otherwise, you will experience all the nightmare and headaches you have been reading about online. Dry brushing, tannin pull, uneven sheen, lines, orange peel effect, etc. Apply with the grain and feather out any start and stop points. Becareful not to leave puddles and drips.  Let the first coat dry for 4 hours. The second coat of sealer can be hot coated, no abrading needed. Apply the second coat as the same rate as the first.  Allow the second coat to dry overnight. Clean tools with water.

Waterborne Polyurethane  - Will yours stand up to the test of time?

Waterborne polyurethane top coat, your first defense against cleaners, spills, dirt, mud, furnitures, pets, friends and family. Will yours stand up to the test of time? If, you are using a high quality system, then no worries needed. Keep reading on for application tips. If, not look into choosing a ceramic, acrylate or aluminum oxide finishes with a fast curing time. The most important attribute is the fast curing. Why? Most polyurethane coatings will get damaged within the first 3o days of use. This is when it is most vulnerable and softest, due to it's long curing period. Shorten that time and the durability reaches full strength sooner. There are finishes that cures from 24 to 72 hours. These are the finishes you want to choose from.

Application for waterborne polyurethane floor finish

Dust will show through your polyurethane if, you fall asleep at this stage. Buff and screen your sealer coat with either 180 or 220 grit screen, sanding strips or the use of a multi-head driver. Clean, vacuum and tack thoroughly. Apply your water base polyurethane wood floor finish using a nylon brush, a water base block applicator, T-bar or roller (1/4" nap mohair or 3/8" nap microfiber ). Apply the floor finish at a 400-500 square feet rate coverage. Biggest mistake everyone makes is applying too thin of a coat. Load it on, especially if, you're rolling the product. This will help eliminate missed spots, brush marks and an orange peel  effect. Feather out your start and stop points by lifting the applicator. Allow the first coat of poly to dry for 4 hours. No abrasion is needed in-between coats for adhesion. You can hot coat the final coat, only if, the waterborne polyurethane is smooth enough for you. But for a smoother finish, abrade the polyurethane with either 180 or 220 grit screen, sanding strips or the use of a multi-head driver. Then clean, vacuum and tack thoroughly. And then apply the final coat at the same rate. Let it dry overnight, before applying light foot traffic. Tools can be cleaned with water.

Maintenance and clean up

You thought you were done. Just applying a high quality finish is only part of the polyurethane floor finish system. Maintenance and clean up makes up the rest. With improper maintenance and clean up, don't expect your newly finished waterborne polyurethane finish to last 15 years. Here are some tips to help you maintain your wood floor finish: felt pads, you can never have enough and be sure to use a slightly bigger size for your furniture legs, for daily cleaning use a dry microfiber mop, use a non-diluted cleaner specifically for hardwood floors: it dries faster and will not cause cupping, stay away from polishes or anything that will add a shine: this stuff leaves a residue, use water proof floor mats at entries and sinks, stay away from products with high ph balance: these break down your finish, always use a ph neutral cleaner.  Your finish is on it's way to longevity.

For more information and tips on cleaning wood floors click on here: hardwood floor care