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Question DetailsAsked on 6/8/2011

Hardwood floors - oil or water refinish?

I'm getting my hardwood floors refinished and am not sure whether to use water or oil-based stain. I've heard they look differently aesthetically and that oil fumes last longer, but I'm getting mixed info on which is more durable. My house has a modern/contemporary and I'm not refinishing areas that run the risk of frequently getting water on thm (i.e., not refinishing the kitchen or bathroom floors). Any advice on whether I should go with water or oil would be much appreciated - thanks!

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4 Answers


I am surprised that noone yet has offered advice to your important problem. i am in the same predicament: i got differing opinions on what lasts longer, water stain or oil. most companies i talked to recommended the oil (polyeurethane) base, though, and that makes sense to me. water base, i hear, needs to be re-applied every ten years, while poly lasts up to 30 (?). the fumes supposedly are short lived but is there an issue with ecology? in other words, how unhealthy is polyeurethane?


Answered 9 years ago by iriedle


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Answered 9 years ago by tessa89


personally a good oil based solution I believe is best for wood, although some of the new water based products are good. my simplistic mind works that oil especially linseed etc is good for wood, anything water based cannot be good - wood contains natural oils anyway and i know from past and current experience that water rots wood - like i said simplistic but hey!

Answered 9 years ago by whirlpool


The water in water-based wood finishes doesn't rot wood because it evaporates too quickly. The reason I haven't joined in on this before now is that I really think it's a little silly debating about which toxic substance to us (and they all are - would you drink any of them?), and does it really matter if a finish lasts 10 years or 30 years when most homeowners move every 7 years on average anyway? I guess if I were forced to choose I'd go with water-based because I wouldn't like to wait several days to walk on my floors again as I'd have to do with oil-based and the fumes from water-based would hopefully dissipate sooner than those from oil-based, but really life is just too short to worry about some things.

Answered 9 years ago by Commonsense

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