There are two (2) types of hardwood floor finish available on the market today: Water-based finishes and oil-based finishes.
Oil-based finishes have been used for a long time to create deep, dark brown colors, however, they carry a heavy odor - due to high VOCs - which typically takes several days to dissipate. According to the EPA, some VOCs are dangerous to human health or cause harm to the environment. Anthropogenic VOCs are regulated by law, especially indoors, where concentrations are the highest. Harmful VOCs are typically not acutely toxic, but instead have compounding long-term health effects. Oil-based stains can give the wood a yellower or amber tone as well, and they take much longer to cure. If you're in a time-crunch for getting your refinishing work done, sensitive to strong scents, or concerned about health issues, an oil-based finish may not be the right choice.
Water-based finishes (polyurethane) are the latest and greatest developed products for wood floor refinishing. They are eco-friendly and have very little to no smell. They also dry very fast. Water-based finishes can also be more durable than oil-based finishes, but this depends on the water-based finish used. We at Tampa Hardwood Floor Refinishing only use the best water-based finishes on the market.
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