Polyurethane is a substance that we often think about when considering wood floor sealants. It makes a lot of sense for most of us, mainly because Polyurethane acts as the adhesive agent for our floors.
Wooden floors with adequate polyurethane portions don’t only appear more polished and elegant than the ones with irrational coating amounts of Polyurethane. These floors are also more durable and resistant to various flooring problems, such as scratches.
Below is a description of how many coats of Polyurethane on floors should be used.
Polyurethane coatings for floors
Polyurethane resin floor coatings are mostly used in industrial and commercial settings, like car dealerships, workshops, hotels, sports facilities, and event halls.
Polyurethane coatings can also be used to seal concrete floors, pools, saunas, restaurant furniture, and stone rugs.
This gives you a surface that doesn’t let water in and is closed, clean, and easy to take care of. Its hardness keeps dirt out and looking good for a long time.
Mold and algae can’t grow on roofs with polyurethane resin coatings.
Polyurethane resin floor coatings are also used in schools and daycare centers because they don’t slip and don’t allow accidents to happen on walking surfaces.
Essentially, 2 polyurethane coats are enough to cover the wooden floors. Here, we think about water-based Polyurethane, the most common base for the adhesive agent.
In general, 2 or 3 coats of water-based Polyurethane are enough for the entire floor in a room. It depends on the thickness of the water substance, how long and frequently we tend to use the room, and the types of hardwoods we use for our floors.
Some people apply 4 to 5 coats when they wish to have more protective measures for their wooden floors.
Even so, the more we apply the coats, the longer time we need to wait for the coats to dry before placing other parts of the furniture. From my recommendation, 4 coats of Polyurethane are too much.
The same measurement doesn’t apply to oil-based Polyurethane. 2 coats of oil-based Polyurethane is more than enough because the oil-based substance is already robust enough to protect the woods.
Water-based and solvent-based polyurethane coatings
Solvent-based polyurethane resin has been shown to work well on surfaces with a lot of wear and tear. With 2K systems, the hardener is added just before the paint is processed.
The 2K paint must then be processed quickly, which gives it a very hard, shiny, or satin-gloss surface.
There are many different options, especially with the 2K system, because both the polyurethane resin and the hardener can be easily changed to fit different uses.
Other ready-to-use paints are harder to work with than solvent-based 1-component PU systems. Before using the material, it only needs to be stirred once. It does not have to be mixed according to the instructions from the manufacturer.
Also, with one-component paints, you don’t have to worry about the so-called “pot life,” which is how many hours you have to work with the paint after adding the hardener before it sets.
A new type of water-based polyurethane coating is the next generation. When used and made the right way, it has the same properties as 1K or 2K systems that use solvents, but it is safer for people and the environment.
Polyurethane acrylic is liked by both professionals and people who DIY. Most of these paints are water-based acrylic paints with a certain amount of polyurethane resin added to make them more durable. This polyurethane resin makes surfaces that are strong and last a long time.
Polyurethane can be used both inside and outside. Because there are so many specialized products, you’ll be able to find Polyurethane varnish that works well on your wooden floor.
For surfaces that get a lot of wear and tear, like a wooden pool deck, it’s still best to use a solvent-based type.
Indoors, On the other hand, water-based polyurethane coatings are good because they have a mild smell and don’t have a lot of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Advantages of water-based Polyurethane
The main benefit of all water-based paints is that they are better for the environment and your health.
Even with 1-component polyurethane paints that are water-based, highly resistant satin-gloss or matte paint surfaces can be made that stop the unwanted “writing effect.” This is the name for the fine marks on smooth, pigment-rich paints, even when there isn’t much mechanical stress. In some cases, these marks can’t be removed any longer.
High-strength paints also stop the polishing effect, which makes less stable matt paint surfaces unevenly shiny when they are cleaned (for example, with a sponge) because the sponge removes the mattifying additives from the top layer of paint.
Previously, we’ve mentioned that the frequency of using our rooms and the types of hardwoods for our floors are things we should consider before applying polyurethane coats on our floor surfaces. Here are some other things you should consider:
- Oil vs. water-based polyurethanes: Oil-based polys are more durable and require fewer coats, while water-based polys are easier to clean up.
- Different rooms and furniture types around them require different types and amounts of polyurethane coatings.
- Cleaning up schedules: While it’s true that more coatings mean more protection, we should also be mindful of how frequently we would like to clean up the floors.
- Sanding processes: We need to sand each poly coat with 320-400 grits of sandpaper. It avoids trapping dust and debris inside the wooden floors’ coats.
- Alternatives to polyurethanes: Varnishes for softwoods are yet another popular choice for hardwood polys. The sandpaper grit’s requirements are identical, and the varnishes can protect the wooden surface from UV rays.
First of all, failing to sand between polyurethane coats on our wooden floors cost us at least three consequences:
- Our wooden floor surfaces will be full of dirt and dust even when we finish the wooden boards.
- The floors can be slippery, thus posing dangers to people who step on them.
- Furthermore, the wood floors can be more vulnerable to climate change, even if the bases are from sturdy wood types.
So, sanding between poly coats has become crucial; besides, How many coats of Polyurethane are on floors? Here are the things to consider when sanding between polyurethane coats:
- The sandpaper grits’ measurements: Some people agree with 320-400 grits. Nonetheless, sometimes, we need 600 grits for super-smooth final touches.
- Sanding blocks versus grains: People typically prefer to use sanding blocks. However, you can also choose grains, as long as you’re consistent in one sanding method throughout the process.
- Cleaning up amid sanding: Be sure to vacuum each coat after sanding the coat and before doing the same for another coat.
- Cooldown time: Wait 24-48 hours for each coat to dry before sanding another part of the coat.
In general, many people recommend water-based Polyurethane for its practicality. Unlike applying oil-based Polyurethane, which requires us to wait a couple of hours, water-based Polyurethane’s waiting time is almost twice as fast as its oil-based counterparts.
Another thing about water-based polyurethanes is that these poly coats tend to be odorless. Even though we need to apply more water-based poly coats on wooden floors, we can’t deny that water-based coats are practical and readily available around us.
Plus, they work well for many types of wood. Light-colored woods like maples and ashes will shine brightly when we have high-quality water-based poly coats, and we know how to treat and finish these wood floors well.
Some people say oil-based poly coats are more durable than their water-based counterparts. Even though this part is true, water-based poly coats with premium quality can be as durable as oil-based coats. They can also give the wooden floor an attractive look.