What is Urethane?

Urethane refers to at least three distinct materials: ethyl carbamate, carbamate, and polyurethane. While the chemical components of nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules connect these chemicals, their applications are diverse.

  • Ethyl carbamate

Best Urethane for Wood Floors is usually accompanying ethyl carbamate, a chemical molecule that you can use as a solvent in producing medications and insecticides. Generally, you can find Ethyl carbamate as white crystals or a granular powder that dissolves well in water. C3H7NO2 is its chemical formula.

  • Quality Carbamate

Carbamate is famous as urethane, which we often utilize as a pesticide. There are various insecticides derived from it, including aldicarb, sevin, and carbaryl. Thus, carbamate insecticides are present extensively because they degrade more quickly and are less hazardous than other pesticides. The chemical formula for it is NH2COOH.

  • Polyurethane

Polyurethanes are a class of organic polymers with a diverse variety of uses. Polyurethanes are made up of numerous urethane (or carbamate) groups, as the name indicates. Adhesives, mattresses, car seats, and footwear are all made from polyurethanes.

There are several aspects to consider while choosing the proper floor for your house. Hardwood floors are a popular choice for homeowners because they are ageless and can be refinished for decades. Even if you know you want wood, there are a few extra factors to consider.

One of these factors is the sort of finish you choose. Polyurethane coatings come in four varieties: matte, satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss.

What Are the Differences Between Finish Types?

While there is no such thing as a more durable finish, the one you pick will impact how much wear and tear you experience. Because a matte surface does not reflect as much light as a high gloss finish, scratches, scuffs, and grime will be less evident.


Matte has the lowest luster and is popular, although some consumers avoid it because it lacks sparkle.

Satin is the most popular finish because it has just the appropriate amount of sheen without being overly glossy and revealing wear and tear. Without seeing every scuff and scrape, you can still appreciate the beauty of the wood grain.

Semi-Gloss Like Satin

Semi-gloss is in the middle but with more shine. Most clients are only willing to go as glossy as this. The sheen enhances the attractiveness of the flooring, but it also necessitates extra upkeep to keep them looking excellent.

High-gloss has the highest sheen and but we can only use it on floors that cater to more foot traffic. This finish is often reserved for exotic and specialty floors with little traffic since it shows everything.

Water-based polyurethane floor finishes provide several advantages.

Polyurethane will be used as the final stage in finishing your wood floors to provide a protective coating and a pleasing gloss. Polyurethane is divided into oil-based (solvent-borne) and water-based polyurethane (water-borne).

Until the invention of water-based polyurethane, oil-based products were the industry standard. Over the last few decades, water-based polyurethane has developed in response to consumer demand for a better, more environmentally friendly, and more efficient product.

Despite the fact that both varieties are still in use today, the water-based finish has become the most popular for various reasons. Following are some of the benefits of urethane finishing for wooden floors.

  • Environmentally friendly, healthier, and safer

The significant advantage of using a water-based treatment for a homeowner is that there will be almost no exposure to VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These substances produce unpleasant gases that are harmful to humans and pets. Oil-based goods contain carcinogens such as benzene and ethylene glycol generated from petroleum.

These compounds generate powerful smells for at least 24 hours after application after curing the coats. Their presence might have an indefinite impact on air quality. Water-based products are a natural alternative. However, you can obtain these chemicals from plants directly rather than petroleum solvents.

Healthier and Safer Environment

These goods are significantly safer for everyone’s health and well-being. As VOC exposure does not threat anybody’s health.

Oil-based polyurethane is no longer a possibility due to residents’ exposure to such pollutants. Another major worry is flammability. Oil-based Best Urethane for Wood Floors is extremely flammable, but water-based polyurethane is not, making it safer and healthier.

  • Reduces the Drying Time

Water-based paint dries faster than oil-based paint. You can apply several coats before finishing and it will dry in a few hours. It can help in placing everything back in place, and then you can easily use the space the next day with no odor present. It may take at least 24 hours for an oil base coat to dry and a few days for the odors to dissipate.

Water-based treatments may be walked on in as little as 24 hours and are far more rapidly ready for high-volume traffic than oil-based products, which can take up to 30 days. You the do-it-yourselfer, a slower drying time may be advantageous since it allows more time to fix mistakes. As a result, applying a water base finish necessitates greater competence.

  • Durability

Manufacturers have improved the chemistry of water-based coatings, resulting in enhanced abrasion resistance. There are several levels of quality with different companies, with top-tier items being the most durable. Top-of-the-line products like Bona Traffic and Street Shoe are highly durable.

  • Preserves Original Color with a Clear Finish.

A water-based floor finish is a transparent layer that keeps the wood’s natural color and emphasizes the grain. The hue of the wood changes to a deeper tone almost quickly after applying an oil-based treatment. The oil finish fades to a golden amber tone with time and UV exposure.

Whether something is desirable or not is a question of personal preference. However, because the water-based finish does not alter color, you will know what color the floor will be from the start.


This is especially important when natural woods like maple, whitewashed, or gray-stained flooring. Also, you should apply a stain before completing it in order to maintain the color of the stain. Someone would pick an oil-based floor finish because it is less expensive. You can obtain a respectable outcome for a reduced price if you opt for that approach.

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