Hardwood Floor Refinish

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Forum topic by Nick Graber posted 10-03-2013 04:28 PM 7735 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nick Graber

15 posts in 3519 days

10-03-2013 04:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak finishing

I’m looking at ripping up carpets and refinishing some original hard wood floors in a house that was built in 1965. The finishing I have been looking at is Waterlox but it is around $30 / Quart and $75 / Gallon + shipping. I was thinking about making my own mix with Pure Tung Oil, a Phenolic Resin varnish, and a thinner to reduce the cost but I have had issues finding what ratios would be good for something like flooring. Has anyone made their own self leveling varnish for hardwood floors and if so how do you like it and is it as durable as a comparable varnish blend such as Waterlox?


9 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2557 days

#1 posted 10-03-2013 07:54 PM

Why? Available waterborne floor finishes are better than Waterlox or anything you can mix up. Bona Mega, for instance.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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Nick Graber

15 posts in 3519 days

#2 posted 10-03-2013 08:06 PM

I have read that waterborne finishes are harder and more chemical resistant than oil based finishes but from what I have seen oil based finished show of the grain and charter of the wood better. I would also like to have a closer to the wood finish opposed to a thick film. I also like the Amber appearance of Oil based finishes.

View Hammerthumb's profile


2907 posts in 2171 days

#3 posted 10-03-2013 08:12 PM

Bona Mega is a good choice. It is oxigen crosslinked and is single component. There are other finishes made for hardwood floors that are a little more expensive and will offer a higher taber abrasion resistance. Duraseal Xtera is a really good finish as well as Bona Traffic. These are both 2 component finishes that must be mixed prior to application. All of the above waterborne finishes should be applied with a synthetic floor applicator. The applicators are sleeves that slide onto a “tee bar” handle. You shoud also make sure to have a cut in applicator for cutting in at the walls. The new waterbased finishes are far superior to the old oil based finishes. They dry faster, have less oder, and are more durable. Also, waterbased finishes will not impart any color to the wood which makes them great for lighter woods like maple, but they will not enhance the grain like oil based will. All of the floor finish manufacturers make oil based sealers that you can apply as the first coat if you wish to enhance the grain.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2482 days

#4 posted 10-03-2013 08:36 PM

You want glossy or satin?
I ask because there’s a product called Osmo Hard wax Oil that’s really nice on floors, but it’s not a hard shell like poly. It’s a penetrating finish with…. well… wax in an oil base. (surprise!). It would need to be renewed in areas of high traffic but spot (area) refreshes are easy and don’t require re-sanding. It’s a softer finish in that it isn’t real glossy.

Personally I wouldn’t try a DIY floor finish only because there are so many tried and tested formulas out there.
Bona Mega is a really nice floor product. I have dogs though so repairability is high on my list. I’m ok with having to reapply occasionally (as with the hard wax oil). Like spring cleaning. Or if you get furniture scratches or whatever. You just clean and reapply and buff.

I like Waterlox, but, for me, I needed to keep “back in service” time short. I can tell you that Waterlox will be several days just for application (have to wait 24 hours between coats) AND it takes about 6 months to cure completely. On a floor I’d wait at least 2 or 3 days after final coat before walking on it with sneakers on and probably a week before any area rugs or furniture.

When I did a house with 2 bedrooms, a hallway, and the living room, I did it while the house was occupied. Empty a room and do it. Put the stuff back the next day. And it is easy to blend it where you start and stop.

Not saying this the best way. It’s just one most people haven;t heard of. :)

And it’s a nice option.

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Nick Graber

15 posts in 3519 days

#5 posted 10-04-2013 01:29 PM

Charlie: I think I like the Satin semi gloss look better than a full gloss and thanks for posting about the hard wax. I had no idea that was even an option.

I have started looking at Bona Mega some more and l am a fan of the dry times but I think I need to see a sample of what the Bona Mega looks like on top of their Amber seal. Is there any other products that would be recommended to seal / color the wood to give it a Oil finish appearance? I found the below picture comparing some oil based products to the Bona Mega and just from it I think I would need to use Amer seal or a similar product to get the depth, color, and warmth of an oil finish.

View BJODay's profile


527 posts in 2139 days

#6 posted 10-04-2013 01:47 PM

We had an oak floor installed a few years ago. The installer told me that the finishes have improved greatly. Why experiment with your floor. Use a proven finish that will take the wear and punishment of hard use.


View Hammerthumb's profile


2907 posts in 2171 days

#7 posted 10-04-2013 01:55 PM

Both Bona Kemi and Duraseal make dri-fast oil based sealers. These will give you the color you are looking for and you can apply your next coat over them within a few hours.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View Hammerthumb's profile


2907 posts in 2171 days

#8 posted 10-04-2013 01:57 PM

By the way, these sealers were developed to be re-coated within a few hours with water based finishes like Bona Mega or Duraseal Xtera. So don’t worry about using waterbase over oil sealers.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View brtech's profile


1052 posts in 3119 days

#9 posted 10-04-2013 03:23 PM

I think with floors, toughness is really high on the list of properties you want. Yes, appearance is probably first, but you want it last when you drag stuff across the floor.

There are two part poly products that really outperform other products. I used Bona Kemi Traffic:

If you want to put something under a clear poly for appearance, sure, but the top coats on a floor need to be tough

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