What Are Some Different Types of Polyurethane Finishes?

April 12, 2021

Planning a flooring renovation project is about more than just choosing a flooring material and selecting colors and shades. One of the most important choices for homeowners to make about their flooring is which type of polyurethane finishing to use. Polyurethane for floors in Bakersfield, CA can make a huge difference in how the finished result looks. Keep reading to learn more about different options for polyurethane finishes to get your flooring looking its best.

Polyurethane basics

Polyurethane is a chemical product that is designed to protect floors from damage by acting as a barrier between flooring materials and external elements like foot traffic, spills and dirt. In addition to providing protection for hardwood flooring, polyurethane also serves an aesthetic purpose by creating an attractive finish. There are lots of different types of polyurethane, including oil and water-based polyurethane, for floors in Bakersfield, CA. Polyurethane also comes in various gloss levels depending on the desired look for floors.

Oil- vs. water-based polyurethane

Oil-based polyurethane and water-based polyurethane offer similar benefits in Bakersfield, CA homes, but they also have some key differences between them. One of the biggest differences between oil- and water-based polyurethane is that oil-based polyurethane leaves behind a distinct yellow tint on hardwood floors. The yellow tint typically warms up over time and can create a dynamic color for light-colored hardwood floors. Oil based polyurethane usually doesn’t affect dark-colored hardwood floors, but it can have a significant impact on gray or white hardwood flooring and maya even cause severe discoloration.

Because of the tint created by oil-based polyurethane, many Bakersfield, CA homeowners choose to use water-based polyurethane for their floors because it won’t alter the color of hardwood floors. Water-based polyurethane is especially important when dealing with hardwood flooring that has cool tones that will clash with the yellow tinting effect of oil-based polyurethane.

Additional polyurethane options

Both oil- and water-based polyurethane come in various levels of gloss, depending on the desired effect. Here are some of the polyurethane gloss options for hardwood floors:

  • Matte: Matte polyurethane has the lowest level of sheen, with very low light reflection. This option is popular for people who want an understated, contemporary flooring look.
  • Satin: Satin polyurethane has low sheen, but is more reflective than matte. It’s a great middle-of-the-road polyurethane choice, and the most popular finishing choice for hardwood flooring.
  • Semi-gloss: Semi-gloss has some noticeable luster and great light reflection. It’s usually used in homes with low foot traffic and no pets, since the shinier finish makes scratches and defects more noticeable.
  • High-gloss: High-gloss is not typically used for the average hardwood floor and is mostly reserved for homeowners who want to showcase particularly unique or rare hardwood flooring.

Get polyurethane for your floors in Bakersfield, CA

If you’re looking for oil- or water-based polyurethane for your floors in Bakersfield, CA, reach out to All American Carpet Inc. Our locally owned and operated company has been dedicated to providing comprehensive flooring services to our customers for decades, including hardwood floor installation. To get started with a flooring product consultation and quote for your flooring project, simply give us a call today.

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