Best Oil Based Polyurethane for Wood Floors

Top 5 Best Oil Based Polyurethane for Wood Floors (Reviews & Buying Guide)

I have made quite a few observations, and I can tell you that choosing the right type of wood floor finish is as important as selecting the correct type of wood species, or wooden floor in general. And today, I’ll be taking you through the best oil based polyurethane for wood floors.

Oil based polyurethane has a lot of benefits compared to water-based. Outside the fact that it is less expensive, the look of an oil based polyurethane is bright. It has more depth – both in color and shine.

Another benefit of oil based polyurethane when it comes to appearance is that over time, the polyurethane amberizes and darkens a bit…usually giving it that creamy look, which is what all of the wood floor owners would expect from a refinished wooden floor to look like.

Oil based polyurethane is indeed the most hard-wearing and durable option, beating the water-based alternative. Why? Because Oil-based polyurethane contains a considerable amount of volatile organic compounds, VOCs, which are chemicals that help the finish to last in a very long run and fortify it with excellent resistance to scratches, heat, and moisture.

With these being said, it is no surprise you are considering the oil-based compared to water-based. But indeed, there is a lot of product, but I’ll be helping you by highlighting the top five best oil based poly for wooden floors.

Top 5 best oil based polyurethane for wood floors

Choose from our top 3 products

Product
Best Buy
Rust-Oleum Varathane 6041H
Editor's Pick
Zar Exterior Rust
UV Resistant
The Rust-Oleum 9441
Image
Rust-Oleum 6041H, Quart, Semi-Gloss Finish
ZAR 32712 Polyurethane, QT, Satin
Rust-Oleum 9441 Ultimate Spar Urethane Oil Based, Quart, Semi-Gloss
Prime Status
Rating
Best Buy
Product
Rust-Oleum Varathane 6041H
Image
Rust-Oleum 6041H, Quart, Semi-Gloss Finish
Prime Status
Rating
Where to Buy
Editor's Pick
Product
Zar Exterior Rust
Image
ZAR 32712 Polyurethane, QT, Satin
Prime Status
Rating
Where to Buy
UV Resistant
Product
The Rust-Oleum 9441
Image
Rust-Oleum 9441 Ultimate Spar Urethane Oil Based, Quart, Semi-Gloss
Prime Status
Rating
Where to Buy

Last update on 2021-09-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Rust-Oleum Varathane 6041H

For a fact, we all know every product has a downside. Nothing is perfect. But the Rust-Oleum Varathane 6041H Ultimate oil based polyurethane has come with the full package.

The varathane ultimate polyurethane is a high-quality option with long-lasting durability. The poly lets the natural beauty of wooden surfaces be seen with higher clarity than most oil based polyurethane by enhancing the colors and grains in your wood flooring. It also adds a warm, golden glow to highlight the wood grain.

It has a high viscosity to allow for quick dry times. The base coat only takes to four hours to dry and requires a second coat. The second coat is dried to the touch within two hours. Due to its high viscosity, the Rust-Oleum Ultimate Varathane 6041H that soaks into the wood is minimal. This makes just two coatings enough to coat and save your wood from scratches.

Rust-Oleum 6041H, Quart, Semi-Gloss Finish
  • Protects interior wood surfaces such as furniture, cabinets, trim and doors
  • Oil based formula provides maximum durability and allows for a more even finish
  • Dries to the touch in 2 hours with coverage up to 150 sq. ft., recoat in 4 hours
  • Unique formula provides outstanding stain and scratch resistance with ultra fast dry time
  • Semi gloss finish creates a smooth and classy look

Last update on 2021-09-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It also has a self-leveling formula that saves you the stress of sanding between coats. The product is perfect not only for wood flooring but also for multiple interior applications, including furniture, doors, cabinets, and trim.
It may be an expensive option, but it is more durable than most oil based polyurethane as it will never crack, peel or chip.

Pros

  • High viscosity for thick, durable coating.
  • Low Odor.
  • Scratch and Stain resistance.
  • Quick-drying time. Four hours.
  • Protects and adds beauty to interior wood surfaces, including woodwork, furniture, doors, cabinets, and floors.
  • Self-leveling

Cons

  • No sealer can promise no odor. Nevertheless, the Rust-Oleum Ultimate has reduced the smell to the lowest possible. Just have a fan nearby to keep the air circulating, and it’s okay.


2. Zar Exterior Rust Oil based Polyurethane

This oil based polyurethane was designed to tackle heavy traffic areas and outdoors. To prevent sun damage to woodworks, the Zar Exterior has been equipped with ultraviolet absorbers and antioxidants.

Sale
ZAR 32712 Polyurethane, QT, Satin
  • Light amber finish
  • Recommended by leading door manufacturers
  • Excellent marine-grade finish
  • Soap and water cleanup

Last update on 2021-09-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In drying times, it dries extremely fast. Faster than all its similar exterior oil based poly. It has a low viscosity to allow quick dry times, though that means you should apply it in three coats to have a perfect advertised look. The base coat only takes four to six hours to dry, while recoating takes just two. It also comes in three finishes. That is Gloss, satin finish, and matte.

Pros

  • Durable finish
  • It comes in different finishes.
  • Two-hour dry time
  • Suitable for heavily trafficked and weathered areas.

Cons

3. The Rust-Oleum 9441

The Rust-Oleum Ultimate 9441 is the exterior version of the Rust-Oleum 6041H. It has almost the same qualities except that this works for the outdoors mainly. It is a high-quality, durable semi-gloss poly. It is strengthened with weather and Ultra Violet UV resistant formula that protects the surface from greying and sun damage.

Its high viscosity gives for quick dry times. Though slow compared to the 6041H, it is fast on its own, considering its functions. It can be felt dry in two hours, but for a second coating, you’d need to wait 8 hours. It also has a minimal soaking in wood and protects your wood in just two coats.

Rust-Oleum 9441 Ultimate Spar Urethane Oil Based, Quart, Semi-Gloss
  • Protects outdoor wood surfaces such as furniture, fences, railings, trim and more
  • Oil based formula provides maximum durability and allows for a more even finish
  • Dries to the touch in 2 hours with coverage up to 190 sq. ft., recoat after 8 hours
  • Weather and UV resistant formula protects the surface from graying and sun damage
  • Semi gloss finish creates a smooth and classy look

Last update on 2021-09-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Rust-Oleum 9441’s formula provides excellent resistance against scratches, weathering, UV light, mold & mildew while expanding and contracting with weather conditions. It doesn’t deter the color of wood, neither does it peel.

Pros

  • Highly Durable
  • High viscosity for durable protection.
  • Scratch And Stain Resistance
  • Suitable for heavily trafficked and heavily weathered areas.

Cons

4. The Minwax 63010444

Do you want to know the next name on every tongue after the Rust-Oleum? It’s the MinWax. The Minwax is a famous brand in manufacturing sealants. Both water-based and oil-based quality products and I tell you, the 63010444 is Not a joke. We recommend this product based on its functions.
The product is specifically designed for indoor use. It doesn’t boast of being the best but is better compared to a lot of the rest. It is ideal for woodworking, furniture, doors, cabinets, and floors working on both finished and unfinished wood. It can add a lot of value to the floor and any table.
Its low viscosity allows it on its own to dry quickly. But its low viscosity can be a drawback, too, as it requires you to apply more coating, considering that the sealant doesn’t have enough stickiness to hold on to the wood.

Minwax 63010444 Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Finish, Quart, Satin, Pack of 2
  • Provides long-lasting beauty and protection to any interior wood surface
  • Among the most durable coatings for wood protection
  • Ideal for woodworking, furniture, doors, cabinets and floors
  • Can be used on both finished and Unfinished wood
  • It provides long-lasting protection and beauty to interior wood surfaces such as furniture, floors, doors and cabinets

Last update on 2021-09-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Minwax is suitable for the interior, and it’s worth a second thought. We still can’t pinpoint a particular defect in this product, except for the multiple coating. If you want a good clear coat, the MinWax is a go!

Pros

  • Fast-drying Time
  • Easy to clean up
  • Glossy and clear finish
  • Specialized for floor and indoors.
  • It can be applied using a spray gun.
  • You can use it on finished and unfinished wood.

Cons

5. Rust-Oleum 130131 varathane

Another perfect oil is the Rust-Oleum 130131 by varathane. It is manufactured in the United States by the famous home improvement company Jesen.

Over a decade, the company has been producing correct products that are set to apply, and the Rust-Oleum. 130131 is just not a play. Though not to be compared with its counterparts, the Rust-Oleum 130131 is perfect for interior sealing. It is durable, hides scratches well, and doesn’t peel. It also dries as fast as four hours.

Rust Oleum 130131 Varathane Premium Oil-Based Clear Floor Finish
  • This Item Rust Oleum 130131 Varathane Premium Oil-Based Clear Floor Finish
  • Used for Painting Supplies, Paint & Stains
  • The Product is manufactured inUnited States
  • Model number: 130131

Last update on 2021-09-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Rust-Oleum 130301 has the same viscosity that helps it cover the wood’s surface perfectly well and in just a few coating. It dries slowly due to its high viscosity, but in four hours, you can recoat. Recoating once would give you enough coverage stated in its advertisement.

Pros

  • It is highly durable.
  • Fast drying time.
  • It is specialized for interior floors.
  • You can use it on finished and unfinished wood.

Cons

Without looking further, those are our top picked oil-based products, based on our review and based on the factors that we’ve considered the most important. Below are what can help you to choose a good brand.

Factors to consider before buying oil based polyurethane.

It is true that once bitten twice shy. You can be quadruple shy if you watch others get bitten. We wouldn’t like you going through a lot of mistakes like some of us have done. If you don’t know what is right, you don’t know what to expect, So we’ve gathered some tips to help you started.

Durability

The durability strength of a polyurethane finish lies in its ability to act as a coat of armor for the hardwood below. Almost all products boast durability, but after application, some still show scratches and wear marks.

The main point is that the wood itself is more vulnerable to impact marks without the protective shell of polyurethane and so
A finished floor sealed with genuine durable products like the ones above will ultimately show no scratch or wear marks because there is no glossy layer on top to be etched.

Drying Time

It is a general idea for oil-based polyurethane to take a long time to dry, but some brands have worked on the oil’s front times. What used to take a week to dry now has been quickened to a few hours. Now you can give your wood three coats in a day.
This should be considered side by side with quality.

No one wants a quality product that isn’t quality enough in the side of the time it takes to dry. Before you choose a product, ask yourself, how long will it take to dry? Will I be able to wait till however long it completely dries before I can use the room?

Exterior or Interior?

Do you want to make just your interior floor? Or you’d like to use it on your patio? You don’t just buy products fortified to withstand UV rays and° apply them in your living room. You need to know what you need and what you’re using it for before you choose. The exterior oil based Polyurethane would give your wood ultraviolet absorbance and strong repellant of sun damage.

Products like the Zar oil-based Exterior Poly and the Rust-Oleum 9441H can be superheroes in the field of exterior sealing. The Zar Poly is durable, dries faster, and doesn’t take too many coats. You can’t expect the Zar in its functionality to take the place of the Rust-Oleum 6041H.

The Rust-Oleum 6041H is quality and durable for the interior and should not be expected to take the 9441 or the Zar place.

Application

Depending on the brand, oil based polyurethane can take four to twenty hours of dry time per coat. Since you’d be coating two or three times, you’d have to consider if you’d stay for days before you choose a product.

Some products can be applied using just a sponge or a rag. Some require you to use a painting roller but can’t be sprayed, while You can apply some with a spray gun. All of these are what you’ll need to consider. How do you use it?

These are all that my team and I added together and worked on to give you our very own list of best oil based polyurethane for wood floor. And we sure it’s worth it.

What Kind of Polyurethane Can I Use On Hardwood Floors?

This question is one of the most frequently asked questions we get from our customers. “What kind of poly can I use on hardwood floors?”

The answer is based on some considerations. There are just two polyurethane kinds, and they can both be applied on hardwood floors—the oil based polyurethane and water-based polyurethane.

However, some differences between the two will help you choose which to use. You need to have some knowledge of the two. And below are what you’d need to consider before selecting the best polyurethane for floors.

Durability

When you use quality products from both finishes, you can’t say which one is more durable. The oil-based or the water-based. They both protect the floor from scratches. But the oil based polyurethane is more durable than water-based.

Some oil-based poly is formulated with resistance against scratches, weathering, UV light, mold & mildew while expanding. This is not so popular in water-based poly. And that’s a critical point in wood flooring.

Color

Oil based poly has an amber hue, whereas water-based poly is clear. An oil based polyurethane will continue to amber and darken over time, while water-based poly will remain clear for the lifetime of the hardwood floor. If you want that dark brown tint on your wooden floor, you can consider oil-based.

Thickness

In covering the floor, oil based polyurethane is very high in viscosity. The magnitude of the internal friction and the sticky substance in it fills the floor with more thickness. Oil-based polys can be more susceptible to dents, while water-based polys can be more susceptible to surface scratching.

A water-based polyurethane with high viscosity is still not compared to a low viscosity oil based polyurethane. Naturally, water-based poly is a thinner product, and instances when an oil based poly would take three coatings, you should know you’d apply a lot of layers.

Drying Times

Most water-based polyurethane is known for its quick-drying properties that make floors ready to use within days. Oil based poly takes much longer to dry and cure, and you can apply only one coat of oil based poly to a hardwood floor in 8 to 24 hours.

However, that is now arguable with the products piping up these days, like the Rust-Oleum Varathane 6401H that takes just four hours before another coat or the 63010444.

So, the oil-based polyurethane can be fast drying and considerable when sealing the floor. Depending on how often you use your floors, a polyurethane solution that takes a day only to settle is best.

Cost

The advantages of water-based polyurethane in other parts of wood sealing and the materials used to ease cleaning and application process have a dramatic effect on its price. It is far more expensive than an oil based polyurethane.

Conclusion – Best Oil Based Polyurethane for Wood floors

Would I recommend a water-based poly? I wouldn’t say no. In some instances, like when you are going for a gray stained, white stained, or a white-washed hardwood floor, you must use a water-based poly because an oil-based poly will make those floors look yellow then later grow into that dark amber color.

But in other cases out of this, the best option is to use an oil based polyurethane. It is equipped with every formula to help your interior stunning and your exterior worth it. I wouldn’t go too much into details as I’ve written enough on the above.

An oil based polyurethane can perform its function and still do some of what water-based polyurethane can do. Top of which is quick drying. And now, it is easy to apply. You need to choose your preferred sealant and watch the oil make your floor beautiful.

Important Reads:

Scroll to Top