polyurethane

Poly Review: Glitsa Oil-based Hi-VOC Polyurethane

Seems like there are plenty of new (at least to us) products, which are becoming more and more popular among the floor guys. One of them is Glitsa.

Apparently it is widely known on the West Coast and pretty new to the East Coast where we’re from. I remember when our suppliers just started to sell this poly it was gone in the matter of days. I had (and actually still don’t have) any idea why, so we figured we’ll try it out: the hype around Glitsa was huge!

We purchased a few gallons of this stuff when it became available and gave it a shot.

First impression when we just opened the cans: boy, does it stink! We’re already working with the sealer which literary makes us cry(I’m talking about Zinsser), and now this!

Anyway, we couldn’t give up, so we started to work with it. Here is what we’ve noticed:

1. The coat seems to be thicker than of any other product. However, it’s more than likely just an impression because the coverage area is the same as any other poly: around 500-600 sq. feet per gallon.

2. The best way to apply Glitsa is by rolling it. Otherwise, if it is applied by the brush, it is pretty easy to leave puddles.

3. If the weather is humid this product more then likely will take longer than usual to dry: we had quite a few jobs where we had to come back later (sometimes a day later) due to not completely dry poly. Apparently it’s not that humid on the West Coast but in New England rainy/foggy days are quite usual.

4. Once the job is done it takes quite some time for the smell of Glitsa to go away even if you’ll open the windows etc.

Overall, I think it’s not a bad stuff. Pricing is pretty reasonable and the result is decent. I do have to say, however, that Glitsa is not one of my favorite products, but it is much better/cheaper than some of the other products that I know of.

A little more about Eukula.

I wrote about Eukula in my earlier posts. Now I just wanted to dig a little deeper into it and talk a little more about different Eukula products.

1. Sealer. Eukula produces their own sealer.The main advantages of it: dries fast(within 30 minutes), obviously seals great and pretty easy to apply.Main disadvantages: doesn’t give as rich amber look as Lenmar RapidSeal, you won’t be able to apply an oil-based finish over it, if ,for some reason you changed your mind and decided to go with oil rather then going with water and the biggest disadvantage- it stays tacky, so it is very hard to apply the 2nd coat over it. My personal opinion: use it only if you don’t have any other sealer (sorry, Eukula).

2.One-component yellowing polyurethane. My personal favourite. Easy to apply, dries quickly, gives an oil-based look to your floor, if applied over the right sealer, tough, and like I said earlier, you can actually add water into it without sacrificing the quality of the finish, if you need it to dry slower.With this finish(as well as with any other Eukula finishes) you can finish the job in one day. How cool is that???

3. One-component non-yellowing polyurethane.Almost as good as the previous type of poly. The only difference is, as you can tell from the name, it doesn’t yellow up the floor.You still can use it over the sealer and your floors will still have the amber look, but you have to be very careful, because if you will apply this poly a little thicker, your floors will look white, like you just bleached them.It is obviously the right choice for somebody who wants to pickle the floors.

4. Two-component non-yellowing polyurethane. The toughest stuff.As I mentioned before, great for commercial projects.Please, do not use it without adding the water: this poly dries FAST! On the other hand, if you will add some water into it, the coating will be easy as breeze.

Applying polyurethane (high-VOC)

Let’s talk about High-VOC poly. As I mentioned earlier, right now the only way to get it is in quarts.

Normal amount of coats- 3. Well, actually, it is 1 coat of sealer and 2 coats of polyurethane.Drying time after the the first coat could be from an hour (Lenmar Rapid Seal) to 8-10 hours(Harco sealer is a fine example.Although it says on the can that it dries in 2 hours, in real life it can take up to 12 hours).The second coat takes about 6-8 hours to cure, but it is not hard enough to light sand it and apply the final coat for another 6-8 hours.So the total time between the 2ndand the 3rd coat should be around 14-16 hours. 

Now-to the products.My favourite is Lenmar. It doesn’t smell as much, very easy to apply and dries pretty much at the time frame that you would expect.It does cost a little higher than the most other brands, but believe me, it is worth it. If there is no way for you to get Lenmar, try Duraseal, which is a pretty solid poly as well. I used to love Bona before as well, but I had a couple of issues with this product, so I’m not going to say that this is an awesome stuff. It is easy to apply, but the drying time is full of surprises: it can cure overnight, or wouldn’t harden for 2 days(no idea why would that happen to it: humidity? – maybe, but this does not occur as often with the other brands), not to mention that it is a little bit on the pricey side, too.

The brands, that that I wouldn’t use? First and foremost: stay away from Pro Finisher. Their sealer sucks, poly is very hard to apply, you have to mix it with the Paint Thinner, which, at the end will hurt the lasting of the finish. And if you won’t add the Thinner, after the coating is over and everything(hopefully) looks ok, you’ll fill like you just went to the gym: you’re going to sweat, your hands are going to be tired, not to mention that this poly stinks like crazy.

Actually, I would probably stay away from Minwax also: the price doesn’t meet the quality. For the amount of money that they charge, you would expect something that will last longer. The application process is pretty smooth, but the durability is an issue here.

Good Luck with your projects!

Applying polyurethane (low-VOC)

 Some of us do and the others don’t know that since the 1st of July, 2009 there are new polyurethane rules. Basically, you cannot buy high VOC polyurethane in gallons, or five gallon cans. The only way to purchase it is if you will buy the poly in quarts(kinda stupid, isn’t it?).

“So what?”-some of you will ask-”I don’t even know what the hell is high VOC poly anyway”

For those of you, who doesn’t know that: high VOC polyurethane, is the oil-based type, that have been used by everybody to coat the floor for decades.Yes, it does smell, but at least you were able to apply it seamlessly and it dried within the reasonable time (overnight).

What we have now, that looks the same as the old stuff, is low VOC poly, which is a total disaster.It leaves the brush marks and dries for days, or in some cases- weeks. If you don’t want to end up with the project that will need to be done all over again, you should avoid the low VOC polyurethane.

Remeber: the good stuff is in quarts now. If you want an oil based poly on your floors, buy that.Your other option is water-based, which a lot of people started to use now for their floor refinishing projects.

Avoid buying oil-based poly in gallons, and don’t forget to ask the assosiate in the store what kind of stuff is it.

In case you bought low_VOC polyurethane, here are some things that you should know.

1.You only need 2 coats to finish this project (altough these coats will dry forever).

2.This poly is thick and dries very quick on the surface, so avoid applying it in the large areas: do a little bit at a time.

3. The best way to apply it is with the applicator: lambs wool or Padco Nyfloam Coater Refill (you will never find this type in the Home Depot or Lowe’s, so look somewhere else) are the best. That way you won’t leave the brushmarks.

4.Before you will move the furniture back in the room, make sure the floor is totally dry: with low VOC poly it might look dry, but when you will rub your finger on the floor, you’ll feel how gummy the poly is.If this happens- wait longer.

5.You actually can apply high VOC poly over the low VOC- nothing bad is going to happen: trust me, we tried it.

Now about the brands: there is no such a thing as a good low-VOC poly: it’s all terrible, so if you decided to buy some, choose any brand and good luck with application.

If you happen to have any questions about this type of poly, feel free to contact us.

Polyurethane

As we all know, there are two types of polyurethane: water-based and oil-based.Both have their own pro’s and con’s.Let’s take a little closer look at both of them.

1.Oil-based polyurethane.The most popular so far( of course, with the new law that makes it more expensive and harder to get, things are going to change quickly).Durable, two coats of it on top of a coat of sealer, is normally more than enough.Gives an impression of thick buildup(it’s just an impression, though.In reality it’s much thinner than you think, which doesn’t make it bad in any way), and that deep amber look that everybody love.Most of the floor companies and the homeowners prefer to use this type of poly, because it is also very easy to apply.

Now here is something every homeowner should know.There are two types of oil-based poly: high VOC(Volatile Organic Compounds), which is affected by the new law and the low VOC, which is not affected.All the information above is about high VOC poly, which you, dear homeowner, cannot get anymore in 1 or 5 gallon containers.The only way to buy high VOC poly is to get it in quarts.So next time you’re going to the hardware store, make sure, you are buying your poly that way, unless you want all sorts of trouble, that low VOC poly gives you: heavy brush marks, very fast drying time on the surface, while you’re applying it, but very slow actual drying time(sometimes it’s still like a gum even after two days of wait)- all the good stuff.

Ok, where were we? Oh, yes, oil-based poly.Here are some minuses: dries much longer than water-based, smells a lot(and I mean it) and not safe for the environment, which, I know very important for more and more people day by day.

2.Now let’s talk water. This is very durable polyurethane.With 1 coat of sealer and three coats of water-based poly your floor is going to be much harder, than with oil-based.Dries very quickly: in half an hour after you applied the first coat, you can go ahead and put another one.You can literary finish the whole flooring project in one day, where if you would use the oil-based, it could take you 2-3 days.

By applying it without using a sealer, your floor is going to look milky, although, over the years it will yellow up a little.I would recommend to use a sealer first(Lenmar quick-dry sealer is perfect for that purpose): that will give your floors an amber look, not as rich as you would get with an oil-based finish, of course. This, the price of it(on average twice higher then the price for the oil-based poly) and a little bit complicated application process, are  actually the main minuses.Otherwise it’s great.