Q: I have just selected “*********” hardwood flooring for my new condo. The hardwood flooring company has suggested it be finished with an oil, rather than urethane. What are the pros and cons of each?
Which would you recommend?
A: Any oil finishes will need to be maintained from time to time. If it is pure tung oil with no solvents, then it is very non toxic. It will also need to be refreshed after a number of months. More easily touched up. Polyurethane is more durable with little upkeep. There are solvents at play as it dries. The drying and curing is about the same time as an oil, unless you use a water borne finish, which can be much quicker but still has health risks until it is dry.
I do like an oil finish, but it does not give the same durability as a top coat and will cost more down the road in upkeep. In a condo, where traffic may be more gentle, this may not be as much of an issue.