Polyurethane Vs Wax Sealant On Cork Flooring

Daisy Ratnasari

Cork flooring is an inexpensive choice that is eco-friendly, easy to install and maintain. At a time when most homeowners are looking for cheaper alternatives to expensive flooring options and there is an increased level of awareness to choose environment friendly materials, cork flooring is at an all time high popularity. While there are no major challenges of cork flooring, the only trouble is that once a year or once in two years, you may have to change the sealants. The sealants can last a year easily and in some homes even longer, but when there is an issue such as a crack, peel off or anything remotely similar, then you should change them to avoid larger problem.

There are a few types of sealants that go very well with cork flooring and among them the most commonly used ones are polyurethane and wax. Although both polyurethane and wax are desirable sealants for cork flooring, they certainly have their specific advantages and shortcomings.

Polyurethane has to be used generously to get a certain level of shine and grandeur, something that wax can achieve easily. But with four to five quotes of polyurethane, you can achieve the same level of gloss and protective layering that any type of wax would offer you. Wax is a tad cheaper than polyurethane but then again it depends on the brand you are choosing to buy.

It is ideal to go for natural wax which has a beeswax base. Both wax and polyurethane should be low on VOCs. Wax that is used for hardwood floors is not ideal and in case of polyurethane, only water based polyurethane should be used and not solvent based.

The best quality polyurethane may last as long as five years but that is albeit subject to wear and tear, maintenance and other factors such as foot traffic or general health of the home or the infrastructure of the floor. Wax would typically last for a year. If the wax is not completely natural then it may last for a shorter period of time.

Wax is the strongest of all sealants used for cork flooring and also eco-friendly and thus an ideal choice, but given the durability of polyurethane, many families opt for the latter. Looking at the affordability of wax, it is an easier choice, but polyurethane lasts longer and justifies its price. Maintaining both are easy, hence a differentiation on that front cannot be decisive.

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