Best Water Based Polyurethane For Floors 2020 – Review & Guide

Are the floors of your apartment making your apartment look dull? And searching for Best Water Based Polyurethane For Floors?

Or are you tired of cleaning and doing your best to maintain the look of the floor and yet it doesn’t really seem aesthetically pleasing?

Do you wish it would just shine with the lights? Well, to your fortunate luck we will provide just the solution for you.

From coating a brand new floor or refinishing an old one that has become overcast, polyurethane liquid is just what you need. 

Luckily, you can now bring back the shine of it with the help of Polyurethane finishing liquid.



Best 10 Water Based Polyurethane For Floors

To provide assistance to you, in this article we will be listing our favourite and the best brands out there that you can choose, to satisfy your needs.

So brace yourselves, this article will be highlighting the features like product price, gloss, finish, reputation, and the ease of use and availability along with the description of Polyurethane liquids by various renowned brands.

By the end of the REVIEW, you will be able to decide just the product you want to be shopping for. 


Let’s dive into it..:)


1. Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish

This floor liquid tops our list and is definitely our favorite pick.

Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish is by a brand that’s no surprise to anyone out there. It is one of the best brands out there that have produced amazing finishes as this one.

Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish is a floor finish specially designed for wood floors.

If you’re someone who has hard wood floors that are gradually wearing out because of the excessive use and no amount of chemical cleaner can bring back the original prestigious look that it had when you initially bought it?

Bona provides you with the high-class floor finish that could do just the job for you. 

Bona Mega comes in three forms, which are satin, gloss, and semi-gloss. Gloss finishes are the ones that are highly reflective while satin finishes are less reflective. 

Bona Mega comes with an oxygen-crosslinking formula, which means you definitely don’t have to worry about mixing it.

The oxygen that’s present in our environment can do that job and it gels so well on the floors.  

To hide those imperfections, we highly recommend satin finishes since it covers up and does not reflect much and hence makes it harder to see the imperfections.

For best results and perfect appearance we also recommend that you coat the floor two or three times so it gives an extra twinkly effect!


  • Un-limited shelf life

  • Enhances natural beauty

  • Pocket friendly.

  • No wastage

  • Easily available

  • Dries up quickly

  • Could be costly if needed for a wider area

  • Will not be covering any kind of  color-stains



2. RUST-OLEUM Varathane 200231 Paint

Next up is one of the top-seller again by Rust-Oleum Varthane brand which is exceptionally known for its reliability.

This is a clear liquid that gives extra-ordinary clean and clear finish to the floors leaving it bright and sparkly. 

Enhancing the natural beauty of the floor and retaining its original color, it provides maximum shine and makes your floor look good as new.

With the brand new formula to provide maximum resistance or stain and scratches, this paint would be just the product for you if you want to renew the floors of the busiest and the most used room of your house. 

You don’t have to worry about it giving yellow hues once you coat the floor, it does no such thing.

It’ll never fade to give such shade.

For best results and a brighter shine, we recommend a coating for minimum 3 to 4 times so it adheres to the floor appropriately.


  • Low odor – you don’t have to worry about the strong stinging odors that most paints and liquids tend to leave behind. This one’s got little to no odor so that’s definitely a plus.

  • Strong scratch and stain resistance – with its advanced formula, you’re free from the hassle of scratches and the stains on the floors of your kids room!

  • Easy clean-up – the moment you have a covering of RUST-OLEUM Varathane 200231 Paint on your floor, you will notice how easy it will become for you to clean up the regular mess from the floor.With just one sweep of water and, and Voila! You have a sparkly floor again.

  • So for those, who are looking for a product that is not too heavy on the pocket and at the same time, gives optimum result, this is definitely the product for you.




3. Minwax Water based Wipe-On Polyurethane

If you want to give your floor a luster hue look, or just want to give touchups to some of the areas of the floor, MinWax Water based wipe-on is perfect for that job. 

It is easily applicable with a cloth, so there will be no fear of it dripping.

What makes it easier to be applied with the help of a cloth is its ability to retain in the cloth and dry up fast when applied anywhere because of its formula, unlike other water- based polyurethane liquids. 

In addition to all those tremendous advantages, It is specially designed to give a new freshened up look to your wooden furniture, railing, racks, doors, cabinet and basically anything and everything that looks dull.

It can instantly make it radiate pure elegance!

All in all, listed below are all the reasons summarized why you should go for this product.


  • Easy application with cloth – you don’t need to  worry about drips and brush marks

  • Usage on not just floors, but it can also be used on furniture, railings and trim.

  • Easy cleanup – you can easily clean the mess on the floor after you have coated it with Minwax water based wipe-on with water and soap mixture to get that sparkly effect.

  • Wastage due to absorbance into the cloth it’s been applied with




4. ZAR Aqua Water Based Polyurethane

What makes this product stand out is that it’s environmental friendly.

This product was formulated following the VOC and environmental management regulations strictly. 

This ZAR Aqua Water Based polyurethane can be used on interior surfaces, which includes floors, furniture, etc. 

It could also be used on various different exotic woods like Bolivian rosewood, gaboon ebony, etc.

ZAR Aqua Water Based Polyurethane is specially designed to protect and beautify your cabinets, floors, wood floors, and what not

Another brilliant feature of this water based polyurethane is that It only takes 30 minutes to dry and gives a clear coat so it is recommended to use on any wood. 

For instance, if you’re someone who owns a house with Brazilian walnut and other similar woodwork, then you can most definitely use this ZAR Aqua Water Based Polyurethane with confidence.

This product is available in various sizes, pint, quart, and gallon. Keeping in mind, each gallon can cover an area as wide as 400-500 square feet.

Unlike the previous product, this Water based polyurethane is recommended for the use on external surfaces only, so It doesn’t serve a dual purpose. 

We recommend the application of this product while wearing a product, as it’s fumes could be harmful. 

Allow it to dry completely when you apply it on any surface; avoid any physical contact before it has dried up. Wash thoroughly, if otherwise. 


  • A durable floor finish

  • Full body, high film build formula

  • Non-yellowing, dries crystal clear

  • Interior, horizontal or vertical surfaces

  • Perfect for light-colored stains

  • Complies with all current VOC requirements

  • Not dual-purpose

  • Emits harmful fumes

  • Takes hours to dry 



5. Deft Interior Exterior Water-based Polyurethane Finish

Deft® Interior/Exterior Polyurethane Water Based stands out from the rest as it serves a multi usage.

It can be used for both interior as well as exterior surfaces and specially ideal for bare wood or stained surfaces which includes doors, trim, cupboards, floors, furniture etc.

They have sheens of gloss, satin and semi-gloss.

This water-based polyurethane can provide you with the adequate amount of protection from external elements like water, sun and wind damage which is another very benefiting point to this product.

This polyurethane is developed with an advanced water-based oil technology that provides a clear and protective coat to anything you put it to.

It also contains longer UV protection; providing exceptional weather-resistance and resilience

This innovative product offers some of the most outstanding properties including “self-priming”, which means it needs no sealing liquid on top of it. Just a brush, pad or a cloth and this polyurethane finish and you’re good to go!

Deft® Interior/Exterior Polyurethane Water Based after drying on the floor is nontoxic and leaves little to no odor when it is newly applied.

This does not affect with the natural color of the wood but also improves and advances its appearance.

Another plus point is that it dries out evenly and settles to give a vibrant color which is just like original.


  • Easy to apply

  • No yellow hues!

  • Dual use – Interior as well as exterior.

  • Meets environmental regulations for VOC

  • Contains superior UV protection

  • Self-sealing; no primer or sealer needed




6. Basic Coatings STREETSHOE® Water based Wood Floor Finish

If you’re someone who’s looking for a floor finish that solves your old and dusty floor issues faster?

Or it’s the night before the match which is in the morning and you’re just sat scratching heads and looking for product to renew the floor of the sports center?

We have the best product for you here.

It’s no surprise that this street show water based wood floor finish has won the Amazon choice for best street shoe floor finish because of its tremendous properties.

One of the many remarkable properties is its fast and effective formula. It’s ideal for your homes, sports stadiums, and even the commercial shops. 

It’s specially recommended for sports centers because of its toughest ability to resist stains, chemicals, UV, scuffs and results in a clear prestigious finish.

This liquid comes in four environmental friendly sheens which are, gloss, semi-gloss, clear and satin, all of which release minimal amount of smell.

Basic Coatings STREETSHOE Water based Wood Floor Finish tends to give a neutral or clear effect to the surface it’s applied to.

It has a milky white look when applied but turns into clear white as soon as it dries up!


  • Fast curing wood floor finish in circulation

  • Low odor

  • No waste finish

  • Variety of four different sheens




7. Minwax Polyshades

This is another one of the top-selling products that is so worth reviewing! Adding richness to your wood, Minwax polyshades, it enhances the natural beauty that was previously lost.

One simply cannot go wrong with this product. 

Once applied to the wood, Minwax polyshades prepares protects and maintains the appearance and the magnificence of the floor or any other surface you have applied it to

We highly recommend the use of it on not just floors but also on cabinets, floors, furniture’s, trims and doors.

With environment friendly and a two in one polyurethane formula that provide a very graceful honey/maple covering to the floor. 

The advanced amazing factors of it would definitely dominate the fact that it has a little smell including a trace amount of VOC, so it’s not harmful as the odors of other liquids. 


  • No harmful odor – unlike other liquids that emit harmful fumes, this liquid emits comparatively very little amount of odor, that too, safe.

  • Elegant honey/maple coating

  • Dual Purpose – not just on floors, but can be used on furniture’s etc too!

  • Low amount of VOC

  • Easily applicable

  • Not a clear finish – would leave a stain on your otherwise clear floor




8. General Finishes QTHS High-Performance Water Based Topcoat

This product is the Winner of Fine Woodworking’s “Best Overall Choice Award” It was voted as the hardest, most durable consumer polyurethane topcoat present in the market today.

This product is to be applied on the interior surfaces only.

This product is a perfect and a unique blend of urethane and acrylic technology.

It is a water-white topcoat, it has a lower “hide” quality and since they are more of a transparent liquid so it won’t be hiding the stains or imperfections if any.

High-performance water based topcoats also contain efficient Ultra violet stabilizers that protect the surfaces from breaking or tearing apart when it comes under sunlight.

Before the application, it must be stirred well.

Use a fine brush or a paint pad to apply it using even strokes avoiding over brushing and over application. 

Let it dry for a good 1-2 hours before moving on with the next coat.

Recommended numbers of coats are minimum 3, but maximum could depend on how durable and deep you want the effect of it.


  • Non-flammable; this liquid, unlike the others is safer than the other as you don’t have to worry about a flame near it.

  • No odor – that’s always a plus! Nobody wants a foul-smelling room after you’ve polished.

  • Ideal for interior woodwork – has the power to magically make your interior woodwork look prestigious and elegant as ever!

  • Dries quickly – no waiting for hours for it to dry up as it does that job pretty quickly.

  • Another plus point of this water-based polyurethane as compared to oil-based polyurethane is that it dries out much faster than oil-based and also leaves a very self-leveling effect.




9. Bona Finish-Mega HD Clear Satin

Just like any other product by Bona, this one called Bona Finish-Mega HD Clear Satin does not disappoint. This one checks off on all the characteristics that a good polyurethane must possess.

With excellent clarity instantly after application, this is another one of our favorites.

This product is particularly only available in satin, but the beautiful finish that it gives is unmatchable to any other product.

It also has an extended pot life which is just a cherry on top!

This water based formula is made scratch and chemical resistant to perfection.

It is also non-flammable and odorless and does not cause you any harm health wise.

Another of our favorite feature is that it has no amber tint, as compared to other satin polyurethane liquids. It gives no hues, may it be warm or cool tones. 



  • Nonflammable

  • Eco-friendly

  • Excellent leveling and flow

  • Exceptional clarity

  • Cross linked formula 




10. Minwax Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane

Higher sturdiness and warm look of traditional polyurethane with the suitability of a water-based polish, when combined is what minwax water based oil-modified polyurethane gives us! 

This is polyurethane that’s formulated with very little amounts of VOC’s.

Protecting and conserving the natural appearance as well as enhancing the beauty, it is an all in one solution to your floors!

It is also formulated with substances that resist scratches, Ultra violet rays, strong weather conditions and is non-flammable as well

It is available in three varieties that are: 




Each of them are guaranteed to add a touch of beauty to any surface, may it be furniture or a floor.

Prior to the application of Minwax water based oil modified polyurethane, the floor can easily be cleaned with the help of a mixture of soap and water. 

We highly recommend the application with brush or lambswool applicator.


  • Lower in odor than traditional solvent-based polyurethanes.

  • Eco-friendly

  • Dries quickly.

  • Cleans up effortlessly with warm water.




1)How To Use Water Based Polyurethane?  

Polyurethane is widely known to be the most durable and easy to apply and a protective wood finishes.

It can be used on the floors, furniture, trims, doors, etc depending on the product. Some are flexible to all, but some are specifically only for the use on the floors. 

First and foremost priority when using water based polyurethane is that you select the one which is the best according to your needs. 

After getting hold of a suitable product, before applying, make sure you stir the whole bucket of liquid. 

Standard polyurethane is mostly applied with a help of a brush, but you can also use spray or aerosol cans

With light and smooth strokes, cover the whole surface evenly. 

Let it dry for a good amount of time (products have their specific time mentioned in the review above)

For a more enhanced effect of the finish, apply another coat of the liquid.

Let it dry. 

After appropriate application and a suitable amount of coats, and letting it dry, you now have your good as new floor!


2)What Is The Best Water Based Polyurethane?

A best polyurethane is definitely the one that checks all your requirements. It must be according to your needs. If hiding the imperfections is your topmost priority then it should do so. 

A careful selection and proper thorough preparation majorly affects the results.

In the article above we have mentioned the 10 best water based polyurethane that are top-selling and amazon favorite.

The best water based polyurethane would be the one that tops our list. Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish.

Another one is “The Minwax® Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane is the best polyurethane because it’s great for anything you need to coat around your home. 

It’s water based so it produces less fumes and cleans up easily with warm water

It’s also a great polyurethane because it’s available in gloss, semi-gloss and satin sheens.”


3)What Will Remove Water Based Polyurethane?

If you have applied the water based polyurethane that is not suitable for your floor, or it just doesn’t seem to cure properly and you immediately want to remove.

We have a solution for you..:)

“Pour lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol in a 1:1 ratio into a small can. 

This mixture will act as a polyurethane stripper. It will be strong enough to remove the finish but will not penetrate the wood or destroy the stain


– Apply this stripper mixture onto the polyurethane finish and make sure it covers the whole 

– Use a brush for an even application and to make sure you don’t miss out on spots.

– Immediately remove the mixture with the help of a steel wool and wipe away both the polyurethane and the mixture.

– Wash the wood properly to remove any residues that are left. 

– Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.”


4)How To Apply Water Based Polyurethane To Wood Floors?

Once you have your desired polyurethane in your hand. The next step is to start searching for brands that honest about the chemicals and storage requirements. 

You’ll need: 

-A sander 

-Sandpapers of carrying sizes (36, 60,120 and don’t forget the 220 grit sandpaper) 


-Synthetic applicator 

-Urethane rated brushes

-Gloves and masks


Now that you have everything you need, next you’ll need to prepare your workspace. This is the part that’s a bit tedious. 

– Start by vacuuming and thoroughly cleaning the whole floor

– Make sure to get rid of all the dust, cobwebs etc. 

– Start sanding off the floor and remember not to sand one area for too long. 

– Avoid splintering or denting

– Vacuum the whole floor to get rid of the dust and wipe with lint-free cloth.

– Stir the polyurethane, do not shake. 

– Dip in your brush or applicator and tap off the excess on the top of the can, if any.

– Start by long strokes to ensure even application 

– Wait and check for any blemishes or missed spots 

– Let the first coat dry and then apply on the next if necessary. 

– Make sure to let it dry after the application of each coat.


5)How To Apply Water Based Polyurethane?

Water based polyurethane acts as a shield for the surface you apply it to. It makes the floor resistant to scratches, stains, scuffs etc.

The application of polyurethane is not rocket science, but it can get a bit tricky!

The result in the form of an elegant and good as new floor largely depends not only on the careful selection but also on proper application of the polyurethane. 


Here are some tips to make sure your application is smooth and gives 100% results; 

Make sure your floor is originally clean and dust-free

Do not miss out on the corners 

Mix the can of polyurethane well before use 

Start by long even strokes

Let it dry properly before touching or walking on it again

Since water based polyurethanes have fewer solids, you’ll need to apply several coats for optimum results. 


6)How Does Water Based Polyurethane Last?

As we know that the water based polyurethanes have lower amount of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

 It is what makes them less flammable and also environment friendly but because of the lower amounts of VOC’s, it doesn’t last long.

Water based polyurethane are comparatively thinner than oil based polyurethanes so you often need a good amount of coats in order to get durability and best results

Water based polyurethanes have a curing time of 2 weeks.

They are vulnerable to scratches although their drying time is much less so you can walk on the floors much sooner than on floors with oil based polyurethanes. 


Final Words

The flooring contributes a lot to the final look of your apartment, office etc .

As much as its essential for the floor to be of durable, good quality and easy to maintain, the look of it matters too because the quality shouldn’t be the only thing we should be concerned about when it comes to the flooring.

Hardwood flooring is one type of flooring that can radiate a very prestigious look. It could give that instant cozy vibe to your apartment.

Cement flooring, on the other hand could also be another type of flooring you could opt for, if you prefer a formal and vintage look to your apartment.

A plus point is that it is comparatively easier to clean. These floors, no matter how classy they make your whole apartment look, they require frequent polishing.

It gives a finish that’s resistance to solvents hence makes the floor very easy to clean and does not easily wear out frequently. 



So there you have it, the key to make your old floor look brand new and bring you just the solution you need to refurbish your gloomy floors. 

Not just shine, but this liquid also provides comfort and support, with the increase in the lifespan of the floor. Polyurethanes are used to coat the floors of any type, from wood and cement to parquet.

However, one must consider its pros and cons before opting for it and choosing the one that best suits us.

A product must give true essence of what we really want and should cover all of our personal preferences and the task of choosing a right product could be quite chaotic.

Well here’s a reality check, just when you have made all the efforts to make your living room look cozy and tidy, these floors would eventually start looking worn-out and dull ruining the whole vibe of the room.

We have covered 10 best water based polyurethane for floors above and it would be easy for you now to take decision. 🙂