When we recommend Bona, we do it with a Swedish accent.
Bona is a well-established Swedish manufacturer of flooring polyurethanes that is best known for it's waterborne line of products. These finishes are marketed to the flooring trades, which is why we can only carry them in gallons.
Bonaseal is the universal base coat for all Bona waterborne products.
- minimizes tannin bleed, especially on white oak
- Reduces tendency for sidebonding
- Improves flow and leveling of finish coats
A single layer of Bonaseal is recommended under two coats of either Mega or Traffic polyurethane. On very small jobs, where buying a separate sealer is not as cost effective, we recommend simply using three coats of polyurethane. Published coverage is 500 square feet per gallon, but we find that most floors drink this up like lemonade - assume 350 square feet per gallon, especially on those ultra-dry winter floors. $55 per gallon. VOCs are 100g/L or .85 lbs per gallon.
Amberseal is just like Bonaseal, but it has color! Not a lot of color, but enough that it doesn't have that flat, lifeless look, particularly on oaks. And each subsequent coat will further darken the floor. This is our go-to default sealer on all contracting jobs because of how easily it screens. First-time users beware though; there is enough color in Amberseal that uneven application can allow lap lines and dark puddles.$75 and 350sqft per gallon. VOCs are 250g/L or 2.1lbs per gallon.
Apply 2 coats of Mega over your single coat of Bonaseal or Amberseal. Comes in satin, semi-gloss and gloss sheens. Coverage is 450-500sqft per gallon.
And even though the jug does not specify this, we ALWAYS screen the Bonaseal or Amberseal before we apply Mega. We just find that the grain raise caused by the first coat of waterborne can still be felt, two coats later! I know, we sound like the Princess and the Pea, but a smooth floor texture is worth it. BUT you do not need to abrade between coats of Mega as long as you do them within two days. $75 and covers 500sqft per gallon. VOCs are 150g/L or 1.3lbs per gallon.
Spendy, but long-lasting. According to the Taber Abrasion Test data supplied by Bona, it takes about twice as many steps to wear through Traffic than it does to wear through Mega. It is especially recommended for kitchens, bathrooms and any room that gets direct walk-in traffic from an exterior door. It is a 2-part catalyzed finish with a 4-hour pot life after catalyzation, so only mix up enough for one coat at a time! Just like Mega, you do not need to screen between coats. Coverage rate is not quite as far as Mega - about 400sqft per gallon. $130 per gallon. Also available (by special order) in an HD version that cures faster and is 25% than regular Traffic for $160 per gallon. VOCs are 210g/L or 1.8 lbs per gallon.
Aren't waterborne polyurethanes inferior to oil-based ones?
Waterbornes seem to have a bad reputation, but their quality has improved drastically since they first appeared. Check the side-bar at right for a more nuanced answer about the differences between the two types of finish.
I just put a coat of waterborne on my floor and it looks like there is no finish on it all all - what happened?
We've even had indignant calls from customers from other companies, claiming that their floors hadn't been coated at all. But it almost always turns out that the other company was completely thorough and aboveboard; they simply had applied a water-based finish without explaining to the customer how it would look. Because they contain no color and no pigments of any kind, waterbased finishes look naked and pale. And if a low-gloss sheen was used, it will look even more naked! Don't worry, there is still plenty of protection, even if the finish doesn't appear glossy and amber. If you prefer the slightly warmer, golden look, make sure you specify that with your contractor. And almost all floor finishes come in a variety of sheens these days, so if you have a preference there, speak up!
I happen to know that the floor I am going to sand was originally coated with Traffic. Is that going to be more difficult to sand off?
You bet it is. Whatever cross-linking qualities that finish uses to resist the abrasion of foot traffic also resists the abrasion of the sander. Kadee had to sand Traffic off part of the storefront floor and was using 24grit on the edger and still having to lean her whole body weight onto the machine. A better solutionis to use Bona Prep to chemically soften the floor first so that your abrasive can bite into it. Available for purchase in the online shop!