Hiring a professional floor sander & finishers to refinish the timber floors in your house can make your home feel fresh and more modern.

We’re frequently asked by home owners what the difference is between solvent based and water based finishes; which one lasts longer? Which one is safer for my family? How will they look?

The main difference between the two types for home owners is; the dry time of the finish. Solvent based finishes take much longer to dry than water based finishes. 3 coats of water based could be applied on your floors, in the time it takes for 1 coat of solvent based to be dry enough for a 2nd coat.

These dry times can be the difference between you moving out for a few days and having to move out completely for a week or two.  

Additionally, there are a few other key difference between the two types of finish. See the below quick reference table to get a better understanding.


Water Based

Solvent Based


Finishes are low odour

Finishes have considerable odour, which can take up to 7 days to dissipate in the home


Maintains the natural colour of the timber

Enhances or warms the colour of the timber


Will not yellow over time

Will yellow over time


Available in Matt, Satin & Gloss Finishes

Available in Matt, Satin & Gloss Finishes. Solvent based Gloss finishes can be extremely glossy when compared to water based


Highly durable



There are significant positives to selecting water based for both your timber floors, and your family. When engaging a professional floor sander and finisher, it’s important to make sure you fully understand the options available to you, to ensure you and your family are happy with your refinished floors.

To explore Enviropro’s range of water based, low VOC, environmentally friendly finishes, click here.