Top Best Water-Based Polyurethane Options for Your Flooring 

Top Best Water-Based Polyurethane Options for Your Flooring 

Your home is your canvas, and the floor covering is your paint. A perfect finish on your floors can make all the difference in a room’s appearance.  But what floor polyurethane should you use to achieve the perfect finish? If you’re looking for a coat that will stand the test of time, consider the best water-based polyurethane.

Water-based polyurethane has become increasingly popular due to its ability to provide superior protection and a crystal-clear finish. Unlike oil-based counterparts, water-based polyurethanes contain fewer volatile organic compounds, which makes them a great choice for those looking to go green and reduce their carbon footprint.

In this guide, we’ll review the best water-based polyurethanes and discuss why they are a great choice for flooring. So, let’s dive in and learn why-based polyurethane should be your go-to choice

Top 6 Best Water-Based Polyurethanes

Let’s start by looking at the top 6 water-based polyurethanes on the market.

Minwax 409170000 Water-Based Polyurethane Best Values

Brand: Minewax
Color: Satin
Size: Pint/Quart
Material: Liquid

Minwax 609504444 Hardwood Floor Reviver Best Values

Brand: ‎Minwax
Color: High Gloss
Size: 32 Fl Oz
Material: Urethane

General Finishes High-Performance Water Based Topcoat

Brand: ‎General Finishes
Color: Satin
Size: 1 Pint
Material: ‎Water Based

Vallejo Model Color 60 ml Gloss Polyurethane Varnish

Brand: ‎Acylicos Vallejo
Color: Gloss
Size: 2 Fl Oz
Material: ‎Paint

RUST-OLEUM 333655 Quart Kona Water Based Polyurethane

Brand: Rust-Oleum
Color: Kona
Size: 11.0 Fl Oz
Material: ‎Watercolor

Bona Mega Wood Floor Finish

Brand: Bona Mega
Size: 128 Fl Oz
Material: Water Based
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Minwax 409170000 water-based polyurethane

Minwax 409170000 Wipe-On Poly Water-Based Polyurethane Finish, Satin, Clear, 1 Pint
Minwax 409170000 water-based polyurethane



Minwax is known for its high-quality wood finishes, and the 409170000 water-based polyurethane is no exception. Here are  many of the features that make it stand out:

Durability & protection 

This water-based polyurethane provides excellent protection and durability for your floors. It features a low-odor formula that dries quickly and is easy to clean with soap and water. The finish is also highly resistant to abrasion, scratches, and scuffing, making it one of the best choices for heavy-traffic areas.

Easy to apply

Applying the Minwax 409170000 is a breeze. It has an ultra-fast drying time of 10 minutes per coat, which makes it easy to apply multiple coats on the same day. It also has an ultra-low-odor formula that won’t irritate you or your family. And the clean-up is a cinch, as it easily washes away with soap and water.

Beautiful finish

This product leaves behind a beautiful, hand-rubbed finish that will instantly transform the look of your floors. And unlike other water-based polyurethanes, this one provides a crystal-clear finish that won’t yellow over time.

The Minwax 409170000 water-based polyurethane is an excellent choice for those looking to achieve a superior finish on their floors. It provides excellent protection, easy application, and a beautiful, hand-rubbed finish. However, microbubbles can be an issue for some users, so it’s important to remember them.

Best Water-Based Polyurethanes Let’s start by looking at the top 6 water-based polyurethanes on the market.
Minwax 409170000 water-based polyurethane
  • The natural grain  of the wood will show through
  • Works  in high-traffic areas
  • No long-term yellowing
  • It can be used on both  hardwood and laminate floors
  • Easy to apply and clean up
  • Microbubbles may form on the finish in some cases.  

Minwax 609504444 hardwood floor reviver

Minwax 609504444 Hardwood Floor Reviver, 32 ounce, High Gloss
Minwax 609504444 Hardwood Floor Reviver


ColorHigh Gloss
Size32 Fl Oz

609504444 hardwood floor reviver is another great water-based polyurethane from Minwax. This product provides superior protection and a beautiful finish.

The features  of 609504444 include

Quality & durability 

This product is highly durable and provides strong protection for hardwood floors, lasting up to 6 months. Minewax Reviver is more durable than a traditional Polish, so your floors won’t need to be re-finished as often. The protective coating also won’t change the color of your floors, leaving a crystal-clear finish. A high gloss finish is perfect for achieving both luster and beauty.

Easy application 

You can use this product without sanding or any special preparation, which makes it easy to apply.   There is no need to worry about cleanup as the water-based formula rinses off easily. With just a single coat, you can restore beauty and luster to your hardwood floors.

Time-saving features 

This product has an incredibly fast dry time of 2 hours for light foot traffic, and after 24 hours, you can replace your furniture on the floor. This is a great time-saving feature for those who don’t want to wait too long for the floor to dry.

When I used the Minwax 609504444 hardwood floor reviver, I could see the results quickly. It left my hardwood floors looking beautiful, and no scratches were visible. The price is also very reasonable, so I would recommend it to anyone looking for a high-gloss finish that lasts. 

Minwax 609504444 Hardwood Floor Reviver
Minwax 609504444 hardwood floor reviver
  • The gloss finish makes the floor look perfect.
  • Your floor will look and feel like new.
  • The high durability provides great protection for hardwood floors.
  • Easy to apply without sanding or other preparation.
  • Can be slippery when wet, so caution is recommended.

General Finishes high-performance water-based topcoat

General Finishes High-Performance Water Based Topcoat, 1 Pint, Satin
General Finishes High Performance Water Based Topcoat, 1 Pint, Satin


BrandGeneral Finishes
Size1 Pint
Material‎Water Based

General Finishes is also a well-known brand for wood finishes. Their high-performance water-based topcoat offers superior protection and the convenience of rapid dry times.

Let’s take a look at the features  that make this Topcoat stand out from the competition:

Durability & protection 

This product provides a durable, long-lasting finish that protects your hardwood floors from everyday wear and tear. It features a UV stabilizer that helps resist fading, yellowing, and cracking over time. The formula is also highly scratch-resistant, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas.

Rapid dry time 

This Topcoat is known for its ability to dry quickly. It can be applied and used after 1-2 hours, so you don’t have to wait days or weeks to enjoy your newly refinished hardwood floors. The fast dry time also makes it easier and more convenient to get jobs done in a timely manner.

Easy to use 

This Topcoat is easy to use and applies smoothly with minimal streaking or bubbling. The formula is designed to be brush-friendly and works well with both natural bristle brushes and foam brushes. This makes it a great choice for both experienced professionals and DIYers.

General Finishes‘ high-performance, water-based topcoat is an ideal choice for hardwood floors. It offers superior durability and protection, rapid dry times, and easy application. However, you can use this product only for Interior use. This topcoat is the perfect solution for anyone who wants a hard-wearing and long-lasting finish that won’t break the bank.

General Finishes High Performance Water Based Topcoat, 1 Pint, Satin
General Finishes high-performance water-based topcoat
  • Easy to apply with minimal streaking or bubbling.
  • Dry time of 1-2 hours for light foot traffic.
  • Open time is longer than traditional polyurethanes.
  • Highly scratch-resistant formula.
  • Not suitable for exterior use.

Vallejo model color gloss polyurethane varnish

Vallejo Model Color 60 ml Gloss Polyurethane Varnish
General Finishes High Performance Water Based Topcoat, 1 Pint, Satin


BrandAcylicos Vallejo
Size2 Fl Oz

Vallejo model polyurethane is an excellent choice for protecting and preserving plastic models. Some  of the features that make it stand out include:

Protection & durability 

This product creates a tough and extremely durable finish that helps protect plastic models from scratches and wear and tear. The glossy finish enhances colors, making it great for showpieces or items you want to look their best. Additionally, the varnish protects against environmental elements such as moisture, dust, and dirt.

Ease of use 

This acrylic varnish is extremely easy to use. It is designed for direct application on plastic models. The product also has a long open time, giving you plenty of time to work with it and ensure your models look their best. It dries quickly and can be applied without mess or fuss.

Safe & reliable

The Vallejo polyurethane is non-toxic and non-flammable, making it safe to use around children and pets. It is designed with reliability in mind, so you can rest assured that your models will be protected and preserved for years.

Overall, Vallejo model color polyurethane varnish is an excellent choice for maintaining and protecting plastic models. However, too thick of a layer can cause issues such as cracking and chipping. To ensure the best results, use very thin layers when applying this product to your models. 

General Finishes High Performance Water Based Topcoat, 1 Pint, Satin
Vallejo model color gloss polyurethane varnish
  • Dries quickly and can be applied without mess or fuss.
  • Plastic models are protected from everyday wear and tear.
  • Long open time allows you to work with it for better results.
  • Cleaning up is easy and safe.
  • The smell of the varnish can be strong.
  • Thick layers can cause cracking and chipping.

Rust-Oleum 333655 Kona water-based polyurethane

RUST-OLEUM 333655 Quart Kona Water Based Polyurethane

Rust-Oleum 333655 Kona water-based polyurethane


Size11.0 Fl Oz

Rust-Oleum is a trusted name in the world of home improvement. Their Kona water-based polyurethane is a great choice for anyone looking for a top-quality finish that will match the elements.

Here’s a look at why this product is worth considering:

Durability & protection

This premium-grade formula is a great pick for interior wood finishing. Not only does it provide a beautiful finish that will last, but it’s also twice as durable as traditional varnish. It stands up to high-traffic areas, moisture, and temperature fluctuations with ease. It will create a tough, protective layer that resists dings and scratches. You can be sure your beautiful finish will stay looking its best for years to come.

Easy to use 

One of the best things about this product is how easy it is to apply. The one-step application process helps you get the job done quickly and correctly. It also cleans easily, so there is no need to worry about making a mess while you work. Plus, no need to worry about mixing multiple components or waiting for a long drying period. All you have to do is apply it, and you’re done!

Beautiful finish 

When you use this polyurethane, you can rest easy knowing your project will look great. The finish is silky and smooth, creating a beautiful shine you won’t find with other products. Plus, the color won’t fade or become yellow over time, so that you can enjoy a beautiful finish for years.

Overall, Rust-Oleum’s Kona polyurethane is a great choice to create a durable, beautiful finish that will last. The one-step application and easy clean-up make it simple and fast to apply, while the two times more durability ensures your project will stand up to wear and tear.

Rust-Oleum 333655 Kona water-based polyurethane
Rust-Oleum 333655 Kona water-based polyurethane
  • Dries quickly and is easy to apply.
  • Safe and non-toxic.
  • Highly durable finish that won’t discolor over time.
  • Two times more durable than traditional varnishes.
  • Cleans up easily with no mess.
  • It can be difficult to repair if applied too thick.

Bona Mega wood floor finish

Bona Mega Semi-Gloss,1 gallon
Bona Mega wood floor finish


BrandBona Mega
Size128 Fl Oz
MaterialWater Based

If you want a long-lasting finish that can handle high traffic, the Bona Mega wood floor finish is an excellent choice. This formula is designed to provide an incredibly durable finish and is perfect for any wood flooring.

The features  of this product include:

Composition & durability 

This wood floor finish is oxygen activated formula that is designed to provide a very durable finish. It penetrates deep into the wood, filling in small cracks and crevices to create an extremely strong bond with the wood. This allows it to withstand heavy foot traffic and other impacts without damage. The formula is also one component, making it easy to use with great results every time.

Performance of the product

The oxygen-activated formula also helps to provide quick drying results. This means you won’t have to wait too long for the finish to dry before you can walk on the floors. The finish is also very effective at protecting the wood from scuffs, scratches, and other damage that could occur over time. The result is a beautifully finished floor that looks great and can withstand the test of time.


This wood floor finish is a great value product. It is reasonably priced and has enough product to finish up to 500 square feet of wood flooring. This means you can get the job done on a budget and still have great results. The finish lasts longer than other products, so you won’t have to reapply frequently.

Overall, the Bona Mega wood floor finish is a great product with excellent value. This product is worth checking out if you want a durable finish lasting years.

Bona Mega wood floor finish
Bona Mega wood floor finish
  • The dry time is fast, and the finish is incredibly durable.
  • Highly durable and can resist high traffic
  • Easy to apply with great results every time
  • Long lasting and doesn’t need frequent reapplication
  • Not suited for smaller projects.

Buying Guide: What to Consider When  Choosing the Best Water-Based Floor Polyurethane

The floors or surfaces in the home can be an investment.  To keep them looking good, you need to use the right polyurethane product. Water-based floor polyurethane can be a great choice for protecting and enhancing the beauty of wood surfaces. Here is  what you should consider when choosing the best water-based floor polyurethane:

What is the surface you are covering?

The surface you are covering is the most important factor to consider when selecting a water-based floor polyurethane. Water-based polyurethane works best on hardwood floors as well as wood furniture or cabinetry.   It won’t work as effectively on softer woods, like pine or cedar.

You also need to consider the condition of the surface.  If your wood floor is worn or has scratches or other damage, you may need a different sealant.  Water-based floor polyurethane is not intended for damaged wood surfaces.

Which finish do you want?

Water-based floor polyurethane is available in both glossy and satin finishes. Glossy will give the surface a shiny look, while satin will give the surface a more subtle shine.  Both finishes protect from dust and dirt and are relatively easy to maintain. The finish you choose largely depends on your personal preference.

What is the coverage area?

The amount of water-based floor polyurethane you need will depend on the size of the surface area you are covering. Be sure to calculate this accurately to purchase enough products for the job.  If you buy too much, you may be able to return it or use it for another project.

How long will the product last?

The lifespan of a water-based floor polyurethane will depend on how it is applied and maintained.  Generally, water-based polyurethane should last several years before needing to be reapplied. But check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific details about your chosen product.

Are there any environmental considerations?

Water-based floor polyurethane is often a more eco-friendly option than traditional oil-based products. It also has fewer fumes and is easier to clean up. So if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option, this may be the best choice for you.

How many coats do you need?

The number of coats will depend on the surface and your chosen product. Generally, two or three coats are recommended for most surfaces. However, if your wood floor is especially porous or delicate, you may consider using additional coats for protection.  Again, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for specific details.

What is the dry time of the product?

Most water-based floor polyurethane products require around 1 to 2 hours of drying.  But depending on the product and environmental conditions, drying time may vary.  This will affect when you can use the surface again, so consider the dry time when planning your project.

Choosing the right water-based floor polyurethane can help preserve and protect your wood surfaces. Consider these factors when selecting a product to get the best results for your project.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What type of polyurethane is best for floors?

Water-based floor polyurethane is considered the best floor choice due to its durability. It offers easy application, low odor, VOC content, and reduced yellowing or discoloration. This type of finish is frequently used on hardwood floors as it provides a lasting finish.  It is also suitable for use on concrete and metal floors.

How long does water-based polyurethane last on floors?

Water-based floor polyurethane can last up to 10 years, depending on the level of traffic and wear. This type of finish is highly resistant to scratches and scuffs, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas. This finish is easy to maintain as well, requiring only regular sweeping and damp mopping.

What is the main disadvantage of using water-based polyurethane?

The main disadvantage of using water-based polyurethane is that it takes longer to dry than oil-based polyurethane. It can also be more prone to streaking or bubbling if not applied correctly. 

How many coats of water-based polyurethane are on the floor?

It is recommended to use two coats of water-based floor polyurethane for maximum durability and protection. The first coat should be applied in a thin, even layer and allowed to dry completely.  The second coat should be applied after the first has dried and can be done with a slightly thicker layer.

How waterproof is water-based polyurethane?

Water-based floor polyurethane is highly waterproof and resistant to damage from spills or moisture. It will also protect against dirt, dust, and other debris. This finish is great for bathrooms and kitchens where water exposure is likely.


The best water-based floor polyurethane option offers durability, ease of application, and affordability. For those looking to get their floors looking great, Minwax 409170000  water-based polyurethane is a perfect choice. General Finishes topcoat is also a great option for those who want an extra durable coat of protection.

Other reviewed products, such as Rust-Oleum and  Bona Mega, offer good value for money. Ultimately, it is up to you to make the final decision on which water-based polyurethane best meets your needs.

With a little research and patience, you should be able to find the perfect product that will keep your floors looking good for years to come. Good luck.

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