Why water based Polyurethane?


Polyurethane has been used as a finish for wood floors for decades. Indoor air quality control in Europe has driven the production of water based or waterborne finishing products since 1985 when the first water-based polyurethane dispersion was developed in Germany. The USA has been working towards higher indoor air quality since the Clean Air Act (USA) took effect in 1970.


Polyurethane is known for its flexibility and “toughness”. As a water-based product it continues to have great wood finishing properties. Its toughness makes it perfect for wood; its flexibility makes it perfect for cork.

Cork, unlike any other wood finishes on the market, is compressible and flexible. It is this flexibility that makes cork a difficult product to work with as a floor finish. Urethane finishes are known for their rigidity which makes them ideal for hardwoods but a poor choice for cork. Urethanes – even water-borne urethanes – have a hard time keeping up with the flexion found in a cork floor. The brittleness that corresponds well with Oak or Teak makes urethane vulnerable to cracking or pealing when applied to cork. Urethane’s brittleness can be combatted by applying fewer coats applied to the cork surface. This compromise normally results in early wear patterns found in low quality cork products.


Polyurethane’s rubber-like properties make it the perfect partner for cork flooring. Both cork and polyurethane are tough and flexible. German chemists came up with the first water borne products. Some of the world’s best cork finishes continue to be developed in Germany. Known for their dedication to quality and performance, German produced floor finishes continue to out-perform many of North America’s most well-known brands.


Loba-Wakol supply Cancork Floor Inc. and iCork Floor LLC with their latest innovations. Forna cork products have benefitted from this alliance and will continue to benefit from German innovations. Loba 2K Supra AT (Advanced Technology) is the latest in a remarkable string of products. The 2K Supra AT is a ceramic-infused water based polyurethane that has married the flexibility of polyurethane with the scratch resistance of ceramic. This remarkable finish leaves the natural velvety finish of cork while at the same time it has lowered the VOC content, increased the slip resistance and reduced the curing time.