Before water-based lacquers, all lacquers where solvent based. The main advantages of water based lacquers are: low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) and CMR’s (Carcinogenic Mutagenic or Toxic to Reproduction)
Water based lacquers, single or dual component?
Water-based lacquers come in 2 types, single or dual component. The single component is a ‘ready to use’ lacquer and can be applied strait to the flooring, it is easy to use, has a long shelf life and can be applied by a low trained floor fitter. However the dual component lacquer will need to be mixed in exact quantities, the second coat will need to be applied within a short period of time and it may need light sanding in-between coats, but it is cheaper and can still give great results.
Oil based polyurethane had the edge here for a while, but water based polyurethane has caught up – it’s now equal to solvent based products regarding scuff, UV, water, and corrosion resistance. If you’re trying to make something virtually bulletproof, oil based may be the way to go, but if you are looking for something more ECO friendly then water based lacuers are the way to go.
Conditions needed for the perfect water based lacquer finish
As the lacquer dries, the water molecules evaporate into the air, if the air humidity is above 85% this can restrict the evaporation lead to a badly finished product, also if the humidity is below 40% it can cause the lacquer to dry so fast that you won’t be able to apply it properly. The same applies to temperature, if it is greater than 40°C it will cause the lacquer to evaporate too quickly and if it is below 7°C it will evaporate too slowly. Care must be taken in ensuring that the lacquer has the correct conditions to dry, so that you get the perfect finish that you were hoping for.
Nowadays everyone agrees that the transition from solvent-based to water-based has not been at the expense of a top quality end result. They provide excellent adhesion and mechanical resistance as well as resistance to strong coloured products such as coffee, wine and soft drinks. Furthermore, they are easy to maintain, renovate and replace.
If you are still undecided and would like more information on the varnishes we use please call us today on 087 6268100