Can my home be Re-Finished with UV floor finish? How does it work? Is this a gimmick or is it a real health benefit? Companies such as claim to have UV finish for my wood floor. Instant cure and low VOC and Odor.

It all depends on what they are promising you.  The idea that the floor can be cured by exposure to UV light is not at all far fetched.  Many chemicals are effected by UV light and crosslinking is a common method of stabilizing chemical structures found in nature(proteins, DNA, fats, etc.) as well as the chemistry bench.  There are no verifiable claims about the durability of the finish on the website and really, there is no standardized system by which flooring finishes are rated for durability.  As far as the health claims that you sales person is making, there is nothing on the website that makes any sort of health benefit claim with exceptions that one could infer that because it has a low VOC content, it is therefor healthy.  This is of course not true at all, and something can have no VOC’s could be deadly(dioxin, cocaine, etc.) while something with high VOC’s is not(Beer, CocaCola, etc).  Unfortunately, our rush to protect ourselves for the supposed evils of the bad VOC’s has caused us to loose sight that only certain VOC’s are harmful(methylene chloride, benzene, etc.) and others have little or no health effects at all(carbon dioxide, ethanol, etc.).  Most likely the VOC’s in the solutions are the same as those in other water based polyurethane floor finishes(ie.- Water, the most ubiquitous solvent on the planet).   We highly recommend water based floor finishes and our favorite is Bona Traffic.  It can be applied two coats in one day and refinish can take 2 days, depending on the size of the job.  You will pay a little bit more for the material, but the labor is the same and the job goes faster.  There are little or no fumes, and the smell is gone in 24 hours.  It can be walked on 8 hours after finish.  The best part is that it doesn’t yellow with age and UV light exposure like oil based finishes do and you don’t have to smell the rightfully described TOXIC fumes from the oil based finishes.

In short, the could be good, but it is very hard to know without testing from some third party organization for its claims of durability and low toxicity.  If it is really important to get into your house a few hours earlier than you could with water based finishes, then maybe it is worth it to try this finish.  Personally, I am a home builder for a career and I depend on the things that I do to clients homes to work well, the first time and for a long time.  While sometimes it is tempting to try some new fangled thing out on a clients house that may have some great advantages over the tried and true material, it is not without great hesitation that I will try something out without third party testing or empirical evidence from other homebuilders, stating that there are no unforeseen consequences or disadvantages of using the new material.

This entry was posted in Durability, Green Building Questions, Indoor Air Quality. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Can my home be Re-Finished with UV floor finish? How does it work? Is this a gimmick or is it a real health benefit? Companies such as claim to have UV finish for my wood floor. Instant cure and low VOC and Odor.

  1. Ken tran says:

    This is ken, the proprietor of flash uv coatings. My uv coating contain 9.8 grams per litre on voc, previous writer is correct about voc should not be the only to pay attention on when health is a concern, bona traffic uses hardener as part B add into part A, the resin, hardener are extreme toxic when not cure, the crosslink process takes 7 days to complete, voc will evaporate throughout the curing process until fully cure. Flash uv coating replaces this long curing process by taking out hardener as not needed due to curing by uv light.

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