Low- and Zero-VOC Finishing

photo01Healthful Indoor-Air Finishes First

Schumacher & Co. Custom Hardwood Floors offers the Greater Cincinnati region’s broadest range of hardwood floor finishing solutions — from traditional oil-based polyurethane to low and zero-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) options.

By providing this range, we offer a product that meets the individual needs of our customers, including those who do not want to detect any chemical odor in their homes.


Our program consists of the following options:

Standard treatment: Oil-based polyurethane, petroleum, solvent-based product with VOC content of 350 grams per liter. Ohio’s legal limit for VOCs in floor coatings is 350 grams per liter. The most stringent state limit of 275 grams per liter has been set in the state of California. Polyurethane forms a protective coating on top of the wood’s surface.  Wear over time is repaired by recoating or sanding and refinishing.

Oil-based polyurethane produces a traditional, rich amber look and feel.  This finish takes about 10 hours to dry, and its odor may persist for several weeks.  Standard maintenance re-coating is needed every five to seven years. Sheens available are satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss.



Waterborne polyurethane finishes that contain a solvent but have GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification, and VOC levels as low as 210 grams per liter. The odor of this product is far less aggressive than oil based finishes and off-gassing is greatly reduced once the product has dried, usually in two to three hours. Standard maintenance recoating is needed every seven to eight years.

Osmo Hardwax Oil, which contains a solvent, but is considered low-VOC at 50 grams per liter.  This oil penetrates and protects wood, developing a rich patina over time.  Solvents, which help harden the product and extend shelf-life, have a non-offensive chemical odor that may take several days to dissipate. Repairs to this finish are easy because small sections of the floor can be repaired without recoating the entire floor. Maintenance recoating timeline is generally every 12 to 18 months.

UV-Cured waterborne polyurethane:  This process uses a waterborne base coat in clear or light amber tint, meant to replicate the aesthetic created by oil-based polyurethane. The VOC content of this base coat is less than 225 grams per liter.  The waterborne top coat used in this process, contains less than 180 grams of VOCs per liter. There is virtually no odor from these products and our ultra-violent curing machine stops off-gassing immediately by instantly curing the finish, creating a diamond-hard finish that is impervious to chemicals and abrasion. Standard maintenance coat is 10 or more years.

Beeswax finish:  This product is considered low-VOC at less than 100 grams per liter, but the VOCs in the product are natural citrus. It can be used as a standalone finish, or over natural oil to offer an additional protective coat.



Plant-based oil: This finish forms a molecular bond with the surface of the wood. This product contains a modified solvent that emits no chemical odor or VOCs. Worn or damaged surfaces can be spot-repaired by applying more of the oil to those areas without sanding or re-coating the entire floor. This oil is available as a clear-coat or in one of more than 30 tinted colors. Standard maintenance re-coat timeline is 12 to 18 months.

Water soluble Dyes, which can in some cases be used instead of oil-based stains, also are available.

OUR FOCUS ON INDOOR-AIR QUALITY also means that all of our sanding machines are equipped with vacuums and filtration systems designed to contain 98 percent of particles and dust.

For more information, call 513-831-5000 or email info@schumacherco.com