Are you planning to build a new butcher block or repair an old one?
Then you should find the proper sealant. In that case, read my Waterlox vs. Polyurethane butcher block review to find the proper sealant for you.
These are popular sealants for wooden surfaces, including butcher blocks. But you have to know their features and comparisons to determine which one will work best for you.
A Quick Comparison Table
Here’s a quick comparison table between Waterlox and Polyurethane butcher blocks:
|Sealant Type||Resin-Modified Tung Oil||A Liquid Coating|
|Special Feature||Protective Yet Elastic Film||Non-Toxic When Dry|
|Benefits||More Benefits Than Polyurethane||Fewer Benefits Than Waterlox|
|Usage||Various Wooden Surface||Various Wooden Surface|
|Performance||High Performing||Similar Performance|
|Price||Cheaper Than Polyurethane||Slightly Expensive|
In-depth Differences Between Waterlox And Polyurethane Butcher Block
The above comparison table has given you some basic ideas. Now let’s dive into more details. Here, I will give you a comprehensive comparison between Waterlox and Polyurethane sealants.
So, let’s get started.
- Sealant Type
Waterlox is a resin-modified Tung Oil sealant that can penetrate deep into the wood to lock out water. After applying this sealant to your butcher block, you will get a rich and distinctive finish and excellent sealing.
Besides, it is pretty easy to maintain.
On the other hand, Polyurethane is a crystal clear sealing formula that provides a rock-hard finish on the butcher block and other wooden surfaces. It comes as a liquid coating and becomes a plastic film when it dries.
With a layer of plastic, you will get excellent sealing against water and any other material that can harm your wooden surfaces.
Both Waterlox and Polyurethane are made to create a seal on wooden surfaces. But they are made differently. Thus you will find many differences in their features.
Waterlox is a very old formula that originated in 1910. It is probably the oldest wood sealing formula you can purchase today. However, 90% of the resin portion in the formula comes from natural and renewable sources.
Applying it on your butcher block or any wood surface will penetrate deep into the wood fiber and create a waterproof barrier.
Interestingly, it creates a protective yet elastic film that will last longer. This old formula is still handcrafted in small batches.
On the contrary, you will get a protective finish and an ambering effect on your butcher block after applying Polyurethane. This sealant becomes completely non-toxic when it dries and fully cures.
Besides, you can also use it over oil paint and stain. This rock-hard wood sealant is easy to apply, maintain, and restore.
You can reap many benefits from Waterlox and Polyurethane sealants. But before that, you have to know what benefits they bear.
Compared to other sealants, Waterlox is a clear interior or surface finish and sealant that is easier to maintain.
It becomes completely non-toxic after use; you never have to worry about contaminating your food.
Besides, you will get excellent adhesion to oily, dense, exotic wood like teak, rosewood, and Ipe from this sealant.
So, you can easily make your butcher block with these woods.
Apart from that, the sealant will enhance the wood grain and bring out its inherent beauty.
In contrast to Waterlox, Polyurethane will never turn yellow over time. It offers excellent performance on lighter wood like maple and neutral satin colors like black, gray, and white. On top of that, you won’t have to make them thin before use.
- Other Usage
You can use both sealants on your butcher block. Now let’s look at other places where you can use these sealants. It will help you understand which one will be best fitted for you.
You can use Waterlox on various interior wood surfaces, including floors, windows, doors, cabinetry, woodwork, tables, furniture, bar tops, picture frames, etc. Apart from these, you can use it on various other woodworking projects.
Similarly, Polyurethane also works perfectly fine with various interior and exterior wood surfaces. Some are doors, floors, windows, tables, furniture, cabinetry, woodwork, bar tops, picture frames, and many other woodworking projects.
So, we found that both sealants work on the same surfaces. You can’t differentiate between them based on this factor.
You can seal up to 125 square feet of a wooden surface per coat with one quart of Waterlox sealant. Plus, it will take a minimum of 24 hours to dry, and after that, you can recoat again.
On the other hand, you can recoat Polyurethane sealant within 6 to 12 hours, as it will take only this much time to dry. One quart of Polyurethane will cover up to 125 square feet.
- Available Sheen
The number of available sheens is essential. Because it determines what your surface will look like after applying the sealant.
Both Waterlox and Polyurethane offer the same number of sheens. You can choose between Gloss, Semi-Gloss, and Satin sheen for sealing your butcher block. So, no differences here either.
Price can be an essential differential factor for both sealants. It can motivate customers to choose one specific product. One quart of Waterlox sealant can cost around $47.99. In contrast to that, one quart of Polyurethane costs around $50.
So, we can see, Polyurethane is slightly more expensive than Waterlox sealant.
Which Sealant Is Best For You?
After the detailed discussion on the sealant, it’s time to decide which one is best for you, Waterlox or Polyurethane.
I think it is clear that Waterlox is the best option for butcher blocks and any other wood surfaces.
Because Polyurethane creates a plastic film over your wooden surface, there will always be a barrier between you and your wooden surface.
Plus, the plastic film might wear off after heavy chopping and other usages.
On the contrary, Waterlox penetrates the wood and remains there while sealing wood surfaces from water. On top of that, it is less expensive and will enhance your butcher block surface color.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yes, Waterlox is better than Polyurethane. It penetrates the wood and creates an elastic and protective finish to lock water and will not chip or peel out. You also enhance the color of wood surfaces with Waterlox.
Waterlox is the staple for finishing butcher block countertops. With a unique formula of resins, you will get excellent longevity and easy maintenance.
Mineral oil is being used traditionally for finishing butcher block countertops. That’s why products like Waterlox with mineral oil and resins have been used for a long time.
Polyurethane is one of the sealants used for waterproofing wooden surfaces. So, yes, you can use it on your butcher block countertops.
As I said previously, you will have a clear idea about both products after going through my Waterlox vs. Polyurethane butcher block review. Now we are at the end of it, and you have a clear choice in front of you.
To top it off, I suggest you use the sealant I pointed you out. You’ll be glad that you did.