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Bona Traffic Polyurethane vs Bona Mega. What’s the difference and which one is better?

Why does Bona Traffic Polyurethane cost more than Bona Mega?  Is there a real difference between the two and is it worth it?

Bona Traffic vs Bona Mega - what's the difference

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

The short answer is Yes and Yes!  Bona really makes the best water borne polyurethanes, hands down.  And, Bona Traffic HD is the best of the best.  If you ask most experienced professional floor refinishers and if you read the reviews online, hands down Bona Traffic HD is the best water borne polyurethane.

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What’s the price difference between Bona Traffic HD and Bona Mega?

Bona Traffic vs Bona Mega - Is there a differenceAs a general rule, Bona Traffic HD costs about twice as much as Bona Mega.  And, there is a good reason for that as you’ll read below.  Please note that the cost of polyurethane is only one aspect of the cost equation (you also have to factor in the labor cost for sanding/refinishing as well as the cost for the stain (if you are staining).

 

So what’s the difference vs Bona Traffic HD and Bona Mega?

1. Bona Traffic HD has higher durability.  It simply holds up to scratches better and lasts longer.  How much longer?  We’ll that’s tough to say as wear and tear differs by household based on foot traffic, whether you wear shoes, care and maintenance, etc.  But, as a general rule, I’d venture that for the average household, it will probably give you an EXTRA 2 to 4 years of life.  (And, if you are an extremely tidy household and have low foot traffic, no shoe policy, it could be even longer).

 

Bona Traffic HD comes with hardener that you mix in for even stronger durability.

 

2.  Bona Traffic HD amberizes less.  Nowadays, the majority of people want to avoid the yellow/amberizing effect that occurs over time (this is driven mainly by sunlight, but also interior light), and Bona Traffic provides much better protection for your floors.  It gives you a more stylish, contemporary and natural look.

 

It’s also a more neutral color so it looks better (and looks higher quality) and it goes with more decor styles.  Bona Traffic HD comes out lighter AND amberizes less over time compared to Bona Mega (as well as when it’s compared to oil based poly and all other water borne polyurethanes)..

 

This is especially important if you are staining hardwood floors gray or white washed floors, or if you have natural maple floors.  On all of these, you want to avoid the yellow.  We won’t use anything other than Bona Traffic for Gray or white washed floors.

 

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Debbie Gartner The Flooring GirlAre you about to sand your floors? Not sure how long to wait before using them? Avoid these common pitfalls that can impact your floor’s durability!

 

3.  Bona Traffic HD has lower VOCs than Bona Mega.  VOC’s are Volatile Organic Compounds, and the lower the number, the better.  Bona Traffic has less than125 VOC’s while Bona Mega has 200 VOC’s.

 

4.  Bona Traffic smells less.  Because Bona Traffic has lower VOC’s, it just smells less.  And, the odor dissipates faster.  This can be a real advantage to those with young ones as well as those with sensitive noses.  Well actually, it’s better for all of us (after all, who likes the smell of polyurethane?)

 

Bona Traffic vs Bona Mega5.  Bona Traffic HD cures faster.   Both lines of Bona Mega and Bona Traffic dry equally as fast, but Bona Traffic CURES much faster.  Many don’t understand the difference between drying and curing – they are both important, so let me explain.

 

Drying occurs when solvents evaporate from the surface of the film, leaving it tack free.  This means you can walk on it (socks only).  Curing occurs when residual solvents leave the film and it begins reacting with oxygen from the air.  This allows it to develop strength, hardness, abrasion resistance (i.e. resistance to scratching) as well as chemical resistance.

 

One of the great things about Bona Traffic is that it is 80% cured after just 24 hrs and 90% cured at 72 hrs. It reaches full curing at 7 days (Oil based poly takes 30 days to cure)..  This is really helpful for those who are looking to move into a new house quickly as well as busy households with dogs.  The harder the floor gets before movers, kids and/or dogs walk on the floor the better.

 

Please read my guide lines in this article How long does it take polyurethane to cure which explains when you can move furniture back, when pets can walk on floors, put area rugs down etc.  And, you may find this article handy on how to prevent scratches in hardwood floors.  There are a few items you may want to buy ahead of time to help out (e.g. felt pads, doggie socks).  You can also find some of these at the end of this article.

 

Where can you buy Bona Traffic HD and Bona Mega?

Often you can buy this at a local hardwood flooring store.  It would be rare to find this in a local carpet store or a Big Box store.  And, please note that this item may not be in stock in some areas of the country.  But, a much easier and less expensive way to buy it would be on Amazon.

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✅ Need help with how long you should wait after you refinish your floors? Check out my timeline here: How long should you wait before…

 

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Bona Traffic vs Bona Mega Polyurethane - What's the difference?

28 thoughts on “Bona Traffic Polyurethane vs Bona Mega. What’s the difference and which one is better?”

  1. I have 1 question :
    They say you can put on a second coat of poly once its set , roughly 4 hours. yet they also say your not supposed to walk on it for 24 hours.
    So how is it that your going to put the polu down for your 2nd or 3rd coat before 24 hours time ?
    i realize people get away with it yet it seems to me that by waiting 24 hours between coats you will end up with less problems .
    Just a thought from a guy who has done this for the first time

    1. Joe – You can generally put the coat on carefully after 4 hrs (wearing socks). Each coat though takes longer to dry (generally an extra 2 hrs). Most likely, you may really only need 8 hrs from the last coat, but we advise customers to wait 24 hrs both to be careful and to account for humidity and/or poor circulation area. For Bona Traffic, at 24 hrs, it’s 80% cured so it’s much safer to wait until then. The more it cures, the better and each hour over the first 24 hrs makes a big difference.

  2. I have a floor refinishing proposal that includes sealer, two coats of Bona Mega and final coat of Bona Traffic HD .Does it makes sense? Or I just better off paying extra cost of 3 coats of Traffic HD?
    I’m refinishing second floor and stairs.
    Thank you for advice.

    1. Alex – If you are going natural, then do Bona sealer + 2 coats bona traffic HD. That will give you the most strength. If you are doing stain, then do stain + 3 coats Bona traffic HD for maximum durability. (The stain then acts as the sealer, so no need to use a sealer if you have stain). Using the Bona mega saves money, but definitely compromises durability.

    1. I would recommend that you call Bona to see if this okay. For sure you can use Bona Mega on pine. I’m not sure about the stain you’re referring to and whether that would make a difference.

  3. So, you say Traffic takes 7 days for a full cure, but in the “How long…” article, you list 30 days to cure for both water and oil based. Could you amend one or the other so they agree?

    1. It takes 30 days for oil based poly to cure. It generally takes 14 days for water based poly. Bona traffic claims 7 days for curing, but we advise our customers to wait 14 days before putting area rugs down as it’s better to be safe than sorry. It is also safer to keep dogs off the floors for 14 days, too.

  4. Hi flooring girl 🙂
    We have sanded our birch floors. Love the natural paler colour of the sanded floors. What Bona Sealer products do you think we should use so that it stays as close to the natural sanded look as possible? I know as soon as you put sealer, generally they look darker and a bit more yellow. We don’t want yellow at all and hope to use one that keeps it as pale(white) as possible. Oh We have a big dog too 😉
    A seller of the product recommended this: You put one coat of sealer on and at least 2 coats of bona mega with a Hardening booster.
    But according to your site, I think there’s a better combo! Thoughts!?

    1. I would probably try nordic for the lightest/most natural seal. My second choice is classic seal. But, I would test these in a small area as I don’t know if they would look different on birch vs. oak. I would do the sealer + 2 coats of Bona traffic HD. Bona Traffic HD has the hardening booster. It kind of sounds like that person got the products confused. But Bona traffic HD is the best in durability, lowest in VOC’s and least yellow out of all options.

  5. I am a landlord who sanded some very old floors. We applied 3 coats of Bona Mega. (wish i had known about Traffic).
    Is it “safe” to allow tenants with dogs? Do dogs cause a lot of wear and tear?

    1. John – You should wait at least 2 weeks before they move in with a dog. Often dogs do cause more wear and tear. It would have been better to use Bona Traffic HD rather than Bona Mega.

      Also, make sure you or they have entry mats for front and back doors (both inside and out to reduce water damage (from rain and/or snow).

  6. I read that you recommend keeping dogs off for 24 days. Is that so they don’t scratch floors or because of VOC’s. I’m wanting to go with Bona Traffic HD

    1. Eileen – 24 days is a bit of a random number. But, generally for oil based poly, you would wait 30 days. For Bona Traffic, I’d recommend 2 weeks (i.e 14 days). These numbers are base on curing and vulnerablity of the floors (i.e. preventing scratching). I would not worry about the VOCs at all. Those are probably safe enough for dogs by 48 hrs. (maybe even sooner…but you know smaller dogs are closer to the floors than people are). Also, you can buy doggie socks too to prevent scratches.

  7. I have orange stains in some areas of my white washed floor.
    Where food dropped.
    Contractor says he doesn’t know why.
    They used Bona Traffic as sealer.
    Any suggestions?

    1. Sheri – I’m sorry to hear that. That is odd. I would call take pictures and call the manufacturer and let them know what the stain is and maybe they’ll have a suggestion for you. It does not sound like an easy fix. Perhaps the stain can be removed and then they can do a screen and recoat for the whole floor. It depends how deep it penetrated YOu may need to do2 coats. It sounds like the food may have had a chemical reaction with the poly. (and that may have happened with any poly). Ora reaction with a cleaning product.

  8. Elizabeth Kachur

    There are a lot of references about dogs – how about cats and Bono Mega? My contractor is planning to use that. What do I have to be concerned about?

    1. Elizabeth – cats are a bit easier on the floors than dogs based on the way they walk and retract their claws on the floors. And, most are lighter than dogs. The biggest issue with cats (usually) is around the kitty litter which can get caught in their paws, so make sure they have a mat to brush them off and ideally put the kitty litter further away from the hardwood. Their paws still have skin (just like our barefeet, so make sure they are off the floors for at least 2 days.

  9. What about traffic areas which show wear,due to large dogs, but surrounding areas still looking good. What can I apply to the worn out high traffic areas ?

    1. Amy – Unfortunately, you will need to sand and refinish the full area. You have to go with the lowest common denominator. You will at least need to do the full room. Then, going forward, you want to prevent this. And, to that, you can do a screen and recoat which is just a buffing + 1 coat poly. do this at the 3-4 year mark and then every 3-4 years. See this article:

  10. I’ve read a couple of posts elsewhere detailing the use of Bona Traffic as a topcoat over interior floors painted with Sherwin Willliams oil based deckpaint without adhesion issues…Can you or any if yor readers fill me in on using Bona Traffic over floors faux finished with Ben Moore Studio Alkyd based glaze? (The glazed finish is akin to any lowsheen oilbased enamel…) Can I apply Bona straightup, or do I need to apply sealer first? TIA

    1. Aygee – I don’t believe I advised people to use Bona Traffic over paint. Instead, I said it was the one most likely to work. I do not believe any polyurethane is approved for paint. You can call the manufactures to see what they say. I was actually calling Sherwin Williams a couple of weeks ago (and they have their own brands of polyurethane) and instead recommended a different product from Minwax that’s a combo of paint and poly. I can’t seem to think of the name right now (I need more sleep). And, no you would not use a sealer. The paint is the sealer and the poly can not penetrate the wood once paint is applied..

      1. Thanks FG,
        I appreciate your time and quick response.

        I didn’t mean to imply you said to use Bona over paint, I read those posts elsewhere.

        Unfortunately, I can’t use a paint/poly combo, because what’s needed is a low sheen uv resistant waterborne or latex clearcoat, to provide protection over a decorative finish.
        Preferably a tough, high build coating that will wear like a commercial as opposed to res. finish.

        Working with tinted glazes (either alkyd or latex) yields a low sheen finish which still needs protection.

        With all the new low VOC tech out there, please don’t tell me there’s a massive gap in the market when it comes to protecting painted floors.

        I did call Bona, who blew me off, saying “no guarantee” and “buy and try” over 8 times in a 4 minute phone call.
        Imagine, the could have even suggested I use their paint, but seemed intent on hanging up.

        Not very good customer service, so I thought I’d reach out to an experienced coatings specialist…. you.

        Tia, A.

        1. So I want to help you, but I honestly don’t feel that I’m qualified to do so. I know a lot about poly over stain, but not over paint. (and have been wondering the answer for a few years now). I can never get a straight answer from the poly companies nor the paint companies…and that may be because their isn’t one.

          I would guess that the 2 best options to try are Bona and Loba (which is new). You may find that either or both work…or at least for now. You may also find that a few years from now that they slighty amberize. But, these should be the 2 best.

          We don’t add poly over paint…because we are unsure of the results…and don’t want to mess up people’s homes. We try to have repeat customers and not angry customers.

          If I knew the answer, I would tell you.

          But maybe Loba’s tech person is more helpful. If you use Loba it has to be the new high grade one. the other one will yellow.

  11. My floor guy has proposed sanding 2 oak bedroom floors and putting 3 coats of bona mega satin. Not being especially high traffic areas, is this the context product and number of coats and what would be total time to apply and seal these floors? He says 2 days for everything.

    1. Pete – 2 days can be doable with a water based poly such as Bona Meda, provided that there isn’t a stain. If there is extra work (e.g. moving furniture, ripping up carpeting,it could take a bit longer), but I think this is pretty realistic.

  12. We have white oak that we want to use Bona natural seal. Should we do one coat of this or two? After the sealer are we better doing 3 coats of Bona Traffic HD rather than 2?. Does that sound appropriate? Floors get a lot of sun. Residential condo that faces s/SWThanks for advice

    1. Jim – Just 1 coat of sealer. And, hten 2 coats Bona Traffic is sufficient.It covers and adheres better after the sealer. 3 coats is not necessary as the sealer is acting as first coat, so you have 3 already.

      also, if you get a lot of sun, consider window treatments and/or UV blockers/film on windows.

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