What is the difference between Bona Traffic and Bona Traffic HD?  Is there a difference?

Bona Traffic is really the gold standard among water borne polyurethanes – it’s the best of the best, and I highly recommend it if you are planning to use water borne poly for your floors  (you can read more about that here:  What are the best brands of polyurethane?  Bona Traffic is formulated to withstand commercial use with heavy foot traffic, so just imagine what it can do for your own home.

Bona Traffic HD vs Bona Traffic Polyurethane - What's the difference

But, most people don’t realize that there are 2 versions of the product:  Bona Traffic and Bona Traffic HD.  The HD stands for Heavy Duty.


So, I thought that I would clarify the differences between Bona Traffic and Bona Traffic HD.


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


Differences between Bona Traffic and Bona Traffic HD

Bona Traffic HD polyurethane is the higher grade version.  It’s better than the basic Bona Traffic in the following ways:

Bona Traffic HD polyurethane1.  Bona Traffic HD has Less odor – Yes, this is always a benefit for you and your family.  Not only does it smell less, but the odor dissipates sooner, so you can move back in sooner.

bona traffic HD



2.  It has 40% fewer VOC’s – VOC’s stand for Volatile Organic Compounds.  The basic Bona Traffic has extremely low VOC’s and Bona Traffic HD is even lower, so that’s better.  It has under 125 VOC’s.


3.  Bona HD Cures faster…so it’s more durable faster.  Drying time is just 2-3 hours.  But, note that I recommend you stay off the floors for at least 24 hrs.  At this point, your floors will be much harder and resilient.  Each hour that goes by in the first 24 hours makes a huge difference!


Sheen levels for Bona Traffic HD

Bona Traffic HD is available in Extra Matte, Satin and Semi-gloss finishes (semi gloss is the shiniest out of the 3, but it is way less shiny than a semi gloss in oil based poly.  You can read more about sheen level here.


Costs for Bona Traffic vs Bona Traffic HD

What's the difference between Bona Traffic and Bona Traffic HDBona Traffic HD costs a little more than the basic Bona Traffic.  But, the difference in price is fairly insignificant.  (Bona Traffic does cost significantly more than other water borne polyurethanes and it is WORTH it because it’s head and shoulders above the rest.  But, the difference in price between basic and HD is tiny.)


My philosophy is do it right.  After all, it’s a lot of work and expense (and it’s inconvenient) to refinish your floors.  You might as well do it right so it lasts longer and you won’t have to go through the hassle again for a long time).


Some notes on drying and curing time

Most people don’t understand the difference between drying time and curing time.  Polyurethane dries/cures in 2 phases.  First, the thinners evaporate and the finish becomes tack free.  For Bona Traffic, that’s usually a few hours (but waiting 24 hrs before walking on the floors is much safer).  Then, oxygen begins combine with the varnish and the curing process starts.  It’s the curing that makes the finish hard, durable and creates the full adhesion with the floor.


Bona Traffic vs Bona Traffic HD - Gray hardwoodThe curing process for water borne poly can take up to 2 weeks pending on the humidity levels and air circulation.  (Note: this is twice as fast as oil based poly).  For this reason, I would recommend waiting 2 weeks before adding area rugs to the floor or letting your dog walk on the floor.  For all you dog lovers out there (and I’m part of this group), I’d highly recommend doggie socks for your furry friend during this time.


So, 24 hrs before walking on the floors (socks only – no shoes, no bare feet), 3 days before moving furniture back and 2 weeks for area rugs and dogs.


You can read more here:  How long does it take Polyurethane to cure).


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!


Bona Traffic vs Bona Mega

Bona Traffic is infinitely stronger than Bona Mega.  It looks better (and yellows less over time), it lasts much longer (often an extra 3 to 5 years, pending on the wear and tear), it has lower VOCs and it smells less.  In addition, it cures much faster and this is especially important if you have pets or kids.  Bona Traffic is the only polyurethane I’d recommend for white washed or gray stained floors!

bona traffic HD


Related polyurethane articles:


Complementary products that will prolong the life of your hardwood floors

For more info, check out my Ebook – Discover the 6 Secrets to Refinishing Hardwood floors.

6 secrets of sanding hardwoood floors

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Bona Traffic vs Bona Traffic HD – What’s the difference?



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