The days of using oil-based polyurethane wood finishes are over for Mark Shrewsbury, owner of Mr. Sandman Hardwood Floors. For over three decades, the Newark, Delaware business has specialized in sanding and finishing high-end custom floors. The company’s portfolio boasts an impressive array of borders, medallions and precise designs. A few years ago, Shrewsbury made the decision to use Norton Abrasives/Vermont Natural Coatings line of PolyWhey® Professional Wood Floor Finishes as his go-to finish to benefit both his customers and his company.
According to Shrewsbury, he made the switch to PolyWhey Floor Finishes because “homeowners complain of the off-gassing and the VOC issues with an oil finish and I also choose it for myself. I got sick of breathing the fumes and I think it is a better product in terms of hardness and durability.”
For years, Shrewsbury exposed himself to the hazards of oil-based finishes. “When you’re young, you think you’re invincible. I almost never wore a respirator. At the end of a big job, it was almost like I was drunk and I would have to sit outside in the fresh air for forty-five minutes before I could drive home. My wife would say she could smell [the finish] on my breath.”
The quality of the Norton Abrasives/Vermont Natural Coatings line makes the choice to use PolyWhey even simpler. Shrewsbury likes that the fast dry time of two hours means his crew can get several coats down quickly, saving a day and another trip back to the same job. The crew at Mr. Sandman Hardwood Floors has completed over forty jobs with PolyWhey since making the switch two years ago, including a restaurant at the Hartefeld National Golf Club in Avondale, Pennsylvania.
These days, Shrewsbury manages the business side of things while his son focuses on sanding and finishing. Along with meeting customers, giving quotes, doing final walk-throughs and more, he educates employees on the health hazards of solvent based finishes. He knows that the decision to use natural PolyWhey Floor Finishes is important because he doesn’t want his son to experience the risks and go through what he did for so long.