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Wood Floors – Lacquer or Oil Finish?

Wood Floors - Lacquer or Oil Finish

Once you have selected your wood flooring, it goes without saying that the finish of your wood floors is extremely important. But which type of floor finish is the best option? Lacquer or oil finish? Because if you don’t choose the right wood floor finish, it can affect the looks and the maintenance of the wood flooring.

Lacquer or oil finish, both will keep your wooden floor look great for a long period of time. But which is the best for your wood floor? To find out, we need to first understand what is Lacquer and oil finish. What is the difference between them and when to use Lacquer or oil finish? Read on to find our more.

Wood Floors – Lacquer or Oil Finish?

We get this question a lot at Wood4Floors and there’s no single answer as it all depends on preference. Both have their own benefits as well as advantages. Once you get to know what they exactly do; it will help you to make more informed decision.


What is Lacquer finish?

A lacquer is like a modern day varnish and when applied to the wood floor, it protects the floor as well as gives it a shine. Lacquer sits on the top and acts like a plastic film over the surface that protects the wood. It even enhances the natural grain and colour of your wood floors.


What is Oil finish?

Oil is the modern day equivalent of using wax to protect and finish your wood floors. But wax became less popular due to its labour intensive nature. Then it was replaced with hardwax oils and oils. Many prefer oil finish over lacquer finish because it’s often made from natural resources and doesn’t harm the environment when used.


How to choose?

Lacquer finish is ideal for wood floors installed in high traffic areas or places where you expect heavy footfall. Also, if you want a gloss or high gloss finish then you should prefer lacquer finish. Whereas, oil finish is perfect for wood floor when you want to give it a more natural looking feel. Oiled finish is ideal for areas that anticipate low traffic. However, some may prefer oil finish in high traffic areas, which is fine but be prepared for a lot of maintenance to keep up the desired look.


How to apply lacquer finish?

One should always apply primer before applying lacquer on wood floors for best results. This step will ensure that the first coat doesn’t soak straight into the wood. It allows lacquer to set on top as well as produces a flexible and soft coting that protects against any potential side bonding.

Also, a primer’s self-levelling properties helps you save time, making the application process bit easier. It will look milky on application but once it dries, it will look completely different.


How to apply oil finish?

It’s very important to apply oil or hardwax oil in thin coats. If application is done in excess, then there’s only one solution i.e., sand back the patchy surface and start again. As a result, applying it in controlled amount is very essential as oppose to leaving it to set on top. Because given the nature of oil, the finish gets soaked into the wood grains and gives full protection.


Maintenance and Repair:

If you’re looking for a wood floor finish that is easy and low on maintenance, then choose lacquer over oil finish. With regular cleaning, the lacquer finish on wood floor will require little maintenance unless, the it gets damaged. Whereas, an oil finish on wood floor requires more maintenance and often needs replenishing on regular basis. If used in low traffic areas, oil finish has great scratch resistance and can be very easy to repair.


We hope this comparison between lacquer finish and oil finish on wood floor has helped you in some way. If you are still wondering which wood floor finish will do the best job for you. You can get in touch with the wood flooring experts at Wood4Floors, they will be more than happy to help you! You can Contact Us now or visit our showroom in London.


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