Oil or Lacquer – What to choose?

Scenario. You have moved into your new home and have found a beautiful old timber floor under the carpet. You decide to have it restored by your local floor sanding professional. At some point, he should ask you which type of finish you would prefer. So, should you choose oil or lacquer for your wood floor?

How you decide which finish to use, will depend upon various things.  First, you need to decide what style of finish you like.  For example, do you like a shiny look or do you prefer a more natural looking finish?  Second, the finish you choose will have a lot to do with the traffic the floor is likely to experience.  And finally, of course, there’s the maintenance question to be answered.  How important is low maintenance to you?

Oil or Lacquer?

There are two main options when it comes to wood flooring finishes.  Firstly there’s lacquer, which is a durable, low maintenance option but can be prone to scratching.  Secondly, there’s oil which is slightly less durable but easier to repair if the floor starts to look a bit tired or scratched.

Wood Floor Lacquers

Most lacquers, even matt lacquers give an appearance of an obvious coating to your floor, whereas oils sink in, enhancing the grain of the wood and giving a more natural look.  The reason that lacquer looks more obvious is that it effectively sits on top of the wood, rather than sinking in.  What this means is that lacquer has a tendency to get worn looking in high traffic areas.  What happens is that the traffic effectively sands away the lacquer and leaves scratches on the surface. The only way to repair this damage is to re-sand the whole floor and start again.

Wood floor oil

Pallmann Magic oil 2KWood floor oil has the advantage of having a low build up and comes in a low gloss finish, which helps mask slight imperfections caused by wear and tear.  A wood floor finished with oil can be easily repaired at any time with a simple wipe of oil on a soft, dry, cotton cloth.  Furthermore, extreme stains can be scoured away and re-oiled if necessary.

So, in summary, how you choose your wood floor finish depends very much on your personal tastes. After all, whether it’s oil or lacquer, you have to live with it.

About the Author

This article was written by Adrian Cunnington at Floor Blimey. Adrian offers expert floor sanding and finishing services in Bath, Bristol and Taunton areas. Thanks to Adrian for sharing his expertise on wood floor finishing options with us. Find out more about Adrian’s work by visiting his Ultimate Floor Sanding Company provider page.

For professional floor sanding and finishing in Bristol and surrounding areas call  Floor Blimey on Freephone 0333 9390193 .

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