The grace, charm and quiet dignity of real wood floors is hard to beat. Every grain, knot and wormhole combines to create undeniable decor magic. And of course, you would want to accentuate the natural beauty of this material. This is where oil finishes come into play. For those that prefer keeping the authenticity of the material, an oil finish is the preferred option. Unlike lacquer’s glossy sheen, oils tend to amplify the raw appeal of the wood with its matt appearance.
With technological breakthroughs in the world of flooring, even finishes have undergone radical changes. Today, you have a choice between Natural Oils and UV Oils. Not sure what works for you? Read on to know the difference.
Back to basics with Natural Oil finishes
These oils have been around for thousands of years to preserve and enhance wooden floors. Natural oils are extracted from vegetables, plants, trees, nuts and seeds. Most of them do not contain waxes or aromatic solvents. Some of the most popular ones are Tung, Teak and Linseed oil.
The best part about using oils is the amount of penetration into the wood. Wood is typically porous or full of microscopic holes and applying oil fills these holes. The oil doesn’t just sit on the surface, but seeps into the heart of the wood, thus making it stronger and more resilient. This also helps the wood keep its character for years, while keeping it supple and waterproof. In due time, these oils oxidise and harden making the wood floors moisture, stain and dirt resistant to an extent.
- Natural oils, by their very nature are a non-toxic, eco-friendly solution.
- This type of finish creates a lovely matt appearance, making scratches and dents less noticeable. It also helps the wood gain more character as it ages.
- It’s easy to spot repair this type of finish, as the new oil will simply blend in with the old over time.
- Flooring finished with natural oils continue to look their best for years. Using specially formulated cleansers to clean your oil-finished floors actually helps to maintain the finish.
- With proper care and maintenance, oiled floors can last for a lifetime.
Remember: A relatively stable level of humidity must be maintained with UV oil finishes, either by using dehumidifier or humidifier.
So, which one should you pick?
Personal taste and preferences play a major role in deciding what to use on your real wood flooring. Do you prefer the raw appeal of Natural Oil or the satin sheen of UV Oil? Do you veer towards more traditional, derived-from-nature finishes or do you prefer advanced, modern-day solutions? Is your space exposed to a lot of sunlight or barely?
There is, of course, no such thing as a perfect finish. Each one has their own pros and cons. Choosing one that’s just right for you finally boils down to what you need your floor to look and feel like. However, if you need more guidance, we are always around to help.