Once you’ve made the decision to install a wooden floor, the next step is to decide on the finish. Each style of finish brings its own visual appearance to the wood, as well as slightly different levels of protection.

Read on to explore the options and discover which is best to complement your beautiful wood flooring.

Oiled vs lacquered

Broadly speaking, there are two main groups of wood floor finishes. Namely, oiled and lacquered:

Oiled wood finish

Oiled is the most popular finish as it accentuates the wood grain and provides a natural matt look. Once applied, the oil will soak into the wood, so you can still see the beautiful texture of the grain.

Oils are available in various colours and sheen levels that are typically easy to maintain and reapply. Oiled floors are slightly less durable than a lacquered floor but they are much less susceptible to scratching.

Lacquered wood finish

On the other hand, a lacquered finish gives wood more protection. This added durability makes it ideal for high traffic areas or commercial properties. However, the lacquer also adds more sheen to the wood, which looks less natural than oil.

Lacquer is generally clear, so it maintains the colour of the wood flooring when applied.

What about matt lacquer?

As technology becomes more advanced, many manufacturers are trying to create products that combine the best of both worlds. More specifically, they have the look and feel of oil with the durability of lacquer – known as matt lacquer.

In many cases, these products simply don’t do what they say on the tin. Instead, you end up with a patchy finish that’s not matt at all. So, it’s always best to consult with an expert before applying matt lacquer to any wood flooring.

Other finish effects

Oils and lacquers are applied to finish the wood’s appearance and protect it into the future. However, there are also several other effects which can be used to add texture and a more distinctive look to wood flooring.

Hand-scraped, planed and sawn finishes are particularly effective at giving new floors an aged or reclaimed look. These techniques have proven particularly popular in period properties – where a shiny new floor would look out of place – but also in vintage and ‘shabby chic’ design schemes. It allows you to combine the performance of new wood flooring with a stylish aged appearance.

Which is best?

When deciding which is best, it’s important to consider your specific requirements. Broadly speaking, oils come out on top in terms of appearance. But there’s no denying the durability of lacquer, making it lower maintenance in the long run.

Remember, you can always reapply or change your finish at a later date. That’s one of the joys of using natural wood flooring.

Finding the right flooring for you

At Greyspace Flooring, we tailor the whole wood flooring process to you and your property. That starts with a consultation to choose the right flooring and finish. Our Sheffield showroom has hundreds of samples with a range of different woods, patterns and finishes.

If you want to discuss your options in more detail, we’d be happy to help. Give our team a call on 0114 258 1256 or email [email protected].