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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Leek

Wood flooring finishes: Which to choose?

So, you’ve decided on a wooden floor for your home – great choice! But now there are more decisions to make, including the finish of your wood.

All wooden floors should have a finish added to the surface to protect them from damage. Some hardwood will have already had a finish added during the manufacturing process, however, you may have opted for a raw, unfinished floor, in which case, you can decide how you would like to finish it once it’s been installed.

The finish of your floor is really important as it will affect its overall appearance as well as the texture of the floor when it’s in place.

Therefore, here we have put together a list of wooden floor finishes that you could opt for:

Natural oiled wood finish

A hardwood floor with an oiled finish ensures that the natural beauty of the species of wood you have chosen is adequately protected using layers of air-dried matt oil. The oil sinks deep into the wood, protecting it from within.

This finish will maintain the overall character and attractiveness of the wood and is complete transparent. Oiled wood floors also create a warm, soothing surface for you to walk on, compared to other alternatives that are colder. They are also an environmentally-friendly option, as the oil natural protect compared to other synthetic finish types.

An oil finish protects your wooden floor well and will ensure it looks fantastic. It is a durable option; however, it will need occasional maintenance to keep it looking great.

UV oiled wood finish

A UV oiled wood finish means that the oil has been treated with an ultra violet light before it is added to the wood. In this case, more oil can be used on the surface of the wood, which gives a stronger surface than natural oil would.

As with natural oil, the innate character of the wood and grain pattern are still perfectly maintained and will be preserved for many years.

This impressive level of strength and adaptability makes UV oiled floors a great choice for cottages and older properties where dust tends to accumulate. Just as with all types of oiled wooden flooring, it must be swept and vacuumed on a regular basis, and all spills should be quickly cleaned up to avoid staining and warping.

Satin & matte lacquer wood finish

Unlike an oil finish, which sinks into the wood, a lacquer sits on top of the surface of the boards. Lacquers give a very smooth finish and are available in a variety of sheens from ultra-matt to satin gloss. You can even use invisible lacquers, which barely change the tone or natural character of the timber at all.

A lacquer finish boasts great durability with very little maintenance in comparison to an oiled version. This finish is good for high footfall areas, such as kitchens, as it stops any spillages seeping into the wood and protects against chemicals too.

One negative is that scratches and scrapes tend to show up more on lacquered floors than on oiled floors. It may sometimes be necessary to sand back and re-finish an area if damage does occur. In general, lacquered finishes are slightly more expensive than oiled finishes too.

Hand-scraped, Brushed & Distressed wood finishes

As well as a choice of oiled or lacquered finishes, there are also various textured finishes that can be opted for in order to create a unique style to your wooden floor.

Brushed hardwood floor refers to when the surface of the wooden flooring has been lightly brushed before the oil has been applied giving it a textured appearance. This process exposes the natural qualities and charm of the wood and is great for those seeking a traditional appearance. The texture of the brushed finish can vary from light to heavy brushing and is created using a wire rotary brush over the top surface of the board.

Hand-scraped wood features long, ingrained scrapes made within the planks. This makes each plank look individual. No two planks will appear the same and the overall appearance is very luxurious and premium. It’s a popular choice with many modern and newly refurbished homes.

A distressed wooden floor has been intentionally aged in the manufacturing process in order to give it a distressed and worn appearance. It could be hand-distressed or distressed using a machine. Slight imperfections are added to the surface of the floor, which add to the charm and charisma of the natural wood. The end look is a floor, which appears reclaimed or vintage.

Once the planks of flooring have been either brushed, scraped or distressed, they are then protected with an oil finish. Although textured grain wood does look great, it is often harder to keep clean as dirt and dust can collect within the textured grains.

If you’re unsure about which finish is the best choice for you and your home, our experts at H Morgan will be happy to help talk you through your choices. Contact us to start planning your new wooden flooring today.

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