What is the Difference Between Lacquered and Oiled Flooring?

What is the Difference Between Lacquered and Oiled Flooring?

When you’re choosing the right flooring for your home or business, there are a lot of factors to consider. One thing which often causes confusion, is the difference between the various finishes available. 

Engineered wooden flooring and solid wood floors come with a range of finish options, with two of the most common being lacquered and oiled. So, what is the difference between a lacquered and an oiled floor? Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know.

What Is A Lacquered Finish Wood Floor?

When a floor is advertised as having a lacquered finish, it’s basically like a layer of varnish added to its surface. This not only protects the surface, but it gives it a nice shine too.

There are different types of lacquered finishes, such as matt, gloss and high gloss. Even if you opt for a matt lacquer finish, it’s still going to provide a beautiful shine. 

What Is An Oiled Finish Wood Floor?

Oiled flooring has more of a waxy finish. The manufacturer uses a hard-wax oil on the surface of the wood, again protecting its surface. This type of finish produces a more natural looking surface and it isn’t as shiny. 

You’ll also find you can invest in either UV oiled or natural oiled finishes. With UV oiled floors, they are dried using UV lights, speeding up its drying process. Consequently, you won’t need to apply another layer of oil to the floor once it’s been installed. It also protects the floor against fading over time if the floor has a UV filter. Natural oiled surfaces on the other hand, typically need to be given another coat of oil right after it’s been installed. 

You can also find brushed oiled finishes. This means the surface of the floor has been brushed to reveal the harsher grains of wood underneath. This adds to the natural look of the wood, creating the most authentic finish.

What Are The Differences?

So, besides the type of coating, what are the differences between lacquered and oiled finishes? 

You’ll find lacquered floors offer a more seamless, smoother look while oiled floors provide a more natural appearance. There is some debate as to which type of finish is tougher. Lacquer is thought to be the toughest surface coating available, making these floors extra-durable. However, oiled finishes can also provide excellent durability. 

With a lacquered floor, the coating only sits on top of the surface, whereas with an oiled coating, the oil seeps into the underlayers of the wood too. This means if it becomes scratched, the wood below will still be protected. Speaking of scratches, lacquer floors are more prone to scratching than oiled finishes. 

In terms of maintenance, oiled floors do need slightly more intensive maintenance than oiled ones. There’s the fact you’ll potentially need to add another layer of oil once the floor has been installed. If you choose a natural oiled finish, you’ll also need to reapply the oil once a year to keep it looking its best.

Lacquered floors tend to be more water resistant than oiled floors. Maintenance wise, they will need to be sanded and re-finished, but this only really needs to be done once every 5-10 years. 

So, how do you choose which finish is right for you? Well, it largely depends upon your visual preferences, how much maintenance you want to put in and how much foot traffic it’s going to be exposed to. It’s important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of both types of finishes before choosing the right one for your home.