Lacquer is a UV-hardened multi-layered coating system that protects the floor by forming a surface protecting against abrasion, dirt and micro-scratches. A lacquer finish is ideal in a room where you anticipate either high or heavy footfall or where you want a gloss or high gloss finish. The good thing about a lacquered finish on your floor is that it becomes somewhat water resistant. That said, it’s never a good idea to splash lots of water about on any wood floor. The one downside of a lacquered wood floor is that it has a tendency to show scratches more easily than an oiled floor. Because of this, when the floor finally ends up looking tired and worn, the best course of action is normally a re-sand and re-finish. The protection offered by lacquered wood finish is arguably the toughest of all and this is probably why, in the good old days, gyms and dance halls were finished in this way, rather than simply waxed or oiled. That said, because lacquer sits on top of the wood, when it is worn away with wear and tear, the bare wood is left exposed and susceptible to damage. Lacquer comes in high gloss, gloss and matt finishes. All of that said, even a matt finish tends to have a bit of a shine to it. So when you’re choosing a lacquered finish for your floor, it’s important to be aware of the shine that you’ll get. One of the best things about lacquered finish wood flooring is that spills, if they’re wiped up reasonably quickly, won’t seep into the body of your floor. The main downside when you choose a lacquer is that it tends to scuff and scratch more easily than an oiled finish, so it’s doubly important to invest in really great doormats and sweep or vacuum regularly.
Oil finish penetrates the structure of the wood, emphasising its natural qualities and beauty. An oiled finish is the perfect solution when you’re looking for a natural looking finish for your wood floor. Generally speaking, this solution will give you a nice natural, matt look. Although oil wood flooring is slightly higher maintenance on an ongoing basis than lacquered wood flooring, it tends to need fewer major interventions because the protection goes deeper than the surface. Unlike lacquered finish, when the top layer of oil finish gets worn away, there is still a level of protection underneath. And like any wooden floor, if you protect it with good doormats, and sweep or vacuum it regularly and give it a light mopping, it’ll stand the test of time nicely. The good thing about oiled wood flooring finish is that it goes deep into the heart of the wood and provides not only protection on the surface, but into the core too, which means that your wood is protected to the max. Oiled wood flooring has a really natural look and enables the colour of the wood to deepen over the years. The great thing about oiled finishes is that your floor looks as if it has no protection applied whatsoever. What’s more, there really are no disadvantages of this type of finish.