Oil versus Urethane Finished Wood Floors

By Jill

Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 6:40 PM


When it comes to hardwood floors, there are many factors that you need to look at when deciding what will be right for your home. Species of wood, stain, solid vs. engineered construction, and the brand to name a few. Today’s blog post we will focus on some of the wood floor finishes…and many people have asked us what are the pros and cons of an oil finished wood floor vs. an urethane finished wood floors? In the last decade oil finishes have been making a comeback, especially with the increase in popularity of reclaimed wood floors. The trend is to keep the look as natural as possible and the oil is ideal finish for this. I always tell people that live in homes that take a lot of abuse from kids, pets and high traffic to go with a low gloss urethane or oil. The higher the gloss, the more likely you are to see scratches. Oil vs Urethane Wood Floors Oil Finished Wood Floors The great thing about oil floors is that they do not need to be refinished. The oil gives the natural flooring a nice rich look, and over time and with reapplication of oil, the floors only look richer. Oil is made with linseed oil, and you the homeowner can apply it yourself. The oil allows the natural beauty of the wood to shine through. This is what makes it unique. Common to the ”oiled look” is the featuring of the natural grain, knots and imperfections in the wood. Sometimes the more rustic the better. Urethane Finished Wood Floors The urethane finishes have been around for 50 years. Many of us have grown up in homes with wood floors that have a more polished look. There are advantages to wood floors that come with the urethane type finish. They help prevent scratching and excessive wear and have a protective layer that sits on top of the wood floor. I caution people and tell them to go with the lower gloss. The lower the gloss the less likely you are to see scratching. Also, make sure you look into the flooring manufacturer. Mirage is a top of the line manufacturer, and in my opinion has the best wear layer and finish compared to other floors in the market. They have the highest customer satisfaction rate. In my 15 years of working in the industry, I have yet to have a customer that has been disappointed in their product or how it has performed. So, in a nutshell, oil finished woods can be easier to maintain – and for those wood enthusiasts (such as myself) you are able to really see the true richness and beauty of the wood. With each re-coating of oil, the richer the wood becomes over time. If you decide on a urethane floor (also beautiful and durable) – please do the research as the quality of the urethane finish really does make all the difference. A company that produces quality products with quality urethane finish will give you a product that will perform for years to come. Come to the Barry Carpet showroom in West Los Angeles and we will be happy to show you the differences between an oil finished wood floor and a urethane finished floor.

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