Hardwood flooring comes in a wide range of colors and stains. Either pre-finished or finished onsite after installation, hardwood flooring finishes provide protection, enhance appearance and increase durability. Consumers may be surprised at the choices available for finishing hardwood, including popular, eco friendly methods with an oil base. Deciding between natural oil finish vs UV oil finish on hardwood floors requires an understanding of the processes and benefits of each option.

Basics of Natural Oil Finish for Wood Flooring

Natural oil finishes are made from vegetable oils, and most do not contain waxes or aromatic solvents. One of the major benefits of using an oil finish is penetration. Instead of coating the top of the plank, oil soaks into the wood. Natural oil finish cures and hardens, forming a thin layer of protection from the inside. This type of finish creates a matte appearance, making scratches and dents less noticeable. It’s easy to spot repair this type of finish, as the new oil will simply blend in with the old over a short period of time. Unlike urethane coated hardwood, flooring finished with natural oils continue to look their best for years. Using specially formulated soap to clean your oil-finished hardwood actually helps to maintain the finish. With proper care and maintenance, this style of floor lasts for a lifetime ahardnd beyond. Natural oils must be applied at the jobsite, and allow your wood planks to breathe naturally. This results in a more uniform look that’s pleasing to the eye and more comfortable to walk on.

Is UV Oil Finish Better in Any Way?

Natural oil finish hardwood delivers a host of benefits and impressive longevity. What can UV oil finished wood floors bring to the table as an alternative? Both finishes offer a similar look, although UV oil can be done in a satin finish that suits many commercial applications. This low luster appearance helps to hide dents and scratches more than any other type of finish, making it ideal for high traffic areas. A low gloss level of around 10 percent is difficult to achieve with other types of finish, and the thin finish is flexible, making it more difficult to scratch or flake off. UV oil finish contains more solids than natural oil finishes, and does not contain solvents. Natural oil is eco friendly, but using UV oil ensures that VOC gases will not be introduced in your home. A relatively stable level of humidity must be maintained with UV oil finishes. This could require the use of a dehumidifier or humidifier. Avoid wet mopping both types of oil finish and use only soft brooms and approved products to clean the floor. Remember that plastic or rubber backing on your area rugs will stain the finish. Taste plays a major role in the debate between natural oil finish vs UV oil finish on your hardwood flooring. Do you prefer the satin sheen of UV oil, and can you live with the tighter restrictions of this product? Or does the look and ease of natural oil finish make the most sense? Talk to your flooring retailer about the options and bring home some samples to have a closer look.