Best Oak Floor Finishes The Definitive Test



With so many different floor finishes on the market at the moment, we thought it was about time that we sorted out which are best.

We have created this guide to test out a number of different finishes.

The finishes under test are: Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin, Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural, Osmo Polyx-Oil - Satin-matt, Fiddes Hard Wax Oil - Clear Satin and the Liberon Floor Varnish - Clear Satin.

Here is the newly updated 2016 edition of this guide, with the Rubio Monocoat, Blanchon Original Wood Environment and Bona Traffic HD tested and under scrutiny.

This guide looks at which finish is the easiest to apply, which provides the best look, and which provides the best protection.

If you're looking for information on how to apply the floor finishes, we please read our guide on How To Apply Osmo Polyx-Oil.

( To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here)


Application Of Hard Wax Oils

Application Of First Coat

First Coat Results

Application Of Second Coat

Second Coat Results

Application Of Rubio Monocoat

Application Of Blanchon Original Wood Environment

Application Of Bona Traffic HD


Short Test

Short Test Results

Long Test

Long Test Results

Final Results

Application Of Hard Wax Oils

Application Of First Coat

Application of the first coats were all done under warm conditions where the sun was shining onto the board. These conditions remained the same for all of the finishes.

Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin

Treatex Hardwax Oil - Clear Satin

Before applying Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin, we began by shaking and stirring the oil as per the manufacturer's instructions.

The thin nature of the brown coloured oil made it easy to stir from the start.

Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin

Treatex was relatively easy to apply, however its runny nature meant that you had to be careful whilst doing so.

We also had to regularly re-fill the brush to ensure that the entire of the board was properly coated.

Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin

The drying time for this oil was one of the fastest of the lot in warm conditions, with it taking around an hour to reach a tack dry stage.


  • Before Application: Shake/Stir
  • Texture: Thin/Runny
  • Oil Colour: Brown
  • Drying Time: Quick

Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural

Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural

Before the oil could be applied to the board, we had to shake and stir it. The oil itself was a beige colour which was thin and easy to apply.

Compared to the Treatex Oil, less Blanchon oil was needed to cover the board which made it much easier to apply.

Despite its sticky nature, we found the Blanchon produced a much more solid finish.

Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural

The Blanchon drying time was found to be much the same as Treatex, reaching a tack dry stage after around an hour.


  • Before Application: Shake/Stir
  • Texture: Thin
  • Oil Colour: Beige
  • Drying Time: Quick

Osmo Polyx-Oil Satin-matt

Osmo Polyx-Oil - Satin

Upon opening the Osmo Polyx-Oil it became instantly clear that there was a strong difference in texture compared to the other finishes. The brown coloured Osmo oil was much thicker then the rest and therefore slightly harder to stir.

However we did find that this oil was much easier and much quicker to apply than the others.

The oil flowed nicely, allowing the board to be quickly covered providing an even thick finish.

Osmo Polyx-Oil

The oil may have provided a much thicker finish, but it also provided a much longer drying period, taking the longest of all the finishes to reach a tack dry stage.


  • Before Application: Shake/Stir
  • Texture: Thick
  • Oil Colour: Brown
  • Drying Time: Slow

Fiddes Hard Wax Oil - Clear Satin

Fiddes Hard Wax Oil - Clear Satin

With the Fiddes Hardwax Oil we found that the oil itself was quite a thick texture but also quite runny.

Application of the oil was easy with quick coverage of the board.

The drying time compared to the Osmo oil was quick, however we did find it to be slightly slower to reach a tack dry stage than the Treatex and Blanchon alternatives.


  • Before Application: Shake/Stir
  • Texture: Thick/Runny
  • Oil Colour: Brown
  • Drying Time: Quick

Liberon Floor Varnish - Clear Satin

Liberon Floor Varnish - Clear Satin

As the one of the only finish that we tested that was not a hardwax oil, it was interesting to see how it compared to the rest.

The varnish was a brown colour which was very thin in texture.

Liberon Hardwax Oil Clear Satin

Application of the varnish was very quick as it quickly coated the board.

However we found that the drying time for the varnish was one of the longest, beaten only by the drying time of the Osmo Polyx-Oil.


  • Before Application: Shake/Stir
  • Texture: Thin
  • Oil Colour: Brown
  • Drying Time: Slow

First Coat Results


Although all of the finishes were generally easy to apply, the thin nature of the Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin made it slightly more difficult to apply.

Drying Time

The Blanchon Hard Waxoil was easily the quickest of the oils to dry followed by the Treatex Hardwax Oil.

The slowest finish to dry was the Osmo Polyx-Oil - even after 19 hours of being left to dry, it was still tacky around the edges.

The Liberon varnish was equally slow - after 19 hours it was still slightly tacky and looked wet.


After just one coat we found that the Liberon Varnish had provided the most significant change in colour to the wood, making it appear quite dark and shiny.

The Blanchon Hard Waxoil and the Fiddes Hardwax Oil finishes both provided an enhanced look, not far off a two coat finish.

The Osmo and Treatex oils however had the least significant change in colour, with both providing a thin, highly absorbed finish.

The Treatex Hardwax Oil however did seem to have a smoother feel to it, compared to some of the others.

First Coat

Application Of Second Coat

Unlike the first coat, we decided to test the second coat of all the finishes under cooler conditions in a shaded area.

Second Coat Results

Like with the first coat, the differences between the finishes became even more apparent after the application of a second coat.


We found that for the second coat, application of the oil was much the same as the first.

Second Coat

Drying Time

The drying time for the second coat of finishes followed much the same pattern as the first.

The quickest to dry were the Treatex and Blanchon Hardwax Oils with the Fiddes oil drying not long after.

The Liberon was the next to dry many hours later, with the Osmo drying last.

Blanchon Second Coat


Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin

We found that the final finish of the Treatex Hardwax Oil was reasonably smooth.

The surface of the board was quite rich in colour, similar in style to the Osmo Polyx-Oil.

However throughout the finish there were occasional marks.

Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin

Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural

In terms of smoothness of the surface we found that the Blanchon finish was the least smooth.

It was slightly rough and felt a harder finish to touch.

The colour of the board however was rich and one of the best looking.

Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural

Osmo Polyx-Oil - Satin-matt

Similar in colour to the Treatex Hardwax Oil, the Osmo Polyx-Oil - Satin-matt had a reasonably smooth finish beaten only by the Fiddes and Treatex finishes.

We did find the finish in our test to be quite "streaky" and uneven in parts.

Osmo Polyx Oil - Satin-matt

Fiddes Hardwax Oil - Clear Satin

For us the Fiddes proved to be have one of the smoothest and best colour finish.

The finish was completely uniform in colour, and its surface was smooth right through.

Fiddes Hardwax Oil - Clear Satin

Liberon Floor Varnish - Clear Satin

As the only varnish to be tested it was always to be expected that the final finish would differ to the hard wax oils.

The Liberon Floor Varnish provided the most drastic colour change of them all, producing a dark shiny finish.

The varnish finish also provided one of the roughest of those tested, only slightly smoother than the Blanchon Hard Waxoil.

Liberon Floor Varnish - Clear Satin

Best Finish

Deciding which finish looks the best is generally down to personal preference, but from the above results we have come to the following conclusions:

  • Fiddes is one of the smoothest finish
  • Treatex and Osmo are around the same with regards to smoothness
  • In comparison the the Liberon Varnish and Blanchon were slightly rougher
  • In terms of the way the finish looks we believe the Blanchon and the Fiddes Hardwax Oil were the best
  • The Treatex and Osmo are perhaps a "notch" down
  • In our opinion the Liberon is the least desirable, it seems just too shiny and looks quite tacky

Fiddes Hardwax Oil - Clear Satin

Application Of Rubio Monocoat

Unlike the above hard wax oil and varnish brands, the Rubio Monocoat requires a slightly different application process. Again this product is a hard wax oil, but has been designed so that only the one coat is required.

Before the application, some mixing is required. The oil itself (A) had to be mixed with an accelerator (B). These needed to be mixed approximately at a ratio of 3 units of A to 1 unit of B.

Rubio Monocoat A & B

Once mixed, the oil itself was very easy to apply. It quickly covered the board without much effort needed.

In terms of drying, this oil was definitely one of the quickest, reaching a dry stage after around 30 minutes.

Rubio Monocoat Applied


  • Before Application: Shake/Mix/Stir
  • Texture: Thin
  • Oil Colour: Beige
  • Drying Time: Very Quick

Application Of Blanchon Original Wood Environment

With the Blanchon Original Wood Environment again there is a slightly different application process. Three thin coats are recommended, to be applied using a natural bristle brush or roller. In this case we have applied the Blanchon Original Wood Environment - Natural.

Blanchon Original Wood Environment Can

As the environment oil is a water based oil, the difference in texture is immediately obvious. The oil is very thin and milky in colour.

Each of three coats were applied thinly. These quickly and easily covered the surface of the board. This finish was by far the quickest to dry, with each coat drying in under an hour.

First Coat

Blanchon Original Wood Environment First Coat

Second Coat

Blanchon Original Wood Environment Second Coat

After applying the first two coats and they have been given time to dry, the finish can be lightly sanded. This helps to take out any slight rougher patches, leaving a much smoother finish.

Third Coat

Blanchon Original Wood Environment Third Coat


  • Before Application: Shake/Stir
  • Texture: Thin/Runny
  • Oil Colour: Milky, Clear
  • Drying Time: Very Quick

Application Of Bona Traffic HD

The Bona Traffic HD is the first lacquer that we have tested as apart of this test, and so therefore has a more complex application process.

As specified by Bona the first step was to apply a primer to the unfinished oak board. The primer is one of the factors that gives the colour to the board. For our tests we decided to test the Bona White and Bona Natural Primers.

Application Of Primer

For the application of the primer, a roller was used. The thin nature of the primer ensure that the boards were soon covered. This process was the same for both the white primer and the natural primer. This first coat dried reasonably quick - fully dry after around 2 hours.

Bona Primer Application

Once the first coat had fully dried, the second coat of primer could be applied. This was applied in exactly the same way as before.

Bona Primer Application

Application Of Top Coat

With the primer applied, the next step was to apply the top coat of Bona Traffic HD. For this process the Traffic HD was required to be mixed with the Traffic HD Hardener. This was done in separate container - 1 litre corresponds to one part of hardener.

Bona HD Traffic Application

This combination was then applied to boards across and with the grain using a roller. Once dry, a further two coats were applied as before.

Straight away from using this product it was immediately obvious that the finish had raised the grain, leaving a rough finish.

Bona HD Traffic Final Coat


  • Before Application: Shake/Stir
  • Texture: Thin
  • Drying Time: Quick


After leaving all of the finishes for a couple of weeks to fully harden, our next job was to test their durability and resistance against various sauces and stains to see how easy they were to clean.

Short Test

For the first test, vinegar, HP Brown Sauce, Henderson's Relish and Reggae Reggae Tomato Ketchup were applied to the board.

These were left for 2 hours, before being cleaned off using a wash and care product.

The wash and care consisted of one full cap to one litre of water as per the manufacturer's instructions.


A small area of each finish was covered with vinegar and then left for 2 hours.

Application of Vinegar

Over this period, the vinegar dried onto each of the finishes, but took the longest to do so on the Osmo Polyx-Oil.

At the two hour point it appeared as though the vinegar had managed to stain all of the finishes.

Vinegar Stain

Upon cleaning however, it was apparent that this was not the case, with the vinegar wiping away very easily from all the finishes.

Vinegar Clean

HP Brown Sauce

The next test was to see how the finishes handled HP Brown Sauce.

Cleaning wise this was one of the most difficult to remove, being an excessively "gloopy" sauce.

HP Brown Sauce Application

Once fully removed the brown sauce left no stains at all.

HP Sauce Board

HP Brown Sauce

Henderson's Relish

Henderson's Relish Board

Henderson's Relish was next to be tested on the finishes.

Once again, after two hours we found that the sauce was relatively easy to remove from all finishes with the help of the wash and care product.

Henderson's Relish Clean

Reggae Reggae Tomato Ketchup

The final product to test was Levi Roots' own Reggae Reggae Tomato Ketchup.

Reggae Sauce Application

As a sauce with "real flava", it proved to be the only real competition for the finishes in the 2 hour test.

We found this sauce the most difficult to remove, taking some real elbow work to get it gone!

After some hard work, the sauce appeared to have left the Liberon, Treatex and Osmo boards with a slight orange tint in certain areas.

Wash and Care

Returning to the board 24 hours later, we realised that the sauce had in fact left a mark on some of the finishes.

We had to get the Wash and Care out again in a bid to remove it.

After a second wash, the board was generally free from any marks, although there was still a slight orange patch on the Osmo and Treatex sections of the board.

Short Test - Blanchon Original Wood Environment

Further to the hard wax oils and the varnish, we of course also tested the Blanchon Original Wood Environment

This was subjected to Reggae Reggae Sauce, Hendersons Relish, Vinegar and Washing Up Liquid.

As with the test above, this was left for a few hours.

Blanchon Original Wood Environment Test

After this time had elapsed, we then begun the process of cleaning the board. This again was done using the floor soap. This quickly disposed of the vinegar and the Reggae Reggae sauce. The Hendersons Relish on the other hand did seem to leave a slight tinge to the board, however upon further cleaning this mark was no longer visible.

The washing up liquid produced the most damage by quite literally stripping the finish off the board.

Blanchon Original Wood Environment Stripped

Short Test - Bona Traffic HD

As the only lacquer tested as apart of this test, it was interesting to see how the Bona Hd Traffic would handle the short test.

Bona HD Traffic Short Test Before

Like many of the finishes before it, the Bona HD was defeated by the washing up liquid. After just two hours it had marked and stripped the finish.

For this we also decided to introduce mustard to the test. The Traffic HD did not perform well with this, with a yellow stain left on the wood.

Bona HD Short Test

Short Test Results

From the first test, all of the finishes generally held up well and fought off the stains.

Despite the test including the likes of vinegar and relish, they were easily removed after 2 hours.

The only real competition for the boards was Levi Roots' Reggae Reggae Tomato Ketchup, leaving a slight stain on all of the finishes and requiring some of them to be cleaned again.

Although there were no significant marks after a second cleaning, both the Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin and the Osmo Polyx-Oil - Satin-matt did have slight orange marks.

Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural, Fiddes Hardwax Oil - Clear Satin and the Liberon Floor Varnish - Clear Satin were all, as far as we could see, free from any marks or stains.

The Rubio Monocoat was also free from any marks.

As mentioned above as apart of the updated test, the washing up liquid proved to be too much for the Blanchon Original Wood Environment.

Long Test

From the results of the first test, we decided that the hard wax oil finishes had clearly had it too easy!

Therefore, for the second test, we decided to increase the length of time the various condiments were left on the board - rather than being a short two hours, we left them for 48 hours.

For this part we have decided to test even more substances including washing up liquid and Dettol Multi Purpose Cleaner.

Second Test

48 hours after application, each finish was then cleaned in the same way as before, using the Wash and Care product.

Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin

After cleaning, we found that the Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin still had a few different stains on its finish.

Both the vinegar and cup stain had left marks on the board, though these could potentially be removed with some further wash and care.

One of the most prominent stains however, was from the washing up liquid, which left a mark even after cleaning.

Treatex Washing Up Stain

Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural

Once the Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural had been completely cleaned off we found the complete opposite to the Treatex Oil.

The hard-wearing nature of the Blanchon Hard Waxoil meant that there were no stains or marks whatsoever.

Blanchon Hard Waxoil

Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural

Osmo Polyx-Oil - Satin-matt

From the cleaning of the Osmo Polyx-Oil finish we found that a few marks had still been left behind.

Once again the washing up liquid had managed to leave a slight greenish mark on the surface, taking away some of the finish's colour.

Osmo Polyx-Oil Washing Up Liquid Mark

Fiddes Hardwax Oil - Clear Satin

Like the Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural, the Fiddes Hardwax Oil also managed to remain completely stain free and retain its original look.

Fiddes Hardwax Oil - Clear Satin

Fiddes Clean Board

Liberon Floor Varnish - Clear Satin

After cleaning off the Liberon Floor Varnish, we once again found that there were no marks or stains left behind.

Liberon Floor Varnish - Clear Satin

Liberon Floor Varnish Clean

Rubio Monocoat

After successfully surviving the 2 hour test, the Rubio Monocoat was subjected to the 48 hour test.

Upon cleaning off the excess marks it was found that once again the washing up liquid had proved to be the finishes achilles heal.

The washing up liquid left the finish with a dark stain. Although we did find that the extremity of the stain did lessen over time, it still remained visible.

Rubio Monocoat

Rubio Monocoat Stain

Blanchon Original Wood Environment

After the washing up liquid proved to be the environments weakness in the previous test, it was interesting to see how it would react to the long test.

The vinegar, brown sauce, reggae reggae sauce and the relish were all wiped away with ease.

The washing up liquid again proved to be its downfall. Unlike before, where the finish was stripped straight off, this time left it was left with a dark tint. However, upon drying, this mark did fade to show more bare stained wood.

Blanchon Original Wood Environment Long Tes

Blanchon Original Wood Environment Mark

Long Test Results

From the 48 hour test its easy to see that the Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural, Fiddes Hardwax Oil - Clear Satin and the Liberon Floor Varnish - Clear Satin were the clear winners.

The Osmo Polyx-Oil - Satin-matt and the Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin and Rubio Monocoat faired worst of the hard wax oils from this test with both of them being stained or marked by the washing up liquid.

Equally the test provided too much for the Blanchon Original Wood Environment and the Bona Traffic HD, once again the washing up liquid being the main culprit.

Final Results

This was not a scientific test, but we aren't aware of anyone else having put these finishes up against one another in this way.

Here are the results we have had and the conclusions we have drawn:

The Osmo Polyx-Oil - Satin-matt and the Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin had similar performance in terms of final finish and resistance to various marks and stains.

Whilst the Liberon Floor Varnish - Clear Satin performed very well in the stain tests, we initially found its colour and finish to be not as desirable as the others. Over time though, the striking nature of the finish does seem to have mellowed and we're now quite fond of it!.

The Rubio Monocoat performed quite well with the fastest drying time and a general resistance to most stains.

The Blanchon Original Wood Environment whilst suiting its own individual purpose of providing a more natural unfinished look, it did fall a bit short when subjected to some of the tests.

Equally the Bona Traffic HD provided a more "unfinished look", but also suffered the same fate, marking in the long test.

That leaves the Fiddes Hardwax Oil - Clear Satin and the Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural which, in our opinion, proved to be the best finish to use on your oak flooring.

We found that both of these finishes after two coats, left the board with a deep natural honey colour which was very attractive. The Fiddes Hardwax Oil was immediately the smoother of the two, but the Blanchon did eventually become smooth.

In the stain test both of these finishes performed equally well, with neither becoming stained by the washing up liquid or any of the other challenges in the 48 hour test.

Fiddes Hardwax Oil - Clear Satin / Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural

  Treatex Hardwax Oil Traditional - Clear Satin Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural Osmo Polyx-Oil - Satin-matt Fiddes Hard Wax Oil - Clear Satin Liberon Floor Varnish - Clear Satin
Before Application Shake/Stir Shake/Stir Shake/Stir Shake/Stir Shake/Stir
Texture Thin/Runny Thin Thick Thick/Runny Thin
Oil Colour Brown Beige Brown Brown Brown
Drying Time Quick Quick Slow Quick Slow
Finish Good Best Good Great Bad
Resistance To Stains Not Very Resistant Resistant Not Very Resistant Resistant Resistant
Rating 3 / 5 4 / 5 3 / 5 3.5 / 5 3 / 5
  Rubio Monocoat Blanchon Original Wood Environment bonatraffichd    
Before Application Mix With Accelerator Shake/Stir Mix With Hardener    
Texture Thin Thin/Runny Thin    
Oil Colour Beige Milky, Clear White    
Drying Time Very Quick Very Quick Quick    
Finish Good Good Good    
Resistance To Stains Reasonable Not Very Resistant Not Very Resistant    
Rating 3/5 3/5 3/5    


Thanks for a great article.
We have gone with OsMo polyx Matt, chosen before your post was read.
#2 option was going to be
It has been applied to our kitchen worktops rather than floor boards.

Will be coming back to your blog for a regular look, as new floor boards are next on our list to do.

CJD September 18, 2012 at 10:44pm

In my opinion it is a good test if you, not taken in consideration personal opinions.
But beside stain-ability the hardness is as important (which requires the less maintenance to keep walk ways in good condition). May I conclude that the resistance to stain is equal the resistance of waring down?

I have Osmo and this a product that you must apply in two layers. Just before the second layer starts to dry up, you polish it ! This makes the top more durable and shinier.
I hope this is of some help for people who choose Osmo.

ErP October 11, 2012 at 6:19pm

Congratulations for the informative and easy to read comparison of the different brands of floor finishes. This will definitely help me make my buying decision.

From Hobart

Ian Mansfield March 31, 2013 at 5:37am

Hi - we have applied Osmo wood wax finish to a chair and really dont like the finish at all - it is streaky - but cannot get it off? Any ideas how to remove this product from wood? Thanks J

jennifer hall-thompson April 22, 2013 at 11:12am

Hi Jennifer

Osmo make a paint remover gel designed to remove their products.

Give us a call on 01538 304584 and we'll do our best to sort you out with some.


Adrian April 24, 2013 at 1:21pm

We have a new oak frame Conservatory/Orangery currently under construction. We want to treat inside and out to prevent the grey ageing. OSMO is being touted by the builder.
We would like a finish that slightly aged, but not antique, outside could be slightly darker than inside. We are not looking for a shiny finish, so matt or satin-matt.
We have considered fuming, but wonder if this will then be too antique. Do you have any recommendations?
(Impressed by the Blanchon although a touch darker inside, maybe.)

Colin Marshall June 5, 2013 at 2:45pm

Hi Colin,

For the interior oak, we would recommend using a hard wax oil such as the Blanchon or the Osmo. If the standard Satin or Matt arent to your taste, Blanchon also do a number of colour options which can be seen on our guide by <a href="[link awaiting verification]; rel="nofollow">clicking here</a>.

For any exterior oak there are equally a number of products available such as the <a href="[link awaiting verification]; rel="nofollow">Blanchon Advanced Decking Protection</a> or the <a href="[link awaiting verification]; rel="nofollow">Osmo UV Protection Extra</a>.

If you would like to discuss either of these products in more detail with us please call on 01538 304584.

Peak Oak June 6, 2013 at 10:27am

Thanks for the great guide - I'm curious though as to how Liberon's Floor Oil would stack up (instead of the varnish).

Mike August 18, 2013 at 7:00pm

Thanks Mike.

It would be interesting to see how the Liberon Floor Oil would stack up against the rest. We will be sure to keep this in mind in the future.

Peak Oak August 20, 2013 at 11:51am

What would be your recommendations for a farmhouse table top? So far I've tried two samples of Fiddes hard wax oil. Do you know how this would cope with heat from dishes and plates? Does the hard wax oil also bring out the grain in the wood? Thanks for the great, insightful article - amongst numerous options and products it's really helped shape my decision.

Simon August 20, 2013 at 3:02pm

Hi Simon,

We have had a number of customers who have used any of the above hard wax oils on the likes on tables and worktops. We have also had people who have used the hard wax oils in pubs and restaurants where food and drink spillages are the norm! Obviously in these situations the oil is likely to require more maintenance and perhaps earlier recoating, but this really depends upon the amount of traffic it encounters. In terms of the heat from dishes we have ourselves placed very hot plates on top of the oil, and have yet to encounter any problems.

As for bringing out the grain of the wood, you might want to take a look at our <a href="[link awaiting verification]; rel="nofollow">essential guide to oak floor finishes</a>. We have found that some of the different colours can bring out the grain more then others.

Peak Oak August 23, 2013 at 10:37am

We have a solid oak floor that we have applied a liberon clear oil on and over the 5 year period it has gone a honey colour which is too dark. We are considering sanding the floor down and would like advice as to what to put on as we would like a clear/natural floor which is light in colour. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

Angie Turner September 10, 2013 at 5:09pm

Hi Angie,

All of the standard hard wax oils will turn an solid oak floor the honey colour which you described. If you are looking for a product that will not produce this honey colour, there are two products which we would recommend.

Firstly the Blanchon Hard Waxoil Colours may be of interest to you. This product will provide all the protection of your hard wax oil but is instead available in a number of different colours. These different colours can be seen by <a href="[link awaiting verification]; rel="nofollow">clicking here</a>.

The second product that may interest you is the <a href="[link awaiting verification]; rel="nofollow">Blanchon Original Wood Environment</a>. This product is available in four different styles and is designed to keep your oak flooring as natural as possible. Again these styles can be seen in more detail by <a href="[link awaiting verification]; rel="nofollow">clicking here</a>.

If you require any further information, please give us a call on 01538 304584.

Peak Oak September 11, 2013 at 10:21am

Hi - Terrific article - wish I had read it sooner!
Our contractor has put two coats of Osmo on our kitchen floor but its very patchy. He tells us we need to build up multiple layers but I am now reluctant to do this. Could we apply the Blanchon on top of the Osmo? If so how many layers will we need?

Many thanks

Ann November 13, 2013 at 10:49am

Hi Ann,

It sounds to us that the oil could actually still need time to dry and has not been able to fully cure. It might well be worth leaving the oil time for a period of time to see if the situation improves.

We have actually tested out putting different brands over each other in another guide ([link awaiting verification]). Although we didn't personally find any problems in doing this, it wouldn't be something we would particularly recommend.

Hope this helps.

Peak Oak November 13, 2013 at 4:34pm

I was about to use Osmo Polyx-oil for a pine floor, but now I am considering Blanchon Hardwax oil. Does your guide to floor application for Osmo Polyx also apply to the Blanchon product? Your web page for Blanchon mentions buffing during application - is this needed for floors?

David November 19, 2013 at 4:12pm

Great article, I am currently treating my new Pattern 10 white oak doors with Polyx satin matt hardwax oil.
I have noticed that after the first coat they have gone a bit rough to the touch, i was thinking of going over them with 0000 grade liberon wire wool before applying the second coat or should i just carry on with the second coat.

Mark T November 20, 2013 at 1:49am

Hi David,

Yes the guide to the application of the Osmo Polyx Oil also applys to the Blanchon Hard Waxoil. For the application we would recommend using a natural bristle brush or cloth. In terms of buffing, there is no buffing required for either of the products, doing so can sometimes give a slightly smoother finish though.

many thanks

Peak Oak November 20, 2013 at 10:25am

Hi Mark,

Normally we would recommend following the instructions that Osmo state on their tin, as presumably this would not be something Osmo would recommend.

If you would like more information on this, you would probably be better giving us a call on the matter.

Many thanks

Peak Oak November 20, 2013 at 10:30am


We have had an Oak Worktop installed on an Island in our kitchen. It has been finished with Danish Oil, but reading about these Wax Oils it seems to me as though something like Fiddes Wax Oil will give a much more resilient finish. Could the Fiddes Wax Oil be put on top of the Danish Oil?

Many thanks


Steve November 26, 2013 at 2:01pm

Hi Steve,

Generally all of the hard wax oils recommend that they are applied onto unfinished timber. So if you were looking to finish with a hard wax oil, any previous oils would need to be sanded off.

Many thanks

Peak Oak November 26, 2013 at 4:52pm

Very helpful article! I had thought I had decided on the OSMO before reading this, but now I'm considering both the Fiddes and the Blanchon instead. I'm more inclined to the Fiddes because of the smooth finish; our house is contemporary (USA) and I'm avoiding anything "rustic".

Have you done any tests or have any experience with whether using a color of any of these will still allow selective refinishing of high-traffic areas and spot repairs without seeing a color difference? I don't want a heavily saturated color, just something to tone down the honey and add some grey or walnut tone, but I don't want to lose the refinishing aspect as it's the main reason for choosing HWO.

Thanks again!

Lisa December 28, 2013 at 10:53pm

Hi Lisa,

The only tests we have on the website of what you speak of were done just using the standard finishes ([link awaiting verification]).

With all of the hard wax oil finishes refinishing small areas is possible, however when recoating small patches there is always the chance of a slight discrepancy.

We also have a break down of the colours available, which can be seen by <a href="[link awaiting verification]; rel="nofollow">clicking here.</a>

I hope this answers your question.

Peak Oak December 30, 2013 at 10:30am

Thank you, that is helpful. I like what I've read about the Blanchon best, but cannot find a US distributor. Do you know of any US sources? We want to order samples, try them out, and then order the product (coating rift-sawn oak, we think, between 1000 and 1600 sq. ft) and it seems that would be a lot of time and cost for shipping from the UK. I can find Fiddes colors, but I've heard reports of the color fading. I'm avoiding the OSMO because I believe the colors are precolors, not part of the oil itself.

Once again, your website is quite an amazing source of information and I very much appreciate it. If you have a USA partner, please feel free to recommend them to me. My email if it doesn't come through is lstroyan at gmail dot com .

Lisa January 3, 2014 at 3:52pm

Can hard wax oils be used on reddish Pine boards and how would the colour be affected?

lai February 11, 2014 at 6:58pm


Yes the hard wax oils can be used on a number of different wood species. In terms of colour, with the standard finishes the colour has a more orange tint to it.

I hope this helps.

Peak Oak February 13, 2014 at 12:37pm


I want to sand and re-coat our pine floor. Which would be the best finish from your products? I've been looking at the Osmo, but form your guide the Fiddes hard wax oil would be better? Looking for a matt - matt-satin finish - also have alrge dog who roams the house

Many thanks


Paul March 11, 2014 at 10:18am

Hi Paul,

Being dealers in oak we cannot specifically comment on how each of these products compare on pine. The overall colour though will likely to be more orange and lighter than it is on oak. In terms of durability and resistance we have found the Blanchon to be the stronger product.

Many thanks

Peak Oak March 11, 2014 at 1:59pm

Hi please help. I've recently had a new oak worktop fitted & it's not going well. Our fitter sanded it & applied a linseed wood oil. We have an enamel sink & after just 2days there are water stains :( I've been on the Internet reading for hours & I don't no what to use or where to start now. I feel like my new worktop is ruined.

Aakifah March 22, 2014 at 10:12pm


For the coating of worktops we would recommend using an oil which is designed specifically for this purpose.

One such product is the Osmo TopOil, which is resistant to common household stains.

Many thanks

Peak Oak April 4, 2014 at 11:44am


My husband is just in the process of laying a solid oak floating floor in our old house in France and we are trying to work out the best finish. We really like the pale natural oak timber colour and do not want anything too warm, honey-ish or dark. We also need something quick drying - as we need to be able to walk on it ASAP! This all sounds very demanding :) but just wondering what you would suggest (the mono coat?) and whether it is available in France ...


Charlotte September 5, 2014 at 2:21pm

We have had an oak floor installed in our hallway and kitchen. It has an oiled and sealed finish. Already I have some stains, the worst a splashing of Car screen wash. Can I manage to remove it? Is it possible to put varnish finish on top.? What preparations would I need.
Thank you

Agnes Freeman January 30, 2015 at 12:58pm

Hi Agnes,

Without knowing exactly what oil was used it is difficult to say, the appropriate soaps and maintenance oil may help to remove these marks. For some more serious marks they may require sanding to be removed ([link awaiting verification]).

With regards to the varnish, again this is dependant on what product was previously used. It is not normally recommended mixing different finishes.

many thanks

Peak Oak February 2, 2015 at 1:47pm

Help! I've just had a European oak staircase installed. I have put on one coat of osmo clear satin 3032. I absolutely hate it, much too dark, no beautiful honey, syrup colour, looks like garden furniture
. I am now desperately sanding and sanding to try to get it back to bear wood. Please can you advise which product to use for a satin finish which will have a nice honey colour. I don't need to worry about the treads as only the two bottom bullnose treads will be uncarpeted. Thank you , julie

Julie goodman May 14, 2015 at 10:18pm


We have just had engineered oak flooring laid which has a UV oil finish applied to it. It was glued down and the glue was wiped away very quickly but it has left slight discolouration. Please can you advise what product I should use for cleaning? and I would then like to apply additional coats of oil? Would the Blanchon Hard wax oil be OK on the UV oak?


Pete Perring August 27, 2015 at 9:22pm


I'm about to have an engineered oak floor laid in my kitchen, dining room and hall. I am debating between uv cured oil and hard wax oil and would welcome advice on the relative advantages of each. I want a surface that is resistant to stains and easy to maintain, relatively matt, and not too orange.


Sue Bennett August 30, 2015 at 3:04pm

We have recently invested in lots of oak for a vaulted ceiling. Having sanded and applied 1 coat of Osmo UV protection oil (420 Clear, satin-matt) as advised by the suppliers to one piece, it has dried a reddish/brown colour making the wood look much more like teak - not at all what we wanted. Is the colour likely to change? If not what alternative treatment would you advise to enhance the true tones of the light oak please. Many thanks.

Nigel Handoll October 7, 2015 at 7:51pm

Hi guys.

I have just started fitting the 14mm Prime Oak we bought from you earlier in the year. I have bought "Bona Traffic HD", which is a two-pack water based varnish to finish it with intending two coats over the same company's water based single pot primer. we have one or two small glue stains on the surface which cannot be completely removed with either white spirit or acetone. Hoping that the varnish will mask them! Any comments?

Steve Cronin December 1, 2015 at 2:24pm

Thank you for the very thorough and detailed review: I'm so glad I read this before deciding to use Fiddes hard wax oil on our new oak window boards, doors and staircase as the finish is wonderful, bringing our the natural appearance of the timber and leaving a smooth hard wearing finish. A friend had recently used OSMA to treat a kitchen worktop; and as a joiner was appalled with the streaky, dark and tacky finish. I recommended Fiddes to him and when refinished he was also impressed and now uses it on many of his professional jobs.

Given your review identifies issues with the roughness of finish from the Blanchon (which I have admittedly never used) and that it is badly stripped with washing up liquid I was surprised that it beat the Fiddes to which you gave high praise in all respects. However noting which products you offer for sale, the half point margin becomes more obvious - perhaps you should consider selling the Fiddes, as my money would be on you using this for your own projects every time ;)

Tom January 2, 2016 at 11:58am

I used Sadolin PV67 on three oak floors the most recent being 2002. The wear has been very good. The main downside being the toxic vapours given off (need to varnish very quickly without breathing or with good ventilation).
I was hoping to find a less stressful varnish to patch areas which were not originally varnished (eg skirtings) or where the varnish has been removed.
I am suprised Sadolin is not in the line up. Is this about price or the complexity of a 2 part product? I would still be tempted to use it on a major project - but am open to other advice.

Jeremy January 29, 2016 at 10:10am

Does the Blanchon Hard wax oil Ultra Matt Natural version have the same spillage resistance at the original Natural?

James Leung February 15, 2016 at 2:07pm

What exactly is the "washing up liquid" you refer to in the comments?

Natalie April 4, 2016 at 7:03pm

Please tell me which of the above tested waxes/finishes to use. ---covering stains hasn't been addressed although your tests covered resistance and other really important factors wonderfully.

I have white oak common grade 1 floors.
Looking for the finish that
1. has the most long-lasting lifespan
2. can be applied over a minwax stain
3. Doesn't discolor at all
4. is easy to apply by a true novice

I am also researching a U-sand machine which the company claims to not gouge floors as can other machines used by novices....any experience with this/words of wisdom welcome here from you.

Natalie April 4, 2016 at 7:26pm

----I am in the US & need you to let me know where to buy the product you recommend. Thank you for your life-saving on! Covered what peopl are looking understand the customer!

Natalie April 4, 2016 at 7:30pm

Hi Tom,

Glad to hear that your have found the review helpful. With regards to the Blanchon, we actually found the Blanchon Hard Waxoil to be the most hard wearing and was not stripped by the washing up liquid.

It was the Blanchon Original Wood Environment product that we found to be stripped by washing up liquid. This is a different product - a water based oil rather than a hard wax oil.

This test was completely impartial as we have no loyalty to a particular brand. We instead simply look for the best product available for our customers.

I hope this answers some of your queries.

Peak Oak April 12, 2016 at 1:57pm

Hi Steve,

Probably your best option would be to sand back to small glue stains away from the surface. The stains will more than likely stand out more once the finish has been applied, so need to be removed.

Hope this helps.

Peak Oak April 12, 2016 at 1:57pm

Hi James,

In terms of resistance, there should be no difference between any of the different finishes of the Blanchon Hard Waxoil - whether this be the Natural Ultra Matt, Natural or Natural Satin.

Many thanks

Peak Oak April 12, 2016 at 1:57pm

Hi Charlotte,

From what you have said, it sounds like the Blanchon Original Wood Environment might be of interest to you. This is a water based oil which is very quick at drying. This will leave your timber looking as unfinished as possible.

Hope this helps

Peak Oak June 10, 2016 at 6:25pm

Hi all, found this guild very helpful but I m now sanding down 250 metre squared of engineered oak after 7 years of heavy traffic used as a holiday let so now as we moved back into the house are wanting a heavy duty scratch resistance and stain in the kitchen and entrance as these have suffered the most damaged . We used osmo polyx hardwax oil satin finish before but want something glossy as kids are grown up but also want the correct stuff that won't mark easy and last the longest especially after sanding it all down , thanks Greg

Greg davies August 7, 2016 at 7:45pm

I would like to strip 4-year old oak floors which were treated with several coats of Tung oil and then some Osmo. They looked great for a while but have now gone horribly gummy. After studying your excellent article and comparison, I would like to re-do the floors with Blanchon. Prior to sanding, could you recommend the best chemical or method to remove the gummy surface residue?
Many thanks

laurence August 9, 2016 at 4:01pm

Hi - we are in the process of laying oak floors throughout our ground floor, strip reclaimed 1940's oak in lounge and dining, oak parquet in the hall. We want it to be light and natural, id rather matt finish but would go for gloss if it means it will be super hard wearing. We have two spaniels and I want something that will stand the test of time and not need redoing every year - i used the Bona stuff on our old mahogany parquet floor and it was easily worn down by our dogs and their scratchy feet!

any help would be most appreciated - i need to order a fair bit to get it all done and want the best!


ben harris November 17, 2016 at 5:19pm

Hi Ben,

It really is preference what type of finish is best for you. From this particular test, we found the Blanchon Hard Waxoil to be the most hardwearing finish. When applied to oak, the blanchon hard waxoil will enhance the look of the timber, providing a warm honey golden colour. There are also Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Colours available in a range of different tones and styles.

If you like the unfinished look of the timber, the Blanchon Original Wood Environment is available. This is a water based oil, designed to protect the wood without significantly changing its natural colour. However from this test, we found it to not be as hardwearing as some of the other finishes.

To see a rundown of some of the various finishes available (applied to our own oak flooring), we have a guide which can be seen via the following link.

Hope this helps

Peak Oak November 18, 2016 at 5:20pm

Hi There, Great article! I'm about to sand the oak floors in my cottage and was wondering if you could recommend any products that might be suitable. Previous owners only treated two rooms but this needs redoing. Doesn't look as if anything has been done to the kitchen or lounge though so the wood has started to go grey in some areas, particularly around the patio doors, and is looking quite grubby in the kitchen also. The cottage is over 100 years old and fairly vintage rustic so I was looking for something fairly matt that won't turn the timbers too orange but that will give me the most uniform finish across the treated and untreated timbers. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!! :)

Janice Morrison May 16, 2017 at 3:53pm

Hi Janice,

The type of product required really depends on what kind of look you are hoping to achieve. For example applying the Blanchon Hard Waxoil in the Natural or Natural Ultra Matt finish will enhance the look of the timber creating a warm honey colour. This would leave a matt finish. If this colour is not what you require, there are a number of Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Colours available.

If you are just looking to protect the timber, without significantly changing the colour - the Blanchon Original Wood Environment may be of interest. This is a water based oil that leaves a matt finish.

You can see all of these different finishes in more detail via the following link:

If we can help any further, please let us know.

Peak Oak May 17, 2017 at 10:15am


Great article. What is your view on Tover wood stains?

Thank you

alex June 26, 2017 at 10:17am

Hi, thanks for the informative article.
My husband is making an ash staircase for us and I am looking for a hard-wearing finish which will retain the natural colour of the wood (no tint or honey colours). Which do you recommend?

Joanne Urmston February 14, 2018 at 9:24am

Hi Alex,

I'm afraid we don't have any experience of using the Tover Wood Stain products, so are unable to comment on their suitability.

Peak Oak February 14, 2018 at 12:32pm

Hi Joanne,

For a finish that won't significantly change the natural colour of the timber, we have a product called the Blanchon Original Wood Environment. (

This product is a water-based oil, that is odourless, non-yellowing and provides a natural matt finish.

Peak Oak February 14, 2018 at 4:43pm

Thank you for your extensive test, I found it very helpful but need a further bit of advice please.
My kitchen dining room area floor is english Oak. It is now three years old and has been coated twice with Osmo satin hard wax oil. In the kitchens heavy work area (sink and preparation), the floor is beginning to stain.
It will have to be sanded back and recoated but, need your recommendation for the best durable wax oil that you would consider in this situation.
Thanks for your help in advance,
Tony Whitford

Tony Whitford June 7, 2018 at 4:13pm

Hi Tony,

From this particular test, we found the Blanchon Hard Waxoil to be the most stain resistant against some of the kitchen products (such as washing up liquid, sauces etc.)

What have you been cleaning the oak flooring finish with? It is recommended to use the brands own cleaning products. The available soap products will not only clean, but also maintain. Further to this, there are also maintenance oils that can help to revitalise the finish as it dulls.

Hope this helps

Peak Oak June 8, 2018 at 10:39am

Very informative article indeed - thanks.
I am just about to fit a prime oak parquet floor (32sqm) and am considering the Fiddes/Blanchon Hard Wax Oil. What method of application would you recommend to achieve a streak free finish given such a floor size? can it be rolled on or is it brush only?
Regards, Steve.

Scholester February 20, 2019 at 2:03pm

Hi Scholester,

The best application method we find is to use a natural bristle brush (such as our floor brush - rather than a roller. This allows you to work in the finish more, resulting in a better finish.

Hope this helps

Peak Oak February 20, 2019 at 2:06pm

Absolutely great piece of work. Thanks for publishing. Very useful to us as we are just starting to restore an old oak floor (c 90 years old) ourselves. One related question - what would you recommend to clean the floor before applying finishing treatment? as you can imagine, after almost 100 years, quite a bit of gunge - grime, paint, plaster etc - has settled upon it. Thanks in advance.

Stuart M March 6, 2020 at 5:07pm

Hi Stuart,

Before applying any of these finishing products any previous finishes/paint would need to be removed. This is typically achieved by sanding back the timber to bare wood.

Hope this helps, if you would like to discuss this in more detail, please give us a call.

Peak Oak March 31, 2020 at 5:47pm

This is a great article. I'm just a bit confused with the final score as in the final results you seem to favour Fiddes over Blanchon but Blanchon gets 4 out of 5 and Fiddes 3. I'm looking to do a pine kitchen table and initially thought Fiddes clear satin till i saw your article.

Phil October 5, 2020 at 5:57pm

Hi Phil,

The purpose of the test was us trying to damage and mark the oils. Generally all of the oils performed well with minimal differences between them all. It is worth noting that we did apply the oils to oak, so the final colour will differ when applied to pine.

Hope this helps.

Peak Oak October 6, 2020 at 6:11pm

HI, very interesting exercise thanks. I'm looking at an oak worktop, with a natural finish. the OSMO Natural top oil seems to have some poor reviews, as it often seems to leave streaky marks - when applied too thickly i believe. Do you know if this the same with the Fiddes as they also do a natural version.

Geraldine September 9, 2021 at 4:20pm

Wow, thank you for this in-depth test and comparison. This is exactly what I was looking for. Fiddes is not very popular here in the US, so I'm glad to learn about this product. Thank you again!

GP November 15, 2021 at 11:33am

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