The Essential Guide To Oak Floor Finishes
Finishing your oak flooring is one of the most important jobs in protecting your investment and achieving the desired look for your project. However, this can easily become a minefield, with so many different brands and finishes available.
With this in mind, we have created this essential guide to available finishes for oak flooring.
If you are looking for information on which particular brand produces the best finish, you can check out our Guide To Oak Floor Finishes by clicking here.
Please Note: All of the images in this piece should be used solely as a guide. For a true representation, always test out the finish on a small offcut prior to complete application.
( To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here)
What is the difference between a Satin and a Matt finish?
One of the most common questions we are asked here at Peak Oak is "What is the difference between a Satin and a Matt finish?"
In the oak flooring world these two finishes are the most common when purchasing a hard wax oil, that is designed to protect your oak floor.
Different brands have their own terms with which to describe finishes. Blanchon have their Natural Matt or Natural Satin finishes, Osmo have their Matt or Satin-Matt and Fiddes have Clear Matt or Clear Satin. All of these are effectively a Matt or Satin finish respectively.
When applied to oak boards, a Satin finish will give your floor a warm, honey colour with a slight sheen, which will reflect light.
Satin finish is a popular choice for creating a more homely atmosphere.
Increasing in popularity, matt finishes offer a more natural, understated feel to your oak flooring.
Matt is often chosen for more contemporary spaces with the Natural Matt finish providing little or no sheen to your oak boards.
How To Choose Between A Satin Or A Matt Finish?
The choice between satin or matt finish in the end will come down to your own personal preference and environment. The final look of the finish is affected by the style of your room as well as overall lighting.
Finishes can also be affected by the grade of oak flooring chosen. For example, to really bring out the colour and stripes in our Manor House Brown Oak Flooring, we recommend finishing with a satin finish for a fantastically dramatic effect.
What Are The Alternatives To Satin Or Matt?
If you are looking for a direct alternative to a Satin or Matt finish, there are a number of different options available to you.
The latest innovation in the hard wax oil market comes from Blanchon with their Blanchon Hardwax Oil - Natural Ultra Matt which offers something slightly different from the standard matt finishes available. As the name suggests, ultra matt has absolutely no sheen whatsoever.
If none of the above options are to your taste, a colour stain could be what your looking for. As before all of the different brands offer their own personal styles, with the Osmo Wood Wax Finish Transparent and the Blanchon Hardwax Oil Colours. With so many different styles available we have created our own colour swatch below.
The Blanchon Hard Waxoil Colours offer a range of colour alternatives from their hard waxoils. Created from the same formula that is used to create their traditional hard waxoil, the colours range offers the same great protection to your wood.
The Natural Looks
Many of our customers will often ring us up asking how can they retain the natural unfinished look of their oak boards, yet still keep them protected. Once again thanks to the innovation of Blanchon, you can do just that, with the Blanchon Wood Floor Oil Environment. If you're looking to finish your oak floor, yet keep it as natural as possible, this is the product for you.
Coating up the boards, it's immediately obvious that the final finish is very much affected by the tone of the underlying oak board. For boards with a more prominent grain, the final finish is generally quite dark in tone. With boards with a lesser grain, the final finish is generally lighter.
In the final comparison of the finishes the Blanchon Hard Waxoil - Natural Matt, Blanchon Wood Floor Oil Environment - Natural and the Blanchon Wood Floor Oil Environment - Ultra Matt was coated onto the same oak board. An area was also left unfinished to show the original look of the board. The outcome of this can be seen below: