Hard Wax Oil Or Lacquer?

29th Dec 2015

After laying an unfinished oak floor, the final step is to apply your chosen finish. However with so many options available on the finishing market, it can be difficult to know exactly which finish to choose. Two of the most common types of finishes available are Lacquers and Hard Wax Oils - so what are the key differences?

A lacquer finish forms a protective film on the surface of the wood. On the other hand, a Hard Wax Oil is designed to penetrate into the wood. This means that hard wax oils can often appear to give a more natural finish in comparison to lacquers.

The advantage of using a Lacquered finish is its mechanical and chemical resistance - making lacquers low maintenance. Normal cleaning with a brush or vacuum cleaner will help to remove any surface debris.

Oil / Lacquer Finish

(Image sourced from www.blanchon.co.uk)

A hard wax oil requires more maintenance in comparison, but it is this maintenance that adds to its longevity. Hard Wax Oil floors should be cleaned using your chosen manufacturers specialist wood cleaner. This is often a floor soap product that is used in conjunction with a damp mop. These soaps help to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of your flooring.

A great advantage of choosing a hard wax oil, and indeed an oiled finish in general, is the ability to renovate small areas. Should a section of your floor become marked, the affected area can be restored. This can be done by applying a maintenance oil, or by rubbing the area back and applying the original oil. More information on this can be seen on our guide to restoring your oak floor finish.

With both Lacquers and Hard Wax Oils, there are a number of different finishes available from a number of different brands. Whichever finish you decide upon, we always recommend that you first perform a "test" application on a small offcut of your flooring. This ensures that you 100% happy before you apply the finish across the entirety of your room.

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