Oil or varnish hardwood floors?
If you have hardwood flooring or planks laid, it is not only a question of the appropriate choice of the type of hardwood flooring or the optimum laying method.
Instead, you should always include surface treatment and finishing in your purchasing decision. Because the surface finish is also decisive for a look with an aesthetically individual note.
In addition, it is the decisive factor in providing lasting protection for the parquet floor from moisture and dirt.
Parquet oil recommendations from this article:
Contrast the pros and cons in a targeted way
Two options are available here: You can oil or varnish parquet .
While lacquer seals the floor, you impregnate the parquet surface with an oil or wax.
Whether oil or lacquer is the better solution for your parquet cannot be answered in a general way. If the respective advantages and disadvantages are considered, the pendulum will swing more in the direction of oil or wax for some important criteria. If you want to buy parquet, you should always weigh up the advantages and weaknesses of the finishing techniques against each other.
Why seal parquet?
Sealing is the final surface treatment of the parquet. Possible methods are: sealing with varnish, wax or oil.
In general usage, sealing practically always refers to the application of paint.
The treatment is important because wood as a natural raw material must be protected from moisture and dirt.
The most effective way to provide this protection is to seal it with varnish. This results in particularly good protection and the process is ideal for rooms subject to heavy use. If parquet is laid in the kitchen, a lacquer finish is also recommended.
The warm radiance of the wood is slightly lost. Oil and wax on the other hand preserve the original wood character. However, a floor with such a sealant is more sensitive. After a parquet renovation it is always necessary to freshly seal the sanded parquet planks.
Always pay attention to the humidity
Wood oils have numerous advantages over lacquer. In particular, oxidative natural oils based on linseed oil preserve the so-called diffusion openness, i.e. the breathability of the installed wood.
factual is however always: Wood is basically hygroscopic and reacts to the respective room climatic conditions.
Thus, the parquet absorbs appropriate moisture in the room with damp air and thus expands. In the opposite case – i.e. in dry air – the parquet shrinks.
The intensity depends on the wood species. For example, maple, beech and other light wood species show a generally high swelling and shrinking behaviour.
A relative air humidity of around 50 to 60 percent and a room temperature of about 20 degrees are considered the ideal room climate for the hardwood flooring and also for people.
parquet professionals monitor the air humidity with a hygrometer and use humidifiers for regulation.
It’s not just the optics that decides – the feel has to be right
However, the feel also plays an important role in deciding whether you should oil or varnish your parquet.
After all, wood is a natural product that you can feel as a material at any time.
So when you are faced with the decision whether to oil or varnish your parquet, the feel of the surface is always a decisive factor.
With oiled parquet, you have a clear advantage. Because the oil does not prevent the wood from feeling natural at any time.
The wood can no longer be felt by the lacquer layer
On the other hand, the wood is always under a lacquered layer of lacquered parquet. The wood is still visible, but you can’t feel it at all while running with bare soles of your feet.
Small scratches are not a problem for oiled variants
Also with regard to scratches and similar marks the oiled parquet types have a clear advantage over the lacquered solutions.
Because smaller scratch marks are no longer noticeable if you regularly re-oil the soil. If, on the other hand, there are scratches in the paint layer, these will always remain visible.
Initially, scratches leave white cracks in the paint layer, before these later fill with small particles of dirt and shimmer greyish.
Regularly oiled parquet floors do not necessarily have to be sanded
This can destroy the entire aura of a visually attractive and comfortable parquet floor.
If you also lay oiled parquet, maintain the wooden floor regularly and always treat it with oil in good time, you will often not have to sand your parquet floor again. This saves costs and effort. In addition, you can protect your hardwood flooring with a suitable floor protection mat in places subject to heavy loads.
It depends on the quality of the coating
If you buy parquet that has been covered with a layer of lacquer, you should always pay attention to the quality of the lacquer.
There are considerable differences here. If, for example, a PU lacquer with several layers is used, you are usually on the safe side.
There are parquet floors with a high-quality lacquer coating where even after 40 years no lacquer peeling is visible.
If, on the other hand, an inferior acrylic lacquer is used, frequent sanding is almost inevitable.
In many cases, an inferior product will sooner or later detach itself from the parquet rods or planks, as the wood always swells up due to changes in humidity and then pulls back together again.
Inferior coating layers are more quickly replaced
Experience shows that inferior quality lacquer always peels off first at the edges of the parquet strips or wooden planks.
What remains are bright areas that show a visible contrast to the areas still sealed with varnish.
And not only that:
the bright spots become larger and larger over time. The special charm of a maintained parquet floor falls by the wayside. Rather, the surface suddenly looks more like a patchwork quilt or simply not well maintained.
At a glance: parquet oils – advantages and disadvantages
- The naturalness of the wooden floor is preserved.
- Scratch marks and similar damage can be “repaired” by re-oiling.
- Surface treatment with oil has a positive effect on the indoor climate.
- Regular oiling prevents premature renovation. Sometimes soils of this kind do not need to be re-ground at all.
- However, the maintenance of an oiled parquet floor takes a lot of time.
- Lacquer gives the parquet a very special shine. There are the gloss levels semi-matt, matt and shiny.
- The surface is optimally protected from mechanical damage and water by the coating layer.
- Parquet machined with varnish is predestined for use in the commercial sector and under high demands.
- In case of visible scratches or quirks, you usually need to completely grind a painted floor to repair the damage.
- You can no longer feel the wood under the lacquer layer.
* Last updated on 2023-06-10 / We are using affiliate links / All images are served from the Amazon Product Advertising API.