Textured finished have become popular in recent years due to their authentic appearance and tactile feel. However, there is more to think about than looks alone and in this article we will cover the pros and cons of a textured finishes such as brushed and oiled.
So let’s start by explaining what brushed and oiled actually means and then take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of these types of flooring.
When a wooden floor is brushed it gives a textured finish to the surface of the timber and the depth of the texture can vary from a light to heavy brushing. Light meaning that there is just a small amount of texture and heavy meaning that the texture is deeper and more apparent. A bushed finish is produced by having a wire rotary brush go over the surface of the board, this removes the softer grains and leaves the upper surface with a textured finish.
Some people are very fond of this authentic, distressed and rustic look as it produces a characteristic floor and potentially give your home more of a traditional appearance. Many people are also put off by the plastic, shiny feel to some lacquered finishes and see brushed an oiled as a way of avoiding this. However you don’t have to go for a brushed finish to avoid a shiny looking floor. A finely sanded board treated with a matt oil will certainly look authentic, just without the textured finish.
It can be said that due to the way in which a brushed floor has texture, scratches and damage to the floor can be less apparent as they blend in more to the already rough finish.
Having a board with a little more of a textured finish can also add to grip on the surface. However, generally speaking, how slippy a floor can be is determined by the product that it is treated with. For example, Treatex hardwax oil is R10 slip resistance certified and slip resistant certified for commercial use: DIN-51130, DIN-51131, EN-13893 yet can give an smooth even finish
Any textured finish is always going to be more difficult to keep clean. Textured grain can collect dirt and is never going to be as easy to simply wipe clean like you could a board that has a smoother finish. Keep in mind; when we say smooth we don’t necessarily mean shiny, plastic looking lacquerers. We mean finely sanded and smooth to touch.
Another obstacle you may come across with this type of board is the sanding aspect. This is because if you were to want to sand back a room / section of your floor, you may want to sand the floor smooth. Meaning you would then have an inconsistency of texture throughout your floor / property that could look unsightly. Also, if the floor was to need sanding, you may wish to take the board right back to its smooth untreated natural state which would mean sanding back much more of the oak until you get to a smooth even finish. Therefore potentially the wear layer on the engineered board wouldn’t last as long due to you taking off much more oak on the initial sanding. This being said it could be argued that a disressed engineered oak board would very rarely, if ever, need sanding as it's designed to look rough and beaten. A few scuffs and marks within the floor will simply blend in and perhaps even add to its character. Also you may not wish to sand the board right back. It may be that you just de-nib the top layer and re-finish to your requirements. It's all dependant on what you're looking to achivee.
Despite trying to achieve a look of authenticity, these finishes are ‘man made’ and if done incorrectly can look quite un-natural. We have seen some very odd looking textured boards over the years of being in this industry. Keep in mind that a small sample of a natural products, such as timber, can only ever be used as a guide. It can be even more difficult to judge a floor based on a small sample if the board is supplied with a more unique finish. If you're unsure we would always reccomend you see a large section of the timber or view genuine pictures of the boards before committing to your order as some brushed / hand scraped boards can be quite inconsistent with the level of texture and small samples are not always the best at accurately demonstrating the overall look and feel of the floor.
If this article has been helpful, yet you still have some unanswered questions before making a decision then please do not hesitate in contacting us. As a family business we are always more than happy to help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01598 740197.
About the author
Tom Fanthorpe. Director, JFJ Wood Flooring Ltd
Tom is one half of the father & son team behind JFJ Wood Flooring. An experienced wood flooring specialist with over 7 years in the industry, Tom is following in his father John's footsteps as a true expert in his chosen field. Having absorbed much of John's 35+ years of experience in the joinery and timber trade, Tom now leads the wood flooring department and holds ultimate responsibility for everything from customer service to sales, logistics to quality control.