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Wood Floor Oil, Lacquered or Untreated - What's The Best Option For Your Hardwood Floor?

When searching for your flooring, you will face three contrasting options

This can immediately make deciding which floor finish to choose a daunting task. And what's more, for best results you shouldn't decide based on visual effect alone. Think about how much wear and tear your flooring will get with your family's feet rushing over the surface, the spills and mishaps that are bound to occur over the years and how you are willing to maintain the flooring in the long run.

We all live busy lifestyles and don't want to increase the work in our lives with a high maintenance floor. In fact, the reason many of our customers buy a wood floor in the first place is for the ease of maintenance and to get away from endless carpet cleaning.

So what types of wood floor oils and finishes are available?

Lacquered Wood Flooring

Nowadays, lacquered floors are often heavily promoted. The finish is nearly always factory applied with no work left to be done on site. This can be popular for some people because of the short term convenience of laying a 'pre-finished' floor. However, lacquered finishes are often very difficult to repair on site when scratches and scuffs appear. Keep in mind, although lacquers can be hard wearing, no finish is scratch proof and in time signs of wear and tear are bound to show.

Replenishing damage on a lacquered board is very difficult and this does put many people off this type of finish. In our experience, sales of lacquered floors are also decreasing due to a perception that they often resemble the shiny, almost fake looking, finish that many cheap laminate floors will have.

So what are the alternatives?

Pre-Treated Oiled Boards

Floorboards treated with a quality wood floor oil before purchase and delivery are now increasingly popular in today’s market. They are convenient in that they don’t need treating on site and arrive with a certain amount of protection from the environment.

Always be aware of what type of oil comes pre-applied to a board as often just a basic natural oil is used that offers low levels of protection against accidental spills in your home such as red wine, fizzy drinks, beetroot juice etc. Factory applied oils can come in a variety of different colours and finishes, but do always find out the quality of the oil thats used before you purchase your flooring and also estabish how you are supposed to maintain the floor once laid. We reccomend that you consider the area that the flooring is to be used in. Bedrooms tend to get a low amount of traffic and generally it will only be socks, slipper and bear feet walking accross the surface, Whereas a room such as the kitchen will get a higher amount of traffic, an uneven amount of wear and also have higher possibilities of splils and stains, increasing the importance of a high quality finish. 

In the past, more traditional finishes such as Danish oil was a favourite choice of flooring treatment due to the way in which it brought out the fantastic beauty within the timber. Nowadays though, there are oils that are much easier to apply on-site, simpler to maintain and do a far better job of protecting the floor.

Untreated (naked) Wood Floors

Wood flooring like this one from our 'Classic' range come untreated. That means that no finish (oil, lacquer or otherwise) has been applied to the boards before delivery.

The great benefit of this is that you have full control over the colour and finish as how the floor will end up looking is entirely dependant on what it's treated with on site. This means that by treating on site you not only are sure to achieve a high quality, durable and stain resistant finish you also have the scope to stain the floor to the exact colour you'd like. You may choose to simply treat with a clear traditional finish that will provide a natural light oak colour or you may decide to stain the timber and achieve a white wash of a deep black, for example. The disadvantage, of course, is that you or a handyman need to apply a finish on site, but with a product like Treatex Hardwax oil (discussed below) - this is actually a lot easier than you might think.

What is the best wood floor oil available?

Hardwax oil is a popular choice of floor finish and we have found Treatex to be one of the best hardwax oils on the market.

Treatex Hardwax Oil

We have been dealing with Treatex for a number of years and have found Treatex Hardwax Oil to be one of, if not the best, way to protect your wooden floor. Treatex has been used extensively in both domestic and commercial projects alike and has gained itself a second-to-none reputation throughout the UK, Europe and Australasia.

What are the advantages of using Treatex Hardwax Oil?

You can benefit from using Treatex in a number of ways:

  • ease of application on site
  • slip resistance
  • antibacterial properties
  • beautiful, rich, natural-looking finish
  • robustness & ease of maintenance

In using Treatex, you create an extremely durable, stain resistant and hard-wearing floor that can stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life. As we've recently discussed in our article on cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors, the secret to longevity is actually regular cleaning. Treatex offers the advantage of needing just a mop with water and the Treatex floor care product - it's as simple as that.

"We've grown to love Treatex not only for their hardwax oil, but for the support products that go with it. The Floor Care cleaner is so easy to use and, crucially, gently replenishes the finish keeping it healthy for as long as possible. Floors tend to get an uneven amount of traffic and a product such as floor care replenishes the areas of the floor that start to become hungry for more oil such as doorways or around workstations."

Tom Fanthorpe, Director @ JFJ Wood Flooring

Coloured wood floor oils

Have a particular colour in mind? Treatex supply a wide range of colour tones that can even be mixed to create the exact colour you are after. From the rich ‘dark oak’ finish to the more contemporary lighter ‘pebble grey’ or 'Spruce (white). Treatex have almost all bases covered.

To conclude, we would ask you to think about what you want from your floor. If you are looking to achieve a specific colour, yet want a hard wearing, stain resistant and easy to maintain floor, then we would suggest using Treatex Hardwax oil and, if you wish, take advantage of their range of colours and finishes.

You can see within our range of engineered oak floors here

that we have a number boards available. Some of which come pre-oiled, some lacquered and some unfinished. It's very often a good option to speak to us about your requirements and what it is you're looking for. We are a family business and are always here to help and give you advice. If you have any questions at all, please call us today and we will be happy to discuss you flooring requirements - 01598 740 197

More Information on Wood Flooring Finishes

Before you go ahead with your chosen treatment, feel free to delve into our articles relating to wood flooring finishes, from top-tips to avoiding the dreaded orange effect.

And one more, here's a link to the full range of Treatex colours.

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.

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Submitted by Neil Wharton (not verified) on Wed, 13/09/2017 - 12:28

Hi,I have a American hardwood oak floor in the kitchen diner area.I treated it with Diamond varnish Infact five coats of the stuff.Absolute rubbish.It's worn away in the doorways and around the cooking/sink area.I need something that is hard wearing,stain resident i.e. If a bit of oil or something greasy spills on it.And can just re apply when needed.I have the same flooring in my front room which I applied a hard wax to it and have never had to touch again but I didn't know if it was suitable for a kitchen.
Can you advise please as I am just about to strip the varnish back.



Submitted by jfjadmin on Wed, 13/09/2017 - 13:11

Hi Neil,

Thank you for your comment. We have been supplying Treatex hardwax oil for many years and it has been used extensively in kitchen areas. You can also add Treatex hardener to the hardwax oil to make it as durable as possible. I would recommend that Treatex hardwax oil is cleaned by using Treatex floor care, particularly in a Kitchen as this help keep the finish as healthy for as long as possible.

Please do not hesitate to give me a call if you would like to discuss in more detail.

Many thanks,


Submitted by Gavin (not verified) on Sat, 14/10/2017 - 22:12

Hi I have a pine floor that I have sanded although it still has a bit of a rustic look rather than new.

I am wanting a clear oil. I tried Danish oil on a a sample of board but it goes red after two coats.
Any suggestions please ?

Submitted by jfjadmin on Tue, 17/10/2017 - 18:44

Hi Gavin,

Thanks for your comment. Pine can be a timber that can look quite 'reddy' after clear oils are applied.

We have been supplying Treatex oil for many years and highly recommend it. I would suggest contacting Treatex and discussing your flooring with them. They also can supply you with sample pots of the finishes they offer. So it may be that you can try out some of their colour tones and see which best suits your tastes.

Hope this helps.

Many thanks,


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