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What's New in the World of Flooring? Oil vs. Urethane!

We are seeing less and less of that high gloss piano top finish in hardwood flooring these days, and let me just say how happy I am about that. One reason is the high gloss luster makes a floor look like plastic and takes away from the beauty of the natural product that is wood. Two, the higher the luster the easier it is to see damage done to the wood such as scratches in the finish. Generally, in traditional prefinished urethane coatings there are three levels of gloss; high gloss, semi-gloss & pearl. Our current suppliers offer mainly semi-gloss & pearl at the present time.

We are seeing lots of oil-finished products that have an even lower level of luster. THIS is what I love the most about what’s “new” in flooring trends. Oil finish has been around for a very long time but because the design trend is leaning towards modern/contemporary – minimal, oil finish on floors is making a major comeback whether it is in prefinished or site finish.

**Tip** The difference between pre and site finished hardwood – Prefinished flooring is milled, stained and finished at the manufacturer. This allows for assembly line finishing where UV Curing is able to provide a stronger finish with aluminum oxide additives. Site finished hardwood is milled and sent from supplier, then acclimatized and installed into the home as is. Then we sand the floor down to create a seamless & smooth surface, and apply stain & finish on site. With site finished hardwood we are limited to the type of finish & number of coats.


Here are a few reasons why I love oil finish so much:


The Look

Oil does the best job at staying true to the natural state of the wood. It enhances the graining, mineral streaking and variation of the natural product as to maintain what wood is meant to look like. It also has minimum to no luster to it, so the focus is completely and truly on the wood itself.

(Pre-finished White Oak, Rift & Quarter Sawn with Oil Finish.)


The Feel

Oil finish on wood floors feels warm, natural, tactile & welcoming.

(Pre-finished Walnut with Oil Finish.)


The Upkeep

Oil provides a low luster on wood that is warm & real. Reparability is quite simple as it is much easier to touch up than a topical finish.

(Pre-finished White Oak Wire Brushed with Oil Finish.)


For photos of a site-finished oiled hardwood visit our Houzz page!


Yours in design,
The Floorscapes Team




Floorscapes Inc.
a creative voice in the world of Calgary flooring
Where You Can Find Us:
Floorscapes Inc.
525 58 Ave SE, Calgary, AB, T2H 0P7, Canada
Phone: 403-296-0985