Natural oil finishes, also known European hardening oil finishes or penetrating oil finishes, are perfect for low-maintenance hardwood floors in which you would like to achieve a handcrafted, matte look.
A major advantage to this type of finish is that it is relatively easy to maintain compared to other types of hardwood floor finishes. Another advantage is that it accentuates the natural look of the floor with its matte appearance rather than adding gloss to the floor, as other types of oil-based finish typically do.
What is natural oil finish composed of?
A European-style oil finish is primarily composed of cold-pressed vegetable oils and aromatic hardening oils. This type of oil penetrates the surface of the wood floor and, as it cures, it hardens to form a very protective surface that actually becomes part of the wood. This is why it is also known as a penetrating oil finish.
Chemically, natural oil finishes are different from other types of oil-based finishes in that they contain very high amounts of solid particles – they can be composed of as much as 91% solids. They are also eco-friendly and can contribute LEED points to your projects if you are a designer or architect. They also create a very matte look in the floors, rather than adding sheen or a glossy look to the flooring.
Why choose a natural oil finish?
There are many reasons to choose a natural oil finish. One obvious reason is aesthetics. You should choose a European-style natural oil finish if you want to achieve a matte look in your hardwood floors. Choose this type of finish for wide plank hardwood floors where you want to achieve an authentic, rustic flooring style and to highlight the distressed nature of reclaimed flooring, for example the saw marks, checking, and other features that give it character. Click here to read our blog post on rustic wide plank floors.
This type of finish is also known European hardening oil because it is popular in Europe (as you can tell from the name), where they favor clean, natural looks in their interior design, like that provided by a matte finish.
Another reason to choose this type of finish is that it is very easy to touch up if it gets scuffed or damaged in any way. There is usually no sanding required to complete repairs––you simply have to buff out the damage and re-oil the floor.
WOCA is a Swedish company which is known for their penetrating oil and natural oil finishes, and we recommend their products for their high quality.
Matte finishes have been gaining popularity recently because it complements the natural, clean trend that is currently popular in interior design.
If you’d like a wide plank floor finished with a natural oil finish, contact us today to request a quote for your project––we can help you make it happen. We specialize in custom wide plank flooring which we craft with care for each individual project. Click here to read more about the science behind penetrating oil finishes.