Engineered oak flooring: the different finishes and caring for your floor

Engineered oak flooring comes in lots of different finishes, not just in terms of the ‘top coat’, but also treatments that can steer the overall look. Those vintage look floors that are so popular are often tumbled to give them that aged look. Brushing is also a technique used to add texture, and most engineered oak flooring is sanded, to smooth the board. There’s also a technique called back-scraping, which gives a traditional band sawn look; this is how wood used to be cut and it creates a more irregular surface, with undulations across the floor.Normandy engineered oak flooring

In terms of top coats, the most popular options are hardwax oil, natural oil and lacquer. Hardwax oil creates a matt finish and generally deepens or intensifies the wood’s tones, as it penetrates into the timber. Oil creates a similar look, with more lustre. A natural lacquer, on the other hand, doesn’t generally change the colour of the actual wood. You can also get stained lacquers, where a specific colour tone is created by the actual finish. All of these options give a durable surface and work in slightly different ways. A hardwax oil or natural oil will need to be reapplied to the engineered oak flooring every so often; this will refresh the floor and top up the protection. Lacquer doesn’t require any special maintenance, but if the surface dulls or becomes scratched over time, the floor can be sanded and the lacquer reapplied.

Maintaining engineered oak flooring

When it comes to maintenance, it’s important to remember that you’re dealing with a natural material, even though it has a tough, durable finish. Sweeping and vacuuming will keep the floor dust-free. When it comes to mopping, make sure that your mop or cloth is clean and well wrung. Any water that’s allowed to sit on the surface will cause the wood to swell (and then shrink as it dries out), so spillages should be mopped up straight away. Also, floor-cleaning solutions should be suitable for engineered oak flooring and the type of finish that you’ve chosen. Most general ‘floor cleaners’ are very harsh and could potentially damage the floor finish and the timber; even some of the general ‘eco’ brands. ‘Homemade cleaners’ can also cause more harm than good, especially lemon or vinegar-based treatments, which can be very acidic. A good rule of thumb is to look out for a product that’s pH-neutral. We really like Treatex Floorcare for our hardwax oiled engineered oak flooring and Marldon Floor Cleaner for our lacquered finishes.

For inspiration and more about engineered oak floor finishes, like us on FACEBOOK, follow us on Twitter, or call 01993 824200.


For media information, samples and photography, please contact Angela Fitzhugh on tel. (01590) 622521 or email enquiries@afpr.co.uk

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