High-quality hard wax oil finishes are considered to be one of the best ways to finish a hardwood floor due to several reasons, and they have stood the test of time over other types of finishes. Here are some of the key reasons:
Natural Look and Feel: Hard wax oil finishes penetrate deep into the wood, enhancing its natural beauty and character. Unlike some other finishes that create a plastic-like coating on top of the wood, hard wax oil allows the wood's grain and texture to remain visible and tactile, giving it a more authentic and organic look.
Durability: Hard wax oil finishes create a durable protective layer on the surface of the wood, making it more resistant to scratches, scuffs, and stains. The wax component of the finish provides flexibility, which allows the wood to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity without cracking or peeling.
Easy Maintenance and Repair: Hard wax oil finishes are relatively easy to maintain. Routine cleaning and occasional reapplication of the oil can keep the floor looking fresh and vibrant. In case of localized damage, such as scratches or dents, spot repairs are typically straightforward without requiring a complete refinish of the entire floor.
Breathability: Unlike some polyurethane finishes that create a plastic-like barrier on top of the wood, hard wax oil finishes are breathable. This means that the wood can naturally exchange moisture with the surrounding environment, which is essential for the long-term health of hardwood floors. Breathability helps prevent issues like warping and cupping, especially in areas with fluctuating humidity levels.
Renewable and Eco-Friendly: Hard wax oil finishes are typically made from natural plant-based oils and waxes. They are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making them safer for both the environment and indoor air quality. Additionally, when it's time for maintenance, applying more hard wax oil is usually sufficient, without the need for stripping away layers of old finish, which reduces waste.
Age Gracefully: Hard wax oil finishes have a unique ability to age gracefully over time. As the wood floor gets used and develops a patina, the finish tends to blend with the natural wear and tear, creating a warm and inviting appearance that many homeowners find appealing.
Ease of Application: Hard wax oil finishes are user-friendly, and even DIY enthusiasts can achieve good results with proper preparation and application. Unlike some complex finishes that require professional expertise, hard wax oil finishes can be applied by homeowners who follow the manufacturer's instructions.
While other types of finishes like polyurethane and lacquer may also provide a durable finish, hard wax oil finishes offer a combination of practical benefits, aesthetic appeal, and environmental considerations, making them a preferred choice for many who value a natural and long-lasting finish for their hardwood floors.