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Lacquered vs oiled flooring. Which is best?

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In the flooring world, lacquered vs oiled is one of the biggest battles that everyone is talking about. In this blog we’re going to delve into the debate, and help you to find the main differences between the two, and to help you make your decision. First and foremost we’ll start with lacquered...

Lacquered vs oiled flooring. Which is best

What is lacquered?

Lacquered is a high gloss and matt finish for wood flooring. Lacquer is a type of varnish that is applied to the wood, and provides a protection of sorts. It’s ideal for a room that is expected to have high levels of footfall and heavy traffic. It also looks great for anyone that simply wants a high gloss finish.

Pro’s:

We wouldn’t claim that it is completely waterproof, but it certainly has good levels of water resistance. If there are any spillages, liquid can be wiped up very easily and won’t seep into, and permanently damage the wood due to its varnished finish.

Con’s

It can be quite easily scratched and scuffed. Due to the glossed nature of the wood, heavy items can cause damage quite easily, so it is advised to invest in a door mat or to ensure it’s regularly cleaned. Over a period of time it can begin to look worn, so a re-sand or re-finish would be advised.

What is oiled?

Oiled is more of a traditional finish, and is certainly more old fashioned, compared to the slightly more contemporary lacquered. Oiled is more for people wanting a vintage feel in their home, and wanting a finish that is a little more hard-wearing.

Pro’s

One of the main advantages of oiled is the fact that the protection doesn’t just come on the surface, but deep to the core as well. Similarly to any wood flooring it’s important it’s protected, but it is certainly a more sustainable than a lacquered finish.

Con’s

Despite it’s excellent protection, it does still take a lot of maintenance on quite an ongoing basis. It also has very low water resistance levels, so any small amount of water spillage can cause permanent damage and leave watermarks behind.

So, which is more suitable for you?

Both finishes have a wide number of advantages that make them incredibly appealing. Lacquered is certainly more sustainable that oiled, and is far better suited in areas that may be exposed to wet conditions. Oiled however has excellent protection, and is definitely more for the traditionalists.


We hope our blog has helped you to make your decision, unfortunately neither is better than the other so it really is down to personal choice. There are plenty of cheap wood flooring options available, so good luck making your choice!

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*collaborative post