The use of hardwax oil for timber treatment is such an example. For thousands of years wood has been treated with oxygen drying oils for maintenance and increasing durability. Only during the last 50+ years the development of the petrochemical industry and their synthetic products has nearly displaced the use of oils for timber treatment.
But, simultaneous to the development of the synthetic products, oil based wood treatment has been going through a tremendous technical evolution. The result is a wide range of application with sometimes even better technical characteristics than the synthetic products. And reflecting on the discussion about sustainability, these products - based on renewable raw materials - are much more responsible to the next generations of human beings than the synthetic ones.
The advantage of oiled surfaces against all synthetic products is the direct contact to the natural material wood. The oil is penetrating into the pores of the wood and is protecting the wood from the interior.
Synthetic products are building a layer of plastic sealing the wood in both directions. This means that there is no direct contact to the natural surface wood below a synthetic coating. The timber surface is buried below a layer of plastic. Hardwax oils are microporous allowing the timber breathe, which means climatic changes are accommodated. Since they do not create a skin each board can move individually without the concern of edge bonding.
Technically speaking, a plastic-sealed timber is trapped, meaning that it cannot interact with the surrounding area. And especially damp diffusion is most important for the wood’s durability and stability. Thus oils have got a much better adhesion to the wood. If once a lacquered surface shows cracks, water can penetrate between wood and the coating with the result that lacquer will flake of the surface and leave the wood will be unprotected.Water resistant (not just water repellent like other coatings) Hardwax oils are the perfect choice for humid areas.
Synthetic Coatings on the basis of different synthetic polymers (acrylic, polyurethane, epoxy, etc.) results to a total different surface than using oil based systems. As said before the systems are not sustainable and even the so called environmental friendly water dilute-able systems do contain solvents (glycols) and of course the resins are 100% synthetic based on the petro chemistry. The result of a lacquer treatment is still a totally sealed buried timber surface.
Easy Maintenance / Save Renovation Cost
It is often said that hardwax oiled surfaces need more maintenance than synthetic coatings. In fact it is the other way around. Maintenance and renovation has to be taken in mind together.
Hardwax oils are durable and easily maintained, with a longevity before total recoating of 7-8 years with proper care in medium traffic areas. With no aggressive sanding and being nontoxic, there is no need to move out of your home to recoat. They are replenish able with a simple maintenance coat, spot repairable, no need to re-sand your whole floor to repair or replenish. Therefor no toxic dust particles from agressive sanding, and even better no toxic odors from a fresh coat of syntheitc coating.
Furthermore, hardwax oils have high coverage rates, between 20 to 30 m2 per litre. When caluctating the price of coating choices, this is often over looked. Synthetic coatings in generale covers around 10 to 12 m2 per litre. Yes, you are getting more product, but you are also getting less coverage with a synthetic coating. Keep in mind also that for initial treatment Hard wax coatings are a 2 coat system. Many synthetic coatings need a primer first, before applying the two finishing coats.
Manufactured and processed with the least possible risk to humans and the environment.
All of our products are fully compliant with the extremely strict EU standards for VOC emissions, environment and sustainability and reflect state-of-the-art manufacturing and usage characteristics for both the trade and the end customer. Additionally, the products are tested by the Institute for Construction Biology and certified as high construction and habitation biological quality. Contains no pollutants and minimal amounts of the least aggressive solvents available.
Nontoxic, Safe for You and Your Family