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A Beginner’s Guide to Timber Floor Finishes

Written by Whittle Waxes

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Posted on May 03 2021

Applying the right finish to your timber flooring can preserve the aesthetic and protect the wood from spills, scratches and the dulling effect caused by general wear and tear. But, with so many different types of timber floor finishes, how do you know which one is ideal for your floor?

What is a floor finish?

Timber floors require a protective coating to preserve the wood. Without a finish, the surface can warp and crack. Factors such as temperature and humidity changes can cause the wood to expand or shrink – a floor finish won’t stop the timber from moving, but it can reduce how much it responds to climate changes.

Flooring is also vulnerable to everything from foot traffic to spilled coffee. Anything that scratches the surface can leave a mark, and any liquids will quickly absorb into the wood, making it almost impossible to remove stains.

With timber floor finishes, you are essentially placing a protective barrier between the natural wood and the environment. This can help to reduce the overall cost of caring for your floor. A finish will also enhance the beauty of the timber. You can choose finishes that will leave a shiny, glossy coating or that will work to promote the original colour of your wood.

A comparison of wood floor finishes

Whether you’re applying a floor finish yourself or you are hiring professionals to refinish your flooring, it’s important to do your own research on each type of timber floor finish. These may include: Polyurethane finishes, wood oils, moisture-cured urethane, wax finishes, and shellac, amongst others.

The finish we are qualified to comment on are hardwax oils.

Hardwax oils

A blend of oils and waxes, hardwax oils have been around for decades and continue to represent the latest innovation in timber floor finishes. They offer the aesthetic benefits and the natural look of wood oils whilst providing enhanced protection with a combination of waxes. 

What is the most durable hardwood floor finish?

All floor coatings will wear over time, but there are some finishes that are more durable than others. For the most long-lasting results, hardwood flooring experts recommend hardwax oils. They are the most advanced option on the market today.

Hardwax oils contain a special blend of natural oils and waxes designed to protect the timber for longer. Also, being 100% natural, once dried the oil is safe, eco-friendly and toxin-free.

They are also ideal for flooring in Australia as they are microporous. With a varied climate, it’s even more important to ensure your timber is protected but can also “breathe” so the changes in humidity and air temperature don’t cause the wood to crack or split.

With hardwax oils, you can count on long-term protection and an attractive finish. It’s also easier to maintain your floors as you can simply spot repair any problem areas – no need to sand everything back to restore the gorgeous look of timber flooring protected by natural hardwax oils!

For a natural, hard-wearing timber floor finish that can handle varied climates and high-moisture areas like the kitchen and bath, browse the Whittle Waxes Hardwax Oil range.

These hardwax oils are made from a blend of sustainable waxes and oils including beeswax, jojoba oil, linseed oil and sunflower oil. They are pet-safe, food-safe and toy-safe and offer excellent wood protection.

With a quality timber floor finish, you’ll be able to enjoy absolutely beautiful timber flooring for years.