Wood Flooring Finishes

5 Mar 2021

When choosing your wood flooring you will need to consider what finish you would like for your floor. Your choice of finish will influence the look and feel of the flooring and the level of care required to maintain durability.

Wood is a natural material and with reasonable care will mellow and develop a patina with age. Different surface finishes require varying types of maintenance. It is generally recognised that lacquered finishes are more resistant to water marks and require lower maintenance in high traffic areas. All floor finishes still require regular maintenance by using the correct products and methods.

Air-dried oils

Air-dried oils penetrate deeper into the pores of the wood and make the grain of the wood more visible, emphasising the natural look and texture. Subsequent applications of oil will enhance these tones, and pigmented oils can be used to further deepen the coloration if required. We recommend that at least one additional application of Hardwax oil is (thinly) applied after installation and that your floor is maintained correctly thereafter. An air-dried oil finish requires more frequent maintenance than for example a Lacquer finish, but properly cared for it provides a long lifespan and unlike a lacquer would not usually require re-sanding to revive the finish.

UV cured hardwax oil

A UV oil treatment is where typically two or more coats of oil have been applied at the factory which are then rapidly ‘cured’ under UV lamps, retaining a higher build of finish closer to the surface, and thereby creating a harder wearing finish. The UV oil finish offers great protection and abrasion resistance, and a further coat of oil would not normally need to be applied after installation although a maintenance paste can be added in high traffic areas such as kitchens or with very light-coloured floors. This finish is generally regarded as closer to the durability of a lacquer with the added benefit that accidental damage or scratches are easier to touch in. A common misconception with this finish is that due to its name it provides protection from UV rays and sunlight, this is not actually the case!

Valour UV oil

Valour finish is an extremely popular and durable surface exclusive to Havwoods, often used in commercial projects and available on some of our Venture Plank range. The Valour engineered boards provide superior abrasion, a scratch and impact-resistant solution that extends the life and appearance of the flooring. The result is an exceptional finish which is very matt and more resistant to scratching compared to similar alternative finishes. Valour also offers superb slip resistance. Please note in addition to the 8 colours in our range, the Valour finish is also available as a special order on many of our other wood flooring products.


Lacquered finishes offer high durability and resistance to spills and scuffs. Multiple applications (typically 5-7) seal the grain then build up a protective coating on top of the wood, creating a barrier between the wood and the elements. Lacquer will normally create a higher sheen level on the surface of the flooring, although ultra-matt lacquer finishes are available for some products. This type of finish can easily be maintained and revived with specialist cleaners & waxes and if required can be fully renewed by utilising the services of a professional to sand and reseal.

Please refer to Havwoods latest guidelines for the correct maintenance products and methods for each finish.