How Should You Finish Your Hardwood Floors: Liquid Oil Or Hard-Wax Oil?

Posted on: 15 March 2019

If you're looking for a natural, hardwood flooring sealer, there are two popular options: liquid oil and hard wax oil. Which sealer is better for your floor is going to depend on how you want the final product to look — and how confident you are in the application process. Here's a general overview.  

Liquid Oil

Oil is one of the most natural finishes for a hardwood floor. Liquid oil will sink into the hardwood, giving it a slight shine and bringing out the appearance of the grain. It's easy to apply: you just place oil on a rag and then wipe the rag in a circular motion across the floor.

Liquid oil is a very forgiving type of finish. You can continue applying it if you want to increase the appearance of the finish, or if you have streaks that you need to correct. 

There are also different types of oil, depending on the longevity and stain that you want. Most oils are going to need to be reapplied in between three to five years. 

The downside to liquid oil is that it needs to dry for up to 48 hours and it needs to be applied at least a few times. 

Hard Wax Oil

Hard wax is a more solid form of wax, which is buffed into a wood surface. It provides a low gloss finish with a warm, cozy appearance. The downside to hard wax oil is that it will need to be reapplied every couple of years. It can also become damaged fairly easily.

Hard wax doesn't soak directly into the wood the way that liquid oil does. Instead, it remains on the surface. If it's scratched or scraped, it's going to protect the wood, but it's also going to make the damage apparent. That means you will need to reapply it from time to time as it becomes damaged.

On the other hand, it has a very unique appearance: since the light soaks into the oil, the oil itself has some presence and character. This is a look associated with older homes, but many people with antique homes may appreciate this glow. It's also not difficult to apply, just time-consuming.

Many people find both liquid oil and hard wax oil easy to apply, so they're great options for those who are new to home improvement. You can look at the effects of both to make a decision when you're searching for a team to help provide hardwood flooring services.