So you’ve opted for a real wood floor, so what finish do you opt for – lacquered or oiled and brushed?

We often have customers asking us our opinion of lacquered vs oiled and brushed wood flooring, wanting to know which finish is best. The quick answer is that it’s really down to personal taste.

Much of the wood flooring bought in the UK is pre-lacquered before installation. These lacquers can come in a high gloss or matt, and will literally sit on the surface of the wood. The great thing about a lacquer is that it will allow the beauty of the wood to come through, along with being tough and durable.


Should the floor have any scratches, a lacquered surface can be repaired with a special lacquer repair kit. After many years, if you want to give your lacquered floor a complete make-over, then it can be sanded back and a new layer of finish applied. This will bring your floor back to brand new – as good as the day it was installed. However we would always recommend a specialist for this job. Many people like the lacquered finish, especially in a more modern home as it looks clean and slightly more reflective than the brushed and oiled, helping to maximise the light in your home.

Brushed and oiled

A brushed and oiled floor is one of the most popular wood flooring finishes, especially when installed in a period property, as the grain is much more defined than with a lacquered surface. With brushed and oiled, the surface of the wood has been brushed and several coats of oil are applied. This process will give your floor a real natural feel and the textures are just lovely. We would recommend that an oiled floor be re-oiled about every two years, but this is not a hard job and can be done by one person. Oiled floors are great for maintenance too, as they can be spot cleaned using a clean soft cloth, and special wood oil. If you have any scratches or marks, they will blend well into the brushed, natural grain and adds to the authentic appearance.

The upshot is that oak is a fantastic wood flooring option and the brushed and oiled surface will give you a real warm look. It is a great choice if you love the grains and textures of real wood to come through, and the oils used smell so beautifully natural.

At First Floors we sell repair oil and lacquer so talk to us if you would like to discuss how you can maintain your new wood floor.