Inspiration & applicationParquet: oil or finish?

Wood and parquet floors – oil or finish?

Can't decide between an oil or finish system? We can help.

In principle, it's up to the customer or end-user which system to use, because all modern oils and varnishes from LOBA are emissions-tested, environmentally friendly and and healthy for the home. However, there are a few key factors that parquet and wood floor installers and planners definitely need to discuss carefully.

Pros and cons of oils and finishes

All systems are essentially designed for one thing: to protect the wood from moisture and dirt.

    When choosing a product – whether oil or varnish – here's what you should consider:

    • What the floor is used for
    • The extent and frequency of care for the parquet or wood floor
    • The drying time of the surface finish – for example, it's not practical for hotels and shops to wait a long time when they are open for business
    • Last but not least – the end-user's preferences or tastes

    Modern low-solvent or solvent-free high-solid oils soak into the surface, impregnating the wood fibers and pores.

    • Modern oiling systems are usually made from natural raw materials
    • Oiled parquet and wood floors retain their porosity and help produce a pleasant room temperature
    • They highlight the character of the wood by darkening its color and bringing out its texture
    • Oils offer more scope for color than varnishes do
    • Oils avoid side-bonding and go a long way, making them very economical
    • Oil systems can be a very inexpensive way to treat surfaces and are easy to use
    • Oils maintain the anti-slip properties of the wood itself
    • Minor damage to oiled parquet and wood floors can usually be easily improved by re-oiling so that the marks are no longer noticeable

    One of the downsides of impregnated wood surfaces is their stronger tendency to get dirty, which means they need more care. Another point is that the patina of an oiled floor is not to everyone's taste.

    Unlike oils, modern varnishes remain on the surface, forming a sealed and very long-lasting coating. Today's varnishes are almost exclusively water-based, with minimal solvent content.

    Water-based systems are either one-component (1K) or two-component (2K). The latter consist of a varnish and a specific hardener.

    • Modern varnish finish systems look nothing like oils, and are very long-lasting
    • Varnish finish systems are compatible with a diverse range of requirements and are much more wear- and chemical-resistant than oils
    • One-component products can be applied direct
    • When it comes to mechanical damage such as scratches, or humidity and chemicals, two-component varnishes are usually far more resistant than one-component.
    • Varnishes can be used to produce a variety of functional properties, such as anti-slip according to DGUV 108-003 (formerly BGR 181).
    • They can also be used to create sports floors in line with the relevant industry standard (DIN 18032 or EN 14904)
    • Varnishes are easy to use and often cover up minor imperfections.
    • They also require less cleaning and care than oil systems

    The downside of surface coatings is the amount of product needed for the job. They are also usually more difficult to repair than oiled floors, as the whole floor has to be stripped and refinished if it is damaged.

    Choosing between oils and finishes is a complex decision

    It depends on what the end-user likes and what meets their expectations, as well as the above-mentioned factors. Both oil and varnish systems can be colored by combining them with water-based primers or pigment stains. This means that ultimately, you can produce the perfect custom surface finish whatever the requirement.

    Highlights from our references

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