Oiling Wood Floors

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This is where things may start to get confusing for people. What is the difference between wax, oil and varnish?Great question, so let’s answer that…


A good wax will look great and give a nice warm glow but will usually require a lot more maintenance on a wood floor. Waxes are not nearly as durable as oils or varnishes.


When it comes to sealing and protecting your wood floor, varnish is the Superman of them all. Varnish is by far the strongest sealant of the three. Okay, let’s take a step back and focus on using a great oil to finish your wood floor. You may be wondering why you would want to use oil if waxing is easier or if varnish is more durable.

The answer comes down to your personal preference but if you are looking to bring out the natural beauty of your wood floor then oil may be the best choice.

As mentioned, oil is easy to apply. Our floor restoration team will always use several light coats instead of one thick coat of oil, which will take forever to dry. It is often recommended to apply 3 or 4 coats of oil to get the best look and the most protection for your floor; however, the number of coats may vary depending on the wood. The issue with oil, especially Linseed oil, is the amount of time it takes to dry. If you are using pure Linseed oil, it can take up to three days before it is completely dry. It may not be possible to stay off your floors for that long.


Offers the same protection and shine as a wax but is more durable and easier to maintain. It is also easier to refinish a floor that has been oiled compared to a waxed floor. The only issue with oil is that it will take longer to dry so, if you have patience, this could be a good option for your wood floor.

Please note that oil can only be applied over a previously used wood stain if that stain was water-based. If it isn’t a water-based stain, the oil will not sink in effectively and you may get some mixed results.

Sealing and protecting your floors is an important step of the wood floor restoration process so carefully decide on what finish is best for you and your floor. Our floor refinishing London experts have plenty of experience dealing with all types of finish and will be able to help you choose the best product for your home.

Luckily, other oils such as teak oil or Danish oil take considerably less time to dry and you will most likely be back in your room within a day or two. If you don’t mind the waiting, wood oil provides a beautiful natural look to your floor. It really does bring out the best of the features of the timber.

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