Hardwood Floor Finishing Techniques in London Homes

Oct 19, 2023

London homeowners who enjoy the traditional wax look on solid wood flooring without the intensive labouring process of years gone by can choose to have the hard waxed look but with the added advantage of a lacquered finish. Lacquer finishing, synthetic and cost-effective, has more or less taken the place of wax as the wood floor finishing of choice in recent decades.

Now, with modern wood flooring manufactured with a pre-finish lacquer or varnish, London homeowners find it easier than ever to maintain and care for wood flooring post-installation. As with everything else, floor finishing products continue to evolve and the latest market selection shows an impressive array of lacquered and varnished finishes, attainable without spending hours on your hands and knees buffing and polishing.

In days gone by lacquer was not a favourite finishing, as it had the reputation of lying on the floor without being absorbed in the way that wax or oil does. However, new lacquer innovations have yielded an ingenious product that looks like oil when applied to solid wood flooring. This brings together both the elegance of lacquer and the beauty of oil, highlighting the natural grain of the wood for a timeless effect.

The Cons of Hardwood Floor Finishing

​Whilst extolling the virtues of a lacquered floor it seems only fair to point out the disadvantages which, in the main, runs to an intolerance of sharp objects and scrapes from shoes, toys etc. which can cause gaps in the protective veneer requiring the floor to be refinished.

​The amount of ‘wear and tear’ that the average family can inflict on a wooden floor depends entirely on the type of room, the amount of usage and maintenance it receives. For formal little-used dining rooms and sitting areas, a lacquered floor is a precious addition to the ambiance of the room, whereas in a busy nursery or living room it would be entirely impractical.

​Oil is a good alternative to lacquer and looks every bit as sophisticated. The oil offers a cozy and warm feel to any room and looks especially well on burnished woods such as maple and mahogany. An oil-based finishing brings a matte glow to the floor without the hardness and glossy shine of lacquer; ideal for London homeowners who value beauty without sacrificing durability.

Oil finishing – suitable for solid and engineered wood flooring

​With this type of flexibility it is no wonder that oil-based finishing products are on the rise as the number one choice for London and UK homeowners who are looking for a beautiful yet long-lasting wood floor finishing.

Of course, all types of finishings will be enhanced by a regular routine of maintenance and care, which includes the removal of spillage and stains as they happen. Regular sweeping with a soft-bristled brush and vacuuming with an attachment cleaner (avoid using a vacuum with rollers on the floor) will suffice for everyday maintenance. The floor will benefit from an occasional wipeover with a barely wet mop, but always avoid puddles of water and untended spillages that could ruin the floor.

Keep mats and rugs at exterior doors and high-traffic areas and use feet protectors on heavy items of furniture. It is also a good idea to move furniture around if possible so that the floor receives traffic and exposure to natural daylight in as equal a measure as possible.

​Wood flooring is no doubt a beautiful addition to any type of London terrace and home therefore it is worth going that little extra distance to ensure its longevity for many years to come.

​Wood flooring continues to be a win-win situation in all types of domestic settings and will reward the careful homeowner with many years of beauty and service for a very little maintenance cost.