Natural Oil Trending

Natural Oil Trending

Natural oil hardwood flooring finishes gain popularity as consumers get more familiar with product benefits

Some would say that using plant-based oils to finish a hardwood floor is unique. Not the norm, the road less-traveled and, possibly not suited for standing up to high traffic.

But with the number of customers who are beginning to ask about oil or low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) floor finishes, I would have to say that a trend is emerging.

And floors that are standing up to customers and spilled drinks in a downtown Cincinnati bar where the floor was finished with plant-based oil last fall is debunking doubt about durability.

Bar floor in Cincinnati

It’s less an issue of durability, and more an issue of a different lifestyle or method of routine maintenance. The oil finish is very matte in appearance, so it hides scratches. And the oil can be reapplied at any time without having to refinish the entire floor.

Oil finishes, which until recently were more prevalent in Europe, allow you to see the natural wood grain, rather than looking at it through a film of polyurethane. Oil absorbs and bonds with the woods surface. Overtime, worn areas can be recoated without recoating the entire floor.

Customers are now frequently requesting oil. The Yellow Pine floor pictured is being refinished with our favorite plant-based, zero-VOC oil.  The floor was previously finished several years ago with Tung oil, but the homeowner liked the idea of a product that had even less odor.

This pine floor also is reclaimed wood from a deconstructed building. Several reclaimed hardwood flooring manufactures also have begun to offer the flooring prefinished with this oil.©

— Nancy Kibbee is editor at naturalinteriors.com

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