Oil vs. Varnish for Wooden Floors

Whether you are searching for a matte or high-gloss finish, we have a variety of wooden floor top coating options for you. To learn about both and make an informed decision, just keep reading or feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.

Type of Finish

Oils present penetrating finishes, protecting the wood from within. They are perfect for those looking to achieve a matte, natural finish. 

A primary benefit of oil finishes is that minor flaws and damages are easily repairable as they can be spot treated. Maintenance oil will clean, refresh, and rejuvenate in one easy application, leaving a durable finish. The main disadvantage, however, is that they are not wholly water resistant. Water damage can, therefore, have a substantial impact over time, as oil wood floors are semi-porous. Issues can arise due to water spillages and wet feet.

We recommend using oiled floors in areas of heavy footfall, such as stairs and corridors, as they can be restored to their original state with an effective floor cleaner. This makes oiled floors suitable for commercial uses such as bars and hotels where footwear such as stilettos can scratch wooden surfaces.

Wooden Floor Varnish Finishes

Varnished or lacquered wooden floors consist of several coats and will withstand wear and tear more than other products, as they have permanent surface seals and are the strongest of all wooden floor finishes.

If cleaned immediately, spillages will have minimal impact on the surface of the floor. Small surface scratches can be easily rectified or easily restored to their original condition by applying an acrylic emulsion V6 Polish. This will work to reveal a smooth surface and satin finish.

With the above points being considered, we recommend that a kitchen or hallway always have a lacquered or varnish wood floor finish applied as well as any area with high traffic and main entry points.

Many of our customers assume varnished floors have a shiny finish. However, this is not the case. We have a maintenance free and extremely tough ultra matt lacquer available providing a glossy finish.




Tell-tale signs of wear and tear include scratches and stains. They are mostly found in high traffic areas. We recommend re-varnishing as soon as these signs become apparent.

When wooden floors look or feel dry and begin to darken in tone, scratches often become more noticeable. This is a good indication that the floor needs re-oiling.

The best floor finish for you depends on the desired look you wish to achieve. Try our toughest wood floor finish - Juncker’s high-performance commercial strength lacquer, available in ultra matt and matt sheen.

Whilst varnish effectively prevents wooden floor damage, the damage is much easier to repair with oil finishes as they have highly durable properties and can resist water, grime, and stains.