Major Flooring

Exploring Finishes For Engineered Wood Flooring: Oil Vs. Water Vs. Uv-Cured

When selecting engineered wood flooring, one of the most critical decisions involves choosing the right finish. The finish impacts not just the appearance and texture of the floor, but also its durability and the care it requires. Among the most popular finishes are oil-based, water-based, and UV-cured coatings.

Each type presents distinct advantages and disadvantages, rendering them appropriate for various settings and applications. We provide a comprehensive comparison of these three types of finishes to help you decide which is best for your flooring needs.

oil based finish engineered wood flooring


Oil-Based Finishes

Oil-based finishes penetrate deeply into the wood, enhancing its natural pattern and adding a rich, warm tone. This type of finish is known for its soft, matte look, which many homeowners find appealing for its traditional aesthetic. A major benefit of oil-based finishes is their capability for easy spot repairs. Scratches or worn areas can often be touched up without the need for refinishing the entire floor, making maintenance more straightforward over time.

However, oil-based finishes do have some drawbacks. They tend to take longer to dry, sometimes requiring days to cure fully. This can be inconvenient as it delays room usability. Additionally, oil finishes are not as resistant to water and spills as other finishes. They require more frequent maintenance, including reapplication of oil every few years to maintain their protective qualities and appearance.


  • Enhances natural wood aesthetics
  • Allows for easy spot repairs
  • Provides a traditional, matte finish


  • Longer drying time
  • Requires more maintenance
  • Less resistance to moisture

water based finish engineered wood flooring

Water-Based Finishes

Water-based finishes are favored for their environmental friendliness and quicker drying times. These finishes release fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making them a healthier option for maintaining indoor air quality. Water-based finishes dry to a clear coat that does not significantly alter the wood’s color, preserving the natural look of the flooring.

A key advantage of water-based finishes is their lasting durability and their ability to resist yellowing as time passes. Forms a strong protective finish on the surface, protecting flooring from scratches and spills. However, while water-based finishes are durable, they can sometimes impart a somewhat plastic-like appearance to the wood, which might not be desirable for all users.


  • Quick drying times
  • Low VOC emissions
  • Resistant to yellowing


  • Can give wood a plastic-like appearance
  • May not enhance the wood’s color as deeply as oil-based finishes

UV cure finish

UV-Cured Finishes

UV-cured finishes are applied in the factory and cured using ultraviolet light, resulting in a hard and incredibly durable surface. This type of finish is perfect for high-traffic areas or commercial environments that demand the highest level of durability. UV-cured finishes are highly resistant to scratches, stains, and scuffs, making them low-maintenance and long-lasting.

The primary benefit of UV-cured finishes is their extreme durability and the fact that they are completely cured by the time they reach the consumer, ensuring no additional drying time is needed. However, they can be more expensive than other options, and like water-based finishes, they may not enhance the natural look of the wood as much as oil-based finishes.


  • Extremely durable
  • Suitable for high-traffic areas
  • No drying time required


  • Higher cost
  • Less enhancement of natural wood aesthetics

Choosing the Right Finish

The decision to choose between oil-based, water-based, and UV-cured finishes largely hinges on your particular needs and preferences. If you value a natural look and are willing to invest time in maintenance, an oil-based finish might be the best choice. For those who prioritize durability and environmental factors, water-based finishes offer a compelling option. Meanwhile, UV-cured finishes are perfect for areas that demand the highest level of durability and the least maintenance.

When choosing a finish for your engineered wood flooring, consider not only the aesthetic outcomes but also the practical implications of each type. The appropriate finish will not only enhance your home’s style but also guarantee that your flooring stays attractive and functional for the foreseeable future.


Table of Contents

Scroll to Top

Leave Your Message