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Which is the best finish – hardwax oil or lacquer?

Real hardwood flooring requires 2 to 4 coats of finish before it is fit for use in the home or in a commercial space. This is because the raw material needs protection from dirt, damage, moisture and spills. Without a decent finish, your hardwood floor won’t last very long.

There are a few different finishes to choose from when you buy hardwood floors. Amongst the most popular are hardwax oil and lacquer, but which is better? Let’s take a look at how both of these finish types work, as well as the pros and cons of each.

Hardwax oil

Hardwax oil not only forms a surface layer of protection against moisture and water, but it also works within the pores of the wood itself to offer protection against the ingress of dirt and moisture.

Pro: offers both internal and external protection, very easy to patch repair.
Con: Needs replenishing on a fairly regular basis.


Unlike hardwax oil, lacquer does not offer internal protection. Instead, it provides an impenetrable layer on the surface of the wood to prevent moisture, spills and dirt from damaging it.

Pro: last for a long time (i.e. between five and ten years) without needing replenishing
Con: does not offer internal protection against dirt ingress and spillage, you cannot successfully patch repair.

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