A better way to preserve your hardwood

Gone are the days of oiling wood floors and then waxing them with the old Johnston paste waxes.

Those messy, labour-intensive waxes were eventually superseded by oil-based urethanes, and later water-based urethanes when we realized the oil based versions were very toxic. Water-based finishes, however, just didn’t give wood that beautiful luster we wanted, nor did it show the wood’s grains very nicely. And then there was the elephant in the room . . . they were still toxic.

Enter Hardwax oil finishes from Europe. Using modern science to blend vegetable oils with plant waxes, companies like Osmo and Saicos (from Germany) have created environmentally friendly wood finishes that enhance the natural esthetics of wood while also offering great wearability.

The oils penetrate wood fibres while the waxes create wear and stain resistance. The cleaners work to maintain and refresh, whereas urethane finishes needed sanding to refresh, a process that gets expensive as the years pass. The result is that hardwax oil finishes are also incredibly easy to maintain.

Hardwax oil manufacturers vary their finishes for various applications such as industry, trade and consumer use. Most of these finishes incorporate oils from thistle, sunflower, safflower or soya combined with carnauba and candelilla wax, along with benzene-free mineral spirits and earth pigments for colors. Some are UV-cured in flooring factories and now seen in stores as an alternative finish.

Steve Roscoe is the owner of Woodland Flooring:  handcrafted flooring sustainably harvested from BC woods. He can be reached at 250-890-0402 or

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Apr 22 edition online now. Browse the archives.