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Hardwood floors need protection against dirt, spillages and moisture. There are two ways of doing this: oil waxes or lacquers.
Oil waxes protect the wood in two ways. First, the oil penetrates the pores of the wood to give internal protection against dirt ingress and spillages. Second, the wax forms a surface protection against moisture and water in a similar way to a waxed jacket. These natural oils and waxes will leach out of the wooden floor over time and will need to be replenished on a regular basis. This can be done very easily with the correct maintenance and requires little or no skill. You may want to have your wood flooring cleaned, buffed and reoil waxed once a year by a professional company such as Türgon.
Lacquers protect the wood from above by forming an impenetrable layer that keeps dirt, spillages and moisture away from the wood. Generally there will be between three to five layers of lacquer on the wood floor, and over a period of between five and ten years the lacquer will wear away. Once this happens the entire floor will need to be sanded and then relacquered.
Comparing the two
Lacquered wooden floors do not need yearly maintenance, but have a five to ten year visible cycle of deterioration; i.e. more and more scratches in the finish, to the point where the lacquer has to be refinished. Oil waxed wood floors on the other hand look better and better as time goes by, the more you maintain the oilwax finish the harder the finish becomes and the less you need to maintain the floor.
Pre finished UV Oiled floors are available from most manufacturers in a variety of coloured finishes but are impossible to maintain in the same way as a hand oiled or oilwaxed wood floor. UV oiled products are similar to lacquered floors in that to replenish the finish they must first be sanded before new oil is applied. This is because the UV oils that are applied in the factory are artificially hardened using UV curring. This process can not be recreated on site so any coloured UV oiled finish has a restricted lifespan.