As a business owner, you want flooring that is both beautiful and durable. Engineered wood flooring, made by bonding thin layers of wood veneer into a solid plank, is a great option for floors that must stand up to high usage while requiring little maintenance. It’s stronger than solid wood and comes in various finishes. 

    Oil-finished flooring provides a natural, aged look that adds style to your business’s interior design without compromising on durability.  Does your business have a high amount of daily foot traffic, use heavy machinery, own furniture that places stress on the floor, or use materials that, if spilled, could harm the floor? Oil-finished engineered wood may be the best option for you due to six distinct benefits we’ll take you through below. 

    Related: Why Choose Engineered Wood as Hotel Flooring Material


    1. Easy Damage Repair

    Oil-finished floors are easily repaired when damaged. Although they’re not as durable as concrete floors, scratched and dented oil-finished floors can be sanded down and refinished to look like new as long as the top layer of veneer is thick enough. This is a big advantage for businesses like restaurants, hotels, or retail stores that see a high volume of daily foot traffic or are engaged in industries where floors are subject to regular wear and tear. 

    Choosing an oil-finished engineered wood floor means you won’t have to undergo a complete replacement or major renovation every few years to fix scratches, gouges, or dents, saving you significant costs in the long run. 


    2. Natural Look and Low Sheen

    When you want a natural, organic look for your commercial space’s flooring, oil-finished engineered wood is often the perfect solution.

    During the manufacturing process, the oil finish soaks into the wood grain to beautifully accentuate the natural patterns and texture for a timeless, organic look. 

     In our experience, oil-finished floors look just like solid hardwood floors but need considerably less upkeep and have less potential for warping than traditional wood. They also provide the durability of laminate or vinyl floors with the added bonus of a rustic, distressed, or weathered-barn wood aesthetic. 

    dark brown hardwood floor in an empty room
    Canva

    Finally, some alternative wood floor finishes, such as glossy urethane, can impart a high-sheen appearance to flooring. High-sheen, glossy floors make scratches and dirt more visible. In contrast, oil-finished floors offer a low, subtle sheen that can help camouflage imperfections.


    3. Environmentally Conscious

    If you’re an eco-conscious business owner, you might want flooring that aligns with your sustainability values. Oil-finished engineered wood floors offer several options that can meet these goals. We advise doing your research and opting for high-quality flooring to find the right environmentally friendly option for your business. 

    For example, you can opt for a natural oil finished option, such as a linseed oil finish, that contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can degrade indoor air quality. This promotes a safer, healthier environment for your staff and customers by reducing off-gassing and improving indoor air quality.  In addition, many engineered wood products have a significantly lower carbon footprint than steel or concrete, as the manufacturing process is more sustainable. 


    4. Budget-Friendly 

    You’ll likely have budget limitations when selecting new flooring. Oil-finished engineered hardwood is more cost-effective than traditional hardwood options, both in terms of upfront investment and long-term maintenance costs. The oil-based finish itself tends to be less expensive compared to other finish options like lacquer or urethane.

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    Caring for an oil-finished floor can also be easily done with regular cleaning with water and an appropriate soap. The finish can look like new for many years with basic maintenance. This is beneficial for your business as oil-finished floors won’t require extensive waxing or polishing to maintain their luster.  


    5. Straightforward Installation

    Oil-finished engineered wood floors are relatively straightforward for flooring contractors to install. The engineered wood planks can be nailed, stapled, or glued down using common installation techniques and tools. This means another potential budget benefit for your business as you’ll be able to save on labor costs. You can also opt to install the floors yourself. 

    shiny hardwood floor in an empty room
    Canva

    Unlike with solid wood, engineered wood’s dimensional stability means it can be installed directly over concrete or plywood subfloors rather than requiring a raised foundation. This allows for a smooth, simple installation process without the headaches of acclimatizing solid wood. You also don’t have to take steps to carefully control the environment to prevent buckling and warping. 


    6. Impressive Durability

    Although oil-finished engineered wood is easy to refinish if needed, it stands up well to commercial use right out of the box. The protective oil finish helps guard against minor abrasions and scratches while still allowing the floor to be periodically sanded and recoated to refresh its appearance over time. We do advise care when sanding your floors, as the appropriate type of sanding will vary depending on the thickness of the veneer. 

    The oil in the finish also naturally resists moisture and spills versus bare unfinished wood. This means oil provides some degree of protection against the liquids commonly encountered in restaurants, breweries, wineries, and other businesses prone to spills. With proper initial installation and basic maintenance, your oil-finished floor can retain its functionality, beauty, and value for many decades. 


    Is Oil-Finished Engineered Wood Right for Your Business?

    Oil-finished engineered hardwood flooring delivers an unbeatable combination of natural wood aesthetics, commercial-grade durability, and budget-friendly value. Business owners seeking beautiful wood looks paired with low maintenance needs should seriously consider oil-finished engineered wood floors.

    Be sure to talk with flooring companies about proper maintenance recommendations for your oil-finished floor, including frequent sweeping and vacuuming and cleaning up spills quickly using the appropriate wood floor cleaner. With these simple care practices, your oil-finished floor can maintain its luxurious appearance and performance for years to come.

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    Typical Cost: $6 – $24 per sq foot

    FAQs About Oil-Finished Engineered Wood Floors

    How often do you need to refinish an oil-finished engineered wood floor?

    With proper maintenance, oil-finished floors typically only need sanding and recoating every three to five years in busy commercial spaces. The ideal refinishing timeline will depend on the specific traffic and wear and tear the floor experiences and the thickness of the veneer. Engineered wood floors with thin veneers shouldn’t be sanded at all.


    Can oil-finished engineered hardwood be installed in bathrooms or kitchens?

    Yes. The finish makes engineered wood resistant to moisture, so it can be installed anywhere traditional engineered or solid hardwood flooring is allowed. That includes bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.


    Does engineered wood dent or scratch more easily than solid wood?

    Engineered wood is resistant to dents and scratches but not impervious to damage from heavy impacts or dragged furniture and equipment — but overall, engineered wood is highly durable for commercial applications.


    Can you mix and match both oil-finished and lacquered engineered wood planks in the same space?

    It’s generally best to use the same finish throughout a space to achieve a seamless, consistent appearance. However, combining finishes can be done creatively for a more eclectic aesthetic. We advise discussing options with your flooring supplier.


    Is engineered hardwood considered an environmentally friendly flooring choice?

    Engineered wood can be eco-friendlier than solid wood alternatives because its manufacturing process uses less old-growth timber than traditional hardwoods. For maximum sustainability, look for Forest Stewardship Council-certified engineered hardwood sourced from ethically managed forests.


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    Nikki Stavile

    Nikki Stavile is a writer based in Tucson, Arizona. As an avid backpacker and passionate environmentalist, her work often focuses on sustainable movements at the personal and societal level.

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    Lee Ann Merrill

    Chicago-based Lee Ann Merrill has decades of experience writing and editing across a wide range of technical and scientific subjects. Her love of DIY, gardening, and making led her to the realm of creating and honing quality content for homeowners. When she's not working on her craft, you can find her exploring her city by bike and plotting international adventures.

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