How to protect your wood?

12 March 2019

How to protect your wood?

Wood exudes an authentic warmth that can make a room instantly atmospheric. Nothing can match the feeling of wood and its cosiness. Whether the wood has been processed into a beautiful wooden staircase, floor, a piece of furniture or a patio, one thing is certain: you will want to enjoy it for as long as possible. That is why it is very important to protect your wood properly.

Everyone wants to enjoy their new parquet floor for as long as possible, so a good protection product is a must. But what kind is suitable for your project? There are several protection products on the market, such as oil, varnish, paint, etc. But what exactly is the difference and what are the pros and cons of each choice?

Oil is a product that consists of small particles. Those particles penetrate into the wood and nourish the wood from the inside. You will not see a shiny film on the wood and when you touch the wood after it has been treated, you will still feel the wood grain and the characteristic wood structure.

In addition, oil has many advantages:
  • Maintains the natural character and ambiance of the wood
  • The grain pattern of the wood is accentuated
  • Easy to apply
  • Perfect for on-the-spot repairs, such as scratches and irregularities

But, of course, there are also disadvantages in choosing an oil. A floor finished with oil requires a bit more maintenance and is a bit less stain-resistant than a varnished floor. A varnished floor, in turn, is less scratch-resistant than oil. You can see and feel a little scratch more easily in the varnished top layer than on oiled wood. When there is damage, such as scratches or irregularities, oil is easier to fix.

There are different types of oil, but not every oil has the same effect. What makes Rubio Monocoat different from the other oils is the use of a unique technology: molecular bonding. Rubio Monocoat Oil anchors itself to the top microns of the wood by molecularly bonding with the cellulose fibres, which is why there is no film on top and no saturation method.

This technology has several advantages:
  • Lasting protection and colouring of the wood
  • One single coat is enough
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Easy in use and maintenance
  • No overlaps

With other oils you need continuous saturation and you have to apply several coats. If you use Rubio Monocoat Oil, you can do this in 1 single coat. Is this difficult to grasp? Check out our technology video, then you can see the difference with your own eyes!

 Another protection product is varnish. Varnish puts a transparent, solid film on the wood and offers strong protection for your floor. Due to the shiny film, varnish does not provide the natural look you get with oil.  There are now also matt versions of varnish, which retain the natural colour of the wood more. But why would you opt for varnish?
  • Protects your wood from stains, scratches and wear and tear
  • Is known for durability and strength
  • Does not require much maintenance

Varnish also has some disadvantages. For example, varnish can crack or peel off. Even a well-maintained varnished floor is subject to wear and tear of a varnish coat, such as use intensity, walking with shoes, or nails of pets.

If the varnish coat is no longer perfect, moisture and dirt may cause damage in those spots. Varnishing a floor again takes a lot more time than re-oiling it. In addition, the consumption of varnish is high, because it requires several coats, as opposed to 1 coat of Rubio Monocoat oil. A layer of varnish stays on top of the wood, unlike Rubio Monocoat Oil which penetrates into the wood and nourishes the wood from the inside.

Next is paint. Paint also has several advantages: 
  • Extensive colour range
  • Offers good protection from water
  • For external applications, paint is better than some varnishes

But there are also some disadvantages. Paint is not the ideal protection product for your parquet floor. Paint completely closes off the wood, so that the wood can no longer “breathe”. In addition, cracks and bubbles may develop over time.

A stain, or wood stain or glaze, is a wood protection product that penetrates into the wood. After it is dry, it can form either a thin or a thick film, depending on the type of stain you use. The film protects your wood from the inside out. Staining also has several advantages:  
  • Protects wood from moisture, dirt and light
  • Natural look is maintained (depending on whether you opt for an opaque or transparant stain)
  • Stain easily colours your wood while the wood structure is maintained
  • Extensive colour selection

Unlike paint, stain is vapour-permeable and water that penetrates into the wood can easily evaporate. The main disadvantage of staining is that you only have a short processing time. When you start the floor, you have to finish the entire surface at once.

What is the best choice?
But which finishing is the best one? We have put all the options for protecting wood in a comprehensible chart, so that you can see the pros and cons of each finish at a glance.

Febe Laridon, Rubio Monocoat Headquarters.
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