Main difference between HardWaxOil and Oil plus Wax
Continuing on the question what makes a better finish on your wooden floor, we frequently receive the question to explain the difference between the two above products/methods of finishing your floor with an natural oil.
Quoting from the other article:
"The labour intensive maintenance of the old-fashioned wax-floor has now become a thing of the past:
oils replaced the many layers of wax. The oil penetrates the wood deeper than lacquer and makes it moist resistance, but allowing the wood to ‘breathe’. A hardwax layer is applied afterwards to make the wear and tear layer water repellent.
Nowadays most oiled floors are pre-finished (or finished on site) with HardWaxOil, combining the natural oil (long term protection) and the carnauba or bees hardwax (wear and tear layer) in a two-in-one product. It’s very easy to apply and a very forgiving product when some mistakes are made, in fact an ideal DIY-finish (but we strongly recommend you read the instructions thoroughly and use the right equipment)."
The popularity of the two-in-one HardWaxOil makes it one of those products anyone contemplating an oil finish to go for this straight away.
When not to use HardWaxOil
HardWaxOil on tropical wood species can very easily give a patchy result due to the fact the wood itself is 'oily'. Although HardWaxOil manufacturers used to mention that their product was not very suitable on tropical woods, this statement disappeared from most of the instructions in recent years - simply because, in our opinion, every company wants to sell as much as possible of their own products for as many as possible applications.
Our experience with both finish types on tropical wood species shows that single oil does tend to give a better result than HardWaxOil. A single oil does need a separate wear and tear layer, some use one coat of natural HardWaxOil for this, but again our own experience shows that a hard wax or old fashion polishing wax (not to be confused with wax-polish - more a maintenance product) works better in the long run.
This method, single oil followed by one coat of hard wax or polishing wax also works on Oak, specially if you are after the most natural appearance. Oak needs two coats of single oil, it's not "oily" of itself such as tropical species.
On site finish for Tropical wood-species: one coat of single oil, followed by one coat of HardWaxOil
Saicos single oil (Colour Wax Clear, extra thin, renamed to Ground Coat) takes approximately 8 - 10 hours to dry, the Saicos Premium HardWaxOil (available in 4 sheens) 3 - 4 hours
Alternatively, replace the HardWaxOil with hard wax or natural polishing wax (contains real turpentine, so ventilate well). Both need to be applied "manually", the polishing wax spreads out better, even under colder temperatures.
On site finish for Oak - if you are in a "hurry": two coats of Saicos Premium HardWaxOil (each coat dries within 3 - 4 hours)
Alternatively for an even more natural effect (and when you have the time to do so): two coats of Saicos Ground Coat Extra Thin - each coat takes 8 - 10 hours to dry, followed by either one coat of hard wax or one coat of natural polishing wax (contains real turpentine, so ventilate well).
Our personal preference: single oil followed by the old fashioned natural polishing wax. It gives the wood the natural long term protection it needs, and gives the surface a vibrant, rich and authentic appearance.
Do note, the polishing wax can give scuff-marks in the first few hours, but then again, we said it was an "old-fashioned" method - and the smell of the wax (freshly applied) will definitely transport you back in time.
Recommended Wax-Polish and polishing wax (the latter can be used on furniture too):
In the end, it all comes down to personal preference, combined with the time you have.
We hope this has given you a better idea of the difference between the HardWaxOil and the Oil plus Wax (in application and in end result).
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