Modern Floor Finish Choices

Modern Floor Finishes – Oil vs. Urethane Aluminum Oxide


Consumers today have a great selection of hardwood flooring finish options. For the last decades, polyurethane with aluminum oxide has been and remains the standard bearer for wood flooring finishes whether factory finished or onsite sand and finish. These finishes are a plastic finish essentially.


Polyurethane aluminum oxide provides a very durable and hard surface with high abrasion resistance. Unfortunately, we all know that even the hardest surfaces can be scratched and when this type of finish is scratched, it is not spot repairable in a satisfactory manner. Sure, there are markers and wax and other techniques, but scratches are psychological and we know where the scratch is in the floor. For those saavy customers in the know, discovering the features and benefits of a Hard-Wax Oil are very attractive. It’s easy to be conceptually challenged on just how this finish works and the fact it challenges pre-conceived notions of a “hard” finish or “durable” finish which we’ve been trained is only achievable with aluminum oxide.


European Hardwax Oil finishes such as Rubio Monocoat from Belgium, are unlike a polyurethane finish which sits on top of the wood, Rubio Monocoat finish protects your wood floor by molecular bonding rather than a film sitting on top of the wood. Rubio’s finish modifies the wood and the wood modifies the oil. This molecular bonding creates a durable and long lasting protection. Unlike other oil and Hard-Wax oil finishes, Rubio Monocoat hardens completely and is harder than it’s peer group. Other products on the market always maintain their “liquid state.” This type of finish is very popular in high traffic commercial applications and is being used in such properties as Four Seasons hotels, and the Musee d’Orsay de Paris to name but a few. What do they know that you don’t you ask? It’s not that aluminum oxide is bad, it’s that they know by the nature of its componets, it cannot look better than the first day it is installed.

It's all about choices and looks and at stewartfloor we give you just that.  We have a range of floors with the Rubio Monocoat Hardwax Oil finish for the most natural looking exotic flooring in the market.