Why You Should Choose Penetrating Oils for Your Hardwood Finish

Choosing the right finish for your hardwood floors can be a challenging and time-consuming task. You not only want it to look great, but you want to make sure you’re using the best finish possible that provides long-lasting protection. Above all, you want to ensure that the products you’re using are safe for you and your family. 

For years, polyurethane has been deemed as the go-to finish for hardwood floors. However, many are now turning to penetrating oils as an alternate solution. But what’s the difference?

Penetrating Oils vs. Polyurethane

In simplest terms, the biggest difference between polyurethane and penetrating oils is the finish it leaves on hardwood floors. Polyurethane mostly sits on top of a wood floor to create a sheen-like finish. Penetrating oils, on the other hand, are just how they sound — they penetrate into the wood to create a more natural finish. But instead of simply drying like other finishes, penetrating oils harden to create a more protective surface.

Advantages of Penetrating Oils

penetrating oil wood floors

In addition to creating a stronger surface, there are several other benefits to choosing penetrating oils for your hardwood floors over polyurethane finishes.


Because penetrating oils harden, hardwood floors are more protected with this type of finish. Everyday wear and tear — like scratches and dents — won’t show up as easily as they would on a floor with a polyurethane finish. 

Easy application and maintenance

The application and upkeep of penetrating oils are generally a lot easier than polyurethane. Why? Penetrating oils leave a much more natural finish, so there’s less concern about streaking, feathering, and lap lines — all of which are harder to avoid when using polyurethane. 

As far as maintenance, hardwood floors with penetrating oil typically never have to be refinished. All you have to do is clean them regularly with natural soap and re-oil as needed. Polyurethane finishes, however, often need a full recoating or refinishing, as they’re not as durable and lose sheen over time. 

Eco-friendly and safety

All of our plant-based products (penetrating oils included) are environmentally responsible, non-polluting, and sustainable — all while remaining durable. Polyurethane can be potentially harmful after long-term exposure and has been linked to side effects like asthma, lung irritation, and skin irritations. At WOCA, we care about the safety of you and your family, which is why we only use the safest ingredients in our products that are good for the environment and, most importantly, good for your home. 

Choose the Best Penetrating Oils for Your Hardwood Floors

Your home deserves the best hardwood floors, and your hardwood floors deserve the best penetrating oils. With WOCA’s interior woodcare collection, you can oil, re-oil, clean, maintain and protect your hardwood floors for years to come, and feel good knowing they’re safe and durable. 

Ready to get started? Use our guide to choosing the best penetrating oil for your wood-finishing project, or contact us to get further help and support.

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