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Finishing and Maintaining Your Wooden Floor

April 7, 2010

Traditional Oak Flooring
written by Vicki Bale

FINISHING YOUR WOODEN FLOOR

PLEASE NOTE WE NO LONGER SELL FLOORING

We cleared all our reclaimed flooring in 2012 and we now concentrate on door furniturewindow furniture and bathroom accessories. All traditional in style and best quality. Click here to go to our home page.

Sanding

  • This stage is perhaps the most critical, so take care and time.
  • Use a drum type commercial sander (hire by the day).
  • Three stages to sanding working from coarse to fine grit
  • – Coarse – to remove dirt, old finish, marks and high spots. Sand at 45 degrees to the direction of the boards then with the grain.
  • – Medium – to remove marks made by coarse sanding
  • – Fine – to achieve final surface, finish with grit 120 or finer.
  • Edges should be sanded with a hand sander and using same process as above
  • Filling – some customers choose to emphasise scars and minor knotty imperfections in reclaimed flooring. If you wish to do any filling use a resin (eg Lecol clear resin) mixed with sanding dust, and fill prior to the final sand.
  • Remove dust. This can be done by thorough vacuuming. Prior to applying any finish wipe the floor with a damp cloth or rag coated in white spirit and allow to dry.

Finishing

  • The choice of finishing products is wide and can change the look of the floor considerably. The choice you make should be geared to the amount of wear the floor will get and the look you require. Some tips:
  • Try finishes over a decent area, use board backs before they are laid and offcuts to decide, this is especially important if you are colouring the timber.
  • Remember all timber darkens naturally over time with the effect of light.
  • Whatever you choose, 3-4 coats as a finish will give the floor a longer life.
  • Apply all products according to instructions detailed by the manufacturer.
  • Wax Oil
  • In our opinion the optimum performer for new oak or reclaimed flooring.
  • An ecologically sound mixture of oils and waxes specially formulated for flooring, penetrates the wood and gives a durable, easy care surface.
  • Patching deep marks or scars is easy and these blend in.
  • We recommend and sell OSMO and Marldon products.
  • Wax Polish
  • gives a sheen to timber , successive layers building to a patina
  • gives a good natural finish and feeds the wood. We like Briwax and Fiddes Wax
  • can be applied to bare timber but first coats should be mixed with white spirit, this aids application and ensures the polish really soaks in. A shellac (alcohol based resin) could also be applied as the base coat to seal the grain, with wax applied on top. The wax goes further and buffs more quickly to a shine
  • downside with waxing is high maintenance as rubber soled shoes and water will mark the wax
  • a must for reclaimed flooring such as antique oak and elm
  • other timbers, only consider for low traffic areas or areas where rugs will take the majority of the wear
  • Oils
  • There are lots of different oils on the market. We recommend and sell products by Osmo and Danecare.  Both sell oils which have been specially developed to provide a long-lasting quaility floor finish which is easy to maintain. sink deep into the grain hardening and protecting the wood and gives a good natural finish which slightly darkens the timber and enhances the grain suitable for all areas
  • Varnishes
  • Oil based polyurethanes, water based acrylic varnish are all suitable for floors and are normally available in matt, satin and high gloss.
  • These are very hard wearing and ideal for floors which get lots of wear and where you want easy care. eg Ronseal heavy duty/Commercial use Floor Varnish.
  • Only downside is that this is obviously a less natural finish.
  • Water based lacquers and sealers
  • Wide range eg made by BonaKemi Limited.
  • Suitable for all wear requirements including commercial floors.
  • Downside is these do not give such a natural finish as the oils.
  • Colouring
  • Think carefully before you decide to colour your floor. Any newly machined wood eg our new oak or our cut pines will age and darken naturally. They darken considerably in the first year, especially if in an area where there is plenty of sunlight. Stains may easily wear off poorly maintained or high wear floors. If you must stain here are some tips!
  • Use off cuts or the underside of some boards to create a large test area.
  • Be absolutely certain of the colour and appearance, there is no going back!
  • We recommend and sell coloured oils by Danecare for a natural coloured look.
  • Use water based stains (except under water based lacquers which require a solvent stain), these soak in more unevenly and therefore look more natural.
  • Once the staining is completed a finishing product should be applied. Check suitability for application over stain.

MAINTENANCE OF WOODEN FLOORS

 

  • Dust and grit should be removed on a regular basis using a vacuum cleaner, soft broom or other dry cleaning method.
  • If wood floors are in kitchens then vacuum as above then wipe over with a damp mop.
  • The amount of moisture on the floor should be kept to a minimum by ensuring mops and cloths are only lightly dampened.
  • Spillages – refer to floor finish manufacturers advice.
  • For varnished floors maintain as above. Ronseal make a sheen reviver and cleaner.
  • We recommend and sell maintenance products by Danecare and Osmo .
  • Notes
  • Please view the sections on Background & Preparation and Finishing and Laying your wooden flooring.
  • We are suppliers and not fitters of wooden floors, so we are unable to quote for a fitted price.
  • If you follow advice given on any of our pages, it is entirely at your own risk as we have no knowledge of site conditions.

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Comments


    Excellent blog on finishing and maintaining wood floor beautiful looks. Thank you.