Oil is fast becoming the preferred option for floor finishes. A polyurethane finish simply sits on top of a board forming a film layer. Oil enhances the natural beauty and durable nature of wood by penetrating the grain and hardening the wood fibres thereby nourishing and enhancing the floor as it ages.
All wooden floors will dent, scratch and receive damage over time with use. One of the benefits of an oiled floor is that they are easy to spot-repair with minimal disruption.
One of the biggest advantages of oiled flooring is that it is very repairable. Scratches and damage on Creative Flooring floors can easily be camouflaged by spot repairs. Coloured oil can be blended back into the area, lessening the visible damage, often to the point of being completely invisible.
New Zealand has one of the harshest UV light fading environments and in certain areas would may become faded. However another feature of an oiled floor is that when the colours oil is diluted with a maintenance oil it is possible to bring back the floor to it’s original state.
Wood expands and contracts seasonally. A floor coated with polyurethane can sometimes crack along the board joins. Since oils penetrate the fibres of the board it becomes part of the board and moves with it. This eliminates joint cracking.
Our wooden floors are finished with hard-wax oils and are fully cured prior to installation. Hard-wax oils are resistant to:
- Saliva and Perspiration per DN V 53160/1-2
- Staining from water, coffee, beer, Coke and red wine
- Safe and suitable for toys
Creative Flooring uses hard-wax oils from Holland and Germany which are applied in our Auckland factory. Click here for more info.
10 YEAR RESIDENTIAL LIMITED WARRANTY/FINISH & STRUCTURAL – Click HERE to download
Maintenance of an oiled wood floor is important. It is important to remember that wooden flooring is a living material. The wood, although no longer growing as part of a tree, is still very much a part of its environment, responding to light, temperature, humidity and wear.
The general rule is that a wooden floor takes four seasons to settle in to its environment. It is normal to see movement in the boards, as some gaps do open up owing to changes in temperature and humidity, which are brought by heating and naturally changing seasons of the year. As the floor ages, the colour will mellow and deepen. There is no cause for alarm as it is a natural process due to the oxidation of the wood and finish and the ultraviolet light present in sunlight. This same process is occurring to your painted services, upholstery, furniture and rugs.
With the correct care your floors will stay beautiful for many years to come. Common sense and a few preventative steps can lengthen the life of your floors.
- Wood and water do not mix! Excessive amounts of water can cause your wooden floor to swell and cup.
- Only use a slightly damp micro fibre mop to clean your wooden floors.
- Vacuum beater bars can cause damage to your floor’s surface. If possible, turn off the beater bar, or use the hose or wand attachment with a soft upholstery nozzle for your wooden flooring.
- Never place potted plants directly in contact with your wooden flooring.
- Dog’s and cat’s nails can scratch and dent your floor’s surface. Keep nails trimmed regulary.
- Use dirt-trapping, walk-off mats at all exterior doors to prevent dirt and sand from entering the building.
- Vacuum, sweep or dust mop as needed to remove dirt and sand, and prior to cleaning your wooden floors.
- Use area rugs on high traffic pathways, but ensure you avoid rubber backed or non-ventilated rugs, as your wood floor needs to breathe.
- Keep high heels in good repair so they do not damage the floor and do not wear stiletto heels on any wooden floor.
- Always put protective pads on the legs of any furniture to avoid scratches or dents.
Here are some methods for maintaining your floor
Dry-cleaning of the floor: Preferably remove loose dirt with a vacuum cleaner or dry-clean cloths. Any remaining grains of dirt/sand may cause scratches in the surface. Only dry clean the newly oiled floor during the first 10 days.
Wet cleaning of the floor: Mop stubborn dirt away with a ph-neutral cleaner. Mix approximately one cap-full of cleaner with one litre of clean water and clean the floor with a micro-fibre mop. Allow the floor to dry completely before walking on it. It is best to use ph-neutral products as they are compatible with the floor oils used. Avoid anything that has amonia in its ingredients as this strips oils from the floor. We stock Osmo Wash and Care which is the ideal ph-neutral cleaner for your oiled floor as it has a hard-wax element to it, which you will nourish your floor with each time you clean it.
Maintenance of the floor: Depending on the intensity of use, treatment with Osmo maintenance oil should be carried out in order to keep the floor in optimum condition. First thoroughly clean the floor with ph-neutral cleaner and allow it to dry completely. Apply maintenance oil to small areas in an even layer with a cloth with the grain of the wood. For larger areas we recommend using a buffing machine (available to hire). Dribble the maintenance oil in the shape of a snake and polish it in with a buffing machine with a thick white pad. One 2.5 litre can of maintenance oil is sufficient for approximately 60m2 of flooring. Drying time approximately 24 hours.
Oils are easily applied, small areas can be re-oiled at a time and the benefits mentioned above far outweigh the cost and inconvenience of recoating polyurethane surfaces.
For more information please go to: Osmo site: www.osmo.co.nz
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my floor age or change in colour?
You can expect to see shade differences in your floor over time. The cause is usually from exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, whether direct or indirect. This colour change will be more noticeable in lighter shades, which will darken over time. These changes are due to the natural characteristics of wood and are not covered by manufacturers warranties.
Why does my floor expand and contract?
The most important point to realise is that wooden flooring is subject to expansion and contraction of the boards themselves according to the amount of moisture in the local environment.
All houses have their own indoor climate, with that we mean the amount of moisture in the air (humidity), the temperature, the type of heating and the amount of ventilation. Some factors you can control yourself, others are caused by outside conditions. In a comfortable home with slight humidity variation through the seasons, wooden floors will react by expanding and contracting.
These changes maybe noticeable during:
(a) Humid weather, the wooden floor may expand
(b) Dry weather, the wooden floor may shrink
This seasonal movement is a normal characteristic of wooden flooring and it never stops, regardless of the age of the floor.
Can I steam mop my wooden floors?
Wood and water do not mix! Excessive amounts of water can cause wood to swell and cup. Only use a slightly damp micro fibre mop to clean wooden floors.
Can I wear high heels on my wooden floors?
Yes, you can wear high heels on wooden floors, however they must be kept in good repair. Heels that have worn down or lost their protective cap, exposing the steel support rod, will dent and pit wood. DO NOT WEAR STILETTO HEELS on any wooden floor.
What is the optimum temperature for wooden floors?
The optimum temperature for wooden floors is 18 to 20 degrees. When humidity is higher wood floors expand. The optimum humidity range is 40-70%.