12 March 2010

Maintenance tips for oiled floors

Oiled Floors offer a unique appearance. This is produced as oil penetrates the wood and gradually cures. Instead of a surface coating, as with a lacquered floor, the wooden surface is still exposed producing a natural and warm appearance. Oil can be leached from the wood producing a ‘dry’ appearance. When this has occurred the surface can be more sensitive to spills of liquids. Fortunately, oiled floors are simple to maintain and repair which can be very useful in situations where time is limited for refurbishment and where it is not possible to remove floors from use extended periods.

There are three distinct areas which form the key to having an attractive and long lasting wooden floor.

1. Correct initial treatment. i.e. uniform saturation of the timber surface with oil.
2. Effective, regular cleaning.
3. Correct periodic maintenance using a maintenance oil.

Initial Treatment Using Bona Carl’s Oils

It is important that the wooden surface is saturated with oil during application. This is achieved by applying the correct number of coats which can vary according to timber species. After each coat has been applied the floor should be assessed. If areas develop which appear to be drier than others it indicates that a uniform level of saturation has not been attained, and further oil is needed. As a guide two or three applications would usually suffice.

It is important that following application of the oil that all the excess is removed from the wooden surface. If excess oil dries on the surface as a coating it will produce an uneven, shiny appearance. If this occurs the surface coating can be removed by treatment using Carl’s 25.

Regular Cleaning
By choosing the correct cleaning method and cleaning regularly, the time between applications of maintenance oil can be lengthened considerably. This will result in the floor looking better and will be more economical in the long term.

Suitable Cleaning

Vacuum cleaning/dry mopping
Damp mopping with Carl’s Oil
Spray buffing with Carl’s Cleaner Dry buffing

Dry mopping: Abrasive particles of grit and dirt should be removed daily. This will prevent excessive scratching to the wooden surface and minimise the production of dust. In domestic settings a vacuum cleaner/flat headed mop/broom should be used.

Damp Mopping: Once the floor is dust and dirt free any remaining stains can be removed by damp mopping using Bona Carl’s Cleaner. This can be done as and when necessary. This would be a suitable approach for floors in domestic settings. N.B A minimum quantity of liquid should be applied to wooden floors during cleaning to prevent damage.

Spray Buffing: To effectively clean large, heavily trafficked areas a spray buff system should be employed. A buffing machine should be fitted with a red or green pad (depending on the level of soiling), with Carl’s Cleaner applied with a spray bottle in the path of the machine. Cleaning pads should be changed once dirty. Dirty pads can have an abrasive effect and scratch the surface. The frequency of this procedure will be determined by the trafficking regime and usage of the floor, and should be altered accordingly. In some situations it may be required daily.

Dry buffing: Following spray buffing or reapplication of oil, the floor may be buffed with a dry, lint free cloth beneath the cleaning pad. This will raise the sheen of the floor surface slightly.

Periodic Maintenance Using Carl’s 25
When an oiled floor begins to look ‘dry’, and becomes lighter in appearance it would indicate that oil from the initial treatment has become leeched from the wood by foot trafficking and wet method of maintenance.

Now is the time to re-introduce further quantities of oil. This process can be useful for removing stubborn stains in addition to restoring the floor to its original appearance. The frequency of this process will be determined by the level of trafficking and the type of use of the floor. In a low traffic domestic setting this may be necessary once a year, or less. In a very high traffic scenario it may be necessary several times a month. Each situation is different and the frequency of maintenance adjusted according to the trafficking regime of the floor.

The floor should be thoroughly cleaned as described, using Carl’s Cleaner.
Carl’s 25 should be applied to the floor by brush. Attention should be focused on the more heavily trafficked areas of the floor.
The oil should be left for approximately 30 minutes.
Buff the floor using a buffing machine fitted with a Bona Oil Pad.

Immediately afterwards remove all excess oil using a clean cloth placed underneath a pad fitted to a buffing machine.
Allow the surface to dry. Free to foot traffic for a minimum of 4 hours.
If any oil has bled back to the surface of the floor may be buffed again using just a red pad, followed by buffing with a cloth under the pad. If buffing is continued the sheen on the floor may be increased slightly.

In small residential areas Carl’s 25 can be applied with a lint free cloth by hand. Apply a small amount onto the cloth and apply a thin coat to revive the floors surface.

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