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anyone using oiled wood floors (not polyurethane)?

bridget helm
11 years ago

i posted in the flooring thread, but there's not enough action over there.

anyone have experience with or has lived with oiled wood floors? they are so beautiful! but i don't want to make a huge mistake. they look rustic already, so i'm figuring wear and tear will just add to the patina??

i'm nervous about them because they seem so raw and exposed. but that's part of their beauty.

we will NOT be using them in the kitchen or bathrooms. we don't have pets, but we do have kids - 4 of them

{{!gwi}}

Comments (37)

  • bridget helm
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    closeup

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  • allison0704
    11 years ago

    I didn't want poly, etc so I had them use tung oil. 3 dogs, 3 cats. Over 7 years later, no problems.

  • bridget helm
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    oh good. thanks everyone. i'm glad to have found people that have lived with them and like them!! great news.

  • angel411
    10 years ago

    Some family members used oiled pine floors. After 7 years there are definite traffic patterns worn into the floor and to me they never look clean. But I like a shiny wood floor!

    I guess it depends what wood material you use. Pine is very soft as opposed to oak.

  • bridget helm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    they are oak, so the hardness is there. i like shiny floors too, but i really want this beachy limewashed color. i can't find a ployurethane in this color for this price.

  • katrinavhh
    10 years ago

    Hi, we used waterlox on our oak floors (a tung oil product) and I love them. We built three years ago and yes, there are some scratches (we have three kids and we are rough with our floors) but I like the patina. It was a great product to work with, and we did the waterlox and staining in one step. good luck!

  • bridget helm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    this is the sample a little farther away.

    has anyone used a prefinished oiled floor? i guess that prefinished will be ok?

  • autumn.4
    10 years ago

    Me again - ours was 'pre-finished' oil rubbed. If we see a scratch we just rub it with some tongue oil and it helps it to blend in.

  • matt_in_ks
    10 years ago

    Autumn, where did you find your floors? I really like the look!

  • renovator8
    10 years ago

    The color of a wood floor should be achieved before a protective clear finish is applied whether it is an organic "drying" oil like Tung Oil or an "oil-modified" synthetic resin finish like polyurethane/urethane. Color added to the top finish is for the DIY market and will wear off as the finish wears.

    Select any "drying" oil carefully, especially Tung Oil; manufacturers shamelessly use deceptive terms, claims and advertising for these materials since most people have little idea of what they should be or how they should be used. Basically, pure Tung Oil must be heat-treated and modified with resins and suspended in mineral spirits to be used on a floor. A product only needs a small amount of Tung Oil to use that term in its description and might be mostly cheaper vegetable oils (linseed), resins, dryers and solvents.

    Waterlox is advertised as a Tung Oil finish. It contains:
    Mineral Spirits
    Specially Processed tung oil
    Ester gum
    Phenolic resin
    Specially Processed Linseed Oil

    This is surprisingly similar to an oil-modified polyurethane finish with a little heat-treated Tung Oil added.

    This post was edited by Renovator8 on Tue, Apr 30, 13 at 9:19

  • allison0704
    10 years ago

    Our floor guy told us about his brother who did not know he was allergic to nuts until after a trip to the ER. (wasn't while doing my house). His throat swelled almost completely shut.

    "Wood finishing:
    When applied in many fine coats over wood, tung oil slowly cures to a satin "wetted wood" look with slight golden tint. It resists liquid water better than any other pure oil finish, though it still provides little protection against water vapor exchange or scratches. Tung oil does not darken noticeably with age and is claimed to be less susceptible to mold than linseed oil.[7]

    Tung oil has become popular as an environmentally friendly wood finish, but it should be noted that many products labelled as "tung oil finishes" are deceptively labelled: polymerized oils, wiping varnishes, and oil/varnish blends have all been known to be sold as tung oil finishes (sometimes containing no tung oil at all), and all the above contain solvents and/or chemical driers.[8] Product packaging will usually clearly state if it is pure tung oil, so there is a good chance you will be buying something else if the sales literature is vague.

    Heating tung oil to about 500 degrees in an oxygen-free environment will substantially increase the viscosity and film-forming quality of the product. The resulting polymerized tung oil will range in consistency from that of maple syrup to that of motor oil. Most polymerized tung oils are sold mixed with mineral spirits to make them easier to work with. Limonene and D-limonene are less toxic alternatives for the mineral spirits."

    Here is a link that might be useful: source

    This post was edited by allison0704 on Tue, Apr 30, 13 at 19:29

  • renovator8
    10 years ago

    Tung oil is a "drying oil" like linseed, safflower, walnut and other vegetable oils. But these oils don't "dry"; they "oxidize" when exposed to air and in a chemical process called "polymerization" molecules link together and form a tough flexible film. If you added a pigment you would have an "oil-modified, solvent-based" paint commonly known as "oil-based paint".

    Tung oil, like other drying oils, cannot be applied in its pure form; it must be thinned with a rapid drying solvent like mineral spirits to make it easier to apply and able to penetrate the surface of the wood. Also, raw tung oil has poor moisture/water vapor resistance and poor protection from abrasion. Water will leave a mark on the surface and you would need to re-apply the oil every year or so. So tung oil must be heat-treated in order to start and accelerate the polymerization process that will result in a surface tough enough for a floor.

    Unfortunately making a serviceable tung oil finish is expensive so many manufacturers substitute chemical additives to the raw oil that speed up oxidation (called dryers) and often mix it with cheaper oils. The resulting concoction can be so toxic that it would be virtually impossible to know immediately what element had caused someone an adverse physical reaction.

    When shopping for a Tung oil floor finish look for "polymerized tung oil" in a low VOC solvent base and expect to pay a premium for it. Sutherland Welles Ltd. is one supplier.

  • autumn.4
    10 years ago

    Matt-We bought them from a local guy that has a warehouse in MI but also has one in PA. I just checked the site and I'm not sure if he has the oil rubbed now or not. You could give him a call. On a side note - the tiger wood is beautiful - my parents installed that in their bedroom but it does have more of a shine that what we wanted for our furry beast.

    I think he carries more than he has showing on the website since I don't see the tiger wood and I know he still has that one - there is a note that some of the website is not 'back up'.

    We plan to order from him again for our new build that will hopefully start this winter or next spring.

    Lisa

    Here is a link that might be useful: ExoticFlooring Direct

  • bridget helm
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    renovator 8, so though these floors seem/look unprotected, they really are durable if the right oil was used? they just seem so raw to me since they lack that fossilized look that i'm so used to from an engineered floor.

    the company that makes the floors i'm interested in recommends this oil for touch ups
    http://www.monocoat.us/Color-Samples/

  • Its_Laurie1
    9 years ago

    I have oiled wood floors. They look decent in this pic but if you look at them during the day in the light it's not good. The brand is Garrison French Connection. The oil product they use is Woca Oil. It's vegetable oil based. These floors are gorgeous when freshly oiled, but the rest of the time they look really bad. It's not just the dogs, its that when we clean them there is this white cloudy hazy film on them that then shows every footprint and dog print and layer of dirt. I can't seem to find any product (even Woca products) that will clean them without leaving that film. So basically we could be re-oiling them once a month to have them looking good. It's labor intensive for sure. The color is pretty dark so that may be another reason. With lighter oak it may look better on a regular basis. I'm so frustrated with them as they always look dirty.

  • g9999
    9 years ago

    I hope this is helpful for someone. I own a historic home that I have been in the process of renovating for some time. Around 4 years ago, I scraped and sanded my upstairs wide plank pine flooring. I applied a mixture of tung oil and citrus solvent. After applying the coats and waiting for it to cure, it looked amazing. However, when we began to walk on it the floor began to turn grey. I believe that I applied the coats too thick and too fast. It was also humid. It seemed that the oil did not fully penetrate. I steel wooled it out until the wood had no oil left on top and was ultra-smooth. I rub one more coat of tung oil/solvent after this. The floor is beautiful and has held up well. I love this floor so much that I am in the middle of refinishing my downstairs floor. Like the upstairs floor, it was painted when the project started. I sued a soy gel stripper, scrapers, or sanding to prepare it. I am now in the oiling stage and am taking it much slower. I am putting on 1-2 coats per day. Once the oil has been on for 30 minutes, I am going back and vigorously rubbing them to help any remaining oil penetrate or to rag it off.

    My experience says tung oil creates a warm feel that is fairly durable and easy to repair. There is no other finish that I would go with based on my current knowledge. I would be careful to ensure that it is a good quality pure tung oil that you purchase. I bought mine online. For anyone who deices to go this route, it is labor intensive and takes a lot of time. I think it is worth it. Lastly, please remember that tung oil can only go over bare wood.

  • illinigirl
    9 years ago

    Our floors are not oiled but I wanted to mention that there is a bona product that offers almost no sheen and that is called naturale. We put that down as the final coat on our walnut and the extremely low sheen looks amazing and does cover scratches really well. We love it and would use it again. Just an alternative to consider.

  • musicgal
    9 years ago

    Great info on this thread! We will have to make this decision soon for our upstairs wood floors. They will not be done until after we move in, so we have time to do a little research. Thanks bmh, for bringing this topic up.

  • DLM2000-GW
    9 years ago

    illinigirl I've been looking into that Bona product and love the way it looks. You said you used it as the final coat - what product did you use for the first coat(s)?

    I grew up with waxed oak parquet floors and would love to duplicate that look, the soft glow but no shine and not matte, either.

  • illinigirl
    9 years ago

    Hi Dlm2000,
    The first two coats were Bona Mega. Those were matte (which is Bona's satin sheen). I think because those coats were matte (satin) that the final coat of Naturale probably had a teeny bit more sheen than if all the coats had been done in Naturale. For me that was fine because I did not really want 'zero' sheen. just low sheen. And it still is very very low sheen. Nothing like a typical satin product, but still a hint. A glow like you mention.

    So if you realllly want as close to zero sheen as possible you will want to make sure that all the coats are done in Naturale. But there will need to be something different on top of any stain you do, because Naturale can't go directly on top of the stain. Mega can be the sealer and the finish. Naturale can't be the sealer. Hope that makes sense. So if you are staining the coats are like this:

    stain
    sealer (Bona has some sealer products, or Mega can be the sealer)
    top coat(s) (Naturale, Extra Matte, etc)

    I also considered the Bona HD Extra Matte, which has a little more sheen than the Naturale but less than Bona Matte I liked it but my husband wanted the Naturale. No regrets on that. It really does help hide any scratches that happen.

  • DLM2000-GW
    9 years ago

    Thanks for all that info illinigirl - confusing? Yes!! But I understand the order of application. So many options are out there - it does require a lot of research.

  • ssgj
    8 years ago

    Someone just told me that oiled floors stain like crazy. Like if you drop any food on them or whatever they stain. Does anyone find this to be true?

  • alley2007
    8 years ago

    We have oil floors in a vacation house. I would agree that they stain. There are spots where wine has spilled. After clean up, the spot isn't red like the wine, but it is dark and a different color than the rest of the floor. However, wiping up spots from muddy puppy paws or kids boots doesn't seem to leave any stains.

    I would equate these floors to marble - you have to be willing to live with the patina. My family actually likes them because they already look old and worn (as opposed to new floors that have been beat up). The scratches, for example, look like they have been there forever and don't bother us, whereas scratches on a site finished/poly-finished floor (to me) look awful.

  • User
    8 years ago

    An "oil finish" should not just be vegetable oil no matter what kind it is. If the floor is easily stained with water it might be finished with a vegetable oil that has not been heat treated or thinned with a solvent so penetration and/or complete polymerization cannot occur. This is a finish with no advantages other than low cost and easy application.

  • PRO
    WOCA USA
    8 years ago

    If an oil finished floor is staining, that is indicator
    there is not enough oil (finish) on the floor, i.e. the finish is worn and a
    reapplication is necessary. One of the
    many benefits of a penetrating oil finished floor is you can spot treat areas as needed or re-oil the entire floor without sanding.

  • chazas
    8 years ago

    +1 on the Waterlox recommendation from a PP. We've done that twice. Looks awesome.

  • maddanwill
    8 years ago

    We have oil finished floors. They are white oak. We were told that they were oiled in the factory and all we needed to do was put a refresher coat on after they had been installed. We used Woco Oil refresher and followed the package directions. We are very unhappy with the floors. They stain and we consequently have spots everywhere since we have them throughout our house. I am not sure what we will do. I suppose we could sand the stain and reapply oil but I am afraid that we will be doing this for as long as we have the floors. I would actually pay to have them finished with a more traditional stain but I am not sure if they can be sanded and stained successfully since they have the oil in them. I would appreciate any comments.

  • PRO
    WOCA USA
    8 years ago

    maddanwill, please contact WOCA USA, 800-242-8160. You have options and we can walk you through them.


  • meleyer
    8 years ago

    I have oil finished floors - French connection garrison in Chandon. We put these in our house and they stained like crazy. I was getting so frustrated. Any food that hit the floor stained it - left a dark mark. I fought with the supplier for months and months and finally we had them re-oiled. It has helped, but I had to put rugs all over the place to help protect the floors. So disappointed.

  • Lesli Streets
    8 years ago

    Bridget Helm did you end up putting in the oiled wood floors? I'd like to know what your experience has been. Also do you knowthe name of the maker and color of the wood your chose? I"m looking for a similar wood and look.


  • China Fox
    7 years ago

    I just put in French Connection Garrison Provence floors throughout my whole house, even in the kitchen. So the manufacturer actually came out and re-oiled them or did the wood store do it? I'm worried about the staining too... especially because mine are lighter than the Chandon. I guess I'll be putting kitchen mats everywhere! If you use the Woca refresher more often do you think that helps with preventing stains?

  • scone911
    7 years ago

    I used the Osmo oil a couple of houses ago. It didn't stain at all, but I had three coats on it. It did wear through at the kitchen sink, so you have to keep reapplying every few months, which isn't difficult, it's like mopping the floor.

  • shilpsb
    7 years ago

    @China Fox - how are your floors doing now?

  • shilpsb
    7 years ago

    I just had them installed in my kitchen/family room last week and need some inputs. What kind of rugs did you use on this floor? Garrison says you should not use rugs with rubber backing. Appreciate any inputs from your experience

  • China Fox
    7 years ago

    Shilpsb - Overall I like them (Garrison French Connection Provence), I
    like the natural color and the low sheen...but there are some areas
    where it does seem like there's a haze although it blends into the
    different planks. I probably am the only one that can tell! I haven't
    had problems yet with staining, I just wipe up water as soon as I see it
    and then clean with the Woca spray whenever I spill anything. I have
    done the refresher a couple times but have not done the re-oiling... is
    that a product you can buy?

    For the rugs, I have put a couple
    World Market small 2'x3" with the rug mat underneath... they were
    inexpensive and I just wanted to get something until I can do more
    decorating - they are too small but they do the trick. What do they say
    could happen to the floors with rubber backing? I know they say no
    blue tape, etc... I've been very conscientious with these floors, but
    they do have a lot of variance in color and look rustic so I'm just
    going with it. I would rather be eco-friendly anyway.


    I heard about some at Plastica which are pvc and can wiped clean...http://plasticastore.com/shop/home/moroccan-pattern-mat/



  • jen shain
    3 years ago

    My family has oil rubbed floors. The product they used is MONOCOAT. You can mix one of the company’s 50 stain colors with their oil & you buff it in with an electric buffer. Their floors look Fabulous, it’s a cabin in the woods. They have NO complaints.