Owning a high-end floor is similar to owning a luxury car; what you put into it, what you get out of it and adhering to an appropriate aftercare regime will only nourish and encourage the quality of your beautiful floor.
We offer the finest aftercare kits to aid in the simple maintenance essential to the vitality of your wood floor. We recommend a natural soap with 100% vegetable-based ingredients and organic oils that will clean, reinforce and enrich the wood without harsh chemical fragrances and additives.
Hard wax oil is another helpful treatment that maintains your floor’s luxurious sheen and natural glow. Available as neutral or pigmented oil this product is easily applied with a cotton hand cloth or buffing machine. Required only twice per year this simple habit will ensure a long-lasting and entirely luxurious wood floor.
Fitting: Aftercare and Maintenance
When purchasing a floor from The Reclaimed Flooring Company, a client enters into a relationship with the floor. Our floors are not mass-produced and are primarily hand-made and hand-finished using specialist finishing techniques and specialist floor oils.
A particular shift in the aftercare mindset may be required in modern times, more so in the UK and the USA and less so in countries like France, Belgium, Italy, and Holland. This is because of cultural differences, expectations and perceived relationships with your wooden floor. Our wooden floors do require specific aftercare to fully protect and further develop the beautiful patina that has been created. Unlike all mass-produced wood floors and more akin to the antique wooden floors of European Period England, continued nourishment of the oil finishes and respect for the raw material is a prerequisite.
We have, over the years, learnt to create an aftercare process that is historic by definition but contemporary by application. A little love and a little labour will keep your floor looking forever beautiful as it improves with age.
- FINISHES AFTERCARE
1.1- Lacquered Finished Floors
The lacquered finish is not fully compatible with the colour patinas that we create. A lacquered finished floor cannot be repaired locally, and whereas our patina surfaces will improve and develop a richer depth of hue over the years, with a lacquered floor, there will be zero improvements. The deterioration with a lacquered floor finish is quicker because scratches and dings cannot be repaired, and the whole floor must be sanded back to the wood once the lacquered surface has deteriorated.
1.2- Hard Wax Oil Finish Floors
The Hard Wax Oils are made from a blend of natural oils & waxes, offering exceptional durability and resistance on wood flooring, wooden kitchen worktops and areas subjected to high traffic. There is a higher wax content within our oils when compared to competitor hard wax oils on the market. The added wax functions in a similar way to the original Victorian hand-waxed finishes.
However, because of the blended oil base, the finish is much more challenging than a traditional waxed finish but, at the same time, easy to apply and maintain.
We also finish some of our products in other brands of hard wax oils such as Blanchon, Osmo or Ciranova. the process is very similar for each brand, and they have their own programs and products for aftercare. The floor finish itself will dictate which floor oil we use.
Once the floor is fitted, we recommend an additional coat of hard wax oil to be applied to the clean, fitted floor. Before this, if the floor requires cleaning, you can clean the floor with our floor soap, let the fluids dry for a minimum of four hours and then apply the final coat of oil.
This extra coat of oil should be applied very thin with a cloth, or buffing machine. The coat should be touch dry within minutes; if this final coat takes more than 5 min to be touch dry, the coat applied has been too thick. Working on a trial area before working across the whole floor area is essential.
All hard wax oiled products are supplied with two final coats of oil. When installed in a wet area (kitchen or bathroom), an extra coat of oil must be applied after fitting to give sufficient protection.
* All rags subjected to hard wax oils should be disposed of outside and put aside from flammable objects. It has been noted that perhaps there is a less than 1% chance that these oiled rags will self-ignite while drying and reacting with the atmosphere.
The maintenance program for your pre-finished, hard wax oiled floor:
- Use a doormat. Doormats will stop 70% of the dirt being brought into the house.
- Clean your floor with a soft brush, mop or adapted vacuum cleaner with a soft-brushed suction unit.
- Apply for soft protection under the table and chair legs.
- Use the given maintenance products and soaps specific to the product.
- Avoid excessive use of water on wooden floors.
- Remove spillage of liquids as soon as possible, as they may cause stains.
- Plant pots should not be placed in direct contact with wooden floors.
2.2- Temperature Control and Humidity
Wood, being a natural product, will respond to the surrounding atmosphere. Moisture in timber causes it to expand; a lack of moisture will cause it to shrink. It is therefore important to:
- Maintain a relatively constant humidity in the area where the flooring is situated.
- Ideally, room temperature should be between 19 and 21°C, at around 50% to 65% relative humidity.
- Hygrometers, in conjunction with dehumidifiers, can regulate the atmospheric humidity in your home.
- Plants can also positively affect humidity, especially with under-floor heating in wintertime, as humidity levels can go relatively low due to closed windows and extra internal heat.
- Avoid large temperature fluctuations in rooms where wooden floors are applied. This is true for floors over underfloor heating, and all clients should consult
This is true for floors over underfloor heating, and all clients should consult their UFH manufacturer for aftercare recommendations. A UFH system should not be treated similarly to regular heating systems, as their purpose is to create gradual and background heat only.
2.3- Domestic Floor Traffic
- Regular maintenance: The level of maintenance will depend on the level of traffic. Daily floor cleaning with a soft mop or vacuum cleaner will remove dust and/or sand particles. If a daily clean is not possible, clients should be cautious with the amount of dirt brought onto the floor from foot traffic, as dirt is one of the leading abrasives. Regular maintenance with floor soap every 2-4 weeks in daily used rooms is advised. In rooms with less traffic, use every two months. (4 caps per
In rooms with less traffic, use every two months. (4 caps per ltr)
- Long-term maintenance: After the first six months, depending somewhat on the amount of use your floor has had, your floor will start developing an attractive patina, colours will be deepened, and a degree of variation between high-traffic areas and low-traffic areas may occur. At this time of 6 – 10 months, In most instances, an application of hard wax oil ‘HWO 07’ (Or another brand of HWO / maintaining oil e.g. Osmo or Blanchon, Ciranova) should be used to maintain your floor. If required, pigmented maintenance oils may be interspersed with these applications to revive the inherent tones.
Please ask us for further information if you are concerned about discolouration. Wisdom is needed to balance “oversaturating” your floor and building a patina. After this process, another coat of oil will not be required again for a year. Alternatively, this process can be repeated to high-traffic areas only (oiling complete and specific planks and stopping at a join in the plank).
After the second oil application, a gap of at least one year, probably nearer to two years, should be left before another application.
2.3-Trade Floor Traffic
The above step should be considered. However, if we have been advised correctly, we will have prepared your floor finish with extra coats of primer below the hard wax oil so the finished hard wax oil coat will be more durable.
Cleaning with floor soap and removing the dirt as much as possible is the best way to prolong the oiled surface.
- DAMAGE AND REPAIR
3.1.Acid stains, e.g. Pet vomit that has been left to soak in.
Try mixing water with talc powder and mix to a consistency similar to set yoghurt; the less water in the mix, the faster it will dry. Then add the mix to the stain, let it dry for a few hours, then wipe off. You can repeat this step more than once if the stain is stubborn.
**If the above step does not work, mind deep olive oil or other food oil stains, eventually drying out but requiring time.
3.2. Fluid and grease stains.
These can be wiped away using a fine 240-grit sandpaper or fine steel wood. Gently rub away at the surface to remove the top layer of wax and the stain. Once cleaned with floor soap, an extra coat of hard wax oil should be applied.
**Please consult a professional before applying hard wax oils
Should boards be scratched or dented, a light touch-up with a colouring compound (e.g. coloured solid wax sticks from a hardware store or coloured pencil), followed by a build-up of pigmented finishing oil, can be used to revive the colour. This should only be undertaken by a competent floor-finishing contractor.
In a worst-case scenario, an experienced installer can remove an individual plank and replace it with a new plank. (Where possible, extra overboards from the installation should be retained for this purpose.
Ensure all surfaces are clean, dry and free from previous finish. Quickly sand with fine 180/240-grade sanding paper or black pad on a mono-brush, removing old coats or dirt.
Before: Ensure all areas to be coated are incredibly well-ventilated during application.
Test on a small area before the initial application. No primer is required. The hard wax oil is ready for immediate use and does not require thinning. Specific dense or oil substrates may only require a single application when a dry buff to the desired level of sheen.
First coat: Stir contents thoroughly before and during use. Apply thinly using a good quality bristle or synthetic brush; always apply in the direction of the grain. Remove any surplus oil immediately, checking all areas for any excess application. Leave to dry for 4-6 hours, depending on conditions, or preferably overnight. More extended drying periods may occur during application in cold, damp conditions.
Second coat: Apply as the first coat thinly, allowing good ventilation. In warm and dry conditions, allow it to dry overnight. Clean tools with white spirit. A light buff with a floor pad or dry rag will enhance the colour and patina when the surface area is completely dry.
To remove previous applications of Hard wax oil, sand back with a black pad and re-apply the oils sparingly, as too much oil can swamp the surface and affect the adhesive and strengthening qualities of the oils.
– HWO Coverage: A single application will cover approximately 20-24 sq. m. depending on the relief and density of the substrate. Available in 2.5l. Cans.
– HWO Matt for dark finishes. or a similar branded Hard Wax Oil Product. Please check with us if your chosen hard wax oil is compatible.
– HWO 07 for light finishes or a similar branded Hard Wax Oil Product. Please check with us if your chosen hard wax oil is compatible.
Notes: Prefinished oiled boards must be stored in a well-ventilated area to avoid colour surface changes. If the boards remain to shrink-wrapped in warm conditions, this may alter the colour of the patina.
4.1- Floor surface soap
With a non-abrasive rinse-free formulation, our floor soap is suitable for all types of prefinished oiled flooring. The soap revives & maintains floors. Recommended brands include Osmo and Bona. Read instructions carefully; some floor soap will require dilution while others do not. Application
Remove dust or dirt with a damp (not soaking wet) cloth soaked in hot water, and try to work as dry as possible. Add 4 cups of floor surface cleaning soap to 1 litre of hot water.
When the floor is clean from dirt, mop the floor surface soap solution over the complete floor.
The wax within the floor soap will feed the oils and wood and add protection. Maintain even mopping and liquid distribution.
Remove any excess residue and allow 30 minutes to dry under normal conditions. Test on a small area before application. Available in 2.5l cans.