Aftercare Explained

Aftercare Explained

Owning a high-end floor is similar to owning a luxury car; what you put into is 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 with organic oils that will clean, reinforce and enrich the wood without harsh chemical fragrances and additives.

Hard wax oil is another useful treatment that maintains the luxurious sheen and natural glow of your floor. 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 is entering into a relationship with the floor. Our floors are not mass-produced and are mostly hand-made and hand-finished using specialist finishing techniques and specialist floor oils.

A particular shift in aftercare mindset maybe required in modern times, more so in the UK and USA and less so in countries like France, Belgium, Italy, Holland. This is because of cultural differences, expectations and perceived relationship 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 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.

1.FINISHES AFTERCARE

1.1- Lacquered finished Floors

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 improvement. In fact, the deterioration with a lacquered floor finish is quicker because scratches and dings cannot be repaired and the whole floors must be sanded back to the wood once the lacquered surface has deteriorated.

1.2- Hard Wax Oil Finish Floors

Our very own 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 original Victorian hand-waxed finishes.

However because of the blended oil base the finish is much tougher than a traditional waxed finish but at the same time easy to apply and maintain.We also finish some of our products in other names brands of hard wax oils such as

We also finish some of our products in other names brands of hard wax oils such as Blanchon or Osmo or Ciranova, the process is very similar with 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 our hard wax oil to be applied to the clean, fitted floor. Prior to this if the floor requires cleaning you can clean the floor with our floor soap, let the fluids dry for min. 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 then the coat applied has been too thick. It is important to work on a trial area first before working across the whole floor area.

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 that have been 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.

2. MAINTENANCE

2.1-Basics

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 soft brushed suction unit.

• Apply soft protection under 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 stain.

• 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 fairly 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 air humidity.

• The use of hygrometers in conjunction with dehumidifiers can be used to regulate the atmospheric humidity in your home.

• Plants can also have a positive effect on the humidity. Especially with under-floor heating in wintertime, as humidity levels can go quite low due to closed windows and extra internal heat.

• Avoid large temperature fluctuations in rooms were wooden floors are applied. This is true for floors over under floor heating and all clients should consult

This is true for floors over under floor heating and all clients should consult their UFH manufacturer for aftercare recommendations. A UFH system should not be treated in a similar fashion 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 cleaning of the floor with a soft mop or vacuum cleaner will remove a lot of dust and/or sand particles. If a daily clean is not possible, then clients should be cautious with the amount of dirt brought onto the floor from foot traffic, as dirt is one the main abrasives. Regular maintenance with floor soap every 2-4 weeks in daily used rooms is advised. In rooms with less traffic, use every 2 months. (4 caps per

In rooms with less traffic, use every 2 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 deepen and a degree of variation between high traffic areas and low traffic areas may occur. At this time of 6 months – 10 months, In most instances, an application hard wax oil ‘HWO 07’ (Or another brand of HWO / maintaining oil eg Osmo or Blanchon, Ciranova) should be used to maintain your floor. Use of pigmented maintenance oils may be interspersed with these applications to revive the inherent tones if required.

Please ask us for further information if you are concerned about dis-colouration. A degree of wisdom is needed to find the right balance between “over saturating” your floor and building up a patina. After this process another coat of oil will not be required again for a further 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 application of oil, a gap of at least one year probably nearer to two years should be left prior to 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 and so the finished hard wax oil coat will be more durable.

Cleaning with floor soap and to keep removing the dirt as much as possible is the best way to pro-long the oiled surface.

3.DAMAGE AND REPAIR

3.1.Acid stains eg 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

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 bare in mind deep olive oil or other food oil stains will eventually dry out but require time to do so.

3.2. Fluid and grease stains.

These can be wiped away by using a fine 240 grit sand paper or fine steel wood. Gently rub away at the surface to take 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

3.3. Scratches

Should boards be scratched or dented, a light touch up with a colouring compound (eg. 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 worse case scenario it is possible for an experienced installer to remove an individual plank and replace it with a new plank. (Where possible extra over boards from the installation should be retained for this purpose.

• Preparation:

Ensure all surfaces are clean dry and free from previous finish. Quickly sand with fine 180/240 grade sanding paper or black pad on mono-brush removing old coats or dirt.

• Application:

Before: Ensure all areas to be coated are extremely well ventilated during application.

Test on a small area prior to initial application. No primer required. The hard wax oil is ready for immediate use, and does not require thinning. Certain dense or oil substrates may only require a single application, when dry buff to 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 4-6 hours depending on conditions, or preferably overnight. Longer drying periods may occur during application in cold, damp conditions.

Second coat: Apply as first coat, thinly, allowing good ventilation. In warm and dry conditions, allow to dry overnight. Clean tools with white spirit. When the surface area is completely dry, a light buff with a floor pad or dry rag will enhance the colour and patina.

• Re-application:

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 effect the adhesive and strengthening qualities of the oils.

– HWO Coverage: A single application will cover approximately 20-24 sq. m. depending on 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 have to be stored in a well-ventilated area to avoid colour surface changes. If the boards remain shrink wrapped in warm conditions, this may alter the colour of the patina.

3- CLEANING

3.1- Floor surface soap

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

Application

Remove dust or dirt with damp (not soaking wet) cloth soaked in hot water try to work as dry as possible. Add 4 caps of floor surface cleaning soap to 1 litre of hot water.

When 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 prior to application. Available in 2.5l cans.