Unlike a lacquered floor, boards with a natural oil finish will require periodic care and maintenance every 12-18 months with the re-application of oil in order to keep the product in tip top condition. A naturally oiled finish will give the product a greater tactile sensation and will allow you to feel the grain in each and every board whilst typically being presented as a matt natural looking finish particularly in comparison to lacquered finishes. The biggest advantage of purchasing an oiled or brushed and oiled product instead of one with a lacquered finished is the ability to “locally” repair a scratched or faded section of the floor without having to sand and reseal the entire area to give it an even look and feel. No matter where you purchase an oiled product the maintenance schedule will be the same.
Straight After Installation
We would strongly recommend as soon as the installation is complete that any boards treated with a natural oil finish are given a Polyx hard wax oil coating to preserve the integrity of the product from dirt, water and grit penetration particularly in high traffic areas or areas which have exposure to water on a regular basis. For a matt finish (non glossy) we would recommend using Osmo Polyx Oil 3062 Clear Matt Finish this should provide a good level of protection from dirt and water ingress yet allow the board's finish to remain as close as possible to the natural oiled look. To achieve a gloss shine you can finish the product with Osmo Polyx Oil 3032 Clear Satin Finish. To achieve the best possible finish it is highly recommended that you use a microfibre roller and tray as this will allow for a more even application.
Depending on the exact product purchased the level of gloss / shine already present will dictate the most appropriate polyx hard wax oil which you need to treat the floor with as each polyx finish will have a different level of sheen and can dramatically affect the final look of the boards. The most common finishes will be either a clear satin-matt or a clear matt however, either product will provide the same level of dirt resistance and water repellence as each other yet to achieve an almost invisible more natural look the clear matt 3062 product would be the most appropriate finish.
Why Apply a wax Finish?
No matter where you purchase a naturally oiled board the deep grained, natural texture and look can present a wonderful true to nature look and feel for your home but a natural oil finish may be more susceptible to water, grease and other dirt/grit ingress which can detrimentally effect the look and feel of the product overtime. Immediately applying a hard wax finish will make the product resistant
Regular cleaning of any floor surface is the most basic yet important aspect of product maintenance. Dry cleaning is recommended on a daily basis with either a vacuum cleaner or a dust or micro fibre mop to ensure the floor is as free as possible from loose dirt, grit and dust and ensure the surface is kept clear from debris which will help ensure the floor is kept as good as new for much longer. It is also highly recommend that you utilise barrier mats on all entrances to keep entry ways free from dirt and water from outside, this seemingly minor step can literally make the finish last for years longer than not using them.
Regular Damp Mopping
Light mopping on a weekly or bi weekly basis will allow for the removal of stubborn or worn in stains. It is important that you use a little water as possible to avoid any detrimental effects as wood is a naturally hygroscopic material and will readily absorb water and any large amounts will be damaging. Using Osmo wash and care will clean and freshen the floor surface without any damaging effect as it is solvent free mild soap which will nourish the wood and reinvigorate the oiled finish.
Simply adding 2 cap full’s Osmo wash and care for every one litre of water and using a damp (not wet) micro-mop to is an ideal cleaning agent for taking out can also be used on Lacquered finishes as well as laminate floors. It is important that once you have cleaned the floor that you use a separate cloth or fibre mop to ensure the joints and edges are dried to avoid wetness penetrating into the joints.
If time has taken its toll and any areas of the product are particularly heavily soiled you can apply a liquid wax cleaner. This will refresh and regenerate the look and charm of the wood as it contains a mixture of waxes and oils which will nourish the surface with the necessary waxes and bring life back into even the dullest floor.
If you have particularly stubborn "worn in" stains or scratches you may use you can also use a slightly alkaline special cleaning concentrate called Intensive cleaner which will cleanse and decontaminate the surface of oiled and waxed boards. This treatment should only be used on an as necessary basis, it is not a product that is recommended as part of a regular cleaning regime because of its slightly acidic nature. If you need a cleaning solution that is part of a regular cleaning schedule we would recommend that you consider using a mild soap such as Osmo Wash and Care. This product will nourish the floor, particularly boards which are oiled, as well as lacquered boards, laminates, tiles and PVC floors. As with all wooden products we strongly suggest if you utilize any damp mopping as part of a cleaning process that you ensure the joints and edges are free from excess moisture to prevent damaging the floor between the joints.