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July 2017

Surprise: oak floor turns out to be wonderful tropical

There are wood species and there are wood species. The best known and most common/popular in wooden flooring is still Oak Rustic, showing its full natural character. Often stained - unfortunately, why would you disguise nature's own beautiful colours?

Nature's own variety

Original Iroco/Kambala herringbone rediscovered after restoration A few years ago we were asked to sand down and renovate an original parquet floor near Kent's coast. The home owners wanted the existing dark stain removed from their herringbone floor and bring back it's original Oak - so they thought - character.

When we arrived on site it was immediately clear that hiding beneath the dark and knackered varnish layer lay not an Oak floor, but one of nature's most versatile in colour spectrum tropical wood species: Iroko (Kambala).

Iroko (Milicia excelsa) grows in tropical Africa as 50 - 60 meter high straight and often branchless tree, with an 1upto 2.5 meter wide trunk.
The wood sources from this tree various from butter yellow to golden brown, from soft pearly green to brownish red. The grain is often straight, but can have a slight wave. It contains a substance that dissolves in organic solvents which increases the drying time of varnishes/lacquers finishes.

On this particular floor - as we advice to do on all tropical wood-species - we applied one coat of Saicos Ground Oil Extra Thin for long term protection. The oil is applied very thinly and then spread out evenly with none-fluffy cloth underneath the professional buffing machine.

After this has dried, the floor is finished with polishing wax, an old-fashion but very, if not the most, effective method to create the wear and tear layer.

Ton, co-owner of Wood You Like - buffs in the solid wax to create the natural wear and tear layer on the Iroko parquet floor
The professional buffing machine above works in the polishing wax, leaving a satin to shiny and non-slippery finish, bringing the wood's own character fully to life!
 
One Iroko/Kambala original herringbone parquet floor brought back to its original glamour
The end result: gone is the darkening and scruffy lacquer finish. The restoration-works fully exposed this Iroko/Kambala natural full and versatile character.

Wondering what your own original parquet floor is hiding beneath its old finish? Read this guide and who knows? Your floor might be an even bigger treasure than you think.

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Misconception on oiled floors

One of the most often asked question is:

"I'm told that when I opt for an oiled floor I have to re-oil it every 6 - 12 months, is that really needed?"

Most of our clients know we always favour oiled (pre-oiled or oiled on site with Saicos Premium HardWaxOil) floors, because this finish lets the wood breath while protecting it against moist and dirt, plus it shows off the character of the wood-species so accurately. 

That an oiled floor needs rigorous maintenance is a misconception, kept alive mostly by those (sellers) in love with lacquered finishes.

For once and for all:

An oiled floor does not need to be re-oiled every 6 - 12 months! It does need a polish or liquid wax treatment once in a while (depending on traffic say every 5 - 6 months, gradually reducing this to once every 8 - 9 months). You only have to treat those areas of the floor which are frequently walked on and not - as one of the questions related was told to someone by a lacquer sales person - every inch of the floor to prevent it from drying out.

Re-oiling is only ever needed when you restore the floor - due to heavy damage, scratches or discover a floor which has not been treated for a very, very long time - and plan to sand the wood down. Only then does a oiled floor - becoming bare wood again - needs a new oil finish.

Ecoline Pflegewachs Spray 1 GBModern maintenance products make it ever so easy to apply the regular - feeding - care you treat your floor to. For that reason we started selling the Saicos EcoLine Wax-Care Spray as best selling product the minute it became available. What is easier than - after vacuum-cleaning or sweeping - spraying the liquid wax on to your wooden floor, then to spread it out with a polish applicator or none-fluffy cloth and immediately see the result of this simple treatment?

This product can also be used on varnished/lacquered floors without making it slippery, a great advantage for those who don't know or remember what type of finish their wooden floor has.

So, do yourself and your wooden (oiled) floor a favour: remember to treat it once in a while with a maintenance product and stop worrying about the time and effort it will take. Plus send those keeping the misconception of oiled floors our way - just direct them to this article - in order to stop this ridiculous notion once and for all.

All an oiled floor needs is regular maintenance - NOT re-oiling.

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