Previous month:
July 2017
Next month:
September 2017

August 2017

Do not use Ammonium to clean your Oak floor

A worried lady called us with the following story:

In her kitchen an Oak floor had been installed (wood-engineered) and, as can happen in areas where cooking is done, in front of the cooker splashes of grease had marked to floor. Knowing how well ammonium can cut through grease she'd used some on a cloth and rubbed away the solidified grease stain.

Only to discover a few hours later the Oak in the treated spot had turned a shade darker than the surrounding area!

Oak and Ammonium - think old cow sheds

6a00d8341c660f53ef0147e313ab39970b-pi

(Image from Farming in France blog)

Oak contains tannic acid and, when exposed to ammonium, this acid reacts and becomes darker. It's natural reaction, just think of old cow-sheds, barns or old train cattle wagons.

Original Oak from any place where cattle has been for a long while is well known for its very dark colouring. Trying to sand the beams or boards bare to expose the blond wood again is very difficult to do, because years and years of being "exposed" to cattle with their wee, containing ammonium, this natural discolouration has penetrated deeply in the wood, not just stained the surface.

6a00d8341c660f53ef0147e313aad2970b-pi

This natural process is still being used (in controlled and safe circumstances - SO DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!) to produce "smoked" Oak. Mostly done in air-thight chambers in a factory, exposing untreated Oak to ammonium vapours for hours. The amount of tannic acid in the Oak, combined with more or less time in this "smoking chamber" determines the natural darkness of the boards.
Another name for this process is "fumed" Oak (from the French word fumé).

In the "olden days" some exceptional specialist floor companies did "smoke on site", using very strong ammonium in a bare room, sealing off all doors, windows etc. Any draft coming in to the room while this "not suitable for human exposure" was in process would affect the result. And nothing else in the room could be made of Oak, it would get darker too. So, once again: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!

Note: some wood floors are incorrectly branded - excuse the pun - as smoked or fumed and only have been treated/stained with a colour to resemble this natural effect. The way to find out is to check if the colouring is only "skin-deep" - not even 1mm in the wood - or truly in the wood, at least 1 - 2 mm deep.

Would spilling cleaning ammonium colour my Oak floor too?

No, not that easily - IF the wood floor has been maintained regularly to keep the wear and tear layer in proper condition.

The floor in question had not been maintained for a year, and because the area in front of the cooker had had the most "traffic", the protective finish was rather reduced, enabling the ammonium to react with the "bare" wood.

---------------------
Thank you for your time, do visit our Secure Webshop - all links in articles and pages are coloured red
------------------------------------------

Everything you need in one box (or two)

When you are (re)searching products to care or repair your wooden floor, you could be forgiven for becoming overwhelmed by all the products available. Which one, or combination of products, would do everything you want it to do, AND is suitable for it?

Do I need an oil when my floor has been oiled before to bring back its lustre, do I need a cleaning product first and what wax or polish can I apply and how often? 
What products do I need when I only have to add a few blocks to our existing parquet floor, and want to sand and re-finish the whole area of flooring?

The list of questions can go on and on.

For this purpose we created so-called "all in one boxes" in our secure webshop, all the items you need for certain care and/or repair jobs.

image from images-cdn.ecwid.com

Such as:

Ecoline cleaning kit for all floor finishes

Intensive cleaning and repair kit for oiled floors

and Saicos Floor Care set.

And don't forget the various guides we created especially for you:

The Ultimate Maintenance Guide

and/or

Restore without Sanding

---------------------
Thank you for your time, do visit our Secure Webshop - all links in articles and pages are coloured red
------------------------------------------

More restoration tips

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-07-30/397faf7d-7cc8-4a0f-a042-6027b8c4982f.pngThere are two different types of floorboards: softwood and hardwood. Pine boards are the most frequently found in 'modern' homes. You can of course re-sand them, but that won't reduce the ease with which dents and small damages appear.
 
If you accept this 'softwood' fact then there's nothing to stop your re-sanding the old existing pine boards in your home.
 
There is however one more thing to be aware of: where Oak matures into its characteristic Honey Colour, Pine tends to mature into orange - sometimes quite ugly orange too!
 
Applying a coloured Oil instead of a natural finish will often prevent this from happening. The colour most used for this is the "Colour Wax Oak", either one or two coats. always followed by a last coat natural HardWaxOil. For your conveniences we've already paired the two products together as "Restoration Pack Pine"
 
So instead of a nicely restored, but turning orange quit quickly, floor you end up with a nicely restored 'golden' brown floor - which could give you years and years of value. Do remember to apply a suitable maintenance product to it once every 5 - 6 months to keep your floor healthy and beautiful.
 
See our secure web shop for all more available colours (and maintenance products!)
---------------------
Thank you for your time, do visit our Secure Webshop - all links in articles and pages are coloured red
------------------------------------------