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November 2015

How to tell

image from woodyoulike.typepad.comWhen you discover your home has a wooden floor, sometimes it is hard to tell what species it is. Often the previous owners has stained a blond floor a darker colour, resembling a tropical species. Then you are left doubting, as one of our contacts did this week (have a question yourself, use the ?Help button at the bottom of every page on this site)

How can I tell if the 5 finger mosaic I have discovered, is Oak or Mahogany?

The best way to solve this "mystery" is to sand a little spot - in an unobtrusive place, behind a door, underneath a cupboard - to the bare wood. Mostly this will show a pale surface and leaves you non the wiser. Then simply use a little bit of water on the bare spot and your floor will show its true character by revealing the colour it will have when you apply a clear finish on it:

Blond or yellow: nine times out of ten it is Oak or Pine (the difference between these two can be tested by pressing a nail over it: if it indents easily your floor is pine, a softwood)

Reddish or brown: nine times out of ten you have a tropical floor.

To restore the floor you discovered you (might) have two options:

A thorough cleaning - with Saicos Magic Cleanser - followed by applying a coat of protective polish, Saicos Wax Care in a Spray (or Wax Care Polish for oiled floors)

image from woodyoulike.typepad.comOr, if your floor has shed its finish or is damaged by heavy use, you have to sand it bare and apply a brand new finishing coat. For tropical wood species we recommend the "Tropical Combo" - apply a thin oil coat first, because tropical species are oily of themselves and using a first coat of HardWaxOil can end in a very patchy result. For Oak floors you apply two coats of HardWaxOil (available in 5 sheens, from Ultra-mat to Pure)

Enjoy your floor!


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Eco-Friendly floor covering

Wood is not only beautiful varied in all kind of products; as trees - forests - wood is a beautiful natural recreation source. Most importantly is the fact that forests act as a giant carbon sink.

Wood You Like Eco Friendly Natural Wooden Flooring

CO2 and Climate Change
According to the International Panel on Climate Change, the 20th century was the warmest century since records began, with the '90s the warmest decade and every year we're adding 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
The Government is now urgently looking to reduce CO2 emissions without compromising on economical growth. Right now the wood industry has a unique opportunity to take advantage of this commitment.
The timber industry is able to offer positive contribution to the challenge of sustainable development and the reduction of greenhouse gas emission, and is more and more actively engaged with the building industry in putting new, environmentally friendly solutions into practice.

The best way to grow our forests is to use them!
Trees are nature's way of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and producing the oxygen we breathe. Planting trees can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and using wood products can help slow the growth of Global Warming.
The more wood we use, the more our forests grow: thanks to sustainable forest management more trees are planted than are harvested - every year European forests grow by an area the size of Cyprus!

The more the forests grow, the more carbon dioxide is sucked out of the atmosphere, the more oxygen is produced and the more wood is available to use; the more wood is used, the more trees are planted, the more the forests grow, the more.........

Using wood in place of less environmentally-friendly materials makes sure the carbon sink effect of the forests is put to good use, rather than being lost through natural death and decay (when forests are left to their own devices this will cause CO2 emission from the stored carbon).
Besides that, have you ever calculated the real environmental costs of producing steel, concrete, aluminium or PVC-U (energy used, CO2 produced, water used and toxins released)?

Forests: a great factory and a free leisure resource
Modern forests, skilfully managed, contain trees of different ages, different species alongside the primary production species. Open spaces in the form of rides, firebreaks and streamside reserves are designed into the forest and, as it is thinned, increasing numbers of under-storey species become established.
While producing timber, these man-made forests also produce picnic spots, lakes and nature trails. Thousands of species of birds, animals and plants call them home. Their air is clean and good to breathe.
The public has free access to 94% of forestland in Europe.

Wood You Like Eco Friendly Natural Wooden Flooring Using tropical wood also helps in the fight against tropical deforestation, as long as the wood comes from well-managed sources. However, if there were no markets for wood, forests would be cleared to grow other cash crops. For these societies, often desperate for income, a forest that pays is a forest that stays.

Wood You Like's Wood-Engineered Floors come from FSC certified forests.

Every time you use wood you are helping to make sure the forests will keep growing. So your children and your children's children will be able to enjoy visiting forests for years and years to come.
(The market for forest products helps finance sustainable forest management.)

And for maintenance, you should also use Eco-Friendly products, such as Saicos EcoLine Range:

EcoLine Wash-care - for fortnightly cleaning of your wooden floor

EcoLine Wax-Care - to keep the finish layer healthy and protect your floor from stains in an easy spray

EcoLine Magic Cleanser - for a thorough eco-friendly cleaning of your wooden floor 

or a full box EcoLine Floor Care: wash and wax care, polishing pad and non-fluffy cloth


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Don't use ammonium to clean your Oak floor

A worried lady emailed us with the following story - have a question yourself? Use the ?Help button at the bottom of every page:

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


(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.


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.


All Wood You Like's Smoked Oak floors are definitely been in the "smoking chamber".

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.

Use a Ecofriendly product to remove stains: Saicos Magical Cleanser won't harm your floor and does remove grease, nicotine and even milldew

Ecoline Magic Cleaner 1 GB

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5-finger mosaic is back

Oak 5-finger mosaic rediscovered in lounger

Frequently used in bungalows - and of course other types of homes - during the 50's upto the early 90's, the 5-finger solid wood mosaic floors are a common sight.

And nowadays very often a common and pleasant discovery by the new owners of the house when ripping out the wall-to-wall carpet or vinyl that had been installed over it - perhaps even many years ago.

Restoring or adding mosaic floors

A design parquet floor, and a mosaic floor is definitely a design parquet floor, is a valuable floor covering to have/to discover you have. Sturdy, beautiful and most often than not, adding value to your home. Plus of course, very easy to keep clean.

Not all rediscovered mosaic floors have withstand various prior renovation projects, central heating might be installed - where plumbers simply ripped out areas of mosaic to lay the water pipes in the concrete - or original fireplaces removed. Leaving you with missing areas of wood.

If this is not the case, lucky you, and your charmed by the look of the wood floor, you could consider installing mosaic floors in other rooms too,. to complete the picture. For instance when you (or the previous owners) knock down a wall and only one part of the new larger room has a mosaic floor. 

Wood You Like is happy to announce the 5-finger mosaic in the most used wood-species is again available in small quantities, catering both for small restoration projects and large additional rooms/areas.

Only 2.304 sq m per pack, available in:

All packed very economically: 2.304 sq m per pack.
All unfinished, so you can decide your own finish (thinking of oil to bring out its character best? Look at our Tropical-Combo products)
All measuring (4 blocks by 4 blocks of 5-fingers): 7.5 x 480 x 480mm and all available from our secure webshop.

When you browse in the secure webshop, be sure to visit the "restoration packs" category, all materials needed for either Oak or Tropical species floor restoration (adhesive, oils etc)

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Removing and preventing stains

We received the following "cry for help" - if you need our advice too, use the ?HELP button at the bottom of every page

image from

Hi can you advise me please regarding the best way to stain my engineered oak floor?
My son was shaking his permanent marker pens and the floor got spackled with dots of every colour..! I have tried to remove most of it with a cloth and fairy liquid but it's left white smudges everywhere. We have some Danish oil to use but wasn't sure if I needed to sand the floor first. Please can you advise or suggest what I should use..?

Many thanks in advance

Our answer:

If White Spirit or Turpentine doesn't help, you have to lightly sand the spots and treat it with oil. Be aware that this sanded spot will have a (temporary) lighter colour than the rest of your oiled floor.

Even better would be to protect your floor with a regular maintenance polish, so many stains cannot penetrate this protective layer and removing any marks can be removed with a simple moist cloth.

Maintaining your floor is very easy, especially with the Saicos EcoLine Wax Care Spray, simple squirt some polish on your floor - no matter what type of finish your floor has, this product is suitable for both lacquered and oiled/waxed floors - and spread it out with a none-fluffy cloth. Job done is 5 - 10 minutes (depending on the size of your floor of course)

Ecoline Pflegewachs Spray 1 GB

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