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oil,wax or varnish for reclaimed oak parquet?

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by wilgartw, 27 Feb 2006.

This topic originated from the How to page called Wood block / Parquet floors.

  1. wilgartw

    wilgartw

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    as the title really, what would anyone recommend. manufacturers / suppliers?

    any advice really.
     
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  3. WoodYouLike

    WoodYouLike

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    We recommend HardWaxOil, see here. Easy to apply, much more forgiven when small applying errors are made, easier to 'repair' little damages (where damaged varnish have to be sanded again, with HWO applying a bit of wax does the trick and keeps your wood protected).

    Manufacturers brands are as good as Osmo's (brand name = paying for brand name ;))
     
  4. wilgartw

    wilgartw

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    hello WYL,

    thanks for the advice, i have bought some hardwax oil (osmo) and tried a bit on the oak floor. It seems to darken the appearance quite considerably.

    It goes from a birch type shade to teak/mahogany. is this normal? is there anything that keeps it closer to the currently sanded blonde colour?
     
  5. WoodYouLike

    WoodYouLike

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    Any finish (clear finish) will bring out the specific character of the wood block and every block has it's own character. That's the beauty of real wood.
    The pale look of freshly sanded Oak flooring will never be kept.

    Are you sure you have an Oak floor and not an Rodesian Teak floor?
     
  6. wilgartw

    wilgartw

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    no i am not sure, i was told it was oak, it is reclaimed from a school approx 100 years old. how can i tell if it is teak?


    i have just been thinking, i may not've mixed up the hardwax oil enough, does it seperate in the tin (wax and oil)? if so i may have just oiled the 4 blocks?
     
  7. Nestor_Kelebay

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    The reason why polyurethane "varnish" has become the clear coat of choice over hardwood floors here in North America is because it's superior hardness both

    a) provides the best protection for the wood floor of the three options you mentioned, and

    b) keeps the floor looking newer longer then the other options mentioned, and the rate at which the appearance of the floor deteriorates with age the slowest of the three options mentioned (because it's a harder coating).

    Floor "wax" is Carnauba Wax, made from the nut of the Carnauba Palm tree of Brazil. This is a hard wax so far as floor waxes go, but it's soft compared to polyurethane. Also, one of the problems experienced with refinishing "waxed" floors is that remnants of the wax on/in the wood will interfere with the proper adhesion of polyurethane if and when you decide to refinish that floor in future. Maybe check with some of the local hardwood flooring refinishers and consult with them about problems refinishing hardwood floors that have had real wax applied to them originally.
    (on this side of "the pond", that's been a real problem for hardwood flooring refinishers, but I don't know for sure if the reasons for the problems are fully understood, or if the work-around to the problems so encountered are completely reliable. my understanding is that neither the cause of the problems is fully understood, and the fix isn't always reliable)
     
  8. WoodYouLike

    WoodYouLike

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    Hi Nestor

    The porduct in question is not 'varnish' but Osmo Polyx-oil (HardWaxOil, a 2-in-1 product). Not sure if known acorss the pond, your way)

    See here for more info
     
  9. WoodYouLike

    WoodYouLike

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    Rodesian Teak can have many colour differences and was widely used in the U.K. untill the late 70ths. Once finished a very nice floor though.
    But is can also be Oak, we have seen pinkish coloured (natural) Oak also, depends on the amount of sap-wood in the blocks and the origin of the Oak, just think of american Red Oak

    Don't think it has anything to do with not stirring the hardwaxoil sufficiently, it normally needs just a few stirs.
     
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  11. Nestor_Kelebay

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    If the object here is to recommend a finish for a hardwood floor that the poster can put on themselves, then I'm sure all of the knowledgeable people in here will have recommendations that will serve the poster well.

    If the objective here is to recommend a finish for a hardwood floor that will be the MOST durable and last the longest, then we have to go with relatively new technology that the original poster probably shouldn't try to put on themselves.

    The most durable coating for any surface will be the one that both:

    a) sticks to it well, and

    b) dries to the hardest film.

    ...cuz it's the hardness of the coating over a wood floor that protects the wood and determines how quicly that floor starts to show "traffic patterns" from dirt becoming embedded in the floor (or the finish on the floor) from the foot falls of human traffic. The harder the coating, the less dirt becomes embedded in it, and the longer it takes for traffic patterns to start to show. Therefore, the harder the coating over a wood floor, the longer that wood floor will retain it's "new" appearance, and the more slowly it will loose that newly refinished appearance. That makes some kinda horse sense, doesn't it?

    The standard test to determine the hardness of a coating is something called a "Taber abrasion test". Google Taber abrasion test and you'll see all kinds of references to this kind of test.

    I don't know what this Osmo Polyx-Oil stuff is, but there is a new kind of polyurethane working it's way down the pipes into consumer products that most people are probably unaware of called catalyzed "waterborne polyurethanes".

    Lemme start off by saying that there are more kinds of waterborne polyurethane chemistries in coatings than you can shake a stick at. The kind I'm talking about require a catalyst to be added to a water based solution of isocyanates and glycerine before being spread on the floor. The resulting coating is about 3 times as hard as the conventional oil based "polyurethanes" that have become the standard for finishing hardwood floors since about 1956. Basically, these new generations of "catalyzed waterborne polyurethanes" have about the same durability as an epoxy concrete floor paint.

    One example of this new technology is a product called "Traffic" marketed by the Bona Company of Italy. The problem with Traffic is that once you add the catalyst, then that liquid inside that gallon jug is going to harden up on you over the next several hours no matter what problem you run into, so it's not very user friendly. Bona also markets another hardwood floor coating called MEGA, which somehow allows you to put the coating on, and save whatever you don't use for a future application. I don't know how it MEGA works. Both are considerably harder than conventional oil based polyurethanes, and would therefore be expected to provide much better service than could be expected from a conventional oil based polyurethane on that fact alone.

    http://www.savinobrothers.com/taber.htm
    In the above web site, the brown can with "Woodline Polyurethane" written on it in white lettering is the Taber abrasion test results for Bona's own oil based polyurethane. (Which is a technology that's been around since 1956 when the first polyurethanes were patented by the Bayer Company (the Aspirin people) and who are still a major supplier of alkyd and polyurethane resins to the coating manufacturing sector of the economy.)

    http://www.gustafsonwoodfloors.com/bonikemi.php
    It should be noted that the only polyurethane that even comes close to Traffic is the moisture cure polyurethane from Polo Platz in this web site. Moisture cure polyurethanes are generally considered "industrial coatings", not residential floor finishes. The biggest North American manufacturer of moisture cure polyurethane coatings is Wasser.
    http://www.wassercoatings.com/

    http://www.bonakemi.com/productspecs/pdf/traffic.pdf

    The French chemical company Rhodia explains the chemistry of moisture cure polyurethanes on their web site, but they don't explain the chemistry of these new catalyzed waterborme polyurethanes like Traffic:
    http://www.coatings.us.rhodia.com/chemistry.asp

    If anyone wants to know more about the chemistry of conventional alkyd based polyurethane "varnishes", post and I will answer. If anyone wants to know more about moisture cure polyurethane coatings and why they're so much harder than conventional "alkyd based polyurethane "varnishes"", post and I will try to answer. I really don't know anything about the chemistry of catalyzed waterborne polyurethanes coatings like this "Traffic" product, but I do know it's extremely hard and durable, and that's what you need to keep a floor looking good for a long long time.

    I think it's also best to have products like Traffic and moisture cure polyurethanes installed by professionals with experience using them. These are very correctly considered industrial coatings, and simply aren't as user friendly as the oil based polyurethane varnishes that DIY'ers are used to using. These new generation of polyurethanes are almost as hard as powder coatings like the enamel on a steel bathtub.

    PS:
    Powder coatings are also called "Porcelain Enamel". Probably the hardest coating that most people have in their homes is the porcelain enamel on the inside of their ovens. This is a special kind of powder coating that's baked on at about 1300 degrees F, and is called a "ceramic coating". For more info on baked-on coatings, visit the Porcelain Enamel Institute at:
    http://www.porcelainenamel.com
     
  12. WoodYouLike

    WoodYouLike

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    Dear Nestor

    I will not even attempt to add anything to your great knowledge about this subject (varnishing etc), which I know is very vast (honestly meant comment).

    As professional wooden floor fitters we either sell pre-finished flooring or unfinished flooring. The trend in pre-finished flooring (also in the U.K.) is going more and more towards natural oil finishes instead of the 'old-fashion' varnish or lacquer (except for commercial premises, where 'Traffic' is commonly used; either pre-finished or applied on site by professionals).
    'Traffic' pre-finished floors for domestic customers is rather O.T.T. and pretty expensive. Normal varnish/lacquer is, as we notice, more and more replaced by the Natural Oil finishes (one example is the HardWaxOils) and these 'normal' varnish/lacquer isn't of the quality the 'Traffic' is.
    Advantage for domestic customers with oil finish: small minor damages on the floor can be repaired very easy by the customer (i.e. making sure the wood stays protected) by applying wax or wax-polish. Damages to varnish/lacquer finishes require light sanding and applying varnish very locally, which always end in tears ;)

    Besides that, oil brings out the character of the wood better than varnish, but that could be personal preference.

    Just my 2p
     
  13. wilgartw

    wilgartw

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    thanks folks, i didn't want a fight to start :LOL:

    Nestor_Kelebay - i think my question is which will look the best. I realise i don't want it to deteriorate within weeks, but the time and effort spent in sourcing, cleaning and fitting the parquet so far, if i need to resand and reapply a coat in a few years then in the scale of things it doesn't really matter.

    Also, the reason for going with reclaimed parquet was partly because new parquet looked too perfect (a little too much like laminate)


    WYL - i tried giving the can a good stir last night, and applying it very thin, it appears to be better (not as dark) i think partly the issue is the 4 blocks i tried as a random sample just happened to be the darker ones in the room. My girlfriend is still a little disappointed at the colour :rolleyes: , but i think i have convinced her that it is better than ronseal varnish.


    thanks all
     
  14. Nestor_Kelebay

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    Oh, heck no, I didn't come here to argue or fight either.

    I interpreted the original post to be the homeowner looking for suggestions and/or recommendations on what finish to use on his new wood floor. What the priorities were wasn't really spelled out, so I figured I'd post about the super hard finishes if it was durability that was the top priority. Lotsa people might not know that there are hardwood floor finishes that are much more durable than the old traditional polyurethane.

    But, I didn't type that post as arguement or rebuttal, only to provide info in case someone reading this did have durability as the #1 priority for their upcoming wood floor.
     
  15. WoodYouLike

    WoodYouLike

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    We know, Nestor and appreciate your insight
     
  16. lazer-lady

    lazer-lady

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    Hi, We have recently laid a reclaimed block floor---( Panga Panga), it was sanded 5 times and then sealed with osmo oil--- it became even darker and very patchy, we then polished it with fiddes cherry polish hoping that it would bring out the beauty of the grain, however it is now even worse, it has no shine whatsoever. What can we do, this floor has cost over a Grand and the grain was stunning.Where did we go wrong.
    Thanks in advance for advice :
     
  17. WoodYouLike

    WoodYouLike

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    Panga Panga (related to Wenge wood) is tropical wood and very oily on its own. Meaning the hardwaxoil should be applied very thinly otherwise the wood doesn't absorb all, leaving the wood patchy as you say.
    Also, with what grain was it sanded last? 120 or 150?
     
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