Oiling a wood floor – 5 things to keep in mind

23 June 2017

Oiled wood floors have a beautiful sheen, and the oil protects them from dirt.

When oiling a wood floor, there are five steps you should follow for excellent results. Read our simple guide below!


1. Carefully sand or clean the floor

If you are oiling your floor for the first time, it must be freshly sanded and thoroughly vacuumed.

Floors that have already been treated with oil should be re-oiled once or twice a year in rooms that are exposed to wear and tear, but less frequently in areas with less traffic. If the floor looks dry or if stains are becoming difficult to remove, it should be re-oiled. Carefully vacuum and mop the floor, and then leave it to dry for at least half an hour.


2. Several thin layers of oil are better than one thick layer

Spread a thin, even layer of oil on the floor using a paintbrush, cloth or squeegee.

Let the oil soak in – follow the oil manufacturer’s instructions, but allow it to soak for at least 10–15 minutes. Apply the oil until the floor is saturated, preferably three to four times at 45 minute intervals.


3. Rub in excess oil

Rub in the excess oil that has not soaked into the wood using a microfibre cloth or the polishing pad on a floor-cleaning machine (available for hire if you do not own one yourself). Work in the oil as much as possible, and also pay attention to the corners that the machine cannot reach. If polishing by hand, do so along the length of the wood.

Wipe off any oil that you have not managed to rub in – only a thin, greasy, oiled film should remain on the floor. If puddles of oil are left, they will harden and can only be removed by sanding.


4. Let the floor rest

Allow the floor to rest and harden for at least 12 hours, but ideally up to 18 hours. You can then polish it with a dry cloth or the scouring pad on the floor-cleaning machine to achieve a shinier surface.

Soak all cloths in water before throwing them away to ensure that the oil does not ignite.


5. Do not damp mop the newly oiled floor

Do not put rugs on the newly oiled floor for several days after the treatment, and wait a few weeks before damp mopping it.

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