Oiled parquet has many advantages, but also needs the right care.
Regularly re-oiling not only makes wear and tear disappear and the hardwood flooring shines in all its glory again, but the floor also receives care and protection. In this article you will learn how to oil your hardwood flooring best and which parquet oils are suitable for this purpose.
What is oiled parquet?
At the same time as the laying of parquet, the question of the optimum surface finish also arises.
This protects the parquet from dirt and moisture and preserves its characteristic appearance.
Parquet can either be lacquered lacquered or oiled or waxed, whereby the latter has become less and less common in recent years. Which surface finish is the best cannot be said in general terms – it depends on the individual demands on the floor. There are certain differences, especially with regard to appearance and care requirements.
Pros and cons of oiled parquet
While lacquered parquet is fully sealed by the lacquer, oiled parquet is “only” impregnated.
This means that the pores remain open and the wood can continue to breathe, which has a positive effect on the indoor climate. The oil gives the parquet its typical silky matte appearance and underlines the characteristic feel of the wood, which improves the naturalness of the floor.
On the other hand, however, oiled parquet has no additional protective layer. Accordingly, loads and daily stresses act directly on the surface of the floor, which is why wear and tear or damage can occur more quickly.
However, any repair work on oiled parquet can be carried out relatively easily – and also partially – on oiled parquet. Even in the case of major damage, it is often not necessary to sand down the entire floor – re-oiling the affected parquet is sufficient in most cases. Overall, the maintenance and cleaning requirement is nevertheless higher for oiled parquet compared to lacquered surfaces.
What oil is available for parquet?
For the treatment of oiled parquet there are various special parquet oils, which saturate the wood surface and provide protection against moisture and dirt.
When purchasing parquet oil care should be taken to ensure that it is as solvent-free a product as possible, as this is better for the parquet and the room climate as well as for the environment.
In principle, between curing and non-curing oils. Curing oils – also known as 2-component oils – contain synthetic resins that allow the oil to dry faster on the one hand and on the other hand, provide more resistance to the treated surface. Many of these parquet oils offer almost the same protection as a sealing of the soil.
Non-hardening oils or hard oils, on the other hand, usually consist of a mixture of different oils, e.g. linseed oil and walnut oil, and are regarded as particularly natural.
The pores of the wood remain completely open, whereby a parquet floor oiled with hard oil ensures a particularly good exchange of air in the room and also absorbs odours.
However, the surface of the parquet remains more sensitive to dirt and damage, which is why the floor should be additionally waxed afterwards.
Alternatively, hard wax oils can also be used, which are now increasingly produced without solvents on a purely natural basis.
The combination of certain oils and waxes forms a thin layer on the parquet, which closes the wood pores to a certain degree and accordingly in the basic features comes close to a sealing.
Thus, the air exchange between wood and indoor air is restricted, but parquet treated with hard wax oil is also easier to maintain.
The range of different parquet oils is very diverse. The differences between the individual products lie in their composition and their life span.
In contrast to lacquer, oil cannot change the gloss level of the parquet – oiled floors are always matt – but the wood can be stained with special coloured oils in a wide variety of nuances.
In general, the color of the parquet becomes a trace darker or richer due to the oiling.
However, parquet can be oiled also white with specially pigmented products, which makes the floor slightly lighter and makes it look as if it has been freshly sanded.
An impregnation of the parquet – and the associated protection against moisture and dirt – is achieved with coloured oils just as with conventional colourless parquet oils.
Many parquet manufacturers either offer their own coordinated parquet oils or make product recommendations for suitable oils. Therefore, before re-oiling parquet, the manufacturer’s instructions for the respective parquet should be observed.
Oils or waxes?
Rubbing wooden floors with beeswax to protect it from dirt and damage has previously been a proven method.
Pure waxed parquet has become increasingly important in recent years. However, the combination of oil and wax is still very popular with parquet in order to underline the naturalness of the parquet in the best possible way and to provide the wood with appropriate protection.
This is because the surface of purely oiled parquet remains relatively sensitive and receives additional protection through the wax .
Both warm and cold wax can be used after the parquet oil has completely dried. While cold wax can sometimes also be rubbed evenly into the wood by hand with a sponge, warm wax requires a special wax machine with which the wax is heated and applied to the parquet at a constant temperature. After the parquet has grown, the parquet must be polished – preferably with a polishing machine.
Parquet oiling: How it works
Regardless of which parquet oil the floor is treated with, should be done when oiling parquet according to the following instructions:
Reworking the parquet
Before the parquet can be re-oiled, it must be completely sanded down. This is usually necessary even with newly laid parquet, if only to remove possible residues of the parquet adhesive. It is important to proceed extremely evenly and carefully and to work your way from coarse to fine on the raw wood in several passes. Only in this way can the oil penetrate deep into the pores of the wood and achieve the desired result.
Since sanding down the parquet is quite demanding, this should only be carried out by experienced do-it-yourselfers on their own.
2. Thorough cleaning
Sanding the hardwood flooring produces a lot of fine dust. Since parquet oil binds it, all surfaces in the room must be thoroughly cleaned with a vacuum cleaner, so that a completely dust-free environment is guaranteed.
3. Ensuring proper room conditions
The oiling of parquet requires certain room conditions. For example, the parquet should not be exposed to direct sunlight, so that it does not heat up too much. The room temperature should be between 18 and 25 degrees when the parquet oil is applied.
4. Filling joints
The dust produced by sanding the parquet is also ideal for repairing smaller, damaged joints when mixed with joint filler. For larger joints, however, the use of special joint sealing compound is recommended.
5. Apply parquet oil
Once the preparations have been completed, the actual oiling of the parquet can be started.
First stir the parquet oil thoroughly and then apply it evenly and systematically to the parquet. It is best to start in a corner and work towards the exit. Surfaces with more than 30 m2 should be oiled in sections so that the oil does not dry too quickly.
A scooter or a brush suitable for wooden floors can be used to distribute the oil.
It works even easier when a small amount of oil is carefully poured onto the parquet and smeared with a rubber scraper or a stainless steel smoothing. For corners and edges, it is recommended to use a brush.
As an alternative to applying the parquet oil by hand, polishing machines can also be used. The white/beige polishing pad is used to distribute and massage the oil on the parquet.
6. Allow oil to act
The thinly applied parquet oil then requires around 15 minutes to be able to move into the wood. If parquet is oiled with too much oil, you can stains are created. Therefore, it is important to ensure that there are no oil puddles on the parquet.
7. Remove oil residues
After the start-up time, the excess oil is removed with dry, lint-free cotton cloths.
The oil-soaked cloths should then be placed in a bucket of water, otherwise there is a risk of spontaneous combustion. Please take this very seriously. Whole houses have burned down just because a cloth soaked in oil ignited itself.
8. Let oil dry
If sufficient ventilation is provided, the surface is then Night completely dried. If the colour result is not yet intensive enough, the operation can be repeated again.
When is parquet accessible again after oiling?
Parquet flooring can be walked on again carefully around 24 hours after oiling, but furniture should only be set up after 48 hours and carpets should only be laid after one week.
If the parquet has been committed too early, footprints may remain in the surface.
If this occurs, the oil should be wiped away as soon as possible. If the oil has already dried, the place can be rubbed again with oil or sanded slightly.
Even with the mopping of the parquet should be waited at least one week. desk mats, or chair mats should only be re-applied after approx. 14 days.
Parquet re-oiling – how often?
Freshly sanded parquet should in principle be 2 times thoroughly treated with high-quality parquet oil. The time interval to the next After-oiling depends on the type of parquet oil used, the degree of stress and also according to the type of wood.
While oxidative curing oils have to be re-oiled after 1 to 2 years – and even earlier in the case of heavy loads – two-component oils offer longer protection due to the additional chemical reaction and usually only have to be re-oiled every 3 to 5 years.
In order to maintain the protection of the oiled parquet for as long as possible and to delay the need for grinding, especially unwaxed floors should be refreshed at regular intervals with special care oils.