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Cheap wood floors - finishing  RSS feed

 
Andrew Ray
Posts: 165
Location: Slovakia
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I searched the forums, and I get the feeling that wood flooring isn't so interesting as other types. I had interest in earth floors for our house, but ultimately, because of the time factor involved (apparently) in waiting for the floor to dry and anyway my wife's suspicions about how it would turn out, we went with spruce flooring-- well, it should arrive sometime next week.

When I say cheap, it is 11€/m^2 which gets 3cm (1.25") thick boards that are already planed and sanded with tongues and grooves to slot together.

It comes directly from one of the many producers in central Slovakia, 200 miles from us.

The floors that were in the house were 22mm spruce/fir and survived for 50 years over a somewhat poor foundation that was prone (at least lately) to dampness problems. That being hopefully now fixed by a lot of drainage, I expect these boards will last perhaps longer.

Nothing was down to the underside of the previous boards, but I am inclined to apply refined linseed oil in hopes that it will help prevent any humidity related issues. Actually, I'm not sure exactly what it should help, or whether it would make any difference, just any unfinished tool handles, etc. which I have here I finish with linseed oil.

The top will need something, and I would welcome any and all suggestions on natural finishes that are at least durable enough to survive several years of children running over them (though rugs will probably cover heavy traffic areas, as this seems to be the Slovak style my wife adheres to).

So far I have considered:
Linseed oil, mainly because, as mentioned above, I already use it as a basic protection layer to raw wood.

Shellac (the real stuff-- dissolved flakes in alcohol), because it should dry fast and I have some experience using it for a piece of furniture I made from pine-- it worked well there, but no-one walks on the desk...

A commercial, but supposedly natural "yacht varnish" called Le Tonkinois which my wife found is sold here. It is tung oil and linseed oil and some other oil. I guess the plus of it is that I am not "rolling my own", so she expects it to turn out possibly better than what I would come up with and take less time to figure out.

Beeswax-- easily, cheaply obtained here, but seems like it would have to be reapplied often.

Carnauba wax-- obtainable here, more expensive, but harder than beeswax.

I can obtain pure tung oil as well as orange oil.

And these are all of the wood finishes I've considered as possibilities.

The main goals would be: make sure that spills don't soak into floor, prevent/minimize shrinking/expansion from humidity, prevent dirt from inhering into the floor.
 
Weston Ginther
Posts: 63
Location: NW South Dakota - Zone 4b
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I don't have any experience with finishing wood floors (although I do have wood flooring in my house) but I recently installed an unfinished cork floating floor in our kitchen. To seal it, I used AFM SafeCoat Naturals Oil Wax Finish. It contains both linseed oil and carnauba wax, among other ingredients. It was kind of the quick, easy option but so far I am happy with the durability of the finish.
 
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