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May 2009

Difference between HardWaxOil and Oil and Wax

Last week we received an interesting question, of which the answer is long overdue to be turned into a new article. This, we hope, will make amends to it.

Question:
What is the difference between single oil and Hardwax oil? I am particularly interested in finding a very 'natural' non-chemical product. Thanks.

Answer
HardwaxoilBlanchon HardWaxOil is a two-in-one product: oil - which penetrates the wood - for long term protection, wax for the wear and tear layer to protect the wood from dirt and drips

Eukuoil1-1 Single Oil: oil for long term protection, which needs a second product - like one coat Premium HardWaxOil or StepStop wax-polish - to create the wear and tear layer to protect the wood from dirt and drips.

Like HardWaxOil the single oils contains natural ingredients.

In earlier days it was quite normal to finish a floor with a deep sealer and then to apply two coats of carnabaux wax. Because of changing VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) regulations this sealer is no longer allowed.
Manufacturers, like Osmo, Blanchon and Saicos, have created HardWaxOil with natural ingredients to replace the old method, to save the environment and time for installers.

HardWaxOil on tropical wood species can very easily give a patchy result due to the fact the wood itself is 'oily'. Although HardWaxOil manufacturers used to mention that their product was not very suitable on tropical woods, this statement disappeared from most of the instructions in recent years - simply because every company wants to sell as much as possible of their own products for as many as possible applications.

Our experience with both finish types on tropical wood species shows that Single and StepStop or one coat Premium HardWaxOil does tend to give a better result than two coats of HardWaxOil.

It is for that reason we recommend to use HardWaxOil natural or any of the available colours in this range on Oak and other non-tropical wood-species and Single Oil = "Tropical Combo" for tropical wood species to get the best results.

Although Single Oils are also available with colour pigments, why would you want to colour a tropical wood? Tropical wood is often chosen for its own rich and warm in colour appearance, and in our eyes changing this would be a shame. But that just our opinion of course.


Why Wooden Flooring: DIY restoring (with some help) is really feasible

DIY restoring (with some help) is really feasible

As mentioned above, hidden treasures can be restored to its old glory and beauty. Sometimes only some rigorous TLC is required, removing sticky rubber backing from old carpet underlayment or cleaning off layers of old wax.
If more work needs to be done and you enjoy DIY projects you could even consider to do the restoration yourself. Take your time and do consider it a labour of love, the rewards are plenty!

Wood You Like has created various guides to help you restore your valuable floor covering so you too can enjoy its lustre and elegance for many decades to come.

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Basic Wood-Engineered now available in random widths

We're happy to introduce a new product in our basic range to you:

Basic Wood-Engineered Oak Rustic, Random Width:
  • 14mm total thickness,
  • 3.5mm Solid Oak top layer (100 % PEFC),
  • plywood backing
  • bevelled,
  • 2 meter long boards with standard Tongue & Groove for simple installation.
  • Supplied unfinished, so you can select your own preferred natural or coloured finish - not sure which colour, order a small tin or two of testers here, product code1WF-3B.

Oakstory200 Instead of one single width this floor comes standard in two widths: 140mm and 180mm. Plus.... on special request and with a longer lead time, you can even add boards of 160mm and 200mm to your order.

All widths have the same price per sq m.

How to calculate the sq meters per width to create your random width floor? Based on the standard 140 and 180mm combination: 60% of the total sq meters needed as 180mm, 40% as 140mm. Example: 20 sq m (including saw-waste) means 12 sq m 180mm wide and 8 sq m 140mm wide.

(It is recommended for random width floors to add 10% saw-waste instead of 5- 7%.)

UPDATE MARCH 2011: this product is no longer available. Looking for random width Oak floorboards? Gave a look at our New Classic range here


Why Wooden Flooring: cooking and washing has no damaging effect

Cooking and washing has no damaging effect

Kitchens are known to be the "engine-room" of a home: cooking, washing all take place there - keeping your family fed with warm food from clean plates and in clean clothes.
Those activities do cause moist.

Nothing a wood-engineered floor can't handle. As mentioned above, the same dirt and moist repellent character of this wood flooring type makes it a highly suitable and durable floor covering in this 'engine room' too.

From an interior design point of view, selecting wooden flooring for your kitchen can complement your kitchen units and kitchen furniture to create a truly homely feel.


Why Wooden Flooring: Profitable spot on improvements

Home and property owners/managers who have edged into negative equity can reverse the downward slide with home improvements, which can raise the sale price and protect against a reduced valuation from the mortgage lender.

But...... Abbey National recently asked 100 Estate Agents “which home improvements” do they consider “add most to the value of a home?” What was surprising is that it's not the large projects like extensions or expensive kitchens that add the most value - in fact, they said, often these tend to lose money - as much as 50% on their cost! On average, a home extension costs £ 33.800 but adds only £ 13.568 to the value of a home: that's a loss of over £20.000!

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One of the more quicker and simpler to realise improvements decorating, like replacing carpet with wooden flooring, turns out to add the most value. Based on the calculations above, every £ 1.000 spend on quality decorating adds more than 265% to the value of your home/property (1330 x 2.65 = £ 3,524.50)
(Of course there is a common sense limit in spending: spending £ 10.000 on decorating one or two rooms will not increase the value of your home with £ 26.500).

Installing a quality wooden floor in an average sized room of 4.5 by 4 meters (20 sq m including saw-waste) will costs you around £1,150.00 including VAT for materials = wood floor, underlayment, adhesive and beading included! Based on the results of Abbeys survey it adds around £ 3.000 to the value of your home! (Not bad for 1 or 2 days work as DIY-er)


"Floored by poor service" - we wonder why.

Times Troubleshooter (09.05.09 - third story) tells the following story:

In November we bought a Liberty Oak wooden floor from Allied Carpets for £630 for our children’s playroom. I contacted Allied in February because the floor was worn under my children’s computer chair. My children, aged 8 and 10, weigh 4st 8Ib and 5st respectively and should not be able to wear out in eight weeks a floor with a 25-year guarantee. Allied refused to help because the chair caused the damage. I do not believe that the floor is fit for purpose. Allied should have made it known at point of sale that it was unsuitable for homes with portable furniture.

Wasntme After Troubleshooter intervened the big retailer grudgingly promised to replace the floor. The Chief Executive of Allied Carpets blamed the new supplier (Balterio) for not including after-care guidance to its products.

A quick search this morning on Balterio's (Belgium company) website (in English) revealed adequate maintenance and after-care information - including advice on chairs with wheels.

Even if Balterio hadn't included a leaflet to the product supplied to Allied Carpets, how about some initiative to give every single one of your clients a standard leaflet on the after-care on any type of floor-covering you sell?

We do, no matter if the floor comes with its own leaflet. Our clients are our clients, not really the clients of the manufacturer. Therefore we take care of the after-care - that is, in our honest opinion, our responsibility.

You can receive our maintenance leaflet too (including tips on stain removal) by popping in your name and email address in the form below. If your big retailer doesn't want to take their responsibility on after-care for the products they sell, feel free to borrow ours - we're proud to be a small and independent retailer who take customer care very seriously.

Request our maintenance leaflet and stain-removal tips
to keep your wooden floor healthy and beautiful
Name:
Email:
We will never divulge your details to anyone else - we hate spam as much as you do

Why Wooden Flooring: DIY repair

DIY repair

We've indicated it before: wooden floors can be installed, restored and repaired not only by professionals but also by those comfortable with DIY-projects.

Small damages to the surface or finish of your wooden floor can sometimes be repaired even without the need of sanding - a job preferably left to professionals who have the better equipment for this. And when your floor is maintained regularly the need for major maintenance = resanding and applying a new finish won't hardly ever be needed. Most modern maintenance products will take care of that.


Guidelines on restoring floorboards

There are two different types of floorboards: softwood and hardwood. Pine boards are the most frequently found in 'modern' homes. You can of course re-sand them, but that won't reduce the ease with which dents and small damages appear.
 
If you accept this 'softwood' fact then there's nothing to stop your re-sanding the old existing pine boards in your home.
 
There is however one more thing to be aware of: where Oak matures into its characteristic Honey Colour, Pine tends to mature into orange - sometimes quite ugly orange too!
 
Applying a coloured HardWaxOil instead of a natural finish will often prevent this from happening. The colour most used for this is the "Golden Oak", either two coats or one coat Golden Oak and one, the last, coat natural HardWaxOil.
 
So instead of a nicely restored, but turning orange quit quickly, floor you end up with a nicely restored 'golden' brown floor - which could give you years and years of value. Do remember to apply a suitable maintenance product to it once every 5 - 6 months to keep your floor healthy and beautiful.
 
See our secure web shop for all available colours (and maintenance products!)