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getting wooden floors - oiled or varnished?

(12 Posts)
ErnestTheBavarian Thu 17-Jun-10 07:09:58

WHo has wooden floors, do you have varnished or oiled, and why?

Advantages of varnished floor apparently- The woman in the shop said that varnished wood floors are easier to look after & clean on a daily basis, but if they get stained or damaged you can't really do much about it yourself. and it will show.

Advantages of oiled wood floor apparently -
If they get stained/damaged you can lightly sand & re-oil either small patches or the whole area yourself & it will look ok.

BUT it's not as easy to look after on a daily basis. eg you're not supposed to use microfiber clothe on it., neither wet nor dry. Now I sweep my floor currently at least once a day, (mop less often blush ) but both wet and dry with microfiber.

So am torn. Which is best? Be vary grateful for tips or suggestions

DecorHate Thu 17-Jun-10 07:16:20

Mine are old stripped pine floorboards so not in the best of nick anyway... The company who did them recommended hardwearing matt varnish. They probably could do with being sanded & revarnished now but I can't be bothered.

I think it does depend on what sort of "look" you are going for - if you have a new, perfect looking, smooth floor shiny varnish can look good, more "rugged" looking floors are probably best with oil or matt varnish.

BlauerEngel Thu 17-Jun-10 07:17:38

Varnished. Varnished floors are less likely to get damaged in the first place. We had varnished floors in our old flat and they survived having all sorts of stuff dropped on them. The occasional dent is character-building, anyway. And varnished floors are so much easier to look after - I find oiled wood incredibly sensitive by comparison.

BlauerEngel Thu 17-Jun-10 07:21:31

Ah, Ernest, I wasn't awake properly and have just realised it's you in Germany. The flat I'm talking about was in Berlin, and most Altbau flats in Berlin have hardwood floors, and the vast majority go for varnish for the reasons I mentioned. We had shiny varnish, but matt is an alternative, of course. My DD1 was a toddler at the time and banging all sorts of toys down on it - it coped fine. It will obviously need resanding/varnishing after 10 years or so, though.

Fayrazzled Thu 17-Jun-10 07:27:41

I'd say oiled. We have oiled oak in our sitting room and playroom and it's no bother to look after. I sweep with a soft brush or use an electric sweeper on it, then mop (less often than I should) using a normal well-run out mop.

I had varnished pine boards previously and they didn't look as good. The varnish starts to wear in patches and it didn't offer any more protection- the kids still dented it when they dropped toys on it, which looked less good on varnish than it does on oiled as it's a relatively easy job to re-oil.

mammya Thu 17-Jun-10 08:25:42

Mine is oiled with hard-wax oil and can be wet-mopped. I like it better than varnish because it doesn't get scratched, gives a really matt finish and doesn't need to be re-done too often (every 10 years I was told).

KristinaM Thu 17-Jun-10 08:33:12

mine are all varnished with a matt or semi matt finish

we have three very boisterous small children plus associated bikes/prams etc

none of our floors have ever been stained but they do become dented / scratched over time. the wear and tear mostly depends on the type of wood IME. of the woods we have, pitch pine / douglas fir is the softest and oak and mahogany are the hardest wearing

we have mahogany in the kitchen and its mopped twice a week

ib Thu 17-Jun-10 08:34:27

I have oiled, but I like the slightly scuffed, well-worn look anyway, so don't mind that it's not as hardwearing.

QSincognitoErgoSum Thu 17-Jun-10 08:40:35

I have a varnished beech floor. It is lovely, silky smooth, easy to clean, I love it.

Another important question though, it to chose a wood which is hard. Pine is very soft, and get dented easily, beech on the other hand is very hard.

ErnestTheBavarian Thu 17-Jun-10 10:48:45

thank you, very helpful. I am changing my order from oiled to varnished. The microfiber ban on oiled was enough for me, but your posts have convinced me, ta

NorkyButNice Thu 17-Jun-10 10:53:48

Just to be different, we have oiled oak in our hallway and dining room and it's holding up to high traffic extremely well.

As long as you don't leave standing water on it, you can use a damp mop, cloth, whatever to clean it. Have to say that I normally just run the hoover over it (making sure that the bristles are retracted) and that picks up the dustballs.

ConradParkFMS Wed 11-Jun-14 22:44:52

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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