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Durable natural wooden floor finishes?

gardener & author
Posts: 2067
Location: Tasmania
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2 1/2 years ago we finished our hardwood floors with a mixture of tung oil and orange solvent, we used two coats of this. This seems to have worked really well in some parts of the house, but in kitchen and mud room I don't think we let it cure for long enough, and also didn't buff with a rag between coats, and maybe two coats were not enough, so the floor doesn't look very good in those rooms, and I might want to try recoating them soon. I'm not sure whether to try doing tung oil with more coats and buffing, or to try something different.

Has anyone here successfully used natural finishes on wooden floors in a busy kitchen? What did you use? Did you have any special ways of cleaning them or maintaining them?
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In our house, with Eastern White Pine Flooring (wide), we did....nothing.

In fact, in most of our house, that is what we did. I know that sounds silly, but really what are you protecting the wood from? How many times do you scrub the ceilings? So with that thought in mind, we never bothered with putting Polyurethane on them, which saved time, money, and the off-gassing that happens from it. The same for the window trim, and the like.

With the wide pine flooring, we hemmed and hawed about it, but in the end did nothing. This was pine sawed from our own trees, so we did not even end up planning them on a planer, we just screwed them to the floor, and then noticed over time, just walking on them slowly wore them down smooth, and we are a shoeless house too.

We just refinished them after five years of being installed as flooring, and it only took 2 hours, and some sandpaper on a little ole 6 inch orbital sander to make them look like new again. In the big scheme of things, that is nothing. I think the cost was $40.

I know this thought is not for everyone, but if floors look like crud after 5 years applying a finish, and it takes 5 years for a non-finished floor to look like crud, why not do nothing and clean them up every five years with some sandpaper and be done? All I am saying is, sometimes doing nothing is an option too.

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