Shown above: Oil-Finished Hardwood Flooring available at Foster Flooring – a new line of innovative, naturally beautiful, toxic-free, structurally superior, easy-to-maintain wood flooring manufactured by some of the world's most highly esteemed brands including DuChâteau® and Haro®.
The Oil-Finished Hardwood Floor
Shown above: DuChâteau oil-finished Heritage Timber Wide-Plank Flooring in Lintel
The Traditional Hardwood Flooring Conundrum: How to Love It and Live With It Despite Its Shortcomings!
For as long as hardwood floors have been manufactured, there have been concerns about longevity, resilience and ease of maintenance. It has been the consensus of opinion that hardwood flooring is one of the most beautiful design elements you can add to any room. However, to some it has been problematic because of vulnerability to the effects of moisture as well as risk of scratches and other blemishes through everyday use.
For at least the past three decades, hardwood flooring has addressed such worries by encasing the surface in plastic, otherwise known as polyurethane. This coating protected the wood from water spills or wet feet and was easily mopped up and vacuumed. What it did not protect against was scratches to its smooth, shiny appearance. Any defects as a result of pet nail scratches, children's abuse or other accidental marks made by furniture, shoes or dropped objects were indelibly and permanently
added for posterity.
That is, unless the entire floor was sanded down to remove the blemished polyurethane along with any deep scratches to the top layer of hardwood and re-coated with a new layer
of polyurethane. This process was a tedious, dusty and disturbing procedure which impacted foot traffic as well as introducing a lethal respiratory risk of inhaled microscopic particulate matter and fumes for possibly several days or more...not to mention the long-term health repercussions of living with toxic emissions from an environment where polyurethane chemicals were present.
There had to be a better way to finish hardwood flooring.
Some of the World's Most Visionary Entrepreneurs Took a Bold Step Forward with an Innovative and Health-Protective Solution
Since money makes the world go round, it certainly took nerves of steel for hardwood flooring manufacturers to buck the trend of the established polyurethane procedure and replace it with something that would shake the entire design world.
Yet, that they did, by proposing an entirely new mindset about living with hardwood floors.
With emphasis on the natural beauty of the wood itself rather than its shiny plastic sheen,
hardwood flooring manufacturers focused on a more rustic aesthetic. Reminiscent of an antique or the kind of surface one might find within a historical setting, hardwood flooring manufacturers introduced entire lines of flooring styles and options using a wonderful array of the world's most magnificent hardwood trees to showcase the wood's clear natural grain, with or without knots. As the icing on the cake, so to speak, they finished these floors after meticulously hand scraping, smoking, brushing and/or distressing the surface with a hard-wax oil finish which would both repel moisture and protect against everyday abuse. Plus, the oil finish works to set off the special effects of each style's grain, patina and natural appearance so it is as beautiful from the day it is installed to a time years later after having been lived with and enjoyed for a lifetime of use.
What's In the Hard-Wax Oil?
In Europe it has long been the standard to rely on natural oils and waxes to keep hardwood floors looking their best.
Once hard-wax oil is applied, the hardwood surface is wonderfully moisture repellent and stain-resistant against such liquids as water, coffee, wine and soda. Should a spot become problematic, it is easy to just buff with the hard-wax oil for successful removal in most cases. The oil coating allows the wood to breathe and shift through seasonal changes in temperature and humidity. And oil-finished hardwood floors never require sanding. As an example, the Copenhagen Airport's hardwood flooring which is walked on by over 18 million people a year, was finished with hard-wax oil when first installed during the sixties and has never had to be refinished or replaced since that time.
What is Hard-wax oil made of? A list of all natural ingredients which includes linseed oil, tung oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, beeswax, carnauba wax, candelilla wax, resins, and colloidal clay. These oils and waxes act to preserve the wood and offer long-term protection against moisture and stains while providing resilient durability.
The Design World Responded
with Resounding Approval!
Revolutionary companies like DuChâteau®, based in San Diego, California with multiple worldwide distributors, and Haro®, which is based in Germany, made groundbreaking strides in the industry with oil-finished hardwood flooring. While many in the flooring industry could not believe these companies had chosen this new unproven path, architects and designers on a global scale applauded their decision with overwhelming support. What they found was that the new unadorned, natural surface of the oil-finished hardwood flooring complemented both traditional and contemporary interiors beautifully. In addition, the entire world praised their environmentally conscientious stance which eliminated harmful toxic emissions from chemical-laden hardwood flooring coatings.
Environmentally Healthful for Your Home, Your Business and Our Earth
Oil-finished hardwood flooring is able to breathe as a live element in your environment. And like any live addition to your setting, it will mature and mellow with age like a fine wine. Its tones will become richer, its appearance more splendid as time passes. And living with a natural hardwood surface along with its usual variations in grain, depth of color and other characteristic markings allows you to relax and enjoy its ease of maintenance without fretting over inadvertent mishaps which add a scuff or a knick here and there. In fact, the oil coating on its very natural hardwood surface resists damage from such occurrences including spills involving moisture so life can go on without an impending crisis at every accident.
Need to Address a Bothersome Flaw?
If life throws you a curveball and deals your beloved hardwood floor a blow you just can't live with, there will be no need to strip the entire floor of its finish to address one little spot. A simple buffing of the lone blemish and a re-oiling of its finish will repair the damage so you'll never even know it ever happened. All without the need to stop life as you know it and risk health repercussions in the process.