Reno Advice: Restoring Original Hardwood Flooring

We are not strangers to timber flooring, in all 7 of our renovations so far, we have restored our original floors. When it comes to the living spaces, including the kitchen and bathroom – we love timber, it visually looks incredible, it is hardwearing and it’s easy to maintain.

The great thing about older homes is often flooring is timber floorboards, even if it is covered by outdated carpet or vinyl (it still amazes me anyone would cover them up). A simple way to check (even at open homes) is to go underneath the house see for yourself. Most renovators will want to add new, modern, on trend features to their house but keeping the original floors is a great way of keeping an element of the original house design that still looks modern and striking. Wood feels amazing underfoot, it gives a natural and calming effect to the room and brings warmth with its colour tome. The lines of the floorboards and the texture of the grain also create pattern and visually lengthens the room.

The process of restoring floorboards is a big job. The team at Active Floorsanding Services looked after the whole project; with removal and disposal of existing carpets, vinyl and/or tiles, preparing the floorboards by nail hole filling and/or epoxy filling, sanding back the flooring, water popping is a treatment to make the grain stand out in the timber and then oiling or polyurethane to finish.

For our Reno Race houses the team at Active Floorsanding Services suggested we give oil a go for the first time, and we are so glad we did. While we love the clear finish of polyurethane, there are some disadvantages to using it. For example, last year our children added sharpie pen drawings to our polyurethaned floorboards - that was a stain I couldn’t remove! In our relocatable reno project, the mover pushed the fridge into place and created a huge scratch on the polyurethane. In both cases the only way to repair the damage was to completely re-sand and varnish the whole surface again.

Without much knowledge of an oil finish, I assumed polyurethane has stronger and protect the floors more. Then I was introduced to the product; Rubio Monocoat oil, a high quality and environmentally friendly wood protection. The oil has “molecular bonding” which I’ve learnt means it acts as a hardener on your floorboards, which means your floors look great even if you don’t treat them well. Cleaning is low maintenance, which is my type of cleaning - with no need for harsh chemical. And even though the oil is done in 1 coat, that coat will last a surprising long time because of the technology of this oil. I was told that this product has even been consumed to show off its natural ingredients, which means the 5 second rule can be a good 1 minute with our oiled floors!

And while I’m impressed with the benefits of oil for the wood itself, what has me sold is how natural and warm the floors now look. The grain of the wood seems more emphasised, you can actually feel the timber underneath your feet and there is depth to the colour of each floorboard making it looks natural and organic. I love our oiled floors.


This blog was brought to you by Active Floorsanding Services Ltd. While we may collaborate with them now, we started using their services well before we were Pearson + Projects.  They are efficient, reliable and take pride in giving you great service at an affordable price. The team are helpful, passionate and make the whole process simple and easy. We don't recommend them because we have to, we recommend them because we want to.

Posted on August 14, 2018 and filed under Renovation.