Hardwood floors: Oil please

Because you have a green vision, you’re thinking about an oiled hardwood floor rather than varnished. Did you know that your ancestors used this technique? It’s certainly not new. And the results are good enough to install an oiled floor in public. Imagine what it would look like in a private residence!

You’re renovating and you’re faced with a varnished hardwood floor, but you don’t feel like sanding and varnishing it again. You know what it involves: sanding, dust, strong and persistent odours, using chemical products, obligation to live elsewhere while the work is being done and knowing that you have to start over 8 to 10 years later. You therefore opt for an oiled floor.

Plancher bois huile PERMABOIS renovation

You sand to remove all traces of varnish. After a good dusting, you apply three coats of oil specially designed for this purpose. Naturally you need time between each coat. You use a soft cloth to apply the oil on all fours. If this position is too hard, you can buy oiled floors that are ready to install.

What are the other advantages of an oiled hardwood floor?

It’s inviting! Easy maintenance. All you need is a broom or a vacuum cleaner with an occasional damp cloth. Oil lets the wood breathe. The wood “works” less and will have less of a tendency to crack.

Also, the flat finish of an oiled floor hides imperfections. If scratches bother you, you won’t have to sand the entire floor. Applying oil to the affected area will take care of it.

If the scratch is deeper, you may have to lightly sand the affected portion and add successive coats of oil until the desired appearance (colour) is achieved. Usually there’s no contrast between the retouched part and the rest of the room after this process. You have to admit that an oiled floor is much easier than a varnished floor.


Reference: personal experience and thanks to Mr. Dubeau of and others for the photo.