Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Finished Floors!

This blog post is a bit delayed, but we finally have some new floors to rave about! Years after moving - far more than expected - we finally ditched the old teal green carpeting and now have some wonderful stained floors in the home.

With the help of our friends at Green Home Experts, we tried several different color samples of a product called Rubio Monocoat. This is a single-application floor stain and finish that does a fantastic job of making the floors in our house pop like never before. Best of all, the product doesn't have any noxious off-gassing like traditional polyurethane, and it has no harmful chemicals.

We went with Rubio's color "Black." I know what you're thinking, "Who wants black floors?!?" but the reality is this doesn't paint the entire floor black, it ends up staining the wood grain black and the surface of the wood a rich dark color. Just see the closeup on Rubio's web site to see what I'm talking about.

The oil was applied by hand along the room edge and then with a floor buffer throughout the rest of the floor to give a nice finish. Working with the product is a little different as you need to work in an area within 15 minutes so the oil doesn't dry too much. But there is just one application of the oil that is needed.
Usually there are no repeat visits, but we learned a lesson on this. You see, the paint turned out so nice in the Living Room that we decided to the Dining room too after the floors were done. Learn your lesson here from our mistake: No matter what you do and how tempted you are, wait until EVERYTHING else is done before finishing floors.

Because Rubio Monocoat is a natural oil it takes a while to dry. It needs 36 hours of drytime to be walkable, and three weeks to fully cure and dry out. The painting and sanding required in the dining room ended up getting dust into the crevices of the not-quite-dried floors, resulting in a hazy finish. But a few drops of oil on a floor buffer corrected the issue. The bad part is it required another 36 dry time and cure time.

Overall though we are quite happy with the way things turned out. In fact the color matched the floor trim very well, and made the built-in trim and mantel appear a bit too muted, so I grabbed an old cloth and some linseed oil and cleaned up the existing wood too so everything now has a nice rich luster. I also debated stripping the old paint off the fireplace, but time is a luxury right now, so we put a coat of a nice rich gray over the painfully boring white, which blends in nicely with the new green-blue walls and dark floors.

And, until some other thing strikes our fancy, I think we can call this room "done!" For the time being.