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How To

Discover everything you need to know to apply a professional looking oiled finish to your wood flooring

Written by: Yarl Christie

Published on: May 24, 2021

How to Oil a Wooden Floor

Want to keep your wooden floor looking and performing like new for years to come? Topping up its existing oiled layer can really help.

Over time, the oiled layer starts to fade and wear away. Renewing its oiled coating can really help to refresh its looks and enhance performance. The question is, how should you oil a wooden floor?

Below, you’ll discover everything you need to know to apply a professional looking oiled finish to your wood flooring.

Preparing The Floor

You’ll need to start by preparing the floor. If It’s previously been given an oiled coating, you’ll simply need to top it up. However, if it has a different style of finish, you may need to sand it down before the oil can be applied.

Sand a Wooden Floor Before Oiling It

If you’ve only just bought the floor and it comes with an oiled coating, you’ll just need to top up the layer. This means you won’t need to sand the floor down before giving it another coat.

Prior to oiling the floor, make sure it’s free of debris and dust. If it isn’t, you’ll end up cementing the debris and dust into the new oiled layer. You’ll also want to make sure the room you’re using to oil the floor is well ventilated. The fumes from the oil can be quite strong so there should be plenty of fresh air to allow them to escape.

The Oiling Process

If you want to make sure you apply the oil correctly, simply follow these steps…

Step 1 – After opening the oil, stir it thoroughly to ensure it is well mixed and ready to apply.

Step 2 – Using a roller or a brush, apply the oil to the floor evenly. Make sure you’re applying it in the same direction as the wood grain. You’ll also want to apply thin layers of oil at a time.

Step 3 – Allow the oil time to dry before applying an additional coat. You can add between one to three coats of oil.

How to Oil a Wooden Floor

Always make sure you’re following the manufacturer instructions. The oil you have purchased will have its own specific installation instructions. However, the three steps above are the main ones you’ll always need to follow.

When Will It Need To Be Topped Up?

Ideally, you’ll want to top up the oiled coating every couple of years. However, this really depends upon how much foot traffic it is exposed to. If the floor isn’t exposed to high levels of daily foot traffic, you can get away with oiling it less often.

You’ll also find it’s recommended you oil your new floor as soon as it’s been laid. It may come with an oil coating already, but it may have been stored for some time. This can leave it a little dry so applying another oiled layer once it has been installed will give it a fresh, new appearance.

Will Oiling Impact The Colour Of The Floor?

Oiling a floor can impact its colour. However, this will depend upon the type of oil you purchase. Some simply add a protective clear coating, while others feature some level of staining. So, take a look at the different effects on offer and see which one best matches your needs.

As you can see, oiling a wooden floor is quite easy when you know how. The advice above is a general guideline on how to oil your new or existing floor. Remember, for best results you’ll want to follow manufacturer guidelines.

You can read more of our flooring advice articles here.

About The Author

Yarl Christie

Yarl is the Managing Director of Stories Flooring. started his career in the flooring industry by becoming a floor fitter at the age of 18 (2004). Yarl finally decided to move with the times and set up an online flooring store (Flooring Yorkshire, 2018). He works closely with the business managers and resource team to source new products from wholesalers, which in turn brings down the sale price. This enables Stories Flooring to be one of the leading UK flooring retailers.