Teak hardwood floors that are installed indoors are exposed to mostly clean and unpolluted air. For example Dakota Cherry flooring… They gradually turn an attractive gray color with a natural matte finish. For teak flooring used outdoors in unpolluted areas the same thing occurs. Teak exposed to the pollutants found outdoors in modern day cities turns almost black, if left untreated. Washing teak wood flooring incorrectly can result in a terrible mottled appearance of almost indescribable color.
Testing done by teak flooring manufacturer Pangestu Pangeran Jati in Indonesia has determined the best way to prepare teak flooring for application of any type finishing process. Teak that has discolored due to exposure to polluted environments needs a total cleaning before the application of any type of coating or oil.
Cleaning solutions need to be mild to avoid damage to teak structural fibers. A mixture of standard liquid laundry detergent, used in most homes, with chlorine bleach usually does the job. The solution is applied with a stiff brush. After application, it should be left on the wood for at least 5 to 10 minutes. This allows suspension of dirt particles and lightening of the wood color by the bleach. The last step in the cleaning process is complete and thorough rinsing while brushing with the grain.
Commercial sealers and varnishes may be applied to teak flooring but there is a better and more natural way. Oiling of teak is the traditional finishing method used for hundreds of years. Teak oil increases the depth of colors in teak and highlights grain patterns. After oiling, teak has a beautiful warm appearance that is similar to expensive matte finishes.
Over the years, oiled teak has traditionally been considered the most beautiful non-glossy finish. Because using teak oil only returns a natural component to the wood, it is immensely ecologically friendly. Oiling teak is the greenest type of finish that can be applied to teak wood flooring.
Teak oil can be linseed or Tung oil based. Linseed oil use gives a darker color to teak initially and does not cost as much. Tung oil never changes the color of teak and provides a higher level of water resistance. Teak floors used outdoors should use Tung oil with UV additives to retard discolorations from the sun or pollutants.
Oiling teak is not done to protect the wood. Teak will last as long or longer left alone, often lasting for eighty years or longer outdoors. The reason for cleaning and then applying Tung oil is to return the natural golden color to the teak. You’ll find some stories about it on www.gcdesign.eu. Teak oil is applied with a brush lightly dipped into the oil. Use of information in this article will help keep teak the natural golden color for which teak-wood is prized and admired worldwide.
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