The guiding design principle all the way has been to create a building that appears to have its roots firmly in the 1900s. Given that, there was no way a high gloss, super smooth plastic looking floor was going to be for us. Besides, we've laid real floor boards not laminate or vinyl.
When it comes to timber floors there seems to be two broad approaches to finishing. Either you go for a finish that sits on the timber, a polyurethane for example, or something that soaks into the timber, like a tung oil. Both approaches have their ups and downs. We went with a tung oil as we liked that it results in a satin finish which is easily repaired and doesn't stick the boards together (called edge bonding). There are also tung oil brands around that have far less nasty chemicals in them than most of the polyurethanes.
So, our couple of days finishing went like this:
- Sand with 60 grit paper.
- Followed by 80 grit.
- Hand rub on a coat of tung oil.
- Hand rub the tung oil off after 15 minutes.
- Leave for a day, then repeat steps 3 and 4.
- Do all this with lots of ventilation and don't walk on it for another day.
If it still looks good in 12 months I'll let you know the brand of oil we used. In the meantime - we're really happy with it.
PS-the light project turned out pretty well too.