Back in November of last year, I had finally worked up the DIY gumption to sand down the oak hardwood floors in the front of our house.
The polyurethane finish I had applied only a few years earlier was peeling off, taking the dark stain along with it. I could literally peel it up in sheets with my fingers…like cheap nail polish, which might be fun when you’re 13 and bored in algebra, but it’s not fun when you’re an adult and it’s happening to your floor.
I knew it would be a miserable, dusty, messy, move-all-of-the-furniture, kind of job, but I talked Jeff into it and we got it done.
I had no idea what finish I was going to apply, so I decided to move the furniture back and wait until I was sure. I honestly felt a little burned by the peeling polyurethane, so I wasn’t eager to put down another finish.
After looking into a lot of different products, I decided the all-natural Hemp Oil from my own line was going to be the best. It’s not stinky, it’s easy to apply and I loved the fact that it wouldn’t ever peel and could be reapplied if ever the floor started looking tired or dry.
Here’s the thing, I’ve never gotten around to applying the oil and I haven’t felt an urgency or even desire to do it. I have learned that the longer I live with the raw wood floors, the more I love them. I sometimes feel strange about it…a wood floor is supposed to be properly finished, right? But then I think about old homes in Europe, with their raw wood floors that have lasted for generations. Is a finish really necessary?
I don’t know. Maybe I’m being a rebel in this, standing in defiance with my unfinished floors. But I love them and it’s my house and there it is.
So, how is it living on raw wood floors, almost a year after we sanded them?
They felt a little rough at first, compared to the slippery poly finish we were used to, but they have become smoother and softer with use. They were sanded smooth, so we’ve never had any issues with splinters.
As far as caring for them, I just vacuum them and that’s about it.
The foyer is the area that takes the biggest beating. We gave it a good workout last winter with all of the snow we had. At first, I fretted over the water dripping off snow boots, but I came to see it wasn’t a big deal.
If you really look, you can see some water marks, but they just sort of blend in.
I may try giving them an old fashioned scrub at some point, just to clean them up around the front door.
If you love this look, here are some things to keep in mind…
Raw wood floors are definitely not right for every home. They work in my house because of the age of the home and my decorating style. It works and makes sense. The wood is old, too, so it has a lot of character and any new gouge or stain isn’t noticeable.
You have to be okay with imperfections and watermarks and all of the things that come with an unfinished floor. If those things send you into a twist, you will not enjoy raw wood underfoot.
One nice thing is that you can hardly see dirt or dust on it! It’s so forgiving and livable. I’m not ever worrying about a finish being scratched, which is a nice change of pace for a chronic furniture-scooter like myself.
I’m sure, at some point, I’ll put some oil on them. For now, though, I’m enjoying them as is.
A few related posts…