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Best Preparation methods for Engineered Oak Floor

Evening all.

Have a good amount of Oak flooring to strip back and get in good shape before applying Osmo Polyx.

Floor has been down maybe 17 years and in very good shape but the seal is shot in places and I want to strip it all back and upgrade the finish.

Only trouble is the finish that has been on since new is incredible hard to shift. The skirting in the same room were done a few years ago with a Ronseal finish (yes I know but I’m better educated now) …that strips a treat with Flauxf Super but it doesn’t seem to do anything on the floor wood. I have the necessary scrapers and they are removing a reasonable amount of the original finish but with a shed load of work.

I guess I need to rent / source a sander of of some sort as well.

Hoping to get some advice on:

a. best stripper to use…maybe stronger than Flauxf which in fairness has been spot on for all the rest of the stripping work we have been doing.

b. best type of sander and abrasives to source /hire.

What I thought would be fairly straight forward is proving to be damned hard work so far.

Many thanks in advance for guidance and ideas

Some jobs are best left to the pros. In your shoes I would be on the phone to a specialist floor sanding outfit. Nowadays there are plenty of heavily invested operators with super dust free sanders that whip through all sorts of layers, and they are in and out. Even as last man in, sort of thing, all decorating done, no reason for any damage in this day and age.

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Have to say on this rare occasion I can see the attraction in that Andy.

You have any contacts that operate nationally or in Shropshire area?

The area itself is easy access, zero fuss but the hardness of the finish on the wood…well, is another story. yes happy to pay someone in this instance I think and if any good they can do the entire ground floor. Cheers

Hi I have done this job myself ,hire a good floor stripper, buy a mouse sander to get into the difficult areas, and use the dust with glue as a filler if there are areas that need doing, I done a parke flooring ,the only mistake I made was not emptying the bag all off a sudden we couldn’t see each other wont forget that, if it was your own house I would say go for it, otherwise if in doubt leave it.cheers jason

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Hi Jason and thanks for the advice.

Yes although Andy gave me a ‘get out of jail card’ I have not really found anyone who looks like the right stuff to look at the job.

I have all the small stuff to do the job and the determination but not so certain on the best options with the larger equipment. Seems it’s fairly easy to find places that rent it out…Jewsons so these units, but I have no means to assess if they are good, bad, brilliant or the other thing.

I’m not shy of doing it and the gym area is a good tester for the bigger job. Can you remember the unit you used to do the job or where you rented it from?

Have to say there’s a bit of me would love to give it to someone else to do and also a bit were that goes against the grain (grain…get it? arf arf) …oh well :smile:

Thanks for the pointer

Hss hire they have branches everywhere your see the floor sander on there web,with instruction video on how to use, would I recommend yes,. Cheers jason

Parket flooring isn’t meant to be drum sanded I’ve been told. If the floor is pretty level there is an option which is not a drum sander (4 random orbits at the base of a box) which would be my option, it’s gentler and far easier to use. It is easy to completely mess things up with a drum sander in my experience by digging in, through tilting, turning or resting the machine in one spot.


Hi Puma, thanks for the advice.

In fairness I’ve been revisiting the stripping and the Flauxaf seems to be working better just now and I’ve been hand scrapping the old finish off. It’s bloody hard work but is working and then sanding with a 240 grit Mirka. The finish is actually really good…it’s just slow and painful. Think I was a little bit quick to judge the Flaxuf but it definitely needs two coats and a lot of elbow grease.

Whether I can do this for the entire ground floor remains to be seen. It’s not efficient but result is effective.

Morning Andrew

If you plan to finish the floor with Osmo don't sand any more than 120-180. The oil needs to get a good hold of the woodfibres.



Opps, thanks for the that Ben…in reality only done about 2ft sq area…just for the indication of what’s ahead…the perils of the amateur decorator…he get’s bored of sanding meters of Prestonett and starts hacking about on the floor :smile:

No for sure I’ll bare this in mind and indeed will be in touch shortly to order the oils etc. Cheers Ben

Hi Jason…thanks for the advice. Yes I went and looked at that, is very interesting and helpful.

Right now we’ve gone with the painful option (but seemingly a lot more effective than I previously made out) of tungsten scraper, Fluxaf Super and a wire brush. I was unfair on the effectiveness of the Fluxaf, it is working in fact very well. I think it was more technique.

Then I’ve been using the small flex hand sander with 120 abranet (as advised by Ben) and he’s absolutely right, it’s much more effective than 240 grade. The result is very solid.

In fact today I had Mrs Amateurhour64 working in tandem and we have done pretty well all the room. I think the edges need a revisit but otherwise…it looks fairly pro result.

Mind you what we will be investing in is two sets of bloody knee pads! Owwwww

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Update & maybe a useful cost saving for some of you…

Not been to a shed in a year now since finding good suppliers &better materials…mentioned this many times. However was in need of a replacement tungsten blade for the Hamilton & Bacho scrapers so resigned myself to a B/Q visit.

Having grabbed a Hamilton Tungsten blade at nearly £8 I noticed they have discounted all their Hamilton Vantage scrapers & blades. They are not Tungsten but they are reduced to £1.79.

Took one of each & tried the cheap one yesterday for continuation of the floor varnish scraping. Have to say there does not appear any difference at all in effectiveness…probably life span but given the enormous areas we are trying to cover, a fresh blade every other day is a joy.

I imagine they are reduced nationally…seems the whole range, certainly in the Telford store they are. Quite a decent saving & needless to say I just took the £8 one back and took 5 of the reduced one. Maybe useful for those of you using this stuff.

What I’ve learned is make the blade work harder at the floor scrapping & use two coats of the stripper…works a treat & with zero negative impact on the wood surface.