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How to seal floorboards properly

Seal floorboards properly

Whether it’s a new floorboard that is to be treated for the first time or an older floor covering that is being renovated and maintained – there are different options for sealing. The sealing of planks includes seals with different chemical properties, which are either artificially produced or based on natural products. Depending on the floor seal, completely different attributes come into play. Our guide explains how to seal floorboards properly for different types of planks.

Seal or oil the planks – what is best?

It is often said that a floor of the plank is sealed by oils or waxes. Technically, this is a false statement, because such care measures do not actually form a film that is actually sealing and thus no longer perforatable – at least not in the long term. However, because it protects the wood in the short term by waxing or oiling, here too it is often spoken somewhat irritatingly (and correspondingly falsely) of a sealing. In the case of actual seals, there are again many different seals in the chemical composition. Below we offer you an overview including oiling.

Seal floorboards properly: oils and waxes

Curing and non-curing plank oils

Basically, you have to distinguish between curing and non-curing parquet and floorboards. Curing oils are influenced in viscosity and drying by the addition of synthetic resins (also called oil-resin seals) and are mechanically longer- durable. They dry particularly well with large-volume air circulation. Non-curing oils, on the other hand, form a film that is not drying, but mechanically easy to remove. Therefore, protection is not very efficient. 

Hard oil and hard oil/wax-comnations

Hard oils dry out very slowly. This has the advantage that they penetrate deep into the wood. At least 24 hours should be given a hard oil layer to dry out before the next layer is applied. A reasonably complete drying usually takes place within seven days. A distinction is made between firing hard oils (for dark plank woods) and neutral, so-called “white” and thus almost neutral hard oils (for light plank woods) for sealing. 

Depending on the composition of the hard oil, a hard wax or a polish is applied afterwards. However, newly developed care oils are increasingly being used. The importance of the subsequent growth thus decreases. In addition, you can also use hard oils as a combination product with wax. 

Hot wax and cold wax

The waxing of planks and parquet for sealing is a care variant that has been established for many decades. You may even know the terms “bean” or “joke”. Both describe the massaging or polishing of the wax into the floorboard.

The cold wax is preferably rubbed into the wood with a polishing machine, with plate or angle grinder and not heated. The hot or hot wax is melted and incorporated by a heating iron on the floor of the plank. Due to the liquefaction, it penetrates deeper into the wood than cold wax.

Wax, however, is mechanical (due to frequent walking, chair rolls, etc.) easy to remove, as well as oil. Therefore, the flooring of the floor must be sealed relatively often and intensively with oil and wax. For this, you create a breathtaking depth brilliance with oils and waxes.

Other chemical products to seal floorboards properly

Polyurethane sealing for plank sealing

Polyurethane seals are also known as DD or PUR seal coatings. They can consist of one or two components (1K and 2K systems). 1-component seals usually contain significantly more solvents. These are delivered to the environment during drying in the first step. The final drying is then carried out by polyaddition.

Because of the advantages to be highlighted, PUR or PU seals are mostly used for extremely stressed floorboards, because they form an extremely durable seal, which can withstand even heavy loads. The PU seal is transparent, enhances the colouring of the wood and does not tend to yellow. However, these DD seals may only be used for sealing in non-movable and glued boards. Although PUR seals are also waterproof as soon as they are dried, the solvents react when in contact with water. Another disadvantage is the generally high proportion of solvents.

Water acrylic paints for plank sealing

Water varnishes are increasingly used as parquet and floorboards, because the advantages speak for themselves: the proportion of solvents is negligible, otherwise there are hardly any pollutants, there is no heat during processing and drying Odour nuisance and these water-based seals are non-combustible. Nevertheless, modern water-based water-based sealants are increasingly approaching the benefits of PU seals.

Basic and final sealing systems

These are two-stage seals for floorboards and parquets based on polymer plastic, cellulose, solvents and numerous fillers. First, apply the basic seal. They close the wooden pores downwards and are intended to ensure that the wood colour is maintained. However, this often leads to a slight brightening. In the case of tropical wood planks or parquet floors, they play out their advantages: they neutralize the substances and oils contained therein. After drying, the subsequent final seal is applied. If both seals are not offered as a system, please pay attention to which base and base seals may be combined with which final seals. 


WE have deliberately excluded SH seals from the descriptions of seals for planks. These are seals that cure by acids. After drying, catalysis takes place, separating dangerous substances such as carcinogenic formaldehyde and displacing them to the environment. The Internet offers you numerous worldwide shopping opportunities, so at this point this is an explicit warning to you not to purchase and process acid-curing SH seals.

Sealing of planks is performed after sanding. They are therefore just as applicable to new planks as they are to old floorboards that are to be renovated. In addition, the oil seals should also be regarded as a care measure.

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