Is Vapor/Stream Cleaner OK for Tung Oil Heart Pine?


Old 07-09-08, 06:55 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 270
Is Vapor/Stream Cleaner OK for Tung Oil Heart Pine?


I am extremely interested in getting a steam cleaner to clean our floors, kitchen, bath, etc. However, we have Carlisle Heart Pine plank flooring throughout our house except for the bedrooms which have finished oak floors. The plank flooring is finished with 2 coats of tung oil only. Can anyone tell me if I can use the the steam cleaner on the plank floor? I guess I am getting paranoid with age because I keep thinking washing the floor with a bucket of water is just slushing the dirt around. Currently, I am washing my floors with water, vinegar, and essential oil (tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil). Also, how practical is it to use a steam cleaner to wash the floor?

Sponsored Links
Old 07-10-08, 08:16 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 91
First off... You said that you have Carlisle Pine Floors - Carlisle flooring is EXTREMELY expensive. Second issue is that you said that you only have TWO (2) Coats of oil on the floor. Now I know that Carlisle exclusively pushes Waterlox Tung Oil for use on their flooring. Waterlox Tung Oil (in my professional opinion as a Hardwood Floor Installer / Finisher of 12 years) is the best finish to use on any type of wood floor, but you need to apply FOUR (4) coats. The first two coats would be the Waterlox Tung Oil Sealer/Finish and the final two coats would be of the sheen you prefer (wether glossy, medium or Satin - most customers go with the Satin).

So with the above in mind (number of PROTECTIVE coats on floor) - You definetly DO NOT want to introduce/use a steam cleaner. Your method of using water/vinegar works, as long as you do it in MODERATION!

You should be Vacuuming the floor more often than washing it! Buy a Vacuum that is specifically for hardwood floors (Bissel makes a cheap one that works just fine). You do not want a vacuum head that uses a "beater brush", but one that has a felt head on it - so as not to scratch the floor. Keeping the grit/dirt, hair etc off of the floor is KEY. Washing a dirty hardwood floor does nothing but leave streaks and spreads the dirt around. Not too mention that you are propably scratching the floor in the process, if you do not vacuum thouroughly first.

You can buy a Hardwood Floor Cleaning KIT that comes with a specifically formulated cleaner as well as a "tacking plate" and handle. These can be purchased at the big lot stores (Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart etc...

Seriously - you should think about getting two more coats of the Waterlox Tung Oil on your floor, sooner than later. Carlisle floors are a GREAT investment - so do right by your money spent!

Midcoast Wood Floors (Retired)
Old 07-11-08, 06:30 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 270
Thanks for the reply. I guess getting a stream/vapor cleaner for the floor is out the door.

Regarding the tung oil, I don't recall if there are 2 or 4 coats. I had assumed 2. But, I believe the instruction from Carlisle was followed accordingly.

This leads me to another question. There are certain area where the waterstain (especially in front of the stove) is showing, how can we remove the stain? Thanks.
Old 07-11-08, 07:17 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Water and wood do not mix. Wood floors should be damp mopped with mop squeezed nearly dry. There should be no sloshing. If water and wood do not mix, then steam cleaning would be even more harmful to wood and finish. Wood is very humidity sensitive. Penetrating wood with steam could result in damage to wood.

Tung oil finish floors are easy to repair. Lightly sand affected areas and reapply finish. Rugs should be placed in front of sink and stove where water spills may occur. Folks with automatic water dispensers place a rug in front of fridge.
Old 07-24-08, 02:03 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 270
Thanks you for the info. Do you know how long tung oil lasts? We still have some from 9 1/2 years ago. Can we still use it?

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes