Sealing With Oil (Linseed, Tung, Etc.) Followed By A Wax or Water Base Acrylic Coating Has Been Recommended. Is This Ok?

The technique of "filling" a tile with oil so that it can support a wax or acrylic coating has been popular for many decades. It is no longer widely used, but is still done in some areas.

The oil coloration effect and wax luster are quite attractive, but do not last. The wax requires a high level of maintenance and the oil with its coloring effect dissipate over time. Also, this technique does not impart any of the other benefits to flooring achieved with Aldon sealers.

Some of the reasons for not using this "old method" include:

  • Oil dries out and the appearance changes
  • Modern sealer applications after this are done but can be problematic
  • Bacteria growth has occurred in these floors
  • The look is temporary and requires high maintenance to maintain
  • In order to restore the oil volatiles that will be going into the atmosphere, the wax must be removed each time - at least once a year.
  • The soft tile remains unreinforced and therefore subject to chipping, lime pops, efflorescence, traffic wear.

When a floor has been oiled - the risk of problems is higher than we like to see. The oil dries out over time and leaves thick residue under the surface. A solvent based sealer will reliquefy the oil and it can rise to the surface, causing dark patches. A water based sealer has the problem of bonding well with oil present.

However, you do need to create a good seal job. Use one of Aldon's solvent based sealers, but test a small area, test a larger area, and be aware as you proceed that the oil present will be highly variable.