How to update your interior timber floors?

How to update your interior timber floors

Your timber floor bears the brunt of family life. Kids’ toys, high heels and washing machine leaks can all leave permanent scratches and marks on even the best quality timber. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with them forever. Repairing or updating your timber floor might seem like a big undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. All you need is a bit of time and the right tools for the job.

Should I use a water or oil-based finish?

Refresh badly scratched floors by adding a maintenance coat. This will cover up marks, enhance the natural timber grain, and give a durable protection. Cabot’s CFP Floor is available in both oil and water-based formulations. If your floor already has a water or oil coat, you’ll get the best results by sticking to the same technology.

CFP Floor Water Based is a clear polyurethane that’s suitable on all interior timber and cork flooring. Highly durable, hard-wearing, with a fast-drying finish it maintains the natural colour of the timber and won’t yellow over time. The best bit? There’s no need to sand the floor before using it.

CFP Floor Oil Based adds warmth to timber, parquetry and cork flooring, allowing a variety of colours to be highlighted in the timber, and adding depth to darker timber. It is highly durable and hard-wearing, and takes longer to try than a water-based coat. To ensure a smooth surface, floors need sanding before it’s added to timber.

How to recoat with a water-based finish:

1. Thoroughly clean the floor with Cabot’s Floor Clean to remove any dirt, wax or oil. Let it dry completely.

2. Conduct an ‘adhesion test’ to see if the current coating is in good condition. Find a small inconspicuous area and apply one coat of CFP Floor Water Based. Allow it to dry for three hours. Press sticky tape firmly to the surface and pull off quickly.

3. If the coating remains stuck to the floor, apply the rest of CFP Floor Water Based over the whole floor.

4. If the coating comes off, you’ll need to sand back the floor to bare timber, so a fresh coat sticks properly.

5. After one full coat of CFP Floor Water Based, fill any nail holes, cracks or other defects with Cabot’s Wood Tone Putty for accurate colour matching.

6. Apply a final coat.

How to recoat with an oil-based finish:


1. If the floor already has an oil-based coating, sanding is required. Clean the floor with Cabot’s Floor Clean and allow to dry completely.

2. Sand with 180 - 240 grit sandpaper and remove all traces of sanding dust.

3. Conduct an ‘adhesion test’; find a small inconspicuous area and apply one coat of CFP Floor Oil Based. Allow it to dry for 12 hours. Press sticky tape firmly to the surface and pull off quickly.

4. If the coating stays intact to the floor, sand the entire area again with 180 - 240 grit paper. Most floors need sanding twice to ensure excellent adhesion. Then remove dust, and follow application instructions.

5. If the coating comes off, sand the entire area back to bare timber, and do the adhesion test again until coating stays on the floor.


1. Stir CFP Floor Oil Based thoroughly with a broad flat paddle before and during use. Do not shake the can.

2. With a good quality brush, cut into the corners of the timber, keeping a wet edge to prevent lap marks.

3. Use a pad applicator, good quality brush or 6 - 10mm nap roller, and apply to the length of three to four 4 boards at a time.

4. Allow to dry for a minimum of 12 hours. When completely dry, lightly sand with 240 grit paper. Remove all sanding dust.

5. Apply a second coat.

How should I maintain my timber floor?

Once your floor is newly coated, you’ll want to keep it looking good. Cabot’s Floor Clean will get rid of everyday mess from spillages, kids and pets, as well as dirt, oil and wax. Use it as often as you like, but wait 72 hours before using it on a fresh floor coating.

How can I make my laminate flooring look better?

Cabot’s Laminate Floor Restore rejuvenates and brings the shine back to laminate floors. The mop-on solution is designed to protect laminate flooring, keeping it scratch-free and looking new.

How can I change the look of my timber floor?

Changing the colour of your interior timber can give your home a completely different look and feel. It’s definitely possible, as long as you prep the floor properly first, so it doesn’t look patchy. If you want to stain the timber a new colour, you’ll need to sand back the floors if they have been previously coated. Then apply Cabot’s Stain and Varnish, before adding a topcoat of CFP Floor to seal and protect the timber.

What if I don’t want to redo the floor myself?

Put your feet up and have the professionals come in. Cabot’s has a team of industry experts across the country who can sand, seal and restore flooring, whenever suits you. Find out more at Cabot’s Services.

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For free, expert advice on decking, call Cabot’s on 0800 222 687, or message us by clicking on the Cabot’s Project Assistant button below.