Jarrah is a type of eucalyptus that is well-known for its water resistance and durability. The long, straight trunks of the Jarrah tree have made it a favorite among woodworkers for everything from furniture to paneling to flooring. When finished, the deep, reddish-brown colour of Jarrah has earned it a place among the most fashionable hardwoods on the market. It compares favorably to Honduran mahogany in terms of appearance and is used extensively among those who craft percussion instruments, guitar inlays, and other fine wood items
Jarrah is considered an exotic wood with high durability, a rare quality in exotic woods and one of the great reasons to choose Jarrah flooring. Despite its reputation for durability, Jarrah still requires a little bit of maintenance if you wish to preserve its full luster. While some people prefer the patina that the wood develops when left without finish, many also enjoy Jarrah that has been finished so as to seal in its original color. Both options require maintenance, so here’s what you need to do.
Keep it Clean
Unfinished Jarrah will grow all manner of mildew if left alone, so it must be cleaned regularly both to protect the wood and to ensure healthy indoor air. A simple scrub with a gentle, damp mop, to remove mold and mildew from unfinished floors is usually sufficient. Never use any abrasive agent or chemical cleaner on an unfinished floor, but it is okay to use a mild soap solution. There is nothing wrong with using soap and water on your floor, so long as you damp mop (note that isn’t wet mop) the floor. Be sure to wipe it dry rather than letting it air dry to avoid spotting and to ensure water doesn’t sit for too long.
Dirt, loose wood fibers, rocks, and other debris will wreak havoc with a floor’s finish. Fine scratches from dirt and rocks can greatly diminish the luster of your floor and rob it of its deep, rich color. To prevent scratches from clouding the finish of your floor, vacuum it regularly and clean it with a soft cloth often. Take care to never use the brush on a vacuum to clean a hardwood floor as it can cause scratches. If you can’t turn the brush off, then don’t use the vacuum.
If you want to preserve the beauty of Jarrah, but don’t want to use an acrylic finish, then oil might be a good option. To oil a floor, you need three things. The first is a translucent oil, such as timber oil or furniture oil. The second thing you need is a natural bristle brush. The last thing you need is a lambswool applicator, though this is only necessary if you are doing a large area. (Note that if your floor is brand new, then you will want to sand it with 100 grit paper to open the pores so that they accept the oil better. Always sand in the direction of the grain.)
Mix the oil as per the instructions and apply it using the natural bristle brush. If you can stand to do the entire floor with just the brush, you will end up with a more even application and fewer bubbles. If you have a large area to deal with, then you may find the lambswool applicator a faster option that will spare your knees as well. Once the entire floor has been oiled, give it 24-48 hours to dry. Over time, you can touch up spots that become damaged or soiled with additional oil.
Jarrah is easy to take care of, so you really just need to keep it clean. Pay attention to your floors and address standing water, debris, and damage in a timely manner. Repairing a gouge immediately can help prevent the damage from spreading and keep your floors looking beautiful for a very long time. Jarrah will give you years of low-maintenance enjoyment with just a little investment of your time.
Scott Coleman’s career as a contractor has given in exceptional insight into building and design materials. From cabinets to carpets, he often blogs about the smartest material choices and how to care for them so they will last and end up saving money.