Bona Craft Oil 2K has been specified for the restoration of the beech floor in the world’s largest purpose-built recording studio. The work was undertaken by Bonacertified contractors, CMT Wood Flooring of Birmingham, contracted to commercial fit out specialists, Prestige Interiors.

The London-based studio is in constant use by orchestras and choruses. It was therefore essential that a highly durable finish was applied, that would not only protect the surface from the high levels of traffic but would also dry quickly to minimise downtime in this very busy space. CMT Wood Flooring initially recommended the use of Bona Traffic HD, the toughest waterborne lacquer manufactured by Bona Ltd, which dries so quickly that the 465m2 floor could be put back into full use in just 12 hours.

However, the studio team was concerned that using a lacquer finish on the floor, which previously had been oiled, might change its acoustic properties. Consequently, the specification was changed to highly durable Bona Craft Oil 2K, a penetrating, two component oil with an equally impressive drying time of just eight hours for the ‘Neutral’, uncoloured version – meaning the studio could be put back into full use the day after treatment.

To retain a sense of history in the space, it was also decided not to use a darker oil on the lighter coloured blocks (that were laid after a stage was removed from one end of the studio) so they matched the original darker coloured floor. However, had the studio team wanted to create a uniformly coloured floor, this could have easily been achieved by treating the lighter blocks with one of the darker coloured versions of Craft Oil 2K.

Before applying the oil, the CMT team repaired several loose and damaged blocks and then sanded the floor and filled all gaps with filler mixed with dust from the final sanding pass. One coat of Bona Craft Oil 2K was then applied with a Bona FlexiSand buffing machine – using a red pad – an efficient way of applying oil to a floor this size and which ensured the surface layer of timber was uniformly saturated.

Bona Craft Oil 2K is a unique formula based on modified plant-based oil and has a very low VOC content of less than 4%. It’s the perfect treatment for a wide variety of wood species including tricky ones such as cherry and walnut, and it produces a strong water and stain resistant surface that is ready for use in eight or 12 hours (depending if neutral or coloured versions are used). In situations where supreme surface durability is required, Bona Craft Oil 2K can be overcoated with any version of Bona Traffic lacquer.

“It was unusual for us to have to consider the acoustic properties of one of our finishes before creating this specification, but understandably this was of paramount importance for the studio team,” said Alec Stacey, technical manager at Bona.

Another beneficial property of a ‘traditional’ oil finish is the ease with which local repairs can be made, usually without sanding. Any areas that become worn or discoloured can be corrected by simply buffing more oil into these areas and removing the excess.

To ensure the floor remains looking good and performing well, the recommended maintenance regime includes regular cleaning with Bona Soap, occasional treatments with Bona Care Oil and yearly inspections to ensure the floor is professionally refinished with oil when required.