Hardwax Oil Experiment – Part 2 Rubio Monocoat [2023 UPDATE]


We are back for Part 2 of our ‘Hardwax Oil Experiment’ where we are extensively testing and reviewing the top hardened oils available for wood floors. Last month we did a review on OSMO Polyx-Oil ( click here if you missed it). This month we are going to do an in-depth Rubio Monocoat review.

[See below for our Rubio Monocoat review 2023 update .]

Rubio Monocoat Experiment

Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C is imported from Belgium. Here’s a rundown of the features and benefits from the Rubio Monocoat marketing material:

Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C Features:

  • Made from natural plant oils
  • Super environmentally friendly with absolutely no VOC’s
  • Doesn’t stink and drive you out of your home like some finishes will
  • Easy to look after and maintain
  • Only needs one coat
  • More than 50+ colors and variables available

Rubio Monocoat Benefits:

  • Extremely safe to have in your home as it contains non-toxic natural ingredients
  • Doesn’t form a plastic film like other varnish, acrylic and polyurethane finishes
  • It won’t off-gas bad fumes, chemicals and smells for weeks after it’s applied
  • It’s durable enough to be used in domestic and commercial applications
  • Enhances the beauty of your timber’s natural grain
  • It molecularly bonds to the wood and will not flake, blister or peel
  • Damage can easily be spot repaired without having to sand and coat the entire room
  • The huge choice of colors allows you to be very expressive with your floors

That’s quite an impressive list.

The one feature that had us the most curious was the claim of only one coat. This claim is completely new and foreign to hardwood floor refinishing guys. Usually we use systems that comprise of at least three coats – a sealer of some sort and then at least two top coats. To have a complete system with only one coat and still be durable was something we eagerly wanted to try out.

Here’s how they explain how the one coat system works on their website:

“Monocoat adheres with the first microns of wood by molecular bonding… because of molecular bonding, no surface film can form, and no variable saturation can occur. Not only is a second coat not required, the finished wood will not accept a second coat.”

We were about to see if this truly is the case…

STEP 1 to our Rubio Monocoat Review:

Like the first hardwax oil test subject (OSMO hardwax oil), we began our experiment in our workshop on various sample boards. After some time spent testing we had our first sample boards ready to go. As you can imagine with just one coat, the application was quite easy. The big thing with this system that will make or break it though is the surface preparation – we’ll get to that in a bit. The durability was impressive as we did all we could to scratch and damage it. VOC’s were non-existent (a huge plus) and the smell was just a light oil scent. Step one passed, onto the next stage…


The next step was to find a floor to use it on in the real world. The very first floor we used Monocoat on was a red oak rift cut hardwood floor near Naperville, Illinois. The client chose Rubio Monocoat Dark Oak.

You can see how it turned out below…

Rubio Monocoat Project Clarendon Hills Illinois

The following photo shows the shine – or rather the lack of it. This hardwax oil finish system has an extremely matte finish and no plastic surface build up at all…

Rubio Monocoat Project Finished Clarendon Hills Illinois

And here’s another photo in the dining room…

Dark Oak Rubio Monocoat Color

Our second floor where we used Rubio Monocoat Oil was in Kenilworth, Illinois – a nice red oak floor that needed to be sanded and refinished.

Our client wanted to use environmentally friendly products and was more than happy to try out the new Rubio Monocoat oil system after seeing the sample boards.

This floor was going to be a little special too, because we were going to put a diamond pattern in the kitchen and dining room. You can see the pattern all laid out with tape below (after the floors were sanded and prepped)…

Prepping for Rubio Monocoat in Kenilworth, Illinois

Here’s the finished floor below. The Rubio Monocoat Smoke and Oyster colors were chosen to make the diamond pattern…

Finished Monocoat Oil project in Kenilworth, Illinois

Our client was extremely happy with the way the floor design and the finish turned out.

And here’s another job we did in Chicago, Illinois on wide plank oak floors…

Silver Grey Rubio Monocoat in Kitchen

Rubio Monocoat Silver Grey color was the color of choice. You can see the nice matte sheen this finish has in the photo below…

Living Room Silver Grey RMC

… and here’s a close up to show a bit more of the detail…

Silver Grey Rubio Monocoat

So what’s the consensus of Rubio Monocoat after these completed jobs?

Well let’s go back and review the basics of what we look for in a finish:

  1. Has to look good
  2. Must be long-lasting, durable to traffic and resistant to spills
  3. Have relative easy maintenance and repair
  4. Not “yellow” excessively over time
  5. Not have high VOC’s and stink up the home for days on end
  6. Not take forever to cure

Let’s go through each of these one-by-one below to see how Rubio Monocoat faired…

1. Good Looking:

Looks are very subjective and like everything, will depend on your own tastes. If you like the look of a thick “plastic” finish and like some sheen, then you may not like this finish. The sheen of Rubio Monocoat Oil is very matte – in other words there is no gloss at all. Personally we like the look. It looks very natural and really enhances the beauty of your timber’s natural grain. It’s a nice option compared to all the plastic looking finishes out there.

This close up photo gives you a better idea of how it looks…

Rubio Monocoat Black Close Up

If you want a bit more of a sheen, there’s another product called ‘ Universal Maintenance Oil ‘ that can be applied as a second coat. That will give it a bit more of a satin sheen (this will add another day to the process).

The other aspect of good looks are the colors available.

With over 50 basic color choices you’ll have no trouble getting the specific look you want. Especially if you would like something unique. How many finishes can you get in blues, reds, greens and greys?

Here are the basic color choices…

Rubio Monocoat Color Chart

For even more choice there are pre-color treatments called Rubio Monocoat Precolor Easy which you can use to create cool contrasting effects on your floor. They are applied first before the oil, and they allow you to layer two colors together…

Rubio Pre-Color Easy Colors

If you have oak or ash floors then the oil colors can be also mixed with a process called ‘ Smoke ’ to give you even more cool options. It reacts to the tannic acid in the wood to create very unique effects.

There is also another process called ‘ Fumed ’ which provides an ammonia smoked aging aspect to Oak or Ash floors…

Rubio Pre-Aging Colors

As you can start to see, using Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C along with the pre-color effects opens up a huge choice of colors and design choices. You can also make all sorts of designs using different colors, like our diamond patterned floor shown above. You’ll only be limited by your imagination.

2. Long-lasting, durable to traffic and resistant to spills:

This one is a biggie because no-one wants to spend a small fortune getting their hardwood floors sanded and refinished and then find out that the coating system they chose doesn’t live up to their expectations. Many unsuspecting homeowners have had cheap, inadequate oil based and single component water based finishes applied only to find out down the road they are wearing out prematurely.

Other homeowners love the look of traditional oil finishes but then find out that they need constant maintenance to keep their protective qualities, which can become a real pain.

With Rubio Monocoat you get the best of both types of finishes – the beautiful looks of traditional oil finishes and the durability of a higher end surface finish. As the oil is applied it molecularly bonds to the wood and leaves a matte surface that offers a strong protective coating. No matter what is done to it, it won’t crack, flake, peel, blister or panelize like conventional surface finishes. It’s resistance to spills is extremely impressive too.

Is it as durable as our favorite Pallmann waterborne finish systems ?


But… and this is a big but… the best feature of Rubio Hardwax Oil is that if there is damage done it can be spot repaired – which brings us to our next point…

3. Easy Maintenance and Repair:

As we talked about in Part 1 of our Hardwax Oil Experiment, easy maintenance is one of the reasons thick surface finishes are so popular, and old world penetrating oil systems are not. Liquids spilled on a “plastic” finish can be easily wiped up. Cleaning is easy with a damp microfiber mop or microfiber cloth, and a soft bristled vacuum quickly takes care of dust in-between washes.

But as we already talked about in depth last month, the strength of the surface finish system is also its greatest weakness. These surface finishes are rolled on wet across the floor, and when they dry, a big “plastic” film is formed on the surface. Major damage like deep scratches are a challenge to repair because it can be very difficult to blend in the sheen of the newly repaired area with the rest of the floor.

Rubio Monocoat Oil on the other hand is applied by spreading it across the floor, and as it is buffed in, it penetrates down into the wood. There is no plastic-like film formed on the surface.

Rubio Monocoat Application

It can be spot repaired in the middle of the room and it would be very difficult to know there was any damage there afterwards.

This is because only the open (damaged) wood fibers will take the touch-up coating. The existing finish next to the scratched or damaged area will not accept new oil. There is no overlapping or additional buildup and the sheen will blend in perfectly. As you can imagine, this is a huge benefit of this finish system.

Because of the great durability and easy maintenance, many highly trafficked public spaces use this system – including the Hermitage museum in Amsterdam, the W-hotel in Dallas, the Four Seasons Hotel in Biltmore and Google offices all over the world. That’s some pretty impressive clients.

If you look after and properly maintain your floors with this finish system, they will last a lifetime and you’ll potentially never need to re-sand your floors ever again. You’ll just need to periodically maintain them with their maintenance and cleaning products.

There are 3 different products available to look after a Rubio Monocoat floor:

  • RMC Soap
  • RMC Renew
  • Rubio Monocoat Universal Maintenance Oil

Rubio Monocoat Maintenance

RMC Soap is a special concentrated cleaner that works perfectly with the finish. You dilute it 1 to 100 with water. You can also buy a pre-diluted cleaner called ‘RMC Surface Care’. It’s the same product but in a ready-to-use bottle if you don’t want to mix your own.

RMC Renew should be used from time-to-time to refresh, restore and protect the oil. It covers up any small surface scratches and brings the surface back to a freshly oiled state. It’s best to use it when the finish has worn down from frequent use. It’s simple to apply and the floors will be ready to use in only 4 to 6 hours.

Rubio Monocoat Universal Maintenance Oil is used for maintenance when you have already applied it previously to enhance the sheen. It provides the same benefits as RMC Renew for refreshing and restoring your oiled surface. Application is easy for homeowners to do and floors are dry 6 to 8 hours later.

You won’t have to move out all of your furniture either each time you use RMC Renew or Universal Maintenance Oil, as the worn out pathways are the only areas needing attention. It’s far easier than maintaining a traditional oil finish every couple of months and also way less hassle compared to completely re-sanding and refinishing your entire hardwood floors every 7 to 10 years if you have a lower-end surface finish.

4. Non-Yellowing:

The vegetable oils used in the finish are claimed as being non-yellowing so you don’t have to worry about that ugly “old” look after a couple of years that you can get with polyurethane oil modified finishes.

While we’re sure they’ll stand up to UV light better than oil modified finishes, we’ll have to wait a while to see if these claims are 100% true. Our initial findings are that it’s doing a good job so far in this regard.

5. VOC and Stink Factor:

Rubio Monocoat oil wood floor finishes are completely VOC free and completely natural and non-toxic. There is a mild vegetable oil smell initially that is not bothersome at all. Apart from the easy maintenance, this will be the next best feature for a lot of people, especially those that are planning to stay at home while the floors are being refinished.

Rubio Monocoat Can

It’s also gaining fast popularity within the green building community because it contains no VOC’s. It also doesn’t contain: formaldehyde, ammonia, acetone, solvents, odor-masking agents, chemical residuals, arsenic, beryllium, chromium, cadmium, nickel or lead. You only have to use warm water and soap to clean up after use.

Anything that helps the environment and makes for a more pleasant experience in the midst of the hassle of having your floors sanded and refinished sounds good to us.

6. Time to Cure:

This hardwax oil takes a bit longer to dry than the OSMO we first tested. From 24 to 36 hours for it to be dry and ready to use. It’s 80% cured in 48 hours and fully cured in 5 days. As it’s a 1 coat system it’s a lot faster than the time of a 3 coat water-based system and is much faster than a 3 coat oil-based system. It’s also faster than the 2 coat OSMO system. Nobody wants their floors out of commission for too long so it’s definitely a win in our books for client convenience. The only time it will take a bit longer than the 36 hours to dry is if you want to add the second product to give it a satin sheen. This will add 6 to 8 more hours of drying time.

So did it pass the 6 point test?

We think it did extremely well.

It’s a very flexible system that has a great choice of colors, it has no dangerous ingredients, doesn’t stink and is durable as well as extremely easy to maintain.

Definitely a very worthy contender.

Who Would Rubio Monocoat Oil Be Good For?

Anyone that wants one of the most environmentally friendly finishes available in the world will love this system.

Anyone that wants a completely unique floor will love it too.

This would also be a great finish for a commercial environment like a restaurants, hotels or offices where speed and smell are major concerns.

In fact we have a project coming up that this is just prefect for – a real estate agent office. They work Monday to Saturday and can’t afford to shut the offices down other than on Sunday. With any other finish system this would be impossible, if not just for the drying time and number of coats needed.

With Rubio Monocoat, we can come in after the office closes on Saturday evening, sand the hardwood floors through the night, apply the oil early Sunday morning and then have them dry and ready for opening Monday. When they need maintenance or touch-ups we can always do that on a Sunday so there is no disruption.

This system really is incredible for situations like these.

Who Would It Not Be Good For?

Like all finishes, there are certain situations where we would advise our clients not to use them as well. For numerous reasons we can chat about in person when we come out to look at your floors, we would not be comfortable using Monocoat Oil on older floors that are excessively chipped, splintered gapped and damaged.

We’ll only apply it to floors that are in good condition, relatively gap free and that can be sanded to a smooth, flat and even surface.

As we mentioned at the start of this article, a very high standard of surface preparation is crucial to make this finish look its best. As we’re perfectionists we won’t apply a finish that we know we can’t do justice to and that you won’t be happy with.

It’s also not the appropriate finish for those that love the “glossy, shiny and thick” finish look.

This finish is very flat and gives a hand-rubbed look.

White On Brown Color

If you use the Universal Maintenance Oil as a second coat you’ll get a bit more sheen, but it will never be a shiny finish. This finish is for people that love the natural look and feel of timber and want to highlight it and not have it covered up by ‘plastic’.

Our Rubio Monocoat Review Conclusion…

We are definitely impressed with Rubio Monocoat Oil. It has overcome many issues that other traditional finishes battle with. We love the creativity that this finish allows as well as the air quality and environmental benefits. The easy maintenance is also a huge plus.

Is it for everyone – no. But then again what finish system is? For those that see the benefits that it offers, it could be the perfect system though.

We have two more hardwax oil finishes to test out and report back on for this experiment – Pallmann Magic Oil and Bona Indoor Oil . We’ll get to those during the next two months. When we’ve done that we’ll see which one will join the ranks of being a Tadas Wood Flooring recommended finish.

If you have any questions about Rubio Monocoat we’ll be more than happy to discuss it over the phone or in person. If you book an In-Home Audit with us then you’ll also get to see the samples we put together. One way or the other we’ll help you decide on the perfect finish system for your floors.

(Continue to Part 3 to see the results of the next review – Bona Indoor Oil)

**2023 UPDATE: Rubio Monocoat Review 11 Years On**

Wow. It’s been 11 years since we originally wrote this Rubio Monocoat review blog post. Quite a few things have changed with Rubio Monocoat in that time. Some product names have been changed, other products like Precolor Easy and Universal Maintenance Oil have been added. I went back and updated the post above to reflect these changes.

During this time we have completed well over 100+ Rubio Monocoat floors. We haven’t had an issue with a single one of them. We fully endorse this hardwax oil finish.

But we have seen a few complaints online about this finish lately. We’ve had a few in the comment section below as well.

It seems that the majority of these complaints stem from inadequate surface preparation and improper oil application. As we said in the original article above, a very high standard of surface preparation is crucial before applying Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C. As is following the application instructions to the letter – especially when it comes to excess oil removal.

This process isn’t as simple to do as the marketing materials selling the finish make it seem.

Without the proper professional sanding equipment, getting your floors sanded to a high standard for a single coat of finish will be a challenge. And without experience using hardwax oils, you could end up with a floor that looks unprofessional and doesn’t perform to your expectations. This goes for both hiring inexperienced (with this type of finish) hardwood floor refinishing businesses and DIYers.

Please be cautious.

The successful DIYers we see are ones that spend a lot of time, often with only DIY grade hire equipment, making sure everything is right with the sanding part of the process before applying the oil.

We’ll do a full update to address the issues some seem to be having with Rubio Monocoat soon.

In the meantime, here are a few of our favorite Rubio Monocoat floors we’ve done over the last few years for some inspiration.

Some Rubio Monocoat Projects We’ve Worked on…

For this super black floor in Winnetka Illinois, we used Precolor Easy Intense Black, Rubio Monocoat Charcoal and Black Universal Maintenance Oil for a triple black effect. It’s one of the darkest floors we’ve ever done.

Triple Black Stain Color

The Chicago hardwood floor refinishing project was finished with Rubio Monocoat Silver Grey. We have a full write up on this project here

Silver Grey RMC

This Naperville hardwood floor in the picture below was Fumed and Rubio Monocoat Super White buffed on top…

Rubio Fumed Super White

The floor in Glen Ellyn, Illinois is Rubio Monocoat Oyster, one of our favorite colors…

Rubio Monocoat Oyster

Mystic Brown Precolor Easy and Rubio Monocoat 5% White on top was used for this cool looking floor in Winnetka, Illinois…

Site Finished Flat Floor

This one is Silver Grey Rubio Monocoat Oil over the Fumed base coat. You can see the full project we did in Logan Square, Illinois here

Silver Grey Fumed Rubio Monocoat

This Naperville kitchen was finished with Rubio Monocoat Black (which isn’t really black. Their color called Charcoal is a true black)…

Dark Rubio Monocoat

And for this project in Naperville we used Precolor Easy Urban Grey then applied Rubio Monocoat White over it…

Rubio Monocot Precolor Easy and White

There are plenty more pictures of Rubio Monocoat floors over on our Photos page.

If you’d like to use Rubio Monocoat for your flooring project, get in touch. We’d be more than happy to help you find the perfect color mix for your floor.

And if you’re not in our Naperville/Chicago service area, feel free to ask any questions you have in the comments below…

Updated Jan 2023

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Did Rubio do well in regards to resistance to pet urine? We are looking for a finish for new white oak that is durable and easy to repair given lots of grandkids and granddogs.

Hi Susan,

Yes the Rubio Monocoat held up well. Even more importantly, it was easy to repair if there was any damage done. I would definitely recommend this finish for you if you’re looking for easy repairability and maintenance.


Thanks so much for the prompt response. The repairability aspect sounds great!

Hi Susan – we are considering Rubio for our new red oak floors. Did you use it and what has your experience been with kids and dog? I’ve been reading that it’s difficult to maintain with the oils and smudges show up easily when walking on the floor. We love the benefits described above but would look good without a lot of maintenance (we have 2 kids and a dog).

Thank you!

We have oak floors stained with Rubio Monocoat. Our dog urinated sometime in the night in a spot and I have sprayed on dilutes Rubio Soap and wiped dry a couple of times. I am not able to get out the stain. Any suggestions of what to do next. These are new floors and I am just learning how to beat care for them.

We are going to renovate our dance floor in a banquet hall. The floor takes abuse due to variety of functions taking place in the hall – from scratches made by chairs, tables or loudspeakers to high hills, street shoes etc.
Spills of pop and juice as well as alcoholic drinks are very common as well. Is Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus a right product for our floor? If so, how do you clean spills of drinks (sugar and alcohol)? Oil finish probably doesn’t like a wet mop?
Since we have to make a quick decision your reply will be really appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Hi Krzysztof,

Rubio Monocoat would be a great choice for your dance floor. It’s easily repairable and will clean up well after your functions. You can clean it by damp mopping (never dripping wet) with clean water and there are special Monocoat cleaners that can be used as well to clean and also rejuvenate the floor – which you will need to do quite regularly considering how much use and abuse the floor will get.

Good luck and I hope your hardwood floors turn out great.


Hi there!!
I’m wondering if this product is good for refinish a 5/16 , 2″ white oak . It seems to be the first sanding but it needs a couple of patching work.
My client is looking for a green product but , I read that is not good for floors with gaps ( usually happens with 5/16 floors )

Hi Ricardo,

It would depend on how big the gaps are. For large gaps I would not recommend it, but for normal sized gaps it should be ok. If you’re not in the mid-west you could also fill the gaps and then you’ll be fine.


The Rubio Monocoat site claims that you can use their Plus 2C finish for wood countertops. Do you think this would be a good application? I want the hand rubbed oil look and want it to be food safe, though i won’t be cutting on this counter. It is the same as the RM Natural Oil Plus but has an accelerator to speed up the drying time.

Thank you so much for your informative experiment.

Hi Char,

Glad you enjoyed our post. Yes, I would definitely put it on wood countertops. Let us know how it goes if you do it.


Thanks for putting in the time to write a great article!

You’re welcome Kyle :)

This is a great post. I’ve been looking for a natural finish for my wood floors and I think Monocoat may be it now thanks to this article. Very helpful insights. Thank you so much.

Hi Gerald,

Glad to be of help. Hope your floors turn out well. Good luck!

I have used Rubio 2C plus black & black pre color for a counter top & I love the results!I did coat it 3 times to achieve the effect I wanted (hint of grain showing). It was extremely easy to work with. Too bad it is so hard to fine maintenance information. even the companies website offers little when I am concerned about food safe care. What would you recommend for cleaning greasy spots and if I wanted to add a shine, would beeswax & mineral oil blend be a good choice?

Thanks for the informative post~

Hi Eileen,

Sorry for the delayed response. I’m glad Rubio worked out for your counter tops! For added shine use the Satin Soap found here:

It won’t make it super shiny but it definitely adds some sheen. I wouldn’t add beeswax & mineral oil because it will ruin any further chances of maintaining the Monocoat finish – which is a big part of having this type of finish.

For cleaning we recommend using their specialized cleaner:

Hi Tadas, I own a small company in Ma. Called Eco Options. We have done quite a few rmc jobs and one thing that needs to be cleared up is the ability to spot repair these floors. Most of our jobs have been with a pre treatment followed by the oil. On these floors, spot repairing will be quite impossible to. Get even. Just oil jobs do yellow over time leaving them hard to spot repair as well. I just wanted to point out the difficulty of spot repairing most of these floors. A pro would have a tough time let alone a home owner.

I did my own RMC oil finish on my kitchen floors, and during the install somebody dripped some water on the floor, which I didn’t recognize at the time. When the RMC struck these areas, the color contrasted and made every the place where every droplet landed far darker. I was worried the floor was ruined. After letting the product cure, I simply took some sandpaper to the floor, by hand, and sanded those spots in the direction of the grain in order to mask where they were. In other words, I didn’t just sand a circle right where the droplets were, but a “streak”. When I recoated with RMC, the spots where impossible to locate. There was such a degree of consistency in the color, I was totally shocked. It really goes to the claims of RMC that it bonds with the wood fibers that are available to be bonded only. I am a true believer in RMC!

Hi Chris,

Thanks for stopping by. I had a look at your website – you’ve done some nice work there!

You mention the difficulty in spot repairing these floors but I couldn’t help but notice on a few pages of your site, including right on the home page, that you too mention how easy Rubio is to spot repair :)

You also link to another website (Petes Hardwood Floors) that has also done extensive testing with Rubio and they too say it is very repairable. Here’s a quote from their website: “The stain lightened after gentle abrasion and was barely discernible after we recoated the sanded spot.”

Will spot repairs be 100% invisible? Most likely not in all cases. But the purpose of a repair is to make it blend in with the surrounding area so it is undetectable to someone that doesn’t know it exists – or “barely discernible” as Petes say on their site. We feel that Rubio Monocoat definitely does that.

Yes the floors done with a pre-treatment will definitely be more difficult to match.

You also mention this finish yellows over time. We haven’t experienced that it yellows excessively at this time, but if it was to and we needed to repair an area that had slightly yellowed/darkened, we would do what we do with all spot repairs and color-match the area around it by custom tinting the finish to match. This takes quite a bit extra time and experimenting compared to just wiping on the original color but it’s worth it for the much better finished outcome.

Hope this clears things up a bit Chris and I hope you’re staying busy over in Massachusetts. Keep up the good work!


Yes time to update the site!

Hi there! I loved your info on this product, as I’m trying to decide whether or not to use on my soon to be refinished floors. This was very helpful. But I’m the kind that likes the shiny floor. But I would be happy with a satin finish. Does the satin soap look nice? Also do you have any more pics of floors youve done recently with this product? Im having my floors done next week! Thanks!

Hi Chyra,

Yes the satin soap looks good but if you really like shiny floors then there may not be enough sheen for you. Make sure to get your refinisher to show you samples before you choose so you’re 100% certain you like it – it’s too big an investment to take a chance.

As far as more photos, I have some pictures of a job we just did that I’ll update this post with in a few days when I find some free time :)

Hope your floors turn out great!


Hi Guys! Great review of the product. My question revolves around your comments regarding surface preparation. I’m using 100+ year old barn wood for farm tables and small desks. I like the one coat application and the non-plastic appearance that monocoat provides. I want to be able to see and feel the character this old wood has. Part of that character though is is the sawmill marks, nail holes, gouges, etc that you find in this type of wood. Is it your recommendation that the wood be planed or sanded down to bare wood? I’m currently sanding down to a relatively smooth (not perfect) surface while still maintaining the patina and character. Thanks, Robert

Hi Robert,

I love the look of old wood with patina and character. Your desks and tables sound very cool. Is this for personal use or are you selling them?

I think this finish would be great for your projects – especially if the end client is expecting a “rougher/aged/character” look. You’ll have to definitely test it out first though. Always test I say.

The issue with floors, and why we make such a big deal about surface prep, is that our clients expect a very flat, smooth surface. People walk all over them with bare feet. Most people don’t appreciate getting splinters or cuts on their feet when they’ve invested a good amount of money having their floors refinished :)

Because there is only one coat to this system, there isn’t any build up of finish to “even out” any irregularities or mistakes that would be left behind by sanding at a level less than 100%.

With your tables and desk surfaces though, the expectations are very different. I would do what you suggested, keep a relatively smooth (not perfect) surface while still maintaining the cool looking patina and character. Don’t plane them down! You’ll loose all the coolness factor.

Let us know how it turns out Robert, and good luck with them!



Thanks for the reply. My projects are generally made to order for folks I know or those that end up contacting me unless my wife decides she wants to keep a particular piece. The people I deal with generally want to be able to feel the wood and that’s why I’m interested in the Monocoat products. I’ve got a distributor right here in Asheville and will be going out to get some today. Thanks very much for the information!


Great site… exactly the info and experience I was hoping for! Thanks for posting about this!!!

On Thanksgiving day, our neighbor’s guest’s car accelerator got stuck and they backed into/through our brick wall into our living room (probably at 30+mph)! Miraculously, nobody was hurt, but the damage was extensive.

Our 60 yr old hardwood oak floors (urethane finish) were deeply gouged and scraped in places from furniture and debris (broken glass, brick, plaster, etc) scraping across the floor upon impact. Much of the floor damage can/will be sanded down/out, but some deeper gouges will probably need wood filler or some other repair technique.

I have 3 kids and a baby due in March so going as non-toxic as possible is a must. I am between Bona Traffic HD (low VOC) and Rubio Monocoat (Zero VOC). I have 3 questions:
1) Will Bona Traffic HD [or any urethane based product] continue to off-gas after it has cured (1 week is Bona’s cure time)? (insurance will pay for a hotel stay during the application time)
2) My contractor is not familiar with Monocoat, what wood filler or repair tactic would you suggest to repair the floor gouges that would work well with Monocoat?
3) Is there a professional (maybe you???) that I could direct my contractor to for the questions I’m certain he will have about application and durability of Monocoat? Sure, I could send him to the website, but experience speaks so much louder.

Thanks again for a great blog and for sharing your knowledge/experience. Merry Christmas!

Thanks for the fast reply and great info. It gives me something to work with!

Hi Pete,

Wow what a crazy thing to happen! You poor guys. I’m glad nobody was hurt.

To be honest with you, if it was my home, or even my client’s home, I would want the deeply gouged sections of the floor to be replaced with new flooring. No matter what repair techniques of filler you use it will never look the same as a proper repair with solid wood.

I also wouldn’t want the deep scratches and gouges to be sanded out too much either. This will seriously lower the overall life of your floors Pete because now they’ll be super thin in those areas. If you need to refinish your floors again in 10 years you might not have enough ‘meat’ left on them.

To answer your questions:

1) After a week you should be totally fine with a water based finish. Even during the curing process it’s water that’s evaporating, not solvents.

2) Like I said above, I would repair the damaged boards properly by replacing them with new matching wood. That way you won’t have any problems with fillers not adhering and trying to cover up and match patches to the existing finish. You’ll be free to use any finish system then too. The insurance company’s job is to see that your floors are brought back to their original condition before the accident and that’s the only way we would consider doing this for a professional result.

3) Sure, he can give me a call if he likes.

Hope that helps Pete and I hope your floors get sorted out and back to new soon. Thanks for the compliments too :)


I have been pouring over the computer for months trying to decide what finish to use for our reclaimed heartpine flooring. It has knots but no large gaps. I was all ready to use Waterlox when I found your site. Your extensive research has changed my mind. I believe that Rubio Monocoat would be the best product for us. The problem is I can’t find a floor refinisher that has used it. They all have their certain products they want to use because they are experienced with using them. My husband is very handy – we are thinking about having a professional sand the floor and we would put down the Monocoat finish ourself. Do you have any special recommendations for us.

I have 80 year old pine floors that need to be refinished in some areas. It was covered with carpet when removed there’s a variation of colors on the outside edges and in between rooms! So the question is there is not even color what stain would you use on pine floors that could give a uniformed look. Is it possible for a homeowner to actually apply this once the floors have been stripped my home available for you to test out this particular product on pine floors to see what the results would be theu are ready for color???!!

Hi Stephany,

I love reclaimed heartpine! Your floors are going to look beautiful when they’re done.

Have you bought a sample of Rubio Monocoat from the US website yet to test out on your pine? If not I would suggest doing that first so you can compare in real life the difference between that and the Waterlox. There is quite a sheen and build difference and you will want to be 100% sure you like the look before investing all that time and money.

It’s a shame you can’t find a progressive refinisher in your area that is up-to-date with these new types of finishes. Which state are you in Stephany?

Here’s the instructions for applying it if you’re brave enough to tackle this yourself:

Does your husband have any experience using a buffer? If not he will want to spend some time getting used to using it preferably far, far away from anything that could be damaged. They can be very tricky to handle and will put holes in walls if not controlled properly.

I would make sure the knots are filled properly and are sanded completely smooth as well, otherwise the buffer pad will catch on them and could damage the floor.

You will also need to make sure the person you hire to sand the floors does a very high-end sanding job as this is a one coat finish system. Any sanding marks or swirls will be visible once you apply the oil. Usually these types of arrangements don’t work out too well because if anything goes wrong both sides tend to blame the other. For that reason we don’t personally agree to just sand floors, we always like to complete the full refinishing job so we can be 100% sure the work is done to our standards. Hopefully you will be able to find someone though if you do want to apply the finish yourselves.

Personally, I would advise against doing this yourself if you don’t have extensive experience. You don’t want to ruin your beautiful heart pine floors. But if you’ve made your mind up then take your time, practice a LOT on some offcuts and start in areas not visible like closets and back rooms first.

Good luck Stephany! Let us know how it goes.


I am using an engineered recycled timber floor and I am wanting to use a monocoat finish.
The color I want to achieve is more of a natural finish, however the coating brings up a more yellowish coloring due to the natural timber patinas.
I also want the finish to have a satin finish so I can avoid dusty foot marks.
Any suggestions?

Hi Andrew,

By “the color I want to achive is more of a natural finish” I’m assuming you mean a more ‘clear’ finish that doesn’t change the color of the wood.

Is that what you meant?

If so, for Rubio Monocoat the clearest, most natural color is the ‘Pure(Clear)’ color. It will still have a slight tinge to it though – as will all oil based finishes. If you use this color you’ll need to use the Soap Satin to give it a bit of sheen although it may not be enough for you.

For a similar slightly oil tinged look but with more sheen you may want to look at Pallmann Magic Oil Natural. We’ll be adding a post on this hardwax oil finish very soon. So far we’re extremely impressed with this finish.

If you really want it to be completely clear then you’ll have to use a water-based finish system. You’ll have a greater selection of sheens to choose from as well if you go this way. Of course you’ll loose out on all the benefits of a hardwax oil finish though.


Thanks so much for the time you spent responding to my email

We found a reputable floor finisher that uses Rubio Monocoat and the Osmos. They seemed to prefer the Rubio but said both are good. I believe that the Rubio will be best for us and I like the matte finish for our reclaimed heartpine floor. Since we have a Golden Retriever who likes to drip water all over the floor, I thought I would use the test sample they did for us by putting water on it and letting it sit for several hours. Haven’t seen a water spot yet.

Can’t wait to see the completed project.

That’s great Stephany. I’m gald you found a good refinisher. You’re floors are going to look great with Rubio. Good luck with the project.


I have Rubio Monocoat on white oak with the High Traffic applied on top. I have dark stain and water spots are a big problem; even if I wipe a spill up immediately, a water spot remains. The only thing that gets rid of them is using the High Traffic full strength. From what I’ve read, this is not normal. Do you have any ideas why this is happening? Thank you.

I’m glad you finally found out what the problem was. Sorry you have to go through so much trouble to have it fixed though :(

Thanks for the heads up on High Traffic, I’ll make sure to do some thorough testing if we ever get asked to use it in the future. And thanks for coming back to let us (and everyone reading) know what the issue was too.

Good luck Kelly.

Thanks for your reply and all the info on your website. Apparently, the problem I’ve been having with the water spots is due to the High Traffic that was put on top of the oil. I plan on having the High Traffic stripped from the floor, and then a clear oil applied, to remedy the situation.

Hi Kelly,

Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. We’ve used Rubio Monocoat on white oak and had absolutely no problems but we haven’t used High Traffic yet so we have no experience with that combination sorry.

Honestly it could be a number of things from bad surface prep, improper application to some sort of contaminant. I would only be guessing and not very much help. I suggest you contact Monocoat tech support and see what they have to say Kelly. Hopefully they can help you out. If you find out what the problem is please come back and let us know.


Greetings from Ireland Tadas,
We distribute Monocoat in Ireland and I came across your blog by accident. We do not have issues with the oil fading over time so I dont think you will have. We had been using saturative multi-coat oils for years so it was a bit of a leap of faith to persuade end-users and installers that a single coat system is as good. We have found it to be superior in every aspect. Drying times, coverage, repairability and 100% VOC free, makes for happy customers . It has been our experience, in the early days, that any issues we encountered were due mostly to over -application of either the oil or the maintenance products. It is counter intuitive for customers to apply “less” of something. It is also worth noting that there is a maintenance oil that can be applied periodically depending on wear levels. It works a treat and makes the floor look brand new again. Keep up the good work, I am enjoying the blog. Derek in Dublin

Hi Derek,

Nice to hear from someone on the other side of the pond. Thanks for the compliments on the blog :) How is business going in Ireland?

That’s good to hear about Monocoat not fading over time. I agree with all the benefits you’ve found too, this stuff has a lot going for it. Thanks for your imput it’s greatly appreciated.


We used Monocoat Pure Color on our oak floors and have lived with them for 18 months. Our wood floor covers the entire main floor – kitchen, foyer, great room, dining room, stairs. We have large south facing windows and therefore lots of winter sun and haven’t noticed any fading or yellowing. I choose Monocoat for a rustic look and wanted the floors to look old and bare and encouraged the kids to be rough on them as I wanted them to develop a distressed look. Guess what? not happening! It wears like iron. In fact, I had a wood refinisher professional look at them and he dropped his jaw in disbelief as he watched my 5 year old son slide a heavy chair (no pads, just bare wood legs) across the room without even so much as a scuff mark! He couldn’t believe how the floors are holding up with our excessive abuse. (3 kids, 1 large dog, a cat with claws and construction work daily as we are still remodeling.) BTW-It has no trouble with vomit (the bile wipes away after hours of sitting on the surface – my dog vomits when we leave her alone in the house)

I like the distressed look but I require clean floors and our kitchen is showing signs of poor maintenance. Because I wash the kitchen floor more often than the rest, I have needed to use the refresher once but it is continuing to look dull and dirty even with using the soap. It looks like grease stains from food and cooking have penetrated the surface and I can’t get them out. I also have some black spots near my sink/dishwasher that might be water marks but I can’t figure out exactly what they are from because I frequently have water spills which leave no marks, even when left for hours. Unfortunately, I was unaware of the maintenance oil and the grease remover which is unclear to me if I can use it weekly, in a large area, as a maintenance product as cooking creates microscopic grease particles that settle eventually on the floor. Plus, with young kids, everything ends up on the floor! As a result, I now have a greasy, grimy kitchen floor.

Coupled with the problem that our large oak planks shrunk over the last 18 months and never grew over the summer… (we have 6″, 8″, 10″) we now have huge gaps and with kids and pets, I can’t take it any longer. The plan is to remove the worst boards and replace them. For the rest of the gaps which are 1/8″ and bigger, the wood floor professional in our area has recommended to fill them with Woodwise filler (after replacing and securing the rest to minimize further movement, and sanding them flat again) and then use a more traditional poly finish to fill in the gaps. He just doesn’t know if Monocoat will work with fillers.

I am saddened that may be our only option. Question: Can I use Woodwise to fill gaps, sand it down and finish with Monocoat? Will it “stick” to the filler? Any info is appreciated. Thanks!

Hi Lucy,

Thank you very much for your detailed write-up based on your Monocoat experience – it will be extremely helpful to all of our readers.

Wow… kids sliding chairs around, a large vomiting dog, a clawed cat and daily construction work… you guys sure have put that floor through its paces!

I’m sorry to hear that your floors aren’t behaving as you would like them to. Without having too many details (how it was acclimated, installed, your local climate and humidity levels etc.) and not seeing the floor in person, it sounds like they were installed before they had fully acclimated and there was too much moisture in the wood. Wide plank floors are notorious for movement, especially if they haven’t been installed properly.

The first thing I would suggest is investing in a humidifier or two to control the humidity level to 45 – 55 percent inside your home. Hopefully this will close the gaps quite a bit.

As far as using Woodwise, I definitely suggest NOT using that for the big gaps. It wasn’t designed to fill large gaps so it will come out very quickly once it’s dry and walked on. As far as Rubio Monocoat adhering to Woodwise that’s not a problem, we’ve done a few jobs with Monocoat and Woodwise and it’s worked fine.

For filling the gaps (after you’ve tried a humidifier) I would suggest either milling down pieces of wood to fit into the gaps or using Glitsa Wood Flour Cement. You can read about the Wood Flour Cement here:

I would make sure the kids and pets are out of the house before using it though because it has very strong and nasty fumes.

Milling individual pieces and gluing them will take a very long time and could end up being very expensive, but it will definitely look and perform the best.

Please let us know how it works out Lucy. We wish you good luck!

Muchas gracias, me ha gustado mucho. Un beso!!

Umm… you’re welcome Christina and thank you, I guess :)

Thanks Tadas for sharing this great information on these types of new finishes. So many choices out there. It’s nice to read real life researched reviews that show you actually know what you are talking about. Shame you’re so far away from us though or I’d hire you!

One question: This review is over a year old – are you still happy with this finish?

You’re very welcome Sally, happy to be of help. Yes we still use and love Rubio Monocoat. It’s a great easy to live with finish system. You can see a recent project we did in downtown Chicago here:

Good luck with your hardwood floor project and with choosing a finish.


Thanks for the great post! This is really convincing me that natural oil is the way to go for our floors. I have read a lot about Woca brand oil. Do you have experience with that brand, and if so, how would it compare to Rubio Monocoat? Thanks for all the great info!

I am in LOVE with all of your floors! Thank you for sharing your expertise with us. Keep up the fantastic work.

I have called a Woca distributor…only to learn later when I called a Rubio distributor, that they were the same people!! ha! Of course they were professional and didn’t tell me on the phone that they sold both products, but when the same guy answered…uhhh…I was bewildered. :) They were super great at telling me the difference between the two products. You may want to call Woca Direct at (877)928-9663. Depending on what style you are looking for, they can advise you in the right direction.

Hi Erik,

You’re welcome. We haven’t finished a floor with Woca yet so I don’t have first hand experience with how it compares to Rubio Monocoat sorry.



We’re considering using Monocoat on our new red birch floors and like the rich warmth that we’ve seen with the oiled wood. Will the pure (clear) bring out the color of the wood or will we need to go with a stain to do that?

Thank you!

Hi Joli,

The best way to find the exact tone and color you want is to do a test on a small area of your floor or a scrap piece. That way you will know 100% whether it’s the color you want or not. Rubio have small samples you can order from their website which makes doing this really easy. Sorry I can’t be more specific but its very hard describing colors and wood tones over the internet. If you’re hiring a professional to do the restoration, they should be providing various samples for you to choose from.

I hope you find the color you’re looking for. Good luck with your project.


I love my monocoat floors, I applied the fumed effect and then 5% white.. looks beautiful over oak and it has held up great to the wear and tear of two dogs.

Hi Holly! I’m considering doing the same on new white oak floors – can you share photos? Have they held up well? Thanks!

Hi Holly,

Thanks for your real life review, that’s very helpful to our readers who are deciding on what finish system to use… and especially those with dogs. I’m glad you’re loving your floors.


I would love to see a photo of your floors! I am considering something similar and have a large dog.

I have to say that for the past couple of hours i have been hooked by the amazing posts on this blog. Keep up the wonderful work.

Thanks Hayden, glad you’re enjoying them :)


You are such a kind person to post all of this info and answer all these questions regarding Rubio Monocoat when there is nothing to gain for you. I would suggest you become a distributor so we can all buy the product from you! I am having a hard time finding a good knowledgeable source in the Midwest to buy from! Your website is great and I wish you were in my state! Thanks, I hope you recieve many blessings in your business for all the kindness you show to other people.

Hi Marilyn,

Thank you for taking the time to write that, you made my day :)

I understand it can be hard to find good tested professional information about some of these products… that’s why I’m happy to help out here when I have time. I hope you find a great business in your area to work with on your project.


I had new qtr sawn oak floors installed six years ago and finished with the oak oil. I have used the satin soap. They have held up beautifully. Recently I applied Refresh and followed with the satin soap full strength. Gorgeous!
Couldn’t get this with urethane! RMC is highly recommended!

Thank-you for sharing your Monocoat and Satin Soap experience with us Kris, very helpful for us all. Glad you’re enjoying your hardwood floors :)


Just had my floors done using Rubio Monocoat, and they look beautiful. Now to clean them. I plan to use the Rubio soap but wondered whether you could recommend a brand of mop. I’m scared I’m going to do the wrong thing and ruin my gorgeous floors!

Hi Diane,

Congratulations on your new Rubio Monocoated floors! Here’s the type of mop Rubio recommends on their website:

You could order one from them or get something similar at one of your local hardware stores. Enjoy your new floors :)


Hi Tadas,

What a terrific site – thanks for all the info on what is (unfortunately) a pretty obscure topic on the web!

We just bought a house from the 1920s with the original 1.5″ oak floors that were just refinished with poly. There’s also a small hall with pine or fir, and we’ve also just exposed the same flooring that was under the vinyl in the kitchen.

The floors weren’t stained, and I want them to be dark. Also, we are we are renovating to open the dining room and kitchen to each other, and we want to make them as similar as we can.

The floors are on the thin side, and likely won’t have more than one more good sanding in them, so I’d really like to use something that doesn’t have to be sanded for repairs. I also want a green product that is low or no-VOC. And it needs to be pretty waterproof, since we plan to use it in a kitchen (and we have kids).

Especially since I want to get a pretty close color on both the pine and oak floors, and since I want a relatively dark color, the Rubio Monocoat seems like an ideal product. I’m a little worried about putting it on top of a floor that has had polyurethane on it, though, as I’ve heard that the poly can stick to the sides or gaps in the boards and then the new product might not adhere, or it would be streaky. And if they sand down really far to avoid this, the gaps might get out of hand.

Do you think this sounds like a good product for us, or should we look at Bona (or even something totally old school, like shellac or stain with oil / wax on top)?

Thanks so much for your insight and advice!

Hi Rachel,

About 95% of the floors we put Monocoat on (including the 3 in the pictures above) were originally polyurethane so you should have no problem with your floors. Just make sure whoever sands your floors takes their time and doesn’t take too much wood off.

Good luck Rachel, hope they turn out great.


Hi Tadas,

IMy floors are old Douglas Fir from 1874. They’ve just been aggressively sanded down to remove hills and valleys from previous poor sanding/ painting/ poly jobs.

I’m wondering how Rubio Monocoat will work on this old but flat and freshly sanded floor. Wood is clean, flat, knotty. Sanded to 80 grit, then buffed.

–The floors are patched in places with new ordinary pine that is lighter in color (I’ll stain it to match as closely as possible, but realize it will never be perfect).
What do you think is the best way to handle these newer boards? Should I stain them and apply the finish (whether Rubio or oil poly) on top, or use a darker color of finish just on these boards?

–Antique steel nailheads are exposed and gleaming. There are discolored grey patches around some of these nailheads. When I applied a waterbased poly to a sample section, these discolored grey patches turned an inky blue-black. I’d like to minimize this if possible.

–I’m also curious to know if one can polyurethane over the Rubio at a later time, or if further sanding would be required.

Thanks so much for a clear and informative website and blog. Eager to hear your thoughts!


Hi Mukti,

Wow… 1874! You lucky guy. I hope they didn’t sand too much wood off. You’ll never be able to replace them if they get too thin.

The most important part is taking care to make sure the sanding is done evenly to prevent shading, especially around the perimeter. The Fir needs to be buffed to 120 or even 150. Then you’ll need to waterpop the floor to open up the grain again so the Rubio will penetrate better and you get the depth of color you want. As the finish is buffed in it will knock down the grain.

Be careful with the buffer on old thin fir as it has a tendency to catch on any splinters and rip out chunks of floor.

As far as the new boards you’re limited in what you can do. Personally I would have searched high and low for reclaimed flooring from the same era. The problem with new fir is that if you stain them to match the existing boards, the existing floors will eventually change color in the sunlight (see our latest blog post) and the stained ones will look out of place again. Its a never ending cycle. You’ll have to decide what you can live with. Test out a few different colors to see what works for you.

Those “inky blue-black” patches are part of the history and character of your floors. People go out of their way and spend a lot of time and money to replicate what you have. I say enjoy them for what they are. If you really, really hate them, the only option I know of that works to ‘hide’ them is to paint them out in between the first and second coats with polyurethane 3 coat systems. With one coat Rubio… not sure how I would approach that???

And yes, you can coat over with polyurethane down the road if you want to. We always abrade between coats.

Good luck with your amazing floors Mukti – I hope they turn out great!


We are considering installing vertical grain fir for our floors. We are not huge fans of oak. We like the longer lines of the fir… less grain look. We like the idea of using the Rubio Monocoat System.
1. Is fir a good choice? I am concerned about the grain raising and splinters popping out. Is the water misting easy for professionals to do…get?
2. What other woods would you suggest?

Hi Connie,

New VG Fir should be fine. The reason we say to be careful with fir and Rubio is that usually fir floors are many years old and have been sanded many times already. After decades of expansion and contraction, general wear and numerous sandings, many of these antique floors have gaps, chips and the start of splinters in the thinned out areas. That’s when you need to be especially careful with fir and buffers. If the buffer catches a chip as you’re buffing in the oil, it will tear out a huge chunk.

Fir is also quite soft compared to oak, so you should be aware of that too.

As far as water popping, any professional hardwood floor refinisher should have no problem doing it. If you find one that can’t, I would seriously question their qualifications.

Hope that helps and your flooring project goes well.


Thank you so much for your response! I feel so much better now if we chose to use the fir. I have done lots of research on the Rubio and it really seems like a great product. Your blog is amazing, in fact I am very impressed with your site, knowledge, and appeared desire for true craftsmanship. So rare these days. I only wish we lived in Naperville!!

I recently built a sprung dance floor surfaced with baltic birch plywood (over osb), and am trying to decide how to finish it. There are some gaps between the plywood sheets so I’m guessing mono coat wouldn’t work well. How about the pallmann oil? Also my wife is adamant that the floor not be too slick. She wanted to leave the wood unfinished, but agreed to something after seeing how easily they got dirty. Any other recommendations? Thanks for this great resource.


Hi Rashad,

We haven’t applied Rubio to plywood before but I think it should work ok. It will depend of course on what grade plywood you used too. Rough construction grade plywood is not going to work anywhere near as good as smoother furniture grade stuff.

Do a bit of testing first on a smaller piece of scrap and then jump and dance all over it :) That should let you know how it will hold up. If the sheets are 4×8 I wouldn’t be too worried about the gaps, just be careful. Shouldn’t be too slick either but your wife will be able to judge that from the test piece.

Good luck Rashad!


Great Blog … greetings from Croatia and thanks for your time and effort,

We have installed ourselves Oak floor … planks are in various sizes from 60cm to 220 cm, and 16 cm width. Widths were not perfectly even, so after installation there remained  quite a few gaps ranging form half mm to maybe 2 mm … We are in the process of sanding it lightly ( it has v grooves we want to preserve, and still we need to flatten some joints and small bumps ).

What do you advise to use for filling those gaps. Wood has been laying in the house for more than a half year and it is on the floor for a 2 weeks now … we plan on installing a humidifier to keep humidity levels controlled.

Will acrylic fillers work well with rubio 2c coating or do we have to use woodgrain with gluer?

Also, what is the best process to keep the color most true to the the raw appearance of the oak? cotton white has been suggested to us ( with use of the 2C monocoat ). Don’t want it too yellow or honey like … rather whitish or grayish …

this is the raw wood installed :(photo removed by Marko)

Hi Marko from Croatia,

You have the current honor of being our furtherest away blog commenter :)

The floors look good, well done. And yes I think you’ll be happy with Cotton White from the way you described how you want the floors to look. Do a test sample first though to make 100% sure it’s the color you want.

As far as fillers, the ones we tested over here work fine with Rubio. I’m not sure about the products you have over there though??? We are big testers when we’re not sure of something so I suggest you do the same just to be certain. Better to find out on a small scrap or hidden section if it will work or not than discovering it won’t work after you’ve applied it to your whole floor!

Good luck with everything Marko and let us know how it goes.


Thank you very much for taking a time to reply so quickly!

We ll give acrylic filler a try … we did everything ourselves so far … made a few mistakes in the process but we ll try to finish it now on our own also, whatever happens :)

Don’t know if I would do the same next time though, but could not find a flooring company or contractor that instilled confidence ( most of floors done here are PU varnish with gloss … )

We have this product here that you might be aware of

I ll sure try on a sample first, and will certainly post a photo of installed and oiled floors when finished.

You’re welcome Marco.

We haven’t used the Bona Gap Master product, not sure if its available in North America. Try it out and see. The Mix & Fill Plus looks like it would work though.

Not sure if you have access to this line of products but they will take Rubio Monocoat well:

Hi ya Tados, Greetings from Ireland.
I’ve been testing products and reading product reviews and getting totally confused!! But I think that monocoat is the answer to all my woes! We’re renovating a house and the floor boards date back to the mid 1800’s. They’ve been sanded professionally and are ok – they were never going to be fantastic – but my professional and I are having major differences of opinion on what to finish the boards with. Monocoat sounds great, in that I get the impression it will unify some patched repair jobs done over the years – the wood used for the repairs was white deal, so looks very different to the original boards, not sure what kind of wood they are. The pro has filled gaps and gouges with a synthetic filler. I’m wondering two things – do you think the monocoat will bind with the filler, and will a coloured monocoat tone down the differences between the boards? Think we’re trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear!!
We also have a new light oak woodblock parquet floor to finish
will the clear monocoat change the colour of that?
Oh almost forgot – is it absolutely necessary to use a buffer to apply it, or would a wide flat microfiber pad and lots of elbow grease, both of which I have, do the job?
Can’t wait to hear back from you. Slan

Hi Trisha,

Wow we’re really getting international here! Mid 1880 floors would be great to have in a home, I’m jealous :)

To answer your questions… About “unifying patched repair jobs”, there isn’t a finish out there that will make a bad repair look good unfortunately. The finish will just highlight what it covers. A coloured finish will blend differences a little better but you will still see a bad repair job through the finish. Some guys will stain and then tint finishes a very dark color to hide damage but this has issues too.

As far as the filler, the best way to find out is to try it on a small section. Once it’s dry apply some tape to it and then rip it off. If the finish stays then there’s a good chance it will long term.

With the clear on the oak block it will change the color slightly as its an oil but again give it a test on a small section to see if you’re happy with the color before committing to the whole area.

To apply it, honestly, it’s going to be a tough go without a buffer. I guess you could do it by hand, would I want to… no :) Your local tool rental store should have buffers available for a reasonable price for a day or half a day.

Good luck Trish. I wish I was in Ireland now so I could have a Guinness!


thanks for all the info!!
we’re doing a gut renovation- after applying rubio, how long should we wait before installing cabinetry??
also, we have mixed rift and quarter sawn white oak, i want that slightly pinkish hue i’ve seen- do you think 5%white or 5%smoke is the answer?? i also don’t want the floors any lighter than they naturally are. thanks!!

Hi Erica,

Sorry for the delay in replying, it’s been a very busy month here. If it was my house, I’d wait about four days before installing the cabinets. They would be fine to do after two days though.

As far as the color I probably wouldn’t do the white variation as it will lighten the floor. The other choice could be good though. Always do samples though as color is a very personal thing and someone’s idea of “pinkish hue” may be very different from someone else’s :)

Good luck Erica.


This may have been answered, and I just missed it — will 1 liter *really* cover 350 to 400 sf? I am finishing the interior of a Gypsy wagon (tiny house) with white pine paneling.


Hi Kersten,

That’s a cool project! You should be able to do it with 1L but it depends on how porous the pine is and if you’re using pure oil or the coloured oil. Pure oil should be fine, the coloured oil will be stretching it too thin I think as you usually get about 300sqft from 1L.

Let us know how it goes Kersten. I’d love to see some photos of it finished too if you have the time.

Good luck! Tadas

Thank you for sharing all of your experience here on your blog. We recently did a 5% White Monocoat on 5″ rift and quarter sawn white oak floors. After the samples we saw, we were expecting a natural finish with some white in the grain, but they came out almost bleached. Do you have any idea why this might have happened, or more importantly, how we can fix it (without re-sanding and starting over)?

Thank you!

Hi Bryan,

Not sure about this one as we haven’t done this color/wood combination yet. Were the samples done on your floor, or off-cuts of the floor, or were they prepared separately with different sourced wood?

We always like to sample the existing wood so the client knows exactly what to expect.

In the photos above, the last highlighted project is a white oak floor. It’s a different color, but in the third photo it shows a close-up of the grain. Does it look similar to this or is the grain less white and the floors more monotone looking?

Unfortunately I can’t see any way around changing the color back to a more natural look without re-sanding. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news :(

I hope you can get something sorted out so you’re happy with your floors soon.


Hi. You are so generous to share you experience with all of us. We just had our flooring contractor put in new Montana character grade tight knot fir with Rubio finish in our Tudor style home upper floor. It looks beautiful but one thing bothers me. There are a fair number of circular sanding marks all over the floor from the buffer. We think it was caused by the initial 100grit sanding. After viweing the test area where the swirl scratches were really bad they resanded the entire floor with 150 and then 220. Much better but still there. Not immediately noticeable but if you look at the floor for any length of time even while standing they’re noticeable. Is this normal? What should we have done? I ask for future reference if we ever refinish or do our main floor with this system. Thank you!

Oh I should have mentioned the color we used was a 50/50 mix of chocolate and castle brown in the 2C product

Hi Shiraz,

Without seeing the floors it sounds like a sanding problem – human related or maybe a problem with their buffer. There should be no need to sand a floor to 220 grit to apply Monocoat or any floor finish, in fact we would advise strongly against it. We finish most of our floors with 100 grit and there are no sanding or buffer marks visible ever.

I hope you get it sorted out to your satisfaction.


My story is almost exactly like Lucy who Feb. 28– I would absolutely HAZARD people with kids from using this product under tables or in kitchens. We love the look and feel of the product but can’t believe the maintenance. Every piece of oily food dropped on the floor leaves a mark! As a result, my floors never look clean! We are also experiencing the mystery black marks and can’t figure out where they are coming from. The rooms gets a lot of light too; think it will need to be refreshed often as it seems to be fading quickly.

My husband and I go back and forth trying to decide whether to totally redo the floors using a traditional refinish, or try to build up the mono coat hoping it will get more resistant with time. Frustrated.

Would love any suggestions you have. Please test your floors with grease, to add to your consumer review. Thanks.

Hi Lola,

Sorry your floors aren’t co-operating. That must be very frustrating. Unfortunately I don’t have enough information from your post to give you a professional opinion of what is happening to your floors.

Where they done as a DIY project? If not, did the refinisher have a lot of experience with this product?

It sounds like it may be an application issue. I’m guessing that most likely there is way too much finish left on your floors from not being buffed off properly. This is a common problem with inexperienced applicators new to hardwax oils.

We have done dozens of Monocoat (and other hardwax oil) floors over the last 3 years and we’ve never run into this issue of constant marks so I’m not sure what to say.

As far as fading, ALL finishes will fade if exposed constantly to direct sunlight.

Also Rubio Monocoat cannot be “built up” as you suggested. It is a one coat product. Any extra finish on the floor will cause issues. This is why I think you have a problem in the first place – because of excess finish.

I really hope you get it sorted out Lola. Let us know what you find out.


This site has been so helpful in our decision making for choosing a finish on our new floors so I decided to share our experience. Our floors are beautiful locally harvested (CT) 5″ red oak. 2 months ago we had the floors (living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom) coated with RMC 2C half pure and half natural. The color is pretty light due to the white pigment in the natural color. The overall look is beautiful! We haven’t had them long enough to determine wear but we have had a few stains. Once we had a small amount of dog urine that sat unnoticed and created a gray stain and another time a few drops of tea were left on the floor creating a black stain. Both times I was able to lightly sand and reapply the oil completely eliminating all traces of the stains! I am a little worried about this happening more frequently but I am so pleased with the ability to repair/refresh without having to sand and of the 0 VOCs that I am willing to tolerate it. If it becomes too much maintenance I can always go with a poly finish but I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Hi Noreen,

Thank you very much for popping back and sharing your experience! That’s going to be very helpful for our readers. I hope you continue to enjoy your floors.


WOW! your blog and your flooring craftsmanship is awesome!
We have just put in reclaimed barnwood floors (the barn was built in the 1870’s so we figure the trees started growing at least a hundred years before that) They have been remilled and grooved, and have lots of large knot holes in them, which we love.
We really like the idea of using Rubio Monocoat, but we have a few concerns that we hope you can address.
We want to fill in the holes and cracks with a dark filler to keep them visible, and were considering using a 2 part epoxy since some of the holes are about 1 inch square or a bit larger. Will the monocoat work with epoxy? Or will Woodwise filler work in that size hole?
Also, is the monocoat rawwood cleaner necessary or is water-popping the floor going to accomplish the same thing?
Thanks again.

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the compliments :)

Your floors from the 1700’s sound amazing!

Don’t use epoxy or Woodwise filler for the cracks and holes. The epoxy won’t take the monocoat and Woodwise is not designed for filling things that size. I would suggest using Glitsa Wood Flour Cement:

Make sure all the kids and pets are out of the house before using it though because it stinks.

No you don’t have to use the raw wood cleaner if you don’t want to. You can use a clean microfiber mop slightly damp with clean water to pick the dust up off the floor. Water popping is soaking the floor and opening the grain ready for staining, the raw wood cleaner is just for removing dust (and oils if you have an exotic floor).

Hope that help. Good luck with your floors. If you have a chance post a link to some pictures when you’re done, I’d love to see them.


Hi Tadas,

I am hardwood floor expert here in Croatia (another one reader from Croatia :) and I love your work and every job done according to pictures and your descriptions. It’s and very informative to read you.
You really are doing a great job! Keep on going ;)

I have 2 questions and doubts regarding Rubio Monocat product so would be grateful for help.

When combining with polyurethane and/or water based product – you mentioned before that it is fine to go with polyurethane or acrylic water based product on top of RMC oil. How much time should wait after applying oil to be sure it is dry enough and secure to go with PU or water over it to be sure the new water or PU layer will hold (glue) properly on oil?

Soon will start working on oak floor planks in various sizes – from 50-2000 cm which will need to brush to get those old unevenly look. A client wants to get matte look with natural oak look so believe RMC ‘Naturale’ color oil will be perfect option. Now am wondering will there be a problem with oiling those floor after sanding (scraping) as there could possibly stay too much oil in those area where wood is scraped deeper? What do you think? It is a kind of different situation than perfectly sanded flat floors…

Thanks for help and for sharing :)

Hi Ivica,

Thanks for the compliments :)

To answer you first question, I would wait till the finish has cured. For Monocoat Oil Plus 2C that is 7 days minimum, for Oil Plus it’s 21 days. Just remember though, if your coat over the top you will lose all the benefits of having a hardwax oil finish.

To answer your second question, yes you will need to spend more time on a hand scrapped floor to make sure the coverage is even. Most likely a buffer won’t be enough, you may need to do some of the deeper sections by hand.

Hope things go well for you over in Croatia.


Hi Tadas,

We would like to use Rubio on our hardwood floorboards, if possible. We have gappy floorboards (up to 5mm). What method/product would you recommend to eliminate our gaps and enable the use of Rubio?

Thank you.

Hi John,

Don’t you love gaps :(

A few posts up I gave a link to Glitsa Wood Flour Cement, that could work well in your situation. You could also trim bevelled pieces of wood to put in the gaps but that takes forever – although it gives the best look.

I’m not what climate you’re in but you need to be careful filling gaps if the floor expands and contracts a lot during the seasons. What you do or don’t do will also depend on what look you’re after, rustic or slick and clean.

Hope that helps a little.


Thank you so much for all this information! What do you think maintenance of the rubiocoat on white oak will be like for a kitchen and dining room that has 3 boys under the age of 4 that spill all the time? I love the idea, but also am nervous about the amount of repairs I’d need to do. And is it true that it really doesn’t show the scratches as much as a traditional oil-based polyurethane?

Hi Sarah,

Sounds like you have your hands full!

Personally, I would probably go for Pallmann Magic Oil if I was in your situation. And yes these hardwax oil finishes show far less scratch marks compared to polyurethane surface finishes. That’s because there is no plastic coating to get damaged and reflect light. When they do scratch they’re much easier to repair too.


Thanks so much for your advice. We live south of Sydney in Australia. We’re after a rustic look.

It seems that no filling product is suitable for our application according to the manufacturers advice.

Can you please advise what would happen if we were to use Rubio without filling the gaps (up to 5mm wide). Is it because the product would pool between boards and not dry properly? If so, is there a technique that we could use to prevent the pooling in the gaps.

Thanks again,

Hi John,

Welcome from all the way downunder :)

Yes that is one of the limitations of these products unfortunately. You were right on the money saying this… “because the product would pool between boards and not dry properly”.

If you don’t want to fill the gaps then the only other way would be to apply and buff it by hand. Rubio needs to be worked into the wood well and the excess buffed off thoroughly too – that would be a LOT of hard work doing it without a buffer. I wouldn’t want to do it but it’s not impossible though if you’re up for a challenge.

Hope it works out for you.


I have a old pine floor that we used the RMC finish on and do to the extreem humidity change we have here is Austin Tx, the filler has fallen out after 3 years. I need to repair this filler. what would be the simple and effective way to do this.

Hi David,

I took a look at your website… you do some nice floor work!

We have the same issues with humidity swings up here in Chicago too. A real nuisance hey. Because of that, in houses that don’t have humidity controlled environments we don’t use filler as it eventually just comes out and looks worse – as you’re experiencing with this job.

To be honest I’ve never had to do this before… but if I had to try I think I would tape along the edge of the boards beside the gaps with painters tape and then use a putty knife to work in the filler. It would probably need to be done a few times. Once dry I’d then clean the floor up and apply another coat. I’d experiment in a closet or somewhere out of the way first to make sure my technique would work.

I’m not sure how many, how bad or what size the gaps are, but if this is all over the floor then you’re in for one pain of a job :(

I really hope you find a way to make it work David. Good luck… seriously. Let us know how it goes.


Wonderful product! Can we use it on wooden walls and windows as well?

Hi David,

I don’t see why not. I think it would be great for wooden walls that need to be touched up because of scuff marks from time to time.


Installing 7″ rift and quartered white oak in Maine, engineered over radiant. I loved the fumed, look…but thinking I need the poly durability with 2 kids and a lab. Can I fume with monocoat fume or smoke and then poly? I want to go more brown like your pictures, not as much grey although undertones would be nice. Will the poly bring out the same brown as the monocoat pure oil? I am trying some Bona stains and just not getting a color I love and don’t want to ruin these expensive floors!!! I want a dark floor…but want to compliment the rift and quartered grain. I would rather not have a lot of light flecking, all more subdued…warm, nutty brown. No red. A little scared of the maintenance of the pure oil finish and lack of luster. I don’t want shiney…but a soft “glow”…I have read everything and lost too many nights sleep over thinking this. My floor manufacturer also suggested pure tongue oil. Over a stain. The stain options (zar, bona) have just not done it yet…even mixing. I am thinking fuming with monocoat might be the answer…

Hi Jen,

Yes you can definitely apply a polyurethane finish over the Monocoat Fume or Smoke processes. You can also stain over it before applying the finish too as you can see here:

For that “soft glow” you’re looking for, Pallmann Magic Oil might be worth looking into. If you really want a surface finish though go for a satin sheen.

Good luck with your floors, they sound amazing.


Would Rubio monocoat be good to use on a reclaimed sawn red oak floor. We used tung oil on some and it made the floor very dark. We are trying to maintain the lightness. Perhaps adding 5percent white. Lots of nooks and holes in the wood.

Hi Jennifer,

Yes it would work great on a reclaimed wood floor. You will have to take extra time and care with the “nooks and holes” though.

Good luck.


Great blog and you’re work is outstanding as well!
What would it take to get you to the Washington DC area to install and finish a floor with Rubio??

Hi Jake,

Thanks for the compliments :)

Another road trip project would be great… and you are only 10 hours down the road… but we are sooo busy right now. Unfortunately it just won’t work at the moment sorry :(

Hope you find someone good to get it done for you.


Thank You Tadas,
Thank you so much for your time. I have just had Rubio stain put on my new oak floors in my 60 year old home.
You have given me more peace of mind and information than anyone, including the Rubio website or the wonderful folks who installed my floors. I love my new floors & now am so much better informed on “curing time” and how to maintain them.
You, your skill, knowledge, and willingness to give your time and share this information with us is very much appreciated!
Sincerely, Christie

Hi Christie,

Thank you for your compliment, glad to be of help :)


This is a great post. I hope you don’t mind I put a link to it on my blog to share with others. We are building a cedar yurt on Vashon Island, WA and will be using the Cherry Coral color on reclaimed fir flooring from the early 1900’s and also for the wood trim.

Thanks for writing this. Wonderful information.

My blog about building our yurt in which I included your link in post #15:

www. sharingtheonlyone .wordpress .com

All the best,

Hi Laura,

You’re welcome :) The cedar yurt sounds very cool!


We have an historic old house, and have been struggling to find the best finishes for old wood. We found Rubio to be excellent for hard woods, like our 200 year old chestnut wide board kitchen countertops. But it has proven to be less satisfactory for softer woods, like the original antique wide board pine floors. The Rubio makes them much darker, redder and somewhat splotchy. The color difference is startling. We are looking at alternatives like Tung oil (waterlox) that is more neutral, but higher in VOCs. Any advice or experience would be appreciated!

Hi Deb,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. To be honest we don’t do very much work at all with pine or other soft woods. All our experiments are with oak and harder woods. I would have a look at Pallmann Magic Oil though as it is a multi coat product which will help with the splotching issue you’re having. It is still oil based though, so it will definitely darken the wood somewhat too, but so will Waterlox.

Sorry I couldn’t be of greater help :(


I am loving this wealth of information – thank you for all of it! I am installing a floating oak butcher block shelf above a cooktop and would like to use Rubio for this, what do you think? There is a downdraft vent, but some steam will most likely escape. Also, I have the same butcher block on a breakfast bar that I got tired of treating with oils and would like to also use Rubio for this. It hasn’t been treated for nearly a year now and I would like to sand it and apply Rubio, do you think this will work?

Hi Deanna,

You’re welcome :)

Yes you can use this on your tops. Others I know of have done this and have been very happy with the results.


hi! thanks for sharing your knowledge!
i am a furniture maker and have started using Rubio monocoat plus c to finish my work including table tops because of Rubio’s reputation to be resistant to water and other liquids. i love everything about this products but have found that it is very sensitive to water and wine and oils even after 30 days. i apply 2 coats as i prefer the fuller and more even look. i apply the oil with a white non abrasive pad, let the oil sit for a few minutes and wipe the excess completely off. what am doing wrong? i don’t buff with a machine. would that make a difference?

Hi Thierry,

Rubio Monocoat is a one (mono) coat only product. That’s why you’re having trouble. If you want a fuller look try the Pre-Color Easy first or maybe experiment with a stain. The second coat you’re applying will never cure as it is just excess product sitting on top.

Hope that helps.


Can i use oil or water base finish on top of monocoat pure oil.

Hi Darwin,

Yes technically you can after it has fully cured. It kind of defeats the purpose of using it in the first place though.


We would like to use the Monocoat pure on a reclaimed restoration hardware table we just purchased. I’m just worried that I might see overlap :./ I was told by the vendor it’s pretty straight forward – just add the accelerator. Shake and apply with a rag ( Ensure good coverage) then wipe off the excess . Does this sound about right to you ? Thanks so much !

Hi Donna,

Yes it is pretty straight forward as you’ve been told. Just make sure you get rid of all the excess by buffing/wiping it off properly. Should be no overlap :)


I’ve been looking at RMC to use on our unfinished oak floors we’re about to install. Since this article was writtn in 2012. have you checked back or seen the wear over years? How has it held up? I LOVE the fumed+white look!

Hi Jamie,

Yes we have seen how this wears over the years and it has held up very good. We fully recommend this product.

Hope that helps :)


We have existing pine floors from 1920s and newly installed reclaimed heartwood. In kitchen, living,bedroom and in master bath. Sanded to 100, and now considering finish. Do 1/16″ – 1/8″ gaps between existing wood present an issue? If so, please recommend treatment/preparation. Width and length of gap is irregular, so filling with milled wood strips is not possible. Glitsa wood flour?

Hi Ray,

First off I’m jealous of your floors.

To answer your question, if you are happy to live with the gaps then no they don’t present an issue. In fact I personally think it’s the easiest and best way to go in the long term. If you use fillers etc. then they can eventually cause issues with big swings in movement in older floors.

I like to think of it as extra character in these beautiful old floors :)


I just installed cabin grade red oak flooring in my home- I do not want to sand my floors and am curious as to how you think the Rubio would be absorbed. Going for a very rustic look so the “perfect finished” floor is not what I am after. I would love to do a light grey just not sure if the pigment would be absorbed unevenly. Thoughts? Also any tips for using a buffer on floor with a few holes?

Hi Mary,

Sorry for the delay in replying. Personally, we would never apply Rubio Monocoat without preparing the surface by some form of sanding, even when going for a “rustic” look. As far as using a buffer with a few holes, it can be done but just be extra careful around them.

Hope it goes well for you.


I have enjoyed reading all of this valuable information, but alas, was hoping to find someone who had used RMC on cherry floors. We recently purchased a home that has 3″ Brazilian Cherry flooring with a perfect, shiny, clear finish. The floors are far too shiny, slippery and perfect looking for our busy, pet-friendly household. There is definitely an ’80’s/’90’s vibe to the overall perfect look of the floors. The back of the house is mostly glass so the cherry has bleached to a more blonde color in some areas but remains a darker, very reddish color in other places. The look we are hoping to achieve is more rustic (bleached, driftwood or white-washed, and less red). Do you have any experience toning down the red in Brazilian Cherry? Is there any hope of achieving a more rustic, aged and “charactered” look with cherry?
Thank you!

Hi Kim,

Unfortunately we haven’t used Rubio Monocoat on Brazilian Cherry yet so I can’t help you with that sorry. Also all of our clients with these floors have loved the natural look so far so we haven’t had a need to experiment with making them look aged and rustic. It would be interesting to see what the fumed process would look like on cherry though.


Wow, have I learned a lot from this blog! Thanks so much for sharing and teaching! I would love to use Rubio Monocoat for two different projects and would love your advice?

I ordered a birch butcherblock countertop from IKEA that I plan to turn into a bar-height table for our kitchen. I’d love to be able to sand the birch and use a chocolate RMC to create a non-toxic, natural looking and impervious chocolate finish. 1) I see you warning folks to not undertake their floors as a diy project and I’m wondering if you think this table project would require special skills? As I understand, you brush it on with a cotton cloth or foam applicator, wait a few minutes and wipe off. Do I have a rent a buffer to take off extra product? 2) I see a special formulation suggested for countertops with an accelerator added – is this so that overlaps in application don’t sink into the wood so fast? 3) do I have to be concerned about what type of wood I’m starting with when choosing a RMC color? I know birch is a light wood and want to end up with chocolate?

Secondly, my daughers bedroom has a hardwood floor that I’m not sure has ever been sanded down (had carpet when we moved in). It has some staining from liquid soaked through carpet possibly and also some holes drilled in it (yes holes, and not by us) we believe to bring cable television into the room. I’m wondering if you think we could use RMC on a floor that has coaxial cable sized patches in it?

Lastly, I’m curious how the pricing of RMC compares to the other products out there, both other oils as well as urethane. This sounds like the perfect product for us!

Thanks so much for any guidance you’re able to provide.

Hi Jazzinthed,

Yes this would be a good DIY project. The product for countertops is the same as the one for floors.

As far as the holes in the floor you shouldn’t have any trouble with RMC.

You can see the price of Rubio Monocoat at their website here:

Hope that helps.



I’m glad to have found this site! We used Rubio Monocoat to finish our hickory, spalted maple, birch and ash floors. The hickory and ash are in variable widths, 3, 5 and 7 inches and the hickory and birch are over a warmfloor radiant subfloor system. We are happy with the non-plastic RMC, but having some issues with the wood on the warmfloor as well as some of the ash (not on radiant). After 2 years of installation, there have been season of shrinking and swelling, resulting in some cupping or unevenness. Any ideas? I’m not thrilled with the cracks widening, but more upset about the boards being uneven (were perfect when they were sanded in the fall)At one point they seemed to settle out, but this winter they seem worse than last winter, and last summer they were better than the previous summer. Go figure! Considering resanding, but what a mess to get that big belt floor sander back and make all that dust (it’s in a huge dining room/great room area with a loft overlooking it)

Hi Kim,

Have a look at this blog post, hopefully it will answer some of your questions:


Have to chime in with big thanks to you for such extensive coverage of not only the topic, but of subsequent questions and attention to each individuals circumstances and scenarios for 3 years!! I’ve read the entire thread and all comments and have learned so much. I also wish I could just fly you in to refinish my floors for me :)

I really really want to use this product on my fir floors (original to my 1918 craftsman) and hoping one of the few refinishers in my area are experienced with it. I have carpet and some linoleum to pull up, all of the wood is covered at the moment but I’ve checked each room and confirmed that the fir exists throughout the main floor.

My only reservation with refinishing the wood has been that I keep hearing how soft fir is and I have a 95lb dog and two 130b dog visitors who at times jump around and the thought of nail indentations everywhere hurts my heart, I saw the effect on the bamboo floors in my last place, most people didn’t notice but once I could see it, it was all I could see. But I think a combo of area rugs, regular nail trims to shorten up their nails, a training refresher, no shoes on in the house policy and keeping the floors free of debris in general will help and be worth it in the end. This 30 year old carpet has to go!!

Thanks again for the wealth of information, I feel much more educated and confident going into this process and with speaking to potential refinishers.


Thanks Caz! Glad to be of help :)


Thanks for your blog – very helpful reviews of the HWO choices. I still am unsure what would work best for my situation. We have old parquet floors that we sanded down ourselves. They are quite uneven at the macroscale (due to age) and now also no doubt have a lot of microscale sanding imperfections. Which of the finishes is least likely to present a problem? I am looking for a color-free finish, but it sounded like you would avoid Rubio for an imperfect floor even without stain? Do you expect Osmo to perform better in this situation?

Oh, also, it’s rather gappy parquet, and of course every square is perpendicular to the last in grain direction – which product is easiest to apply?

Thanks for any insight you can provide,

Hi Alex,

Sorry for the late response. With your parquet floors I would use a trowel-able filler to take care of the gaps and then any of the hardwax oil finishes would be ok. None of them will be “color-free” though as they are still oil based. The only truly color free finish is a clear waterbased system.


Thank you for the blog. We are installing 4-6″ character white oak in the upstairs of our house and are planning on rubio fumed plus pure. Couple quick questions: I saw a display at a local shop and they said it was white oak fumed with pure…it was a warm brown color with undertones of gray, but everything I have read and seen seems to indicate that I should see more gray and less brown. I loved what I saw, but now am wondering is the rep I spoke with was confused. Have you seen this combination before?

Also, if you want to get a slight sheen using the satin soap, do you have to apply a full strength coating of it soon after putting the 2c on, or could it be anytime?

Finally, is the maintenance oil different than the 2c oil you finish the floors with?

Thank you for your consideration.

Hi Tom,

It was nice talking to you on the phone and clearing up your questions.


I just had 3200sf of 10″ heart pine installed. I haven’t been able to find a RMC color that we like. Can I stain the floors first with Durastain (or whatever you might recommend) and then finish with pure RMC? Or would it be better to use Pallmans Magic Oil? Also, what’s tips do you have on sanding the pine flooring? I am a General Contractor and am installing these on my personal house, I have some experience in flooring.

Hi Nic,

Yes you can stain and then use Magic Oil over the top but not Rubio Monocoat. We like using DuraSeal stains. We don’t have heart pine floors in our area so I can’t give you any special tips sorry. Hope the project goes well.


We just got a new wood floor and have to fill some gaps before using the Rubio clear.
Which filler do you recommend? We might like to use one that is mixed with the sawdust to get the best colour match possible. Should it be water based or solvent based?

Our floor guy did not recommend to use the Rubio as he had problems with fat stains in the kitchen. What is your experience?

Hi Claudia,

Woodwise makes pretty good and easy to use waterbased fillers:

Yes we have heard some mention staining in kitchens. I personally haven’t seen this issue. Most of the trouble we have seen from hardwax oil finishes come down to the applicator no applying the product properly though – in particular not removing enough of the excess finish.


Hi Tadas,
Thanks for all this info…in my part of the world (Alabama) Rubio is largely unheard of, and it’s difficult to get answers. We reno’ed a house and used Rubio and love the look, but man is that Rubio Soap expensive. I know you’re not “supposed” to use any other cleaners, but are there any other gentle things out there that would do the trick? I have to pay to have the stuff shipped in as no local stores carry it….

Hi Susan,

We recommend staying with the product that the manufacturer recommends.

I guess it is a little pricey for the 1 liter bottle but remember it is a concentrate so you actually get 100 liters out of it which makes it very affordable.


Hello Tadas,
We have recently acquired a space with a 110 year old douglas Fir plank floor. After removing the glued down carpet, we need to sand and finish. The floor is old with character, so we are not looking for a new look, just a rustic finish that will make the floor usable and protect the wood in the future. I am debating between the Rubio and Magic oil. The space is a public coffeeshop/music venue. Would you have a recommendation on one or the other. I understand that your experience with soft fir is limited, but any advice would be appreciated. As much as we would love to have a professional do the work, it is just not in the budget, so we will be doing this ourselves with some experienced help.

Hi Lenee,

Based on the café we did with Magic Oil here…

… I would recommend going with that finish. It will give a bit more protection to the floor as the finish has some build, compared to walking on the very soft Fir if you used Rubio.

Hope it goes well. Just take your time and sand extra well with the fir which will show any and all sander marks once the finish goes down.


Great Post! You mentioned in your comments that it is acceptable to use a polyurethane finish over Rubio Monocoat. Is a water base ok? And how long should we wait before applying?

Hi Bryan,

Yes it has been done, not by us personally though. I would assume a water based finish would work as well as an oil based poly. I would wait at least a month or two. You need to realise that you will lose your warranty doing this though. Also be sure to do a thorough adhesion test before coating the whole floor.

Good luck Bryan.



I have a custom island countertop made from restored pine from an old barn. There are numerous holes and knots that must be filled to level off counter before finishing it. It was recommended to us to use an epoxy to fill the holes. My question is whether or not the Rubio Monocoat would adhere properly to the epoxy’d holes?


Hi Greg,

Pretty sure it won’t sorry. It is designed to molecularly bond to wood surfaces only.

I know it would take time, but could you plug the holes and knots with wood? That way you could still use Rubio.


Hi Tadas,

Wonderful info…greatly appreciate it. Do you know of any who’ve used the Rubio on baseboards/trim and unfinished windows? I’m assuming it would work well. Thoughts?


Hi Jill,

I don’t know of any putting using it on windows but I’m sure it would work great. Yes it can definitely be used for trim and baseboards… and it looks good.


We are having this product put on our floors tomorrow AM. We have 3 dogs. When will it be safe to let the dogs on the floors?

Hi Dorothy,

The full cure time for Rubio Monocoat 2C is 7 days, so I would wait at least that long if you possibly can.


I’ve had my new floors with Rubio Monocoat for just three weeks and came home to find black marks by the time today. Pizza grease that wasn’t wiped up. :-( What do you recommend? Can the spots be cleaned? Or sand and refinish that area? Thank you!

Hi Ann,

Try cleaning it first and if that doesn’t work then yes you could try sanding and refinishing it. If you go the second option it would be best to get the professional that refinished them to have a look at the area for you first, just to be certain that is the way to proceed.


This has been incredibly informative. I’m amazed that you have kept up this useful dialog for nearly 4 years! So let me add one more question: We are purchasing new Ambrosia Maple, aka Wormy Maple/Spalted Maple, for a 750 sq. ft. great room and kitchen. As you know, this product will have all those little worm holes all over every plank. We were happy with a “test” of Rubio Monocoat on a sanded 1960s oak strip floor that was still very sound and tight, but would we be in for a surprise on how the RMC responds to these little worm holes? We don’t need to fill them, but since it is supposed to be buffed in/off, I wonder whether any RMC that gets into the holes might cure differently. Thanks.

Hi John,

Sorry I missed your comment. No you shouldn’t have any issues if you buff it on. Just don’t put too much product down at once.

Hope it goes well for you.


I’m trying to get a table building company off the ground, and have ordered a sample. I am specializing in cutting down, and slicing up over-sized dead trees, and have several truck loads cut up drying. The largest tree in Okla was near our home, and died a few years ago, and no one could cut it down. {the stump measured 11′ across} We sliced the log up with a 12’bar between two chainsaws, mostly crosscut slices. I used PEG to stabilize them, but they are still full of crack/checks, but have been getting by with using epoxy resin, with turquoise trinkets and such, {for filler} to weld them up….and for a finish. I’d like to be able to sand down the epoxy and try this. Is there much difference between the flooring/counter top?

Hi Palmer,

Your business sounds great. The process between flooring and countertops is very similar. You may have issues with the epoxy and hardwax oil application though. Hope things work out well for you.


I reiterate what has been said a thousand times by now, thank you for your blog and dedication to answering so many questions! I am scheduled to have my floors done just days from now and am second-guessing my choice of Rubio color. I am going for that same look mentioned by Tadas back in 2013, a natural, just sanded look. I wonder if, either their results were shared with you, or if you have done this personally? I’m looking for that specific result on red oak. I appreciate anything you can offer in terms of advice.

Oops, that was a previous post by Marko in Croatia! But then, you probably figured that it wasn’t by Tadas ;)

Hi Tadas
Great blog, looks like you are best monocoat expert . I did my floor a week ego . I use ” pro contractor” . I have rift & quarter white oak . I did few samples . Finally I decide to go with cotton white . My pro send the floor with 60 grit , than use buffer with # 100 & 150 screen . He didn’t use Monocoat cleaner , he didn’t water popping . He apply monocoat 2C . The color is completely different from my sample ( he explained me because of buffer- I did by hand ) . He mixed 2 container of RMC – 1 1/2 left over ( my floor is 750 sf ) .
And now problems begins . I can live with different color , Bona satin finish floor looks floor – but not with foot prints almost everywhere. After 5 days he came back to fix the floor . He apply another coat of RMC with white pad ( before he also use white pad ) . Floor looks even worst than before – more foot prints than before. I spoke with him today – he’s planning to put 3 rd coat of RMC . I decide to use RMC because it looks like unfinished – now it looks like regular satin poly finish .
What is the right solution to resolve this problem .
Best Regards Mark

Hi Mark,

Ok I hope I’m not too late but tell him to stop putting more product on the floor, it will only make matters worse.

This is a one coat finish. Most refinishers that haven’t used or read up on the product don’t fully understand this. A small amount is buffed in and then the excess is thoroughly buffed off. The more you apply and leave on, the worse the “footprint” problem will be.

All of that excess product needs to be removed. It will be a very tough job and will take a while and lots of white pads to do. Depending how much of a mess he has made of it, he may need to take the floor back to the wood and start again. Make sure he contacts the Rubio Monocoat head office so they can walk him through the process. (He really shouldn’t be practicing on your floors.)

Sorry you have this mess to deal with. I hope you can get it sorted out so you can enjoy your floor.



I have a question if you don’t mind. I like to use rubio monocoat with my walnut serving boards. I am selling these serving boards and I like to be sure if the product is food safe or not?

I hear stuff that it is non-toxic but does this mean it is food-safe? If it would be they would rather say that it’s food safe right?

I have talked with my local distributor and they tried to sell me the product by holding back information.

I tried to get in touch with Rubio through their web site, but as they are trying to get me in touch with my local distributor (again), and they felt unfriendly and not interested much.

Thank you very much!


I consulted a Rubio representative. Although it’s a natural product, it loses its affect once you cut into the board and go below the protective layer.

Hi Ozgur,

My name is Goia (pronounced Joya). I work at Sunshine Floor Supplies Inc., in CT. We had an RMC event with Allen Nery, Nat’l Sales Mgr. He said that when he was questioned about the product at an airport, he drank the oil (20ml sample size) to prove that it was safe!

Hi Ozgur,

I had a quick look on their website and found this article:

It says in there… “The oil is made of natural ingredients and is food safe.”

Hope that helps.


Hi Tadas,

I’m so happy to have found your blog! I’ve read through so many of your posts, as well as the questions and comments, and have learned so much. Thanks for being so generous with all your knowledge!

We have approximately 1,800 square feet of maple that we are going to sand down and and I’m very undecided about what type of finish we should use. I really love the look of maple in its raw, natural state so I would like to the floor to be it’s natural color or perhaps a bit whiter with a matte finish. I also like the idea of being able to make spot repairs to the floor if needed, but want something that’s going to hold up well too. I’ve made some samples using the Rubio Monocoat in super white and 5% white, but I’m wondering if I were to choose either of these whether the floor would yellow over time? Also, is would it be easier to make spot repairs the the floor if I went with the super white? Would it be better to go with Pall-X-96 in a matte finish? Would the floor yellow with that too?

Thanks so much!

Hi Tricia,

Here’s a couple of photos of Maple with Rubio 5% white: Rubio Monocoat 5% White on Maple photos

And here’s a few photos of Maple with a very matte waterbased finish: Maple Matte Waterbased finish photos

The Rubio will amber more than the waterbased as it has oils in it compared to the clear water based finish. Rubio would be somewhat easier with a spot repair, but if you went with a super matte finish, that will repair well too.

I would get a sample of the waterbased finish and compare them for yourself in person so you can make the best choice.


Is Rubio Monocoat a good option for unfnished tigerwood (aka -Brazilian Koa)?

Solid 3/4 inch planks. We have already installed it. We LOVE the wood unfinished & prefer a matte finish.

Is the WACO Diamond product also a good option??? Farm with dogs so we need tough

I greatly appreciate reading through your responses to many of the same questions that I have

Hi Jane,

We personally haven’t used it on that wood ourselves, but I can’t see why not. I would suggest giving it a test on some scrap pieces. It will change the color of the wood slightly so keep that in mind.

If you want a clear, very matte finish, there is a new product we are just testing at the moment called Loba Invisible. It gives full 2 component protection but looks like there is no finish on top. This won’t change the color of the wood and is very tough. We’ll be doing a write up of it soon.


Thank you for such great information! Hard to believe I still have 2 questions!

Happy to try and answer them for you if you post them :)


Love your detailed blog on Rubio Monocoat. I will be extending my old thin plank white oak floors to the kitchen and bonus room of my 1924 cottage. When I purchased my home 5 years ago, I had the wall-to-wall carpeting removed had the floors finished with a standard stain and a shellac sealer. The people I was staying with were big proponents of shellac as one of them had serious multiple chem allergies issues. The shellac has worn well, and I love that the grain shows through and that there is not a plastic film on the floor. However, I know that it is not the sealer to use in a kitchen, as an undetected spill from Xmas tree watering can attest to. I have a few comments, questions and concerns re: matching the shade and sheen of pre-existing floors not treated with rmc when extending the flooring to other rooms for which rmc 2 wiould be a good choice.

The first is that the rmc pamphlet says that colors can be custom-mixed. I was able to approximate the shade I needed with the help of sample bottles from the local vendor and thei paint barista. As the type of flooring varies the share depending on the planks, the matching is easy enough. However, in communicating with Rubio, I learned that their “custom mixing” of colors as noted on page 11 of their pamphlet is only available for manufacturer purchases of over 10,000 liters. For someone in my situation, that of matching the shade of an existing floor, the mixing will be up to my installer, which I trust he can do, but I will need to buy twice the stain, when 1 liter of the pricy stuff will do. Just a heads up to others in my situation.

The other question I have is that of matching the sheen of the shellac… which is not super shiny, but is more sheeny than rmc as far as I can tell. I I have noticed that Soap Satin has been dropped from the rmc line-up as a sheen enhancer. I have read reviews on other blogs that it did have issues with water spots. Does the soap product offered now, in lieu of Soap Satin, offer enough sheen to match the sheen of shellac? They do not sell samples of the soap. is there a way to reduce the shellac sheen of the floors I already have so that the transition to the new flooring treated with rmc products is less noticeable?

If not, are their other products you’ve worked with that meet these criteria:

Low/no voc
Durable enough for kitchen flooring
Matching sheen of shellac

Thx a million for your blog and continual advice on this product.

Hi Catherine,

Yes good choice not to use shellac in the kitchen. I’m not sure if there is a way to reduse the sheen of shellac sorry. From what you’ve described, it sounds like Pallmann Magic Oil might be a better choice for you though. It has more sheen than Magic Oil, very low VOCs and is durable enough for kitchens.

You can read our original review here:

And our updated review here:


We had a Rubio Monocoat finish installed on our beautiful new white oak floors. It looks bad, and we have been through a lot. First, the installer said the floors were dirty, and he cleaned them. When that didn’t work, he said they needed maintenance oil, and we moved out of the house for two days and removed our furniture while he applied it, to no avail. They look worse than ever.

I am familiar with oil based finishes, because I had Woca oil on another floor. But, I believe the Rubio Monocoat is much worse. I recommend against using it.

Hi Marc,

Sorry you are having trouble with your floor. Sounds like it has been a nightmare for you :(

We have completed over 50 Rubio Monocoat projects now and haven’t had any of these issues… so I’m wondering if your floors were finished properly by a professional who knew what he was doing. If not done right, by someone with no experience, yes they can turn out to be a disaster and look bad. Lots of comments above will attest to this.

I hope you can find a finish for your floors you love.


I have a customer that wants to use a minwax stain (for the color of course). But wants to use the natural Rubio Moncoat as the sealer. Do you know if that is possible?


Hi Chris,

We wouldn’t do this ourselves. If they want the floors colored I would suggest PreColor Easy and then Rubio. If they want to use a stain I would suggest Magic Oil over top.


We recently moved to Ann Arbor MI. WE have about 1900 sqft on maple wood floor. An unfortunately we hired an inexperienced floor company who left the floors scratched and damaged after sanding.
We found someone who can repair the floors. He will do an “audition” on a small room. He is proposing to do a light sanding to remove the scratches, then apply water to open the wood pores and stain with Rubio Monocoat.
What should we need to be in the lookout to make sure this time the job is right?
The new flooring person also told us that because the floor has been left unfinished for a few weeks (about 6 total by the time he can get to it), the floors will expand and contract with temperature changes.
Can you comment?
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Hi Ana,

Sorry your first attempt didn’t go well for you.

To answer your question, I would make sure the next floor guy is experienced in what you want to do. Not all floor guys (including us) are trained in every single finish system – there are far to many options available.

Ask for references and photos of projects he’s completed, especially with the techniques or finish you want. Some finishes like Rubio look easy to apply but there are lots of little things that if not done right will leave your floor vulnerable. It takes a lot of skill and practice to get consistently good results. That’s why we test everything first in our shop and own homes before using it in the field.

If you read our blog you will see that most people that have issues with Rubio Monocoat haven’t had it applied correctly. Such a shame.

It sounds like you have found someone that knows the sequence though. We too would lightly sand it to remove the scratches, water pop and then apply the finish. With Rubio, as it is only a single coat finish system, the floor needs to be sanded extremely well. We use a TRIO to make sure all scratches are gone. If he has this machine (or something similar) you will be fine:

Read our consumer guide to see what other questions you need to be asking any contractor you’re looking to hire:

And yes he is right that floors will expand and contract with temperature changes. This is the case with or without finishes applied.

Hope that helps a little Ana. Hope this round goes better.


I don’t have a question but I wanted to say thank you for all this helpful information. If we lived in Illinois, I would be so happy to work with your company.

Thank you Madeline, that was very sweet of you.


Can this also be used on exterior porch railings and posts?

First of all, thank you so much for sharing your expertise! This has been very helpful. I have a question or two for you regarding my 5″ red oak floor. The floor has been sanded twice now, once at installation and once five years ago. Due to water damage near the front door and changing from Bona Natural to Rubio Monocoat, my floor guy wants to do a full sanding rather than just a screening. The quarter round was off the last two times the floor was sanded. Due to sanding being so important with Rubio, does he have to take the quarter round off? While I would really like to avoid the $600 for dealing with the quarter round, I also really want a great result! Is it possible to get a great result without taking off the quarter round? If so, any tips?

My second question would be, what color would you suggest for someone with red oak who wants a fresh, raw, historic look with as little red/orange/yellow/pink as possible? I have samples of Natural, Vanilla, and 5% Smoke, but I haven’t tried them yet. I do NOT want a pickled or hazy look. My guess is some combination of Natural and Vanilla will work, but I can find much written about Vanilla.

Thank you so much for your time and your insight!

Hi Alicia,

If he’s got good equipment and a good eye for detail then no it’s not an absolute must. We personally prefer to remove it as it can be easily damaged with the edger if not careful, but if he takes his time you will be fine. You may need to touch some spots up with paint though so be prepared for that.

As for the color, I would strongly suggest testing some samples first before doing the whole floor. It’s very hard to describe colors over the computer :) But when you see it in person, you’ll know its the one.

Hope it goes well for you.


Tadas, thank you so much for all of the information and for your time in answering. I understand you don’t have much experience with pine floors but maybe you have some insight for me. The floor installer said he’s used RMC before (and hasn’t been shy about saying he doesn’t really care for it). He sanded and sanded then applied with a buffer. It’s a lot lighter than on my sample board (same floor) and seems to be getting lighter as the days go on. Is it possibly soaking in? He did the stair treads after the main floors, also pine, and they’re MUCH darker. Any ideas on this?

Hi Sara,

We don’t have any first hand experience with Rubio Monocoat and pine unfortunately. Sounds strange that it would be getting lighter though. Probably best to reach out to the manufacturer if its really worrying you and your floor guy has no insight.

With the stairs it could be because the grain is different (quarter sawn vs plain sawn), cut from a different part of the tree, the sandpaper sequence he used was different etc. Lots of variables. It’s not uncommon for stairs to be a slightly different shade.


Hello, I am building a Tiny House. I’ve nailed down and sanded my 3/4″ Red Oak flooring but have been hesitant regarding what to coat the floor with. I find the Rubio Monocoat with 2C very interesting.
The wood floor area is only 118 Sq.Ft. and by our calculations the 350 Ml. size should more that coat the floor based on the 1.3L covering 650 Sq.Ft.. My dad did the math and it seems 350 Ml. should coat 174.9 Sq.Ft.. That said, my dad scratches his head to such a minuscule amount covering such a large area (much less using a rag to soak up the extra).
Is my consideration for Monocoat 2C a wise choice? I’ll be living by myself, no pets and gone during the day to work. So traffic will be relatively light.
Lastly, to application. This is a small area, can it be applied by hand? If so, what applicator? I saw a video where a floor buffer was used with a white pad, screen??? We have an orbital car polisher and were wondering if the pad/screen can be cut down and used with that? Thank you for you time in replying. It is greatly appreciated.

Hi Audrey,

Tiny houses are cool and I think Rubio would be a great choice in your situation. Yes a little bit goes a long way.

To answer your question, yes it can be applied by hand. We always use a buffer as it would take far too long but in such a small space you’ll be fine. Just make sure you get all the excess off. It will take a lot of hand buffing and lots of rags but it’s very important to do.

Would love to see a photo when you’re done if you’re willing to put a link up :)

Hope it goes well.


Hi Tadas, great work and thanks ahead for answering my question :-)

We are planning on redoing the floors in our newly purchased house (all the floors + the stairs). We were told that it’s birch wood. The house is only 10 years old. So the floor is not in a bad condition… a few deeper scratches, covered with a regular varnish, not shiny. We chose a contractor… Since they were going to reapply a similar varnish product they decided not to sand all of the stairs rails… just to make a few touch ups on the stairs… but then I started to look at the composition of the varnishes… I do not want my house to be polluted so I started to look at alternatives… Came across your site and was impressed by the comments! I will be talking to our floor company about the issue of High VOC and etc. tomorrow… I was wondering if the Monocoat oil without any color would be a good choice for birch floors? And if at all we can use it on birch? Thanks again for your time! Keep up the good job! I wish you lived in Montreal :-)

Hi Irene,

We haven’t used it on birch personally but it is compatible with all wood according to their website. Always good to do a test spot first though, just to make sure you like the look of it.

If the floors are in pretty good shape like you said, you also have the option of cleaning them well, buffing them and applying a bonding agent (your floor guy should have access to these products) and then coating with a low VOC water based finish. You can get them in single component or two component which is more durable.

Either way will work though. Hope it goes well for you.


Hello there! I am a homeowner from New York state. Monocrat is not well known here. My contractor is coming next week to refinish the floors from very old varnish.

I loved the article about smoked monocoat. Would like to ask a question. Let me know if possible!
I bought samples and first Smoked red oak, then applied smoke oil over it. It looks beautiful, but some pieces did turn greenish. Smoke oil made it more yellowish. Still beautiful. I am afraid that overtime tannins will go to the top, and the boards will become greener looking

How do you smoke red oak without the boards turning green?

An advice would be very, very much appreciated


Hi Anna,

I’m a bit late on this one sorry. The smoke and fume processes on red oak will not react the same as on white oak unfortunately. White oak has more tannic acid. You can either try the process a couple of times (on a sample first of course) to see if you get the color you want or you can try water popping it with black tea. Black tea is full of tannins and helps this process on low tannin woods like red oak.

Hope that helps.


In a 11-5-16 post my daughter asked a few questions about the Monocoat as it applied to a Tiny House. I thought I’d reply back on her behalf since we finished the application a few days ago.

Being in a small (118 Sq.Ft. and less than 8′ wide) confined space it was impractical and costly to apply with a traditional professional buffer. We had purchased the Monocoat in the 350 Ml. size with the 2C hardener agent. Using the hardwood application rate for a liter this equated to 175 Sq. Ft. from the 350 Ml. size. I want to note that the math says the two components (275 Ml. and 75 Ml.) mix at a rate of 3.66 to 1. However, the Monocoat instructions that came with the product state state 3 to 1. Likely not a great issue, but I do feel it is worth noting. We had for lack of a better term a mustard/ketchup squeeze bottle that I measured and marked at the 3″ and then an additional inch mark for the 3 to 1 ratio. This took what seemed like exactly half the total 350 Ml. contents.

We put down what seemed a sufficient amount of the product. Initially by hand to spread, then used a 12″ white buffing pad on a slow turning hand drill to get a consistent, even, and full coating. The drill held an eyeball centered, fiber woven abrasive disc (often called a Zippity Do) and light pressure on the buffing pad held it in place due to the course nature of the disc. This work exceptionally well to get a full, even coating.

Following the instructions shortly after 3 minutes of application we attempted to wipe off the excess. However, even though the floor was obviously fully coated by the natural color change (clear) there was virtually nothing that came up. Thus we proceeded with the application omitting the wiping off the excess simply because there was virtually nothing.

My math had us using 5/7th’s of the product (118 Sq. ft. of the 175 Sq. Ft. listed for hardwood). Yet, when we had completed the application it was more like only 3/7th’s used. My guess is that we were just very diligent in our application, working 12″ off the floor (with good coating observation) and I assume that which normally is removed by cloth accounts for the extra amount we had left. While some may contest if we got a full application 48 hours later visual (and feel) inspection shows ever inch of the floor coated in a very consistent way.

The end result is rather decent for a first time project. The floor has the slightest sheen (not even satin) rather than the stated flat. It looks very much like the fifth and sixth pictures above. There are a few spots where there appears there is no color change. Initially I thought it might be voids due to the minimal application. However, the feel and visual inspection show the area coated regardless of the color. Thus, we attribute it to the wood itself.

While the product is listed as 0 VOC’s it had a slight Linseed oil smell during application and 48 hr’s later it has a distinctive smell like apple cider with cinnamon. I don’t see that as a bad thing, but if you are expecting no smell at all that isn’t what we experienced.

Thank you Tadas for your instruction and encouragement. It gave us the confidence to proceed. I’d be curious for your feedback on the minimal amount we used and the lack of need to remove excess. Again, I want to assure that the floor was fully coated. Regards, for Audrey – her dad Tom

Hi Tom (and Audrey),

Thanks for the very detailed feedback. Glad the project went well. Yes there is some slight smell to the product. I like your description :)

Sounds like you’ve covered it well. The main thing is there’s no excess left and it looks like you have that covered.

Hope you enjoy your tiny house!


Let me add to the chorus of thanks here. I spent the day reading these, and feel much better informed. Unlike many people, I do not wish I lived in Naperville. Instead I wish you worked out of Tulsa. ;)

My wife and I have laminate floors. They told us when they sold them to us that they has stair nosing, but alas, they actually only had corner moulding type stuff – which was awful. Gotta love the sales department, huh? We improvised last minute and had carpet put on our treads instead. That carpet has past its prime – to put it politely… So we are looking to tear out our staircase, and rebuild it with read oak.

We wanted to figure out a way to match the floors, and I have come up with a way that works. (At least on a sample piece of red oak baseboard…) If we Ebonize the wood (we made our own Ebonizer), then use Monocoat in smoke, it looks perfect. I was impressed that we managed to get it so spot on!

However, (and I am sure you anticipated the “however”…) 2 questions, if you don’t mind…

Since aside from redoing all the trim in the house we want to do the stairs with red oak treads, the concern we have is that the daily wear will take the monocoat off, and we will need to re-apply it. Is this a valid concern? Or if its on there, and we use the recommended soap, should it last a fairly long amount of time? The Ebonizer we made will absolutely show variations if it is applied twice.

We are going to get a sample of the Fume, since it seems to do the same thing (Grey out the tannins), and bonus, it would be standardized…

But from a link up in these comments (Where you fixed a badly fumed floor), I can see that fume also will show overlap… So if we have to touch up a bit of scratched wood, is sanding it down and refuming then monocoating an option that will blend well?

To summarize:
1) How does monocoat hold up on high traffic areas? Is there any special treatment/care to help it last longer?

2) Is successfully fixing a damaged area with a combination of fume and monocoat a realistic option? Will it blend back into the rest of the surrounding area?

Thanks in advance, and again, you and your team are true artists. Thanks for helping the rest of us. :)

Hi Stuart,

Thanks for the compliment :)

1) So far we have had no complaints about the durability of Rubio Monocoat. There’s an additional treatment of Universal Maintanance Oil will add some more durability and a satin sheen if you feel like you need it.

2) It should be, but you may have to leave the fumed overnight and put the oil on the next day. If the finish is older than 6 months or more, it may take the spot a while to blend in due to UV changing the color of the older oil.

Hope that helps Stuart.


I have seen that the Pallman magic oil accelerator amount can be doubled to increase hardness for certain areas or for commercial applications. Have you tried that with Rubio monocoat or know what the manufacturer would say about that?

Hi Nate,

Although Rubio Monocoat and magic oil are similar, they’re not exactly the same finish. Yes, magic oil can take double hardener for extra durability (recommended only for commercial applications), but the Monocoat accelarator will make the finish to dry faster and much harder to work with. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it.


Can the Monocoat be applied over a newly stained pine floor?

Hi Ron,

Unfortunately no. You could use Pallman Magic Oil though.


Wow, this site has really helped me answer some questions. Here in Minnesota. We are about to redo our entire first level of our home’s traditional 2″ wood floors. Its the third time and dreading it! Our contractor is recommending RubioMonoCoat this time around (verses the poly, multi-coats). My biggest question is on durability and scratches – mainly due to a bulldog. Sounds like its easily repairable (a great advantage over poly.) Can you or anyone offer any more details about durability, repair-ability with large dogs?

Hi John,

Any finish will scratch if there are large active dogs running around the house with untrimmed nails. We have been back to Rubio jobs we did 2+ years ago with large dogs in the home and they have stood up extremely well. But the finish was applied professionally and correctly (one of the biggest issues with durability is incorrect application), and the dogs nails were kept trimmed.



Great source of information. This helped me a lot. I applied monocoat (cotton white) on my newly installed white oak floor. It looks good. But in some places, i do see small patches where i think i may have applied more that i shd have. I did buff it after a few mins and it didnt really do anything, the patches stayed there. Any suggestions? We have so far only finished 2 bedrooms and we have a lot more to go. Want to make sure that we do it right.


Excellent source of information.

We are installing reclaimed hardwood floors in our new house. The wood is a mix of hardwoods in varying widths and lengths. It has been partially milled leaving some of the patina on the wood. It also has a uneven surface from board to board for a barn style look.

The product is sold thru Pioneer Mill Works.

My question is how to apply the Rubio finish. Using a buffer would tear up on the uneven flooring. Any suggestions? Can it be applied by brush?

Hi Greg,

Sorry for the delay. Your floor sounds very nice. Yes you could apply it in small sections with a brush or pad and then buff it with cotton rags. This video shows the procedure:

It will be a time-consuming process though if the boards are very rustic.

Hope it goes well.


I am planning a dining table in alder and would like to use Rubio. I am wondering how alder will take the color..will it be much different than the oak? I will order a few samples, but just looking for a starting point. Thanks

Hi Jody,

To be honest we haven’t used it on Alder yet. Do a bunch of testing like you planned and that should tell you. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.


My husband and I just refinished our 120 year-old pine floors. They aren’t in the best shape and there was only so much sanding we could do in the limited time we had before our move. We sanded to 100 grit, but there are still areas that feel as though you could easily get a splinter in your foot when you walk on it. We plan to live here for at least 5 years and want a product that will protect the floors from us, but also us from the floors. I’ve read that Rubio Monocoat doesn’t seal down splinters – is this true? What would you recommend for us to address the issue of splinters? Unfortunately, we are on a deadline and can’t spend any more time sanding. We actually already purchased our Rubio Monocoat – but before we apply it, we want to make sure we shouldn’t instead go the polyurethane route – to seal down painful splinters.


Hi Andrea,

Sorry about the delay in replying. I have been taking a long-earned break. Honestly, there is no finish that will “seal” splinters. It would be best to repair them first. You could either break the worst part off and sand the rest smooth or use hot glue to stick them down and then sand them smooth.

Polyurethane will have more build and thickness to cover them vs Rubio but it won’t smooth them out on it’s own.

Hope the restoration goes (or went) well!


Hi I have a Red Oak dinningroom table and dresser that is coated with varnish. Do I need to sand everything down to the raw wood or can I apply Monocoat direct to the product.

Hi Hein,

Yes it needs to be applied to well sanded raw wood.


Hi- Can you buff the Monocoat with a drill and a buffing pad? Or do you have to rent a big floor buffer? Thanks!

Hi Julie,

I guess technically you could. It would take much longer and be way more of a pain though.


Hi Tadas, I have been reading your blog for a few months now in anticipation of redoing our red oak floors. I have also been trying to educate some flooring refinishers in the area that are unfamiliar with the new finishes available. Your blog is absolutely fantastic and there is nothing like it that I have been able to find. Thank you! I see that you reviewed Rubio Monocoat Plus but I haven’t yet seen if you reviewed RMC Oil Plus 2C. It seems that it advertises a quicker cure which would be advantageous but I wanted to find out if there were any drawbacks and if you have used it in your work. Also, there don’t seem to be any dealers for RMC in our area – San Jose, CA. We will be having someone sand the floors and then we will be applying the finish ourselves. Is my best option to order it online directly from Rubio?

Hi Debbie,

Yes that’s the product we use, the Plus 2C. I would give them a call and see if there is someone nearby that stocks it otherwise yes, get them to ship it to you.


Thanks for the walkthrough and recommendation on the Rubio monocoat. We used monocoat on oak flooring and walnut countertops – easiest finish application I have ever done. It held up extremely well with only one noticable scratch after moving in a few days after finishing the floor. Great product and website

Thank you Nate, glad it went well


Do you have experience using Rubio on a figured red birch floor? I’ve been testing some sample colors and it appears to color more evenly than regular stain, but I’m worried about it killing the look of the figuring if I use anything but the Pure. Thoughts, or suggestions on something else?

Hi Bob,

We haven’t used it on that particular floor, but we have on normal birch. Yes the colored Rubio will color the grain more than the pure. If you want to see the grain clearly then a waterbased finish is probably your best bet.


Hi Tadas, Whay a wealth of information your blog is, I was wondering if RM can be used on new unfinished cabinets, either Oak, Alder or Walnut ?

Hi Carla,

Yes. Make sure they are sanded well first and test on the back of one of the doors.


Tadas, great information. Read through a lot of this and have two questions.
1) I have a wide plank heart pine floor with 1/8″ plus gaps. What is wrong with some Rubio spilling down into the gaps? I like the gapped look. No difference than the Bioshield Oil I’ve let spill into the gaps before
2) Woud Rubio be compatible to apply over an older oiled floor. Not going to sand them again but would be interested in using Rubio as the next options after a thorough cleaning?
Thank you for your thoughts.

Hi Blake,

First question: Apart from wasting the product if you get too much in the gaps the oil expands and then you will get bleed back coming up.

Second question: No. You can only apply it over raw unsanded wood.

Hope that helps.


Hey, thanks for the detailed write up. Im a furniture maker and products like these are something I want to move to. Only have one question: on the other two reviews you listed they wont leave water rings, is it the same for Rubio or can you actually get water marks with it. Thanks againI

Hi Spencer,

If it’s applied right no, it shouldn’t leave water marks.


Hi Tadas,
Happy Holidays and thank you for maintaining such an informative blog. We love RMC at our company and have recommended it to several home owners, as well as for commercial applications. We have encountered an issue at one commercial site that has RMC over 6″ character grade oak, in what has ended up being a very low humidity setting.
This has resulted in surface checking and cracking, as well as gaps between the boards. The clients will not be adding humidification through the HVAC system, and are not willing to put in portable cool air humidifiers through the space. They are also looking for a more durable finish that requires less costly maintenance care and asked about re-coating the floors with a Non yellowing moisture cure finish, believing this will hold up better to our NYC temperature and humidity swings.

Hi Zinab,

We haven’t coated MC over RMC so we can’t comment on it sorry. All I would say is do lots of testing before you do the whole floor. Hope it works out for you.


Hello Tadas!

I am totally new to wood refinishing and have a few questions! I just sanded my red oak floors (approx 60+ years old) down to raw wood. I was planning to do the traditional stain and polyurethane and discovered how beautiful my floors look natural. I began to look for some green options to refinishing floors and found OSMO and Rubio Monocoat. I am undecided as of now on which to use. I am leaning towards the Rubio Monocoat due to it’s -VOC properties but the OSMO has a “natural look” option that will not darken my floors at all.
1) What do you use to clean the floors prior to applying product ?
2) what do you use for application of the products?
3) what do you use to remove excess ?
4) I would like to keep my floors as light as possible to keep the natural look. Does the OSMO or Rubio Monocoat darken or yellow the floors at all?
Thanks for your time!

Hi Danielle,

1) Just make sure they are freshly sanded and water popped. You can see our post on water popping here:

But you can use RMC Cleaner or Rubio WoodPrep as well if you like.

2 & 3) This video here best describes the process to answer your questions:

4) Yes both will change the color of your floors due to the oils. If you really want a light floor with no color change then a better finish system would be a water-based finish like Loba Invisible Protect.

Hope that helps.


Hallo Tadas,
thanks a lot for your blog. I have some questions: If you use rubio monocoat 2C for a floor, do you always make the water popping before? And than after water popping, how do you handle the buffer while staining. Did the bufferwheels leave marks on the floors while changing the pads. Because of the weight of the buffer. How do you handle this? Greetings from Germany.

Hi Wolfgang,

Yes we water pop before applying Rubio. We are very careful with the buffer, using rags under the handle etc. if need be.


Hello Tadas, Great review!
I plan to apply Rubio Nordic blue to a new maple armoire I am constructing. I have experimented on pieces prior to applying and have had trouble getting a consistent level of colour across the test piece this is particularly true for the maple veneer sheets and to a lesser degree for the solid maple frame pieces. The wood is sanded very smooth. Any suggestions regarding a methodology to apply the Rubio monocoat?

Hi Matthew.

Try water popping the wood first and see how that goes. You can see how to do that here:


Wow, you have a lot of comments on this article! I have to say that I am not entirely happy with the Rubio Monocoat 2c on our eucalyptus floors. It’s upstairs and on a sunny day, you can see every drip from my kids wet hair, every tear drop, every bit of water that has ever been on our floors for 30 seconds or more. We wipe as quick as we can, but it still shows water spots more than any wood floor I’ve ever encountered. Sure, I guess you can retreat it when that happens, but with three kids, who has time for that? My son also wrote on a board with ball point pen, so we’ll have to see if we can coat over that after washing off the pen and the finish. I would go for a lot less maintenance with three kids!

Hi Jennifer,

Sorry you’re having trouble with your floors. They shouldn’t be that high maintenance. I’m curious as to whether it was applied correctly. We have clients after 4+ years, with kids and large dogs running all over their hardwax oil floors, and they still look great.

There is the possibility to coat them with a low sheen ultra matte product like Loba Invisible Protect if you get fed up but still want the same look.


Hello Matthew and thanks for all your information on RMC products. I tried your link for the soap-satin product but it came up as invalid and I did a search for it on the RMC website and it showed no such product. Could the product you mentioned now be the the universal maintenance oil?



Hi Michael,

Yes you are correct.


Our white oak floors did not turn out the color we had hoped for when refinishing. Much more red than we want. Used Antique Brown. Can this product go over the existing oil based poly to change to color to more brown?

Hi Bob,

Unfortunately not. It needs to be applied to newly sanded wood.


Hi there,

Our reclaimed, tung oil finished hardwoods need a new finish. Can we use the monocoat?

Thanks so much for your wisdom!

No it won’t work with wood that has tung oil on it sorry.


I’ve used Rubio Monocoat on wood countertops that see regular water (including an undermount sink) – it has held up impressively. It really does seem like magic.

Hi Paul,

That’s great to hear. Thanks for your feedback. Yes when applied corectly it’s an amazing finish system.


Hello fromCanada; Tadas – wonderful blog! I have leant so much, thank you! We had our american walnut floors resanded professionally and rubo 2c oil in “pure” applied. It is the complete main floor, 10 years old and previous had a shiney poly coatingd. I love the colour and matte look of rubio on walnut. However, the day after application of “1st” rubio there were areas of cloudy look, small shiney spots and two large swirl shaped outlines visible. The flooring guys have added another coating of 2C ( buffering i think) but there are still appears to swirl outlines when we peaked a few hours after they finished. I am afraid these are due to the sanding not the coating. I am assuming the only way to get rid of these IF due to sanding is to resand. Or Can we apply a darker colour low Voc type poly over the floor to hide these swirls? Have you ever heard of adding a poly over rubio – probably never had to as you know how to apply rubio mc ;) …. The flooring guys are working to make it right btw so not concerned other timeline :) Anycooments are appreciated and whenever you have time to comment! thanks,anita

Hi Anita,

That must be frustrating. Rubio Monocoat is a single application product. They shouldn’t be putting 2 coats on your floor. And yes it sounds like the issue may be in the sanding of your floor. If that’s the case it will need to be re-sanded.

We don’t apply surface finishes over Rubio monocoat floors, but if it is fully cured we have heard it is possible. You will lose all warranties though – most likely for both products.

Hope you can get it sorted.


We just installed a large parquet floor (32 in squares). It is white oak. There are some gaps in the pattern but we want a floor that has the same character as an old home in Europe. Would you recommend RMC or Magic Oil (I am down to these two options). There is a particular color that we are trying to achieve but not seeing any comments on this page I am guessing that you do not apply RMC over a stained floor but use their color options to achieve the color you want. Final question would be do you see footprints with an oil finished floor?
Note: a professional will be doing the work.

Hi Tom,

Yes with Rubio Monocoat you use their color options… but with Pallmann Magic oil you can stain any color you like and use it on top. And these finishes are very matte so you shouldn’t see footprints, unless the feet are super sweaty I’m guessing :)


How would this system work for furniture finishing? It sounds like it would hold up well to water stains from glass rings and spills based on your floor reviews. Would application to sharp corners, curves, and vertical surfaces be easy using a brush or cloth? Would the product run on vertical surfaces?

Hi Michael,

Yes it works well on furniture. You can read about it on their website here:

Here’s a video from Rubio Monocoat showing the process:


We recently finished two rooms of newly installed four-inch white oak floors with Rubio Monocoat Pure. We trained and prepared for the installation ahead of time, and the application went very well. No issues with tackiness, and the surface is a beautiful matte finish. We purchased an Oreck Commercial ORB550MC Commercial Orbiter Floor Machine plus 12″ red and white 3M pads to apply the finish, and it was a breeze! Despite the ease and beautiful surface finish, I am extremely disappointed with Rubio Monocoat – because of the COLOR of the finish is HORRIBLE. We used the finish called “Pure”, which according to every site I read in advance is “a little darker” than clear. The finish is soooo dark and ugly with a definite yellow tone – utterly unbearable to look at. Not modern at all. I wish I could post photos here. So much wasted time and energy and $ on our part. Maybe in a year we will have the energy to completely sand them down to raw and refinish. The thought is unbearable for now. Meanwhile I will be researching which product I can use to get that beautiful bright natural white oak look that I have had my heart set on for so long for the remaining rooms. Until then, I will be singing the Rubio blues.

Hi Jennifer,

Glad you like the product but sorry the color isn’t what you hoped for. This is why we strongly encourage everyone to do samples first so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Rubio has a newer product out that provides a clearer look. You can see it here:

Maybe that would be a possible option if you want to stick with a hardwax oil. If you go the waterbased finish route then there are lots of options for a clear finish.


Hi Tadas

Great analysis. Thanks.

Working on a wood slab counter for two vessel sinks in a bath. I expect there will be plenty of water splashed around. Any concerns about using RMC?


Hi Chris,

We haven’t used Rubio Monocoat on a counter, so I don’t have any firsthand experience there. But anytime there is a lot of water around wood, you need to be extra careful. The spills will need to be wiped up quickly and consistently. Personally I wouldn’t use it in this situation, but if you’re willing to take care of it, it could work.


Do you have experience with using Woodwise to fill any nail holes or gaps and then covering with Rubio Monocoat? We just installed 200+ year old reclaimed heart pine floors (from my Grandmother’s old home!), and the flooring guys used Woodwise to fill old nail holes and gaps and then sanded and put down the coat of RMC. Where the putty was used, there’s almost these white, totally unnatural looking spots all throughout the floors. Do you know why this would have happened? The flooring company and the company that planed/cut out wood have never seen this happen. Any suggestions?!

Hi Ashlee,

Yes we have used Woodwise with Rubio Monocoat. The trick is getting the matching color to your wood. But not just when it is in it’s raw, sanded state, but the color it will be with the finish applied. That just takes a simple test to see in one spot, before filling the entire floor.

If the spots are in areas around the gaps and holes, this means it wasn’t sanded enough to remove all of the filler.

The other way to do it is to use a product that gets mixed with the sanding dust and use that to fill the gaps and holes. Then you have a very close match. This takes a bit more time to do though.


Your Blog’s on hardwood floor finishes have been very informative, since I have been doing some research on an oil-based brand for our new reclaimed hardwood floor! I was wondering if you have ever used WOCA Oil? This is a hardwood floor finish that I am looking into, along with the brand Waterlox. I was hoping you would have some insight into these brands!? Thank you1

Hi Michelle,

We’ve used WOCA before. Was happy enough with how it turned out. But we definitely prefer Pallmann Magic Oil. Waterlox we don’t use because of the high VOCs and terrible smell among other reasons. If I had to choose between these two I would personally go with WOCA.


Great blog! We are building new construction and did 3000 sqft of engineered, unfinished European French oak. Flooring was sanded with 100 grit, vacuumed and then dust cleaned with mineral spirits. Once dry applied one coat of Rubio Monocoat natural with red pad and then buffed with white and then rags to remove excess. About 40 hours later checked floors and they are not matte, they look like a satin finish, some areas are lighter than others ( uneven color ) a hardwood flooring guy did the job not a DIY. Do you know if the satin sheen and uneven color could be from cleaning dust with mineral spirits or would that be from not removing enough excess oil?
Thank you for any information!

Hi Laura,

Sorry you’re having this issue.

We never use mineral spirits to clean the dust. Rubio has a raw wood cleaner that looks like mineral spirits so I wonder if this was used. That’s probably not the issue though. We water pop every floor to ensure a uniform color before applying . In your case it could be due to an uneven final sanding and/or some oil left on the surface. Sanding quality is super important with Rubio Monocoat floors.

I would go over the floor again with white cotton rags to see if excess oil is the issue. If not, then it’s most likely a sanding issue.


Hello Tadas!!

I hope you can help me with my maintenance question. I have red oak floors (about 80 years old) that were sanded, stained with Precolor Easy in Nordic White, and then finished in monocoat 2c oil in Cotton white…so altogether a very light colored floor. To say I love the look would be an understatement…it’s &*%^$ gorgeous, but every time something a little too heavy gets dragged on the floor I get a dark “scuff” if you will. It’s not anything on the seems as though somehow the wood grain fibers have been disturbed. The area won’t absorb more precolor and the scuff still stands out after re-oiling. For what its worth, I’ve tried sanding a few dog gouges using hand sanding sponges and never gotten much of a match to my original finish. I guess my question is should I use an electric rotary sander to sand patches? If so how would I feather out into the rest of the field of finish? We’ve been on these floors for 3 years now and I also have areas that have sort of lost color. Do I need to resend and refinish? I have a small Oreck buffing machine and a handheld random orbit sander at my disposal.

I know it would normally make sense to talk with my contractor, but he bailed on us..and he didn’t have much experience with monocoat or precolor …he was the only person in my area who had any experience at all. Long story. Okay, thank you so much for your help!


Hi Anne,

Sorry your floor guy bailed on you. Not good.

So first off, using hand sanding sponges won’t work. You need to use the exact sanding type and sequence that was originally used. If he did 50-80-100 grit that’s what you need to follow. It doesn’t have to be a electric sander, you can do it by hand. If it was water popped you need to do that too. Most of the time it is better to do the entire board.

Once the patches are done I would use Rubio Monocoat Renew over it. You can use your buffing machine to apply it yourself.

If colour restoration is required, then you can perform a renovation using RMC Oil Plus 2C in the original colour. Then use the Renew product every so often to maintain that.

Hope that helps.


Thank you for your information on the RMC products. I am wondering if you have used the fume technique with any other top oil other than 5% white. If you could share a link to any pics that would be appreciated.

Wonderful information. I wish you were closer to Philadelphia….
We want floors that children and grandchildren can play on and are easily repaired when life happens. We used Waterlox a few years ago for this reason…but now we want to do an old yellow pine floor in a kitchen and want it done as fast as possible. The floor is quite worn in spots, probably should have boards replaced with ones from pantry, but contractor says not necessary. I saw where heavy used floors a relative no. With our priorities of fixable and fast, would you recommend this or something else? Know any contractors in Philadelphia? Thanks

Hi Mike,

For this application I would use Pallmann Magic oil. It has two coats for more build and can be repaired easily.

I know a great company in New Jersey but not Philadelphia unfortunately. Hope you can find someone good to restore your floors.


We put in white oak floors prefinished at the factory with Rubio Monocoat Clear Natural. The color has ambered quite dramatically in the last 8 years. We need to sand and refinish with something else. I can send anyone photos since we have some of the original wood that has not been in the sunlight.

Hi Marie,

Yes if your wood floors are exposed to sunlight they will amber over time. This happens with all types of finishes in various degrees.

You can read a blog post we wrote about this subject here:

Hopefully that will help you reduce this with your new finish you choose to go with.



We are about to install a white oak countertop in our kitchen and was thinking of using Rubio’s Monocoat as a treatment for it. I love the matte finish and natural look of Rubio’s Mono coat! Our contractor however said the guy he uses for treating countertops strongly advices against using Rubio’s because of the moisture level in the kitchen area and wear and tear that a countertop receives. I don’t know if he’s right or if he’s just not used to working with Rubio’s? Our local Woodcraft store told us that it’s a great treatment that protects the wood well as long as you clean up water spills and don’t let it sit. What are your thoughts? Do you think it’ll hold up in the long run around the sink area and with a dishwasher installed under it? Or should we consider another treatment?

Thank you so much for your advice!

Kind regards

Hi Johanna,

We have Rubio Monocoat on our countertops and haven’t had an issue. Just wipe up well and don’t let water sit on it. It’s easy to add some Renew Oil when it needs a refresh too.

Hope that helps.


Hello Tadas,
We just bought the Helmer CASTLE in Jackson, Michigan and are in the process of renovations to make it an airbnb.
The Tower was built in 1927 and has 5 floors of 1 5/8″ THICK ,, 5″ Wide Tongue and Groove Fir (as best the guy at the sawmill could determine). The floor boards from each room are also the ceiling for the room below. The floors were covered with Carpet for decades…..and I have removed all the carpet and the 3/4″ plywood that was installed with Cement Nails (tough job). There had been a roof issue for years and it was finally dealt with in the 80’s….but the water damage (rot near the edges of the stone walls) is extensive on the 2 upper floors. The top floor is the worst and our plan is to remove that wood and use what is salvageable to make repairs to the floor below. Then, have 1 5/8″ thick, 5″ wide White Oak milled for a NEW floor on the top level.
Beyond that, the problems that are messing with my head are….GAPS. Obviously there is some gapping at the wall edges where it meets the stone….but I think I can deal with that with concrete (unless you have a better idea). But there are sizeable gaps between the planks, some as much as 1/4″. Dust and debris sifts from one room down to the next. I was thinking of using a caulk filler on the underside of the boards (the ceiling side) and then hand applied Glitza for the gaps in the floor boards. Chinks of old filler popped out rather consistently when I removed the plywood. So I am not sure what was used way back then, or what is the best to use now. I am not familiar with the linseed oil/whiting stuff….but really I am willing to use whatever you think would work best.
And then we have the issue of refinishing. The floors are nearly black but don’t appear to have anything on them. (one level has some crusty yellow stuff that flakes off rather easily).
The Tower rooms are rather small and only accessed by a narrow spiral staircase or hoisting things through the old windows. Thus, I believe my solution for those rooms is sanding them with a palm sander and by hand. I want to keep as much of the original character as I possibly can. I think to fill the nail holes with a 2 part epoxy. I read that to use the oil floor finishes the floors have to be prepared perfectly. In my case- I just don’t know what that means. And to what sandpaper grit?
Anyway, the final problem is the finish. My local supplier is directing me toward Pallmans 2K…but I want the floors to look as natural and original as possible, so I was thinking to use the Rubio Monocoat. But I also don’t want them to look naked and new….so I just have no clue what color to go with. Dark floors show the dirt and dust – so not keen on too dark. When someone walks in the castle – I want them to be overcome with the sense that everything is original and has been held in a state of preservation for nearly 100 years.
Whew! I know that’s too much information. The main floor addition (also stone structure) was installed in rather ordinary 2 1/4″ Red Oak Plank and is in decent shape other than I want to sand off the Poly Coating, eliminate the poor sanding marks and make them match the floors of the tower.
ANY and ALL ADVICE is welcome and appreciated.
Warm Regards,

Hi Joy,

Congrats on the purchase. Must be cool to own a castle. Sorry I’m just getting to your comment now. I just looked yuor place up, it’s quite the building. I’ll try to answer your questions:

For the gaps, Glista Wood Flour Cement won’t work well in gaps that big. The best bet is to cut strips of wood and glue them in.

The floors will most likely have an old finish on them. Probably a build up of wax too. They’ll need to be prepped well to remove all of that. Clean out the gaps thoroughly too.

As far as sandpaper, start with 80 grit. If that gets too clogged up because you find wax, then move down to a lower grit like 50. Then go back to 80 to remove the 50 grit sanding marks and finish with 100. That will take longer but it won’t remove as much wood and will keep more of the character you want. Then water pop the floor so it opens up the grain ready for the stain (I have a blog post here about it: ).

For finish, I agree, don’t go with a plastic surface finish. I would suggest Pallmann Magic Oil. Looks great on both fir and oak and is much easier to rejuvenate and repair. Plus it will look more like a waxed floor and in character with the building.

For color, I would go with a classic brown like Jacobean or something similar. It will suit the style and not show dust as much as a darker color. It’s an easier color to match with oak as well so the floors will blend in more.

Hope it goes well.


If the product will not accept a second coat at all, does this mean you can finish a large floor in sections over a few days or weekends and not see any lines or overlap?

Hi Jeremy,

Yes you can do the floor in sections. But always cut it off at the edge of a board, not in the middle of one, otherwise you could potentially see stop marks. And for certain types of wood, like pine, there can be two coats if need be due to it being for porous than oak.


We have an 1860 home in which we are renovating our kitchen. We are thinking of red and white oak reclaimed wood for the floor, thou are concerned about splinters as we have 5 grandkids under 6 and a 130 lb dog. We definitely need a finish that is easily repairable. Which finish would you recommend on a reclaimed wood floor?
Thanks so much!

Hi Kathie,

I would suggest Pallmann Magic Oil. You can see our review of it here:


We’re updating our floors (sanding existing 1 1/4 inch red oak and laying some new where we used to have tile). Our contractor has used Rubio for years and prefers the product but I’m going back and forth on pushing him for a more traditional oil beaded product. The hesitation comes from kid spills a me high wet traffic from the pool into the house. Have u had anyone use Rubio where there’s a lot of pool traffic?

Hi Jenny,

We have done a floor with pool traffic. It has held up well. It’s easily refreshed with Renew as well if there are any marks. Not sure for a pool with a lot of chemicals though.

Best bet would be to get a sample and test the pool water out on it yourself. Do a few tests over a few days and see how it holds up.


You mentioned you wouldn’t put the oil on a floor with a lot of gaps. What is the reasoning? I was thinking an oil finish could help embrace the imperfections of a 120 year old pine floor which will never have a real uniform glossy surface with a poly finish.

Hi Sean,

We don’t recommend troweling it on a floor with lots of gaps because if you don’t know what you’re doing you can lose a lot of excess finish down the gaps. Then it expands and the next day you’ll have little bubbles coming out of the gaps, which causes more issues.

It can be applied by hand. Or carefully with a white pad and a buffer. But make sure most of the oil is in the pad and not being slopped around on the floor (and pushed into the gaps). It takes longer to do it this way but it’s much safer.


Hi Tadas,

Thank you for all this information. I’m planning to do a DIY checkered floor with Rubio Monocoat (90-year-old pine floor in Massachusetts, which we had professionally sanded), and I have a few questions about the checkered floor you show above.

Did you allow the first color to cure completely before doing the second one?

Once the first color is done, do I need to tape off the squares for the second color? Or will the squares that have Monocoat on them already be saturated enough that the second color will run right off them? If a second taping is required, what should I do to make sure the tape doesn’t damage the finished squares?

Does it matter in which order the colors are applied? (I’m planning on a white and a natural brown.)

How do you use a buffer without lifting the tape? Did you have to hand buff? I assume you couldn’t use a large floor buffer and had to use a handheld one, if electric at all, but please correct me if that’s wrong!

Thanks for your help.

Hi Jody,

I tapped off first color (the darker one) and applied and buffed by hand. About two days later I tapped off the dark ones and then applied the light color, also by hand.

It doesn’t matter what colors you use. These were oyster and smoke.

Hope that helps.


First off thank you so much for sharing this info! I wish I lived in the Chicago area, so that I could have you do my floors! I stumbled upon this post because I recently purchased my very first home and been doing research to decide if I want to refinish my floors before moving in. The house is a Victorian built in 1908 with oak hardwood floors that look like they might be the original? It’s not in bad shape, but I figured I should refinish anyway while the house is empty and do my part to maintain the integrity of the floor. Been doing research and talking to some folks. Was told by one contractor that it’s not a good idea to use Rubio Monocoat on old floors because older floors need more protection and the maintenance required with Monocoat would not be good for an older floor longterm (e.g. cannot sand down older floors too many times). Their recommendation to me was to use Pallmann Power-X for the best balance of low VOCs and protection. Any thoughts on that? I would really rather stick with more natural products like the Monocoat or Pallmann Magic Oil if possible, but worried about not properly caring for my old floors. Thank you in advance for your insight and advice!

Hi Virginia,

I would consider using Pallman Magic Oil in your case. It has the nice build and can be repaired and recoated easily when it needs maintenance.


You posted a floor in Glen Ellyn, Illinois with Oyster color, but you did not say what wood species it was applied to. Can you please clarify. We will be refinishing or red oak floors currently have just polyurethane. We are looking for a light natural finish with as little orange as possible. Thank you. Your article was very helpful.

Hi Tonya,

Glad you found it helpful. That floor is red oak.


Thank you for your response on my last post. Do you have any other photos of any other color on red oak, without pre-color, or other techniques applied. I was told it’s best to pick a color that looks good on the red oak without a pre-color so that it is easier to repair in the future.

Hi Tonya,

That floor in your last post doesn’t have any fume or pre-color applied. Just the Rubio Monocoat in Oyster color.


Hi! We recently had our floors refinished with Rubio over red oak. We made samples and used half black and half ice brown. In the samples it looked more of a neutral medium brown. After they were done with the floors they looked super red and orangish colored. We contacted Rubio and they suggested a 2c renovation with just black to tone down the color. Have you ever experienced this? I’m worried even if the floors are buffed with a maroon pad and a second coat is applied that it will effect the durability of the floors. Like finish coming up and spotting.

In case durability is an issue, is there a poly coating you can recommend that you’ve used over Rubio?


Hi Jackie,

I haven’t experienced this exact issue, but yes Rubio can be buffed with a maroon pad and can have a second coat applied. Just make sure that all the excess is buffed off very well and it shouldn’t effect the durability vs the original coat.


We have white pine floors. Would Rubio work for these?

Hi John,

Yes you can use Rubio on pine. We don’t have pine here in Chicago so we haven’t personally done a Rubio + pine application.


Hi Tadas,
Great information here about Rubio Monocoat. I’m wondering what your experience is using this on exterior wooden doors? I have a new door that is raw wood without stain and I don’t want the hassle of polyurenthane. I would like a more natural wood look with good weather protection.
I see mostly information about this product on flooring.
Can you please guide.
Thanks much,

Hi Linda,

Rubio Monocoat have an exterior product that could work for this application:

We haven’t used it but if it’s as good as the interior/flooring product it should be good.


Any experience or advice on using Pall-X Power Satin as the finish on new unstained maple kitchen cabinets?

Hi David,

No sorry. But I’m sure it could work. Usually finish for cabinet doors is sprayed on though.


Hello Tadas,
I have read this blog post a few times in order to get all the useful information you have placed here, thank you so much for the details!
I was wondering if you had any experience or opinion on putting Rubio Monocoat onto engineered wood floors (ones purchased “bare” or without a finish on them of course). Would the results be similar or is this a better product for true hardwood floors.

thank you so much!

Hi Sarah,

If they are high-quality engineered wood floors with a true solid wood wear layer, then yes, the results will be similar.


Would you recommend this finish for a pine floor in the kitchen and bathrooms of a rustic lakeside cottage in Maine? The look of it sounds perfect to me. Not sure about the durability, but that sounds pretty good too. Thanks.

Hi Dan,

We personally haven’t used it on Pine so I can’t comment 100% on that without any in-field experience sorry. My apologies.


Hello. First off thank you a million times over for supporting this blog and providing such great information!

I have a small cabin in the woods that has face nailed plank flooring. The finish on it has failed. These planks are pretty rough with dings, scratches, etc and between the boards, the gap ranges up to about 1/8”. I don’t think we are in the mind to eliminate all of this “character” from the floor via excessive sanding. Given the price of these hard wax oils, having gaps between the boards is far from ideal. However, the place is small enough that I could easily stain each plank individually and use a hand buffer/polisher to work it in. Thoughts on this approach?

Now, I failed to mention earlier but those planks are not all flat. Some have bowed a bit and some have cupped a bit. Contrary to what I mentioned earlier, if I sanded the floor to be flat, it would take a lot of the wood with it so I’m wondering what your thoughts are on stripping the finish vs sanding? I would give it a light sanding by hand probably to remove the raised grain.

I’m not married to one product over another at this point but have been leaning a bit towards the Rubio but if you have any recommendations for something else that might be better in my situation, I’m all ears.

Again, many thanks!

Thank you very much for the input. The floor really isn’t in that bad of shape although from my description, it might sound like it. The finish has failed in a few places (ie. there is no finish left, we’re down to bare wood). I’d be happy to send a photo if you want to see it. I plan to install hardwood in the upstairs area (currently has horrible carpet) and was really looking to use the hard wax up there so was kind of hoping to just use it throughout. So I guess my question is, can I apply the hard wax oils as I described earlier (ie. with a small hand held polisher/buffer, board by board)? I’m not afraid of hard work so am thinking this may be the only option if I’m married to the hard wax oil. The other issue I’m running into is finding sanding equipment to rent….very sparse around here unfortunately.

Hi James,

This is a tough one to comment on without seeing the actual condition of the floor.

If you want to use Rubio Monocoat, the floor will need to be sanded down to raw wood. Even if you strip the existing finish, the floor will still need to be sanded to prep it properly. With all the bowing and cupping and not wanting to remove too much wood, that will be quite the project. It could be done, but would you want to? That’s a lot of time and effort for a cabin floor that will still look very rustic.

If the finish is just worn (not sure what you mean by “failed”), and you’re happy with a rustic look, then you could thoroughly clean it, lightly sand it and use a bonding agent like Loba WS 2K Contact, and then coat over the top with a durable 2 component waterbased finish. That would be the easiest option.


Great info on the posts i’ve read so far for Osmo and Rubio, thanks a bunch!

One thing that I noticed comparing the photo of Osmo and Rubio is the distinct white lines in most of the floors applied with Rubio, whereas the Osmo coated floors all looked a lot more natural. Is it just me? The Rubio in the GIF that shows the guy squeegeeing also looks very pale with a blue hue, a bit like water-based poly has which is a huge turn off for me. I prefer wood to have a warm tone than a cold tone.
Would Osmo be better for my baltic pine floors, given this?
Cheers again!

Hi Nick,

No we haven’t experienced that at all. The GIF above is a white colored oil. The other colors you see on the floors above don’t have white lines in them unless a pre-color was used and then a lighter/white oil was put on top. There’s lots of options with Rubio Monocoat, so maybe you’ve seen lots of white examples.


Hello! I come from Poland, right on the border with Ukraine (you heard shots across the river … unfortunately.) I read and you really know wooden floors! I have such boards. Many years old dried in the living sun and wind. Brushed with visible grain hollows. Wood species: pine. Rubio probably will not be suitable for finishing such a floor, right? What do you recommend and how to best apply it in this situation? Hand rub? Regards Pawel

Hi Pawel,

Hope you’re staying safe. Yes, if sounds like you may not be able to buff it on your floor. Hand rubbing is an option, although it is quite tedious and time consuming. But it can be done.


I am so thankful to have found these blog entries – you are clearly so very knowledgable! Thank you for sharing your experience with the rest of us. This has helped me feel very comfortable going with a RMC finish for a new house we’re building this summer, if we can find anyone with any experience with the product to apply it. Wish we could hire you but we’re several states away!

Hi Sara,

Happy to be of some help :)


Hello Tadas,

your posts are really really useful. Learnt a lot! Thank you!
I installed massive industrial parquet. The blades have a very small surface (1 x 12 inch) and are very uneven, with huge color variations, knots and all sort of artistic defects. After (much) sanding I think the floor needs filler to fill in the gaps before oiling.
I’d like to have it dark – maybe not completely black, but a cold and very dark nuance. I am thinkg of three options:

1. I am tempted by the Rubio Monocoat Pre-Aging Fume intense + Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C. But Rubio only has a premixed filler I am skeptical about.

2. two coats of Pallmann Magic Oil black after filling with Pallmann Allkitt that can be mixed with sanding powder

3. the crazy option – filling with Pallmann Allkitt ( I think it’s alcohol based), Rubio Monocoat Pre-Aging (non-reactive water-based) on top and finishing with Pallman Magic Oil

Is option 3 even possible?
What would you recommend?

The floor guy used other oils, but neither Pallmann, nor Rubio, yet he is willing to try. We have lots of scraps to test on.


Hi Vas,

That’s quite the project. I would go with #2.


Hi, I would like to know if you have seen aging over time a particular type of wood floor treated with RMC white. We have a hard maple floor and find RMC white slightly whiter than what we wan’t. I have read in your blog that it’s normal to expect an oiled based product to change color over time. White 5% would be an option, but I would not wan’t to see the actual natural look of white 5% yellowing more than it is. Can we expect RMC with to look like similar to White 5% in a couple of months?


Hi Julien,

Yes, it will definitely change color. I would go with White and it will change over time to closer to what you’re looking for.


Hi Guys,
Have you had a chance to use a “light chocolate type color” Rubio on maple? Have you had any success. We are looking at their Ash Grey and Black. Maple sure has its challenges.
Thanks for producing a great website – very informative!!

Hi Mark,

We haven’t done Rubio in those colors, but we have stained Maple a “light chocolate type color”. You can see one of the Maple floors we stained a few years ago on our FB feed here:

Stained Maple Floor | Facebook


I am considering Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C (black or charcoal) with the Pre Color (Intense black) on a hard maple stage floor in a small performing arts center. We want the floor to be as black as possible, and to be able to stand up to the regular application of Pro Gaff gaffers tape. Have you had any experience with this product as it relates to gaff tape? Would you recommend water popping our blonde maple floor before application of the pre color?

Hi Phil,

Yes, definitely water pop first. Sorry but we don’t have any experience with Pro Gaff gaffers tape. Definitely test it out on a small area or panel before committing to the whole stage. Another option to consider (if you want it so black you won’t see any wood grain anyways), is to use some kind of industrial paint that will hold up to gaffers tape.


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