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javan 06-10-2008 10:03 AM

Floor Finish Problems
 
We had a floor guy come in back in late April to sand/finish three of our hardwood floors (guy says they are Birch, but I am not sure) while we were on vacation. We came back and the floors looked great from a distance, but upon closer inspection, they looked bad. Major problems:
-applicator marks (start/stop)
-appearance of bubbles
-Even after dry, "wet" appearance between boards.

Floor guy came back and looked at it with us and was disgusted. He did indicate that he had a hard time with our heat. We have a programmable t-stat and he wanted 72 deg F, but the set point was 62, so the drying time was tough. Addtionally, we had standing water (not much, maybe 20 sq, ft. x .125") in the basement. He assured us that he had done floors with 10X that much water in the basement. He said that typically, he does a floor, then leaves while it is still wet and never has a call back. So, he comes back the following week and screens the floor, then applies another top coat of finish (oh, we are talking polyurethane here).

We come back home (had to stay out of the house for the weekend) and check the floor. It is 100% better, but still we see the same problems, just greatly diminished. He comes back and again he is disgusted. We agree he should try one more time. Oh, now he is saying that there has been some known issues with the VOC laws in the states and that the lower VOC products he can only buy do not produce as good results as the older non-VOC compliant products. So, the agreement is that he will come back and do the floor, then come back and check it before we come to see it.

We are heading home and he calls and is so disgusted that he offers to refund us the money (we paid him half up front). He does not knwo what to do. The same problems were there. He is stating that it must be drying times and the VOC levels of the product. Oh, I do temperature/humidity mapping for pharmaceutical companies for a living and decided to check the temp/humidity over a 36 hr period. We averaged 72 deg F and 30 RH in the rooms, so that was not the problem.

Now we are faced with the decision to make. We purchased in Quebec 2 gallons of the old nasty High VOC polyurethane and will see if that takes care of it. Of course, by that time, we will have 6 coats of finish on that floor!!!

Any thoughts on this? Sorry so long...

Docfletcher 06-11-2008 09:06 PM

I'm not 100% sure but...

Imperfections you see are down in the 1st and 2nd coat. Light screening and then doing another coat will only have a slight masking effect. Additional coats will have less and less masking effect.

Stop start marks have nothing to do with VOC.

Call a reputable floor refinishing company or even two, and get there opinion.
Then at least you know for sure where you stand.
Don't put anymore down until you get the facts ironed out.

:no:

javan 06-11-2008 09:46 PM

The start and stop marks, as well as other imperfections are not in the same locations. It is different each time....

Regarding the VOC levels, this is a Satin finish and he is telling us that the Satin in the finish is not settling out the way it is supposed to. He states that the high VOC products tend to keep everything together longer, longer drying time, etc. such that everything has a better chance to level out fluidly.

I will contact some national outfits and seek some advice.

javan 07-19-2008 08:12 PM

Finally
 
I contacted a few different outfits and the answers were all humidity of the house and moisture content of the wood.

Guy came bac last night and took off the top layer, then threw down another coat. He used a product from W. VA, that had a VOC of 550.

The appearance of the floor today is 100% better! However, now it appears we have minimal debris in the finish (we have a dog and two cats), so we are partially to blame for this.

Question. AFter this finsih cures (25-30 days), can we light sand the locations where there is debris, then recoat just that area?

javan 07-29-2008 08:29 AM

hmmm, no answers to this post?

Well another wrinkle, Sunday evening, when I was dead tired, but still working on the house, I moved two new interior doors from the garage into the basement. One of the doors was quite heavy, so I put felt pad sliders under it to slide across the newly refinished floor. All was well until I got to the door from the dining room to the hallway, where I somehow scratched the floor with the door (in hindsite, I did not notice that the hinge screws protruded through the jamb).

Can I just lightly sand the scratched area, then apply 1-2 coats of poly in that area?

I can not get more of the exact product that was used on the floor. What was used had a VOC content of 550g, the stuff I can get locally, same company is 465g. Will this create a huge problem?

Nestor_Kelebay 07-29-2008 06:33 PM

Just take a Q-tip or if you have one, an artist's paint brush, and paint over that scratch with "Wiping Polyurethane".

Wiping Polyurethane is used by furniture makers who will use a rag wet with polyurethane to wipe on the final finish coats onto furniture.

They sell it at my local home center.

Bud Cline 07-29-2008 09:12 PM

javan,

Are the scratches into the wood or are they limited to only the poly?:)

javan 07-29-2008 09:26 PM

scratches are in the finish only.


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