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Old 01-04-2012, 10:40 PM   #1
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I have recently had 3 rooms sanded and finished with 2 coats of poly. However, the contractor did the L.R., DR, and hall, and never tried to match the 3 bedrooms in my ranch.

I refused to pay because It wasn't professional to not try and match it, and now he wants to come back and do a light sanding over the part he already did, and put a "pigment" on the floor, a nd recoat them with poly. I asked him to send me the name of the product he plans on using.

My question is...do I allow him to do this? I'm not quite sure I trust what he's doing, and I don't want him taking more wood off the floor just to get a color that matches better to the bedrooms. He's wants an additional $600. to do the bedroom floors the same.

Trying to send pictures, hopefully they come through??? Help, I'm a single woman, and I don't want to be takne advantage of anymore than what I've already been.

Thanks for all your help.

TTD

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Last edited by Ttd0715; 01-09-2012 at 11:12 PM. Reason: See added pictures in new post
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:18 PM   #2
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Shortcut to IMG_1575.zipShortcut to IMG_1575.zip

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Old 01-09-2012, 10:33 PM   #3
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Those pictures aren't working.

He should have shown you a stain chart at the outset and asked you to pick one, with the disclaimer that wood of varying age will take stain differently (assuming its all oak). That would have put the onus on you to choose the stain color based on your own eyes and his best recommendation. If he did that and you picked a color and it did not turn out as a perfect match, then you'll be hard-pressed to prove negligence. Then again, you have the money and he does not.

I would say his proposed solution is viable but not perfect. Perfect would, of course, be to take the floors down to bare wood and re-stain. Instead I assume he is proposing to "screed" the floor (taking the surface off the finish) and to tint a new top coat that he puts down. That is an acceptable method when you want very close color matching and you're not going to get it (such as in staining oak very very dark) and in circumstances like yours when you don't want to take more wood off. So I would let him do it, if the quality of the work that he did, aside from the precise color match, seems acceptable and you're really set on a closer match. As for the price, that is usually calculated by the square foot and you've not given us that information.

By the way, if he is offering to do this work for a fee does that mean that he does not agree with you that he was negligent? What is his position with respect to the color not matching?
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:47 PM   #4
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I agree he should have shown me a color chart, and at least tried to match the existing color. I stopped payment on the check after thinking about it for a day, and decided that it was not acceptable workmanship. I feel he should have brought it to my attention before doing the work.

Now, my next problem...what if I have him do exactly what you're saying, taking off the top coat, and then tinting the poly, (I'm assuming that's what he's tinting), and then puts on another coat. It may not be dark enough, or it may be too dark. I'm also worried about peeling, is there any possibility that it could start to peel since the color is not going on the bare wood?

He is doing this work for no charge. My other option would be to do the three bedrooms in the pictures, but of course that would added cost to me. Makes me wonder if he was just trying to get the additional work to begin with??

You are saying it's ok to do the tinting though?

Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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I have to say that he's really not saying that he was negligent at all on this. He is trying to throw the oness on me, because I didn't say I wanted to match them.

But I feel he is supposed to be the professional floor finisher,and should have brought that up to me in the first place. He was only doing the LR, DR and hall due to 3 pet stains that had darkened the wood.

It looks to me like the original floors that you see in the bedrooms, (the darker ones,) were stained, and I think he should have known that. He did originally ask me what was on the floors, and I told him I didn't know, they were done before I bought the house.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:06 PM   #6
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Is it wise to do a 2nd sanding in this situation? I know they would be taking off another garbage bag full of saw dust. Since I've owned the house in 15 yrs, it's the first time I've had them resanded. It appears there was carpet on them for many years, and then probably close to putting the house on the market 15 yrs ago, the homeowners sanded the floors.


The house was built in the mid 50's.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:27 PM   #7
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Technically, it's OK to screed the floor and put down another coat and it is done properly it will not peel. It's done very commonly in high wear situations where you want to add a coat of protection instead of letting the finish wear through to the bare wood and be in a position where you have to take the whole floor down to bare wood.

The screeding process is basically going over the floor with an orbital floor sander with an abrasive screen on it. It just abrades the floor so that the new topcoat will adhere well. In fact this is what is done between coats when you had it done in the first place, if they put two coats down, which they most certainly should have.

Regarding taking the floor down to bare wood again, you likely have plenty of wood. While no two workmen are going to take off exactly the same amount of wood when sanding, generally they are not taking more than 1/32" and that leaves plenty of sandings (certainly more than 5) until the tongue of the strips would be exposed.

Be advised that tinting the polyurethane is NOT going to look the same as staining the wood. The grain contrast is not going to be as much, so the general effect will be somewhat muted. So while it might be on average closer in hue and value to your existing floors, it's going to have more or less different appearance depending on the grain of your hardwood and how much of a difference there is between the newly refinished area and the untouched area.

I'm offering all this information without the benefit of seeing your specific floors since I can't open the pictures you tried to post. You can upload pictures here, under your profile (link at top right of the page. Click on your username under "Welcome, <Username>). If we can see exactly what you're talking about we'll be in a better position to offer informed advice.

Last edited by Ironlight; 01-10-2012 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:41 PM   #8
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Your post is somewhat puzzling. At some point, you state that it was not in your agreement that he match the existing bedrooms. Yet you seem to think he should have known to match them. I assume you had a face to face discussion about exactly what you wanted him to do, then he put that down on the contract (you did have a contract?) that you two signed.

The floor mechanic owes you exactly what is on your contract, nothing more, nothing less. If the contract was to sand and apply polyurethane, and that is what he did, I don't see what your complaint is, other than you did not get the result you wanted, but possibly did not require via contract. If he did agree to match the color, the terms of the contract should state exactly how he was to do that. Matching color on stained wood, as has been pointed out, is difficult at best, and may be impossible. In our house, we have oak floors throughout, and they don't match color, because we did not have them stained, and the wood is slightly different room to room. Not that it looks bad, just different.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:03 PM   #9
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Next to imposible to match even if the exact same materials were used.
Over time the colors get darker and poly will start to turn yellow. Even a rug on the floor will cause that area to look differant.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:28 PM   #10
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Hi Ironlight,
Did you try and open the link that says "shortcut to img 1575...?"

I was able to open it when I tried.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:56 PM   #11
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Hi Dan Holzman,

The problem here is that he never said anything about matching the areas going into the 3 bedrooms, and I never thought of it. The paper he gave me only said "sand an give 2 coats of poly, (oil based.)"

Isn't it normal to give 3 coats?

Yes, he did what he said, but after the 1st coat of poly was put down I saw how off it was, and I said something then. He basically blew me off, (probably due to the fact that I'm a woman), and said that "he couldn't do anything about it, at that point".

Had he listened to the customer then, and said we can tell it's not going to match, even after a 2nd coat, then we could have come to some kind of solution at that point, rather than putting on a 2nd coat.

Take a look at the pictures I downloaded, and you will get a better idea.

My main question is...do I let him do the tinting, or should I just forget it, and live with it?

Trish
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ttd0715 View Post
Hi Ironlight,
Did you try and open the link that says "shortcut to img 1575...?"

I was able to open it when I tried.
The reason you can open them is that they are in your computer...not ours. You haven't sent them anywhere.

About your floor...You didn't ask him to match the existing, right? What if he had matched them and afterwards you said you didn't want them to match? You need to pay the man for his work, and work out the rest in good faith.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:57 AM   #13
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I understand you are frustrated that the work did not turn out the way you intended. However, the fact is he did exactly what his contract (that you apparently signed) required. And he is certainly correct in that once he sanded the floor and put down the first coat of polyurethane, it would have been a change in scope to remove the polyurethane, tint the floor, and reapply the poly.

I can't tell you what you really want, only you know. As to having the same floor mechanic tint the floor, you have already been advised that it is not likely to match, and sometimes having two floors that are slightly off is worse than having two floors that are very different. Since you have not paid him, he is likely irritated (I know I would be if I performed my work to the letter of my contract and my client refused to pay). May be difficult to reach an agreement about going forward at this point that will be satisfactory to both parties.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:54 PM   #14
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First off, let me say that my intention is to pay the contractor for the work, and not stiff the guy for what he did. I just know that if I do pay
him, he's definetely not coming back to do anything more to try and rectify the situation first. Not a very professional guy though, no signed contract, and only written on a piece of paper,two lines only, that said sand and coat with 2 coats of oil based poly. Never any discussion about matching the floors it was butting up against. I assumed of course it would match, he knows what he's doing, he's in the business!

I have one person saying it's not going to match at all, and I'm going to have two different colors even if it's tinted, and someone else saying that it's ok to tint. Yes, I think it would be very difficult to match it exactly, and then I will never be able to get an exact match if I do the bedrooms.

I'm thinking at this point, I just leave the floors not matching, and put a saddle between the bedroom floors. Then, when I decide to put the house on the market, if someone complains, I'll have them sanded at that point.

If you look at the pictures, it looks unfinished. I was only having the LR DR and Hall done because of the pet stains. (Actually only needed the LR and DR for that reason.) I never thought I was going to go through all of this!

So now I have opened up a whole can of worms, with not doing the bedrooms. I guess I have to pay for the bedrooms if I want it perfect or just live with it!

Sometimes we have to learn these things the hard way.

TTD
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:02 PM   #15
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You mentioned saddle. Does the change of color start at the threshold of each room? If so nobody will question the difference with a saddle applied.

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