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Old 10-25-2008, 09:42 PM   #1
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help now! hardwood floor being finished now


Hi and thank you for reading this. We installed 900 sq ft of red oak hardwod flooring ourselves but are paying a contractor to sand and finish them. We are two coats into the urathane finish and there is debris (hair, dust and rough feeling stuff in the finish) The contractor says that this will go away when he hand rubs the entire floor with steel wool. Will it?

Also, there are ripples and waves in the floor. He says you can not feel them (but I can with my hand) and that this is the nature of the beast, ie: the belt sander. I am very worried about this. Should I be? It looks bad to me and I have never seen it in another hard wood floor.

Also, there are two, 2x1 foot areas where the stain is darker than the rest of the floor. He says it is the nature of the wood. and it took the stain deeper. (the wood is 2 1/4" wide stripes and mixed from different bundles prior to nailing down. One darker area has a very stright edge aross 8 different pieces of wood) I think he sees a woman and thinks I am stupid.

I think the floors need to be redone. What do the experts think?

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Old 10-26-2008, 10:32 AM   #2
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help now! hardwood floor being finished now


I agree, he did a crap job. Belt sanders are hard to handle if you don't know what you are doing with them. He obviously doesn't know how to handle one. It also sounds like he didn't clean the floor correctly if it has that much debris in it. If he keeps making excuses, tell his that you'll just have to have an independent inspector look at it and let the lawyers work it out. Don't resort to threats if you don't have to, but at this point I'd feel it best to insist that he brings in a professional floor finisher to fix his mistakes. I'm assuming this is a general contractor and not a professional floor finisher?

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Old 10-26-2008, 10:47 AM   #3
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help now! hardwood floor being finished now


yes some debree will settle on the floor when he applies the finish. but proper prep work like sweeping and vacuuming the floor prior to coating will help cut down on this. But most will sand smooth when he goes over it with a steel wool floor buffer. and some floors will appear to have some slight waves in it do to the fact of the oak flooring being mixed with different grains. the softer grained will sand down more then the tighter grains, there for leaving the floor looking as tho it has waves in it. it will be more pronounced with a high gloss finish as to a semi gloss. could you post a picture of the floor.
you mentioned you installed the floor your self. which way did you install the floor in relationship to the floor joist's.( did you go with the joists or at 90 degree's to the joist. this will have some affect on the appearance also. BOB
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:20 PM   #4
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help now! hardwood floor being finished now


hi jaysha,
unless this guy is a floor pro with his own pro sander, it's nearly impossible to get a "clean" looking floor with the rented drum sander. I did my maple floor with one of those, and was cursing the whole time. Nothing but "chatter marks." I wound up going over the entire floor (700 sq. feet) on my hands and knees with the edger and cleaned it up pretty nicely. since this wood was knotty with mineral streaks, i can live with a few odd marks here and there. if you have a nice clear floor, chatter marks and rippled and swirls are a bummer. they will fade eventually, though.

also, i vacuumed and wiped the whole floor with lacquer thinner on a rag between each coat of poly. i did three coats of high gloss.

i've had a lot of compliments on the floor.

it doesn't sound like this guy knows what he's doing. be aware that if you hire a floor pro it will cost an insane amount of money to redo this. even more than just doing a new floor, because now he's gotta strip all the old stuff off. the cheapest quote i had on JUST sanding my 700 square feet was $800.

try to live with it if you can. the marks will fade.
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:52 AM   #5
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help now! hardwood floor being finished now


Sounds like the floor guy is not very good. Can you just get him to do the best he can, live with it and then redo it in a year?
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:50 AM   #6
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help now! hardwood floor being finished now


Having been a woman in the installation and finishing business for 30 years watching the whole staining & finishing process over and over again....sounds like he's trying to pull one over on you.

There shouldn't be anything in the finish. It should be smooth like piece of furniture and the stain should look even. It's got to be machined well with no waves, screened (with a buffer) and coated several times.

It doesn't matter if you use a 110 or 220 flooring machine. What matters is if you know how to sand and finish to begin with. Once you are a finisher, you know exactly what to use and do to achieve your ultimate goal. That goal is an amazing hardwood floor!!!

We worked in celebrity homes and exclusive estates when they picked out a tiny piece of fuzz out of thousands of feet of flooring. It has to be smooth!

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