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StevenSmith 05-20-2009 10:59 AM

Newly refinished hardwood floors are too rough
We are just had our oak hardwood floors refinished. We are disappointed that the finish is much rougher than the smooth finish on a room in the house that was refinished four years ago. We showed the contractor this room before he started and he assured us his finished floors would be just as smooth. When they had finished sanding and had applied the stain, I felt the floor and it felt rough. I looked at the drum sander and saw they had finished with 60 grit sandpaper. I have read the final sanding should be 80 to 120 grit. I asked the contractor about this he said he would screen with 120 grit sandpaper in between the three coats of polyurethane and this would make it "as slick as an eel". He then proceeded to apply the polyurethane. Three hours later he said he was finished. I expressed my surprise that he could apply three coats so quickly. He said the polyurethane dries in 30 minutes so it was no problem. The floor was wet and I couldn't touch it to feel the finish. I paid him and he was on his way. Now that it has dried we have discovered that the finish is still rough. He left two empty one gallon cans of polyurethane behind(in the trash). It's ICI Wood Pride water based Clear Gloss Varnish 1808-0000 and Clear Satin Varnish 1802-0000. I don't know why he would use both gloss and satin when we had asked for satin. I read on the can label that the final sanding should be 150 grit or finer. It said the drying time for recoating is three to four hours. It seems the contractor has rushed the job. I called him and explained that the floor was much rougher than what we expected. He said it just needs another coat of polyurethane and he would do that. I have my doubts that this will give us the finish we want. Will an additional coat or coats of polyurethane smooth out the finish? Or, should it be resanded with a finer grit of sandpaper? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Scuba_Dave 05-20-2009 11:51 AM

No way you finish with 60 grit
And I would never start staining at 60 grit
He didn't spend the proper time finishing the floor
He also didn't apply it per Mfg directions
I'm not a floor guy, so maybe that isn't needed
But we didn't pay our floor guy until after the floors were done, dry & we had looked at them

StevenSmith 05-20-2009 05:48 PM

Thanks for your reply. I spoke with the contractor this afternoon. Hereís what he said:
He admits the final sanding was with 60 grit sandpaper but he says he then screened the floor with an 80 grit screen after the final sanding and this is equivalent to a final sanding with 80 grit sandpaper. He says anyone who says you need a finer grit sandpaper for the final sanding does not know what they are talking about. When I told him about this forum and my research and even the label on the empty can of polyurethane that dispute this, he stood by his statement and said all of these sources simply do not know what they are talking about. He says sanding with a finer sand paper closes the pores in the wood so they canít absorb the stain and polyurethane. He says his method of finishing with 60 grit and screening with 80 grit will produce a much more durable floor. He also said the floor will have a smoother finish when it has had a chance to fully cure. He went on to say that while a finer sandpaper will result in a smoother finish, that finish will quickly wear off. I asked why the floor that was done four years ago was holding up so well. He said they might have used oil based polyurethane and that water based polyurethane is not as smooth. At one point in our conversation he claimed he did the final sanding with 60 grit because it was necessary to get out the pet stains(most of which he did not get out). He says he will screen one more time and put on another coat of polyurethane and this should satisfy us. Any comments?

mike costello 05-21-2009 05:19 AM

So essentially he says that the manufacturer of the product he uses doesn't know what they are talking about?

You may have to cut your losses with this guy and find another one if you want a good final product. This guy is a moron.

The" Its not me its everyone else " mentality will not get this guy very far.

It will cost you some extra but that may be worth it rather than have this guy do more bad work in your house.

Just Bill 05-21-2009 07:04 AM

Final screening(buffer type machine) with about 120 screen is needed for stain. To see what it will his current job will look like, wipe with some paint thinner, you will see every sand mark. Certainly not what you want to see AFTER the stain is applied.

TheFloorGuy 05-21-2009 05:19 PM

K this thread irritated me enough i registered just to complain. (complete fluke i found this) Umm yah That guy is a complete RETARD saying that! I am and have been a Refinisher for 5+ years. You ESPECIALLY NEVER EVER use that process with stain. Just another Lazy hack. I would make him hire a REAL professional at his own expense to have it done right.

TheFloorGuy 05-21-2009 05:24 PM

Oh by the way, NO finish dries in just 30 minutes Theres ABsolutely no way 3 coats of poly or waterbased can go down in 30 minutes. He probably didn't even vaccuum the dust up before he applied whatever it is he did apply. The only way Water based is ever "AS GOOD" as oil based is if you spend 80-100 bucks a gallon for it. That cheap off the shelf stuff is junk.

If you have any other questions feel free to e-mail me as i most likley won't visit here often.

StevenSmith 05-21-2009 07:27 PM

Thanks again for the replies. Is there anything to his argument that a final sanding of a grit finer than 60 will close the pores so the stain and polyurethan won't penetrate into the wood? What about his claim that his method results in a more durable finish?

Buttersdad 05-21-2009 11:11 PM

complete rush job
I was raised in this business and this is the ultimate hit it and quit it rush job. Top flight finishing companies with sophisticated air cleaners and workers with lint free suits wouldn't dream of going so fast. Just like any finished product the end result is only as good as the care taken in preparation. This guy was counting on a thick applicatioin of goo to mask the totally inadequate prep. For the glass-like floors you were looking for-once old finish and surface blemishes were removed progressively finer grits (100,120, 150 or finer) must be used-preferably with a high level of dust control. Then the surface cleaned-only when the room is free of sanding residue and the surfaces and air are as clean as they can be made should coloring and sealing begin-which depending upon the hardness of the wood may or may not start with a sanding sealer which has to dry, before the stain which has to dry before the first coat of finish which has to dry hard and may be buffed before a second coat, etc. you get the idea, honestly when done right it can take a week. Thats why the guys who do it right cost so much

pinwheel45 05-23-2009 10:46 AM


Originally Posted by StevenSmith (Post 276742)
Thanks again for the replies. Is there anything to his argument that a final sanding of a grit finer than 60 will close the pores so the stain and polyurethan won't penetrate into the wood? What about his claim that his method results in a more durable finish?

No truth at all. To quote someone else, "lazy hack"

I make my living sanding hardwood floors. I'm primarily an oil base poly guy. Here's my process. Drum sand down to no less than 80 grit. Stain, varnish allow to dry over night. Sandscreen with 120 grit sand screen. Vaccum, tack dust with mineral spirit wet rag, apply second coat. Repeat between 2nd & 3rd coat.

If using waterborne, don't use a sandscreen on a buffer between coats or you'll see swirl scratches through finish. 3 coats minimum, preferably 4.

If you want to try to salvage the floors without resanding, you first need to get them relatively smooth again. Go to the local rental yard & rent a vibrating sander with 120 or 150 grit sand screen. Don't get totally carried away on the first sanding or you'll sand through the stain. Once semi smooth,vaccum & tack with water wet tack rag. Apply a coat of waterborne finish, being sure to always keep a wet edge. Once dry, sand again with the sander & repeat the previous finishing steps. Once dry, if it's smooth, tack & finish again.

You're probably not going to get the perfect floor this way, but if he done a decent job down to 60 grit, you can probably salvage it & let the finish do most of the smoothing for you.

What have I done 09-25-2010 07:55 PM

so did he come and apply another coat? how did it turn out in the end?

nap 09-25-2010 08:03 PM


Originally Posted by What have I done (Post 507159)
so did he come and apply another coat? how did it turn out in the end?

while I won't say it won't happen but this thread is almost a year and a half old so it is likely the OP isn't going to return, especially that he has a sum total of 3 posts, which are all in this thread.

if you care to contact the OP, you might check his profile to see if he has any contact info there.

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