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Old 09-25-2015, 05:45 PM   #1
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Pls help confused consumer - hardwood floor refinish


Help and honest advice from the experts on this forum would be greatly appreciated!

My oak floors were refinished with 2 or 3 coats of oil-based 6 years ago. Those floors were recently damaged in the entryway. The damage was caused by blue tape applied by a bathroom remodel contractor to hold down ram board, and the blue tape was left on the floor for over two weeks. When it was removed, it removed the finish in spots in a line where the tape was placed. The local floor companies recommend sanding the damage, or the entire entryway, and applying oil-based polyurethane to the damage, or to the entire entryway. Followed by rescreen (buff and coat) of the entire floor so the entryway will blend in with the connecting hallway, living and dining rooms. (The rest of the floor, which was not damaged, is in very good condition and would not need a coat, were it not for the need to match the damaged area to the rest of the connecting floors.)

My question concerns that last step -- the rescreen or buff and coat of all connecting floors.

One company told me that high quality water-based poly will adhere better to the existing oil-based floor when rescreening. The other 4 or 5 companies who provided estimates all told me to stick with oil-based polyurethane as that is what is already on the floor.

MY QUESTION -- Is the assertion correct that high grade water-based will better adhere to the floors in a rescreen or buff-and-coat than will oil-based on top of an existing oil-based finish? Will water-based, if applied on top of an existing oil-based finish, last longer than oil-based? Will a rescreen or buff-and-coat of water-based, on top of the existing oil-based, have less chance of flaking off in future years? Finally, some web sites argue that the top-of-the line water-based finishes are more durable. Is that true?

Also, the company who made that assertion proposes to sand the damage, and first apply oil-based to the damaged area to restore the color for a better match to the surrounding floors. They would wait several days and then rescreen the entire floor, and not just the entryway, with water-based. But is 48 hours enough time to wait for the oil-based repair to dry? Some web sites say that I should wait 6 months after the application of oil-based before applying water-based. If that is the case, then I am stuck, and will have to use oil-based for the final rescreening coat as well.

P.S. Aside from the above, every contractor has a different solution, with prices ranging from $800 to over $3,000. The cheapest would only repair and rescreen the entry way, and say the resulting work would match the living room floor well enough so that only I would notice it. Or just rescreen all of the floors, including the damage area, in one day. Or, moving up the cost ladder, sand the entry way, and apply two or three coats of oil-based in the entry way over two or three days, and then a final rescreen oil-based coat (#4 coat for the entryway). Or sand off everything and start over. No wonder consumers get confused by the options.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:01 PM   #2
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A whole lot of fixing for such a small repair job. (no picture so we have to guess)
If it was mine I'd wipe down that small area with mineral sprits, being careful to just hit that one area to make sure the adhesive is gone, light sand, another layer of oil based poly and see what it looks like.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:35 PM   #3
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You didn't respond to my question. "MY QUESTION -- Is the assertion correct that high grade water-based will better adhere to the floors in a rescreen or buff-and-coat than will oil-based on top of an existing oil-based finish? Will water-based, if applied on top of an existing oil-based finish, last longer than oil-based? Will a rescreen or buff-and-coat of water-based, on top of the existing oil-based, have less chance of flaking off in future years? Finally, some web sites argue that the top-of-the line water-based finishes are more durable. Is that true?"

Regarding your response, I do not have the expertise to do a home repair. Six companies have proposed the variations of a repair that I explained. They all said that a repair of the type you propose would look worse, not better, and would be very visible.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:16 PM   #4
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For give me, my reply was based on over 40 years of working on 100 plus year old houses and fixing other peoples mistake.
No way would I personaly use water based over oil based poly.
Water base goes on faster, smells less, drys faster, but I've never seen one last longer.
It does not take an expert to do this simple repair. (still basing my reply on my best guess without a picture).
If there's a strip of poly removed about an inch wide why are they suggesting buffing the whole floor?
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Old 10-02-2015, 05:43 PM   #5
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Either finish will stick to oil poly as long as you haven't used any waxy cleaners on the floors such as Murphys oil soap etc. This will not be an issue regardless of how much time has passed since the floors were done.

2 component water finishes such as Bona Traffic HD, Basic Coatings Street Shoe etc are harder than oil finishes. However, oil finishes are thicker. So one coating of oil finish is like 2 coats of water.

If it were me I would probably use water finish for the faster drying, low smell, faster curing etc. But either will do just fine. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:38 AM   #6
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I've seen tape leave marks, but never pull the finish off.

Do you know what brand of tape he used.?
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