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 Post subject: Hardwood Floor Finish Issues, Opinions?
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2023 12:26 am 
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Hello, hoping for opinions on our hardwood floor finishing issues. We hired someone to refinish our 1950's Oak hardwood floors and add new hardwood in our kitchen. All floors including the connecting living room and dining room as well as the new kitchen were all sanded together. Bona Classic seal coat was applied in the morning, then 2 top coats of Bona Traffic HD. We are expecting the final 3rd coat tomorrow morning.

The floor is very rough at this point. Sealer coat dried in about 1 hour (we were told). But noticed the 1st coat of Bona Traffic HD took longer to dry than the flooring contractor expected (expected about an hour but took much longer), so he ran a fan to speed it up. He applied the 2nd Traffic HD coat and left telling us it would take about 2 hours to dry. I was told he polished the floor between coats. Looked at the work later and found the wood is very rough and concerning.

I've done a some of woodworking, although not finish expert by any means! But is this normal for an red oak floor to be so rough after the equivalent of 3 coats? Is it typical raised wood fibers from the waterborne finish application? Some looks like some kind of solvent pop, or alligatoring - but I just cannot tell. Also found some debris in a few areas and what appears to be a damaged plank where the wood almost looks like it bubbled up -we didn't notice before it was finished. Areas seem a little swelled up - some very slightly raised edges on a few planks - small enough to be difficult to actually see.

Have photos, but can't see how to upload to the forum

Would really appreciate opinions quickly so we discuss with the contractor tomorrow morning.

Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood Floor Finish Issues, Opinions?
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2023 2:34 pm 
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You will get good results when the contractor follows the directions on the containers, including the sanding process.
Some contractors will try to cover the normal "grain raise" from the first coat's loose fibers absorbing the solvent and swelling which allows the fibers to stand up, feeling very rough. They may have good results smoothing the floor by screening the finish before the final coat(s).
Since waterbed floor finish has been developed there is a different method than solvent based finishes, but the water-based finish holds up well. Smooth finish is important to be able to clean the floor easily.
Water-based finishes can show shakes or separation between the grain as well as showing cupping along the edges of the floor. A shake can be glued down sometimes or the board can be replaced before the final coat of finish. Usually the edges recover from the swelling from solvent that penetrates between boards which does not have time to completely evaporate between coats of finish.
You expect the floor to be done in a workmanship method.


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood Floor Finish Issues, Opinions?
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2023 11:23 pm 
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Thank you Pete! I called Bona and spoke to a rep about the situation. He said it's not normal for the surface to be so rough after 1 sealer and 2 top coats. He believed the issues were caused by not waiting enough time between coats, and with 3 coats in a short period the wood became saturated. This caused some cupping and excessive grain raise. The rep said 2-3 hours is recommended between coats for the sealer and Traffic HD. He also said they recommend 2 coats in a day (not 3). As far as the minor cupping, thought it was best to wait an extra day for the wood to recover and everything should be OK.

Speaking to the flooring contractor, it was a little confusing - but I'm starting to understand a little more. I think he applied the seal coat, then 2 coats of Traffic, then will sand smooth for only the final coat. I suppose this allows more back to back coats in a day otherwise the sanding would most likely gum up the sander. I was concerned because I thought a quick screening of little dust nibs was all that was needed for the final 3rd coat (4 including the sealer). They're the experts.... must work for them?


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