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Q: One visitor asked, "A contractor just finished installing/finishing hardwood floors and left multiple lap marks (covering the entire width of the floor). The problem first appeared following the 2nd coat of urethane. I mentioned my concern to him and an extra (third) coat of the product was applied. The result was not much better and the satin finish now looks a lot more like semi-gloss or gloss. When I checked with my contractor, he mentioned that the lap marks should "go away" over time(or after a few washes) and that the "glossy" look of the floor increases with the number of applications of urethane. The plan now is that he will be buffing the floors again to eliminate the lap marks. I am very suspicious of his suggested approach. Is the approach correct or would you suggest another course of actions?"

A: One thing is certain. Regardless of how skilled the worker is, sooner or later everyone will have an "event". Regarding the lap marks, it sounds as if the finish may have dried too fast, and did not have time to flow out. Perhaps it is too dry and warm in the room. There is also a slight possibility their could be a defect in the pail of finish he is using. You did not mention if this is oil modified or water based urethane. The application method is somewhat different for both. As far as the finish now appearing shiny, when it is suppose to be a satin finish; He has to make sure to stir the finish adequately. I wouldn't agree that the more coats applied the more shine there is. The finish has to be buffed to remove the shine before another coat is applied. If I was facing this, my approach would be like this: Buff the floor fully with a polisher and either a 180 grit of finer screen or a maroon pad, if the finish is still fairly new. Vacuum up thoroughly, and tack rag the floor at least once to remove any dust residue. Shut off any sources of air movement across the floor, such as furnace/A/C. Close windows. Make sure the pail of finish I am using is clean and thoroughly stirred. Apply the finish in sections, rather than applying across the entire floor area, from one end of the room to the other. So, I usually go in approx. 5 or 6 ft. wide section, and do that width from one end to the next. Then I do the next row, until I have worked my way over to the door. If this is an oil modified, wait 3-4 hours before allowing any ventilation into the room.


Related questions about refinishing and staining wood floors:
Sanding/Refinishing
>Gloss, Satin, or Semi-Gloss?
>How long will it take me to sand my floors?
>How long would it take you to refinish, stain, and polyurethane...?
>Should I sand my own floors?
>How do I buff spots a pole sander can't reach?
>Is it possible to refinish engineered floors?
>Can I sand with nails in place? Can I recoat with a low gloss oil-based urethane?
>Do I have to sand the whole floor, then stain, then polyurethane?
>I was wondering if waxing the floor would be a good option to varnishing?
>Can a soft wood be sanded like a hardwood?
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Costs
>Cost to resand 1400 sq. ft.?
>What do people charge for sanding and finishing natural (3 coats- No Sealers)?
>How much will it cost to refinish my hardwood floors?
>There is a living room, dining room, staircase and upstairs hallway, together with 4 small bedrooms which we would like to have done. Is this going to cost thousands of dollars or can it be done quite reasonably?
Filler
>If I fill some gaps *******, and the wood expands some during the summer, will that squeeze some of it out?
>Should finish be applied over filled nail holes?
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Finish Problems (e.g. Air Bubbles)
>What causes air bubbles?
>Did not buffing between coats cause this?
>We had the flooring company come back a second time tofill in some gaps and buff and put another coat on. We now have veryvisible air bubbles in our urethane finish (they were not present the first time). What is the best way to remove the air bubbles?
>I have two rooms. One is 9x12 the other 11x20. They are already stained with a royal mahogony minwax stain. It has a high gloss finish and the finish is now scratched and starting to peel. What do you suggest we do, strip and sand right down? What would the cost be approximately? How long would it take?
>At a doorway my urethane finish has lots of debris in it. How do I fix this?
>When there are air bubbles in the polyurethane finish, can you spot sand some of them by hand and then touch up that spot with another coat of polyurethane?
>There are some worn areas on our floor that need refinishing. Is it possible to redo only the worn areas andhave them blend into the older finished areas without redoing the entire floor?
>After many professional sanding and recoats, why is our floor is still rough?
>What do I do now that my finish is peeling off because there is wax in the grain?
>What do we do about problems with swirl marks in the floor finish?
>Why did the polyurethane peel right off?
>There always seems to be a film on the floor and they show all the dirt. Can I remove the 'shiny' top coat and redo with something more 'matte'?
>We have sanded off all the old stain, used the 120 grit to give a smoother finish, used a polyurethane but it still looks dull. I was reading on sanding tips and it says that after we sand the stain off, put the new stain on, then add the polyurethane, to sand it again lightly with a 120 grit and then add another coat of polyurethane for a smoother finish. Is that correct?
>We have put on 2 coats of water based polyurethane on our floors. The floor feels rough. How do you get that hard smooth finish?
>We have done the second coat of polyurethane but the floor is still rough and not shiny! What do we do now?
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>I just applied stain and poly. Why are my floors sticky?

Staining
>Why is my stain not drying faster?
>We stained our floors. Why are some areas lighter than the rest?
>Can a dark stain be stripped and stained to match lighter floors?
>Do I choose a wood putty to match the colour stain I use? Can I use a minwax-type gel stain that I have used on furniture, or do I need a special floor stain?
>Is there anything that I can do now to repair that blotchy appearance on the pine plank floors I just stained and refinished?
>What colour hardwood works best for a small room?
>How do I get the stain on my banister to look even and not blotchy?
>I stained the floor and allowed it to dry then put the polyurethane on it, which made the floor white, and in some spots the stain came off. why?