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.
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