Professionals did poor refinishing job...advice please... :(

scuzzynuttyFebruary 13, 2012

I had our floors refinished by a company last week, they started on Monday and took the day to sand the floor. Tuesday, they applied the stain and let it dry. Wednesday, supposedly applied 2 or 3 coats of the water-based poly and were done by noon (they came at 8am - seemed kind of fast/rushed!). I went home in the evening and found bubbly texture and marks everywhere. Researched online and generally read that the poly was probably shaken and they didn't allow enough settling time. Called them back, they came friday and resanded the top coat, and reapplied the finish again. This time, the finish was smooth (i.e., no bubbly texture), but the ring marks from all the bubbles before were still visible! On top of that, as you can see from the attached pictures, there's so many streaks on the floor, i saw him when he was applying the coating and he wasn't going very straight as you can see from the pics. I was wondering why he woudln't line up the end of the rectangular applicator with the lines on the wood floor panels and go straight like that. Also visible, are scratches from a standing position from their sander I take it.

Called the owner of the company, he was very apologetic and a good business person and mentioned it's not right and he will do what he can to have it rectified. He said that an oil-based coating will eliminate the streak marks, is that true? I live in Orange County California, and apparently oil-based is outlawed for sale in LA and Orange County, so the owner is having his guys drive to San Diego County to purchase the stuff (it's legal to buy there) so I know the owner is really trying to go out of his way to fix the issues. Also, what do you think about the ring marks? I think it's under a deeper coating or something, i don't want them just sanding the top layer again and applying the oil-based coating and the ring marks will still show through.

Also, to do a PROPER job, will they have to re-sand right down to the finish and reapply the stain and then the oil-based coating? Or what will happen if they just sand down a coat or two and apply the oil-based coating on top of one of the water-based coatings? I read that an oil based coating brings out the color of the wood much nicer, but if they're putting the oil based on top of the water based, will the oil penetrate through the water based coating?

Thanks in advance for any input.

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Go to and look for a certified wood flooring investigator.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:14PM
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Thanks for the reply floorguy. Look for a certified wood floor investigator? And then what? I would think by the pictures you wouldn't even need a certified wood floor investigator to assess that right? I don't know. :( Sorry, i don't know much about this stuff, so just looking for advice...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 8:37PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Looks like old product that set up too quickly. Even with slightly uneven application, the poly should have leveled out better and you shouldn't see the streaks that your floors are showing.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 10:17PM
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No professional likes blue tape locators on their job, because usually it is a customer being picky. In your case, the blue tape is certainly justified; it is a poor sand job and a poor application of the finish material.

You've got ripples, dishout, uneven stain application, streaks, bubbles in the should look better than that. In my opinion applying additional topcoats is not going to save this job, but I'm not the guy doing the what do I know?

Hope it all works out for you.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 7:04PM
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Sorry to hear that the extra coats of finish didn't do much to save the job, but I am not surprised at all. I was hired to take over a job that an interior design firm had done where they kept adding finish to improve the floor (about 9 coats!) and they never got it right. A skilled sanding and expert product application and it was as it should have been in the first place. I hope that Greg can do that for you.

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 6:09PM
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