New hardwood finish feels different from old one

chris_cwodNovember 30, 2012

We recently had the oak floors on our main level refinished. We went with a natural (clear) finish, so that the floors would match our stairs and upstairs rooms, and because we have dark furniture so we thought this would contrast well and lighten it up. We basically said to our hardwood flooring company "can you make our refinished floors look like this" and they said yes. They used a Bona water-based satin finish (not sure exactly which one).

Overall I'm pleased with how they turned out, but there are a couple things I'm unsure about:

1. Now that I see the entire downstairs in this light color, it looks a little cold compared to our warm cabinet tones. Granted, the furniture isn't put back yet, so that will break it up, but will the color warm up a bit with time?

2. When I walk on the floors and feel them, they just feel so "matte" (that's the only word I can think of to describe it). Our floors upstairs have a water-based Bona finish as well, but they seem a little more slippery or something. Like you can slide your feet across them more easily. But the upstairs definitely doesn't have a gloss finish, so I'm not exactly sure why they feel different. I prefer the slightly more smooth/slippery finish, and I'm wondering why the downstairs isn't like that. At first I thought it was just all the dust from the remodel, but I've vacuumed and cleaned them, and it still doesn't feel as nice. It feels kind of like there isn't much of a finish on it at all (even though I know they put on 2-3 coats).

Any opinions or advice on this? I have a tendency to second guess big decisions immediately after until I get used to them, so maybe in a month I won't even notice this stuff. But right now I'm starting to worry that it's not what we want.

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rwiegand

The finish will continue to cure and harden for several weeks, you may want to give it a little time before worrying too much. You can buff some wax onto it for more slip and shine after it's fully cured (You must be young to want slipperier floors!)

I know nothing about color (just ask my wife!)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 8:43AM
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gregmills_gw

For the love of god do not put wax over a newly refinished floor.
If your refinishers used a bona product it will take two weeks to fully cure.

As far as the smoothnesd difference between the old and new. When was the last time the old floors were refinished? If they havent been refinished for a while it may have oil based poly. That can have a different feel than a water bourne urethane.

Another thing that can help would be adding another coat to the fresh floors.
One thing you could do is have the floor guys add another coat to a cubby or a closet to see if adding another coat would make the difference you are looking for.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 10:47PM
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chris_cwod

Thanks for your input! The old floors were refinished when we moved in about 5 years ago, so it's definitely water-based. Maybe I'll have have the floor guys do a test on a closet to see about another coat - that's a good idea, thanks!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 1:50PM
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SparklingWater

Did your floor finisher but Bona sealer between the natural floor and the Bona finish? Bona polyurethane waterborne finish (learned the hard way myself with Pacific Strong) seep some in to freshly re-sanded wood and a sealer first may build up a layer to prevent this loss. Three coats of finish definitely may not be enough depending on your wood and circumstances. Proper drying times count too. Bona finish comes in 'matte' just so you know.

Better a remedy now than later! Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 6:45PM
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rwiegand

sorry-- didn't mean to suggest wax on an uncured floor! That's only a possibility for 6-12 months down the line.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 1:20PM
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glennsfc

No no no! As gregmills already mentioned...you don't wax polyurethane finished floors, no matter when they were done. The wax can be a contaminant that can make successive refinishing very difficult. Of course, if you are never going to refinish a floor, then a sacrificial coat of wax won't matter.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:59PM
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gregmills_gw

Just to add another note. While putting wax on this floor may give a desired result in the short time. As Glennfc pointed refinishing is such a headache not to mention could cost you more to have it removed.

Now even if you didnt have it refinished and just had the wax. The upkeep is not worth the hassle. In a few short months the wax will dull and require buffing. Which means clearing out furniture. Then eventually you will have to add another coat of wax. And to do so properly will be removing the old wax. (Have you ever done that? It sucks)

Cleaning is a choir. There is a reason many many many smart chemists have developed our current urethanes to avoid the drawbacks of waxing wood floors.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:57AM
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