Contractor screwing me?

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  #1  
Old 02-18-08, 05:34 PM
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Contractor screwing me?

Here's the problem (see story below):

On Saturday at 11am he buffed and stained the Jacobean (we were there to agree to the stain). This is a new house so we're unable to be there and see when he's there; however, I was there all Sunday 9am to 6pm working in the crawlspace and then on Monday 12:30pm to 8pm.

When he showed up on Monday around 3pm he told me he had done 2 coats of poly. But the floors look very dull...they look the same as if no poly was on them in my opinion. With two coats of poly should the floor be looking a little glossy?

Would he of even had the time for 2 coats of poly?

Then today he stained the new diniing room floor a second time because it was a little lighter than the old floor. Can you stain on top of two poly coats?

In addition, the contractor asked me to leave the final payment in the house for him tomorrow morning as he finishes the "final" coat of poly. Is this guy trying to screw me over and only place 1 coat of poly on my floor?


Story:
I had a contractor come in to install new flooring in dining room where I just knocked out a wall and to refinish and stain the whole house.

The floor installation job was excellent. Where I'm concerned is the staining and 3 coats of poly (1 coat per day) as was agreed in the contract.

We originally wanted to go with Jacobean but after seeing how light and open the place looked with the just sanded floor, wespoke with the contractor and picked a light color that he said would not come out reddish-orange, as per our request. It did.

We said do whatever is necessary to not make the floor reddish-orange and if that means Jacobean please do it. We'd much rather have a dark floor. He buffed the floor and attempted to darken the light color which yet again came out reddish-orange, just a little darker.

So we said don't attempt anything just make it jacobean. He buffed the floor a second time and stained Jacobean. The stain color looks great now.

During this whole time we always offered to pay more for the extra work but he always turned it down. We still plan on paying him more in the end for the work.
 
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Old 02-19-08, 04:10 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Don't pay him in full untill you are satisfied with the job!!!

I know of a few floor finishers that mostly work at night so it's possible that he was there without you knowing. What type of poly is being used? A water based poly isn't usually as shiny as it's oil base counterpart. There are also 3 basic sheens; satin, semi-gloss and gloss.

If there is only 1 coat of poly the floor probably won't feel smooth/slick.
 
  #3  
Old 02-19-08, 07:51 AM
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The floor definitely didn't feel smooth this morning. It feels rough. And I can see every little grain. It doesn't appear to have that smoothed over look that helps blend in the boards. But I'm no expert, either. I don't want to screw him over if he's telling the truth, but at the same I know he's not telling me the whole truth.

He was definitely pissed when he found a letter instead of his final payment as he asked. Oh well. Like you said, I'm not paying his final payment until I'm satisfied with the finish.


He would never give me a straight answer, but this is what I got:

He's saying I only need 1 more coat of poly and I'd have 4 coats of poly on my floor then, and that if he placed any more coats of poly on the floor that it would damage the floor. He never said he came out to do any poly coats after staining the Jacobean on Saturday.

He said it is a stain/ semi-gloss poly mixture he was using, which I never agreed to in my contract. It stats: Stain, poly, poly, poly. No mixtures. I don't know if it is water or oil.

When I asked him where the 3 coats of poly came from, he said 2 were from the prior two stains (that he buffed out) and 1 from the Jacobean stain.

If you buff the floor wouldn't that mostly remove the poly? And isn't the point of 3 coats of poly to be on top of the stain - not mixed with it?

Any help is appreciated! I don't know if this guy is telling the truth or trying to pull one over on me because the job took longer than originally planned and he's trying to cut corners.
 
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Old 02-19-08, 01:18 PM
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Since he had already stained the floor, he may have had to use a tinted poly to darken it - unless he sanded off all of the previous stain.

IMO the stain coat is seperate from the poly coat although I would considered the tinted poly coat as one of the coats of poly. Each coat of poly must be sanded a little before being recoated - this is part of how you get a smooth finish.

I've never heard of more than 3-4 coats of poly being a problem but then I'm a painter not a floor finisher. It is possible that too big a build up of poly in short period of time may not allow it to cure correctly.
 
  #5  
Old 02-19-08, 01:55 PM
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He sanded it with his buffer down to the wood. You'd see bare spots with a mixture of dark stain spots where the stain penetrated. So he definitely removed the majority of the stain layers.

He went and did his one coat of poly today (which he is stating is his 4th). The floor was still wet when I saw it, but it looked smooth and shiny like I thought it would. The only problem I saw were little specs or bubbles in the finish.

I think he may have applied it too 'slopily' or heavily and it may need a light buff and a final light coat of poly.

Originally Posted by marksr View Post
Since he had already stained the floor, he may have had to use a tinted poly to darken it - unless he sanded off all of the previous stain.

IMO the stain coat is seperate from the poly coat although I would considered the tinted poly coat as one of the coats of poly. Each coat of poly must be sanded a little before being recoated - this is part of how you get a smooth finish.

I've never heard of more than 3-4 coats of poly being a problem but then I'm a painter not a floor finisher. It is possible that too big a build up of poly in short period of time may not allow it to cure correctly.
 
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