Hardwood refinish nightmare- dust and peeling

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Old 02-01-10, 11:10 AM
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Hardwood refinish nightmare- dust and peeling

As part of a recent kitchen remodel, we had a contractor replace a portion of our existing hardwood floors, and sand and refinish the entire room.

When the finish/refinish were complete, (Late Nov. 09) there were large areas of trash under the final finish (dust, as well as trash big enough snag our socks). We declined to pay, and had them back in to "repair" the job.

After the "repair" (late December 09) the original dust and trash were largely still there, along with new trash, and even hair. While trying to figure out how to proceed, the weather has changed, the heat is on, and as the floor has contracted, the poly coating is now peeling at the edges of each board, both in the area of the first refinish, as well as in the "repaired" area.

My question is - can this actually be repaired, or do I need to have the entire floor completely sanded and refinished again? I don't really want this contractor back in my house, because clearly, they are not able to do the job right, but since I haven't paid then the balance on the original bill, I'm not sure how to proceed without knowing what actually needs done.

Any thoughts are appreciated!
 
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Old 02-01-10, 03:55 PM
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Is there a stain on the flooring?
Was the same type of poly used on all the coats the contractor did?

It kind of sounds like an oil base poly was used to start with and then a water based poly applied over top of the oil poly.

After sanding it's SOP to vacuum and wipe up all the sanding dust - it sounds like this step was either skipped or down poorly.
If there is no stain involved, the fix could be as simple as sanding down to the good finish, removing dust and applying a coat or two of poly.

IMO it would be best to get another contractor [hardwood flooring, not a GC] to look at it and give you a price to fix and how he intends to fix it. That should help in deciding what to do next regarding the original contractor.
 
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Old 02-01-10, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by dcliptak View Post
I don't really want this contractor back in my house, because clearly, they are not able to do the job right, but since I haven't paid then the balance on the original bill, I'm not sure how to proceed without knowing what actually needs done.

Any thoughts are appreciated!
Are you also asking for advice on how to tell this "contractor" that he won't be getting your money and that you won't be needing his services?

I think failure to perform the very necessary light thorough sanding between layers is the cause of th peeling.

Marksr, if it is stained, would you recommend a chemical stripper to remove the poor finish and would that leave the stain evenly?
 
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Old 02-01-10, 04:44 PM
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A chemical stripper is too nasty to use on the floor. It would be better to sand it off. If there is stain on the wood, it might be difficult to just sand off the peeling poly and not sand off any of the stain.
 
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Old 02-01-10, 09:04 PM
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Just checking in. A couple of clarifications-My GC subbed this job out to the hardwood co. that did the work. They did sand completely- I was in the house for that part of the job. No stain was added, just 3 coats of poly. We went out of town while they worked, so I was not here to supervise the job; my neighbor let them into the house each day, she said she could smell it all the way outside of the garage, so I'm guessing it was oil, but I don't know for sure.

The hardwood contractor told me that on the second trip (to fix) , they would screen, then recoat; that may have happened, because I did find fine dust on some of the wood work, but I told him I doubted that would be enough to remove the heavy dust/grit that was trapped in the finish. They assured me it would take care of the problem. It didn't.

I guess I just want to make sure that the peeling shouldn't be happening. The GC offered to get the floor guys back in and supervise them while the job was done, and he is REALLY picky, so I guess that might work for the dust/grit, but that was before I realized the boards were peeling; How do I know that the peeling won't happen again?

I guess I just need to bite the bullet and get another company in; I hate the idea of all of disruption and especially the confrontation, can you tell? :-)
 
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Old 02-02-10, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by dcliptak View Post
How do I know that the peeling won't happen again?
Polyurethane requires low grit or "scuff" sanding between every coat, because it doesn't redisolve the surface of the previous coat like other oil base wood finishes, it needs the mechanical bond. Even if the seal coat isn't poly, it should be scuff sanded.

I did all the wood flooring in my house according to this method years ago. They still look like they did when we first put the furniture back.
 
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