Installer made his own stair nosings instead of factory pieces--need advice

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Old 01-08-11, 12:05 AM
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Installer made his own stair nosings instead of factory pieces--need advice

We just had hardwood floors installed and we found out after the fact that instead of using the matching stair nosings from the hardwood floor manufacturer, the installer stained and installed his own nosings. Installer insists they look the same as the manufacturer are the same quality, but we're not sold. I can't imagine that the match or the wear durability will be equal to the factory hardwood (not to mention the 50 year warranty the wood comes with). We're very concerned because the nosings will get the most wear of anywhere in the house (and visually the match is good, but not perfect).

How big a deal should I be making about this?
 
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Old 01-08-11, 05:01 AM
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The wood he used is the same as the factory nosing, the finish is not. His stain may or may not have matched any better than the factory nosing - wood grain/hardness varies piece by piece and so does the coloring. My only concern would be the durability of the finish.
 
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Old 01-08-11, 05:08 AM
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What is the floor material? Oak, pine, etc? I make my own nosings as well when called for. Is your flooring prefinished or did he finish them? In a prefinished situation, and if you only have less than a 4' nosing to deal with, I get one from the flooring manufacturer so the finish will match.
On the last job, the customer had me remove carpeted stairs and install hardwood treads (stain) with poplar risers (paint). We had laid the main floor a few years ago, so we had to go back one section of flooring an mill down a stair tread to fit and leave the full bullnose. As Marksr said, the stain and finish is the critical part. Luckily mine turned out indiscernible from the original flooring
 
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Old 01-08-11, 06:17 AM
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Is it just the wood that has the fifty year warranty or the finish as well? Warranties are often deceptive and it wouldn't be fair to hold his finish to a higher standard than what the mfg is really offering. A house full of kids and sandy soils outside will do a number on any finish, and I bet a call 25 years from now would get little response if one were complaining that the finish didn't hold up.

I guess I'm just a skeptic when it comes to lifetime or exceedingly long warranties, as they look good as a selling point, but who is ever going to press the issue 40 years from now, even if they remember there was a warranty.

Bud
 
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Old 01-08-11, 09:42 AM
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I'm also skeptical of long warranties, the paint industry has many coatings with a long life guarantee that are so full of loop holes - the warranty is virtually worthless.

While a full scale refinishing job is a big undertaking, lightly sanding to remove scuff marks and promote adhesion, followed by a coat or 2 of poly can bring new life to a floor or nosing that shows signs of wear.
 
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Old 01-08-11, 11:26 AM
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Thanks for the replies. The wood is Hallmark hickory engineered, the installer says his nosings are hickory as well.

The manufacturer says their wood has 9 UV coatings with (2 of Aluminum oxide; 5 of polyurethane; 2 of scratch resistant). 25 year warranty on the finish, lifetime structural warranty.

I find it hard to believe that the hand-stained nosings would have the same wear resistant finish.

The question is, is this worth pushing the installer to rip out his nosings and get me the manufacturer's nosings?
 
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Old 01-10-11, 12:39 PM
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The wear warranty you get on pre-finished floors covers abrasive wear. That is, they are warranting that "normal foot traffic" will not wear through the finish. If you have been in older homes with shellac finished wood floors, you may have seen areas where the finish is completely worn away. This happens particularly at pivot points outside of doorways. This is the only thing a wear warranty covers. I have never seen a wear warranty that didn't specifically exclude transitions. It will not cover dents, scratches, gouges, etc. Additionally, when stairs are retrofitted with hardwood, the preferable method is to use full sized treads and risers. Since these do not come pre-finished, almost every set of wood stairs you see has been finished on site. Given that stairs receive more wear than any other areas and they wear well even though site finished, I think you will be okay leaving the stair nose as it is.
 
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