Resurfaced Kahrs flooring problem -- staining at edges

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  #1  
Old 06-17-13, 06:50 PM
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Resurfaced Kahrs flooring problem -- staining at edges

We just recently had our 14 year old Cherry Kahrs floors resurfaced due to surface wear and 100lb labrador scratches. Throughout the bottom floor essentially; kitchen, family room, living room and dining room. Only the kitchen had a high degree of wear and scratching but we wanted everything to match so we did all the floors of course. We were charged $4100 for approx. 1500sf.

We used from all appearances an experienced reputable company. Nice to work with and fast. Took 3 days total. Sanding first day and then first coating on the first afternoon after surfacing and 2nd and 3rd coats with drying on the following two nights.

The floor is much lighter now (not a problem) but at the edges there is a darker color 'stain' (see attached photo). The floor after sanding seemed fine but after the first coating (not sure what they used), this stain showed up. That first night I thought it would evaporate and lighten up.

The staining at the edges even appeared on some new wood flooring provided by the contractor in a new closet/pantry, so it wouldn't appear to have anything to do with the age of the flooring.

One of the contractor/owners explained that the staining was due to the process of aging and that all the edges were dark and that when they were sanded, revealing the lighter natural cherry wood underneath, the edges remained dark as they are dark all the way through.

Needless to say, we're pretty disappointed in the flooring now. Sure, the scratching and fading of the prior color area all gone, but the darker edges with this pattern make the floor appear unnatural at this point.

Is this pattern common? Was it just going to happen? Was this avoidable? Curious why the contractor did not indicate that this outcome was possible.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-17-13, 07:35 PM
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Working with real wood is alway a challange.
Only way this could have been avoided would to have stained the whole floor close to the darkest areas of the floor.
 
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Old 06-18-13, 03:21 AM
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Did they apply a stain? or just used poly? Do you know if they used an oil base finish? or waterbased? Does it look the same in all the rooms? I'm not sure if a deeper sanding would have helped or not but as Joe stated - staining the floor would have hid the issue.
 
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Old 06-18-13, 03:32 AM
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I'll leave the stain/paint to the paint pros, but man those joints are too close together. You haven't experienced any warping in the floor, have you?? Just curious.
 
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Old 06-18-13, 04:51 AM
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I don't think you can peg this one on error from the refinishers. The wood was sanded and the requested finish applied. The character of the wood is what it is. It may be that this is not the first time the floors have been refinished. That the initial floor had some sort of stain applied at the factory that was throughout the perimeter of the planks. Your sanding and adding a clear coat finished exposed the edges of the original color of the floor. Probably not as visible before finishing in that all floors darken with age. It should mellow with time somewhat.

If the floor goes under the baseboards, you could pull one and see what the original color looked like as the refinishers don't pull baseboards. They will remove shoe molding, but not baseboards unless directed buy the client. Not that it will change much, but it may answer your question as to why it happened.

Wondering if an additional coat of tinted poly will help ease the stark difference between edge and field on the planks.
 
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Old 06-18-13, 04:58 AM
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Tinted poly might soften the color differences but tinted polys aren't recommended for floor application. As the poly wears, so does the color/tint. I often use tinted poly to modify an existing finish but it isn't something I'd recommend for a floor.
 
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Old 06-18-13, 08:21 AM
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@cizzi: thanks for your response! It was the first refinish. We had baseboards removed prior to refinish because we were replacing baseboards as well (taller board from builders puny board). Finish wise, we didn't ask for anything in particular. We did agree that lighter was ok and that the wood would likely end up lighter than the darker cherry color that was there from the manufacturer after the sanding and that that was ok.

I think it must be something with the process of refinishing. Here's the idea: our Kahrs all had this issue but also, inside a small closet the contractor put some new material that was a close match to the Kahrs but from a different manufacturer. They both look the same stain pattern wise...

So, my current theory is that during the manufacturing process, stain collects at the edges and darkens that area down through the top wood part of the plank (these are manufactured planks, so the bottom 3/4's + of the plank is not cherry). during sanding, the surface staining is removed, but at the edges, since it's stained throughout, it can't be removed... you'd have to sand through the entire top part of the plank.

Like you mention, maybe a re-sand and application of a tinted poly would hide the starkness. Wondering if the contractor will go for that.

What a PITA, lol. I wanted to do new floors myself, but the spouse wanted to save money and have them resurfaced. Live and learn
 
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Old 06-18-13, 08:26 AM
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@marksr: thx a lot for the advice. Going to discuss with them if this is an option at this point or we live with it as is. Just thinking that they could of brought up this possibility before job or after sanding. We probably would have opted for a stain of some sort before poly coats, if that was an option. As it was, we were out of the house due to fumes.
 
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Old 06-18-13, 08:29 AM
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@marksr: no stain. I think just a poly. not sure on base (oil or not) on finish -- will ask. Looks the same thru all rooms. Doubt deeper sanding would have helped. It's only a 1/4" wood veeneer on top of the manufactured plank, so would have gone thru that pretty quick.

Thinking stain at this point to rescue... who covers cost of sanding and staining is question
 
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Old 06-19-13, 11:03 AM
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Red face

Cherry is very sensitive to sunlight & quickly goes from light pink to a rich mahogany color. I would suggest waiting for a month or two to see if it matches the edge color more closely. Back in the 1980s I was making & selling bandsaw boxes & other crafts at art & craft shows. I used cherry, walnut, red & white oak, and other hardwoods to make them. Cherry always changed color quickly once it was put on display. I was looking for a way to counteract the sensitivity to UV rays, & found an article in Fine Woodworking Magazine which stated that if you coat wood with Armor-All that it would slow down or stop the color change. I tried it & it seemed to work, at least temporarily. I don't know how long it lasted. But in your case, I doubt anything like that was done, so it should change color. Good luck
 
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