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Is their a safe and easy way to do wood floors?
Not major work, just clean, sand, clean and put down a top-coat that is not going to keep us out of the house and is not to toxic?
Mark - I seen on your website you offer such a service.
A local remodeler who does a lot of work in nice older homes was talking to me about what I am preparing to do and asked me about doing wood floors.
Figured i would ask here first.
Any one ever use the laminate floor cleaning product Oreck sells? What about the Oreck XL floor cleaner?
Despite your use of the word "sand", I assume you are referring to what is usually referred to as recoating: which is cleaning and lightly abrading the surface of a polyurethaned wood floor, then applying an additional coat of finish. Experienced floor refinishers sometimes do the abrading part with a sanding screen. However, if you are inexperienced in operating a floor machine, either orbital or rotary, with a sanding screen under it, there is some chance that you will go beyond just slightly etching or abrading the surface of the polyurethane finish, and will sand it off all the way thru to bare wood. At that point, the customer's only option is to sand the entire floor down to bare wood, then apply 2 or 3 coats of a new finish. So if you decide to offer this service, I strongly suggest you prep the floor with an abrasive (maroon) pad, NOT a sanding screen.
You can then apply a top coat of oil- or water-based polyurethane. Water-based is lower-odor, and will dry faster, but is trickier t apply without having it show brush or roller marks. OR, you can buy products specifically made for carrying out the whole "prep & recoat" process. Find these kits at websites for such companies as Bona Kemi, Basic Coatings, Varathane, and Bridgepoint. If the wood floor you are looking at as a possible candidate for recoating is worn thru to the bare wood in one or more areas, you probably want to advise your customer to have it completely sanded & refinished. Also, it should be fully sanded if areas of the floor have become faded or otherwise discolored by the sun, pet urine, etc. In cases like this, I work with an experienced wood floor sander/refinisher who then does the actual work. He bills me, then I bill the customer a somewhat higher amount. That way, I at least make some money for my involvement.
Everything Mark has stated is true. I will add to that based upon my 20 yrs experience in the hardwood flooring trade.
When recoating over existing finish, Adhesion of the new finish to the existing can be very risky if your customer has used any number of cleaning products on the market that leave a"film" on the floor.
The result can be peeling,or cracking of the newly recoated floor which can only be resolved by a complete resand and finish.
Water based finishes "which Mark listed on his post" will adhere much better than oil or solvent based finishes to any possible contamination but remember ther are no guarantees when talking about adhesion.
I cannot emphasize enough the impotance of proper application which can only be learned through experience. What mark said is very true about W.B. finishes being harder to apply without showing applicator or brush marks.
If you attempt recoating, I recommend using a lower sheen such as a satin. it is more forgiving and less likely to show imperfections.And by all means use a pad instead of a sanding screen for the abrasion of existing finish.
In short,Hardwood flooring work is a very skilled trade with a significant learning curve and mistakes can be quite costly.
Hope this info. is helpful.