For contractors and wholesale flooring distributors, there are many concerns and considerations to keep in mind when tabbed by a client to do a re-coat on a factory-finished floor. Here are some tips on several key factors of re-coating prefinished hardwood floors.
The first thing to do when arriving at the project is to learn as much about the floor as possible from your client. Find out who the manufacturer is, how old the materials are, and what kind of treatment or maintenance has been done in the past. Some situations might tie your hands regarding recoating – in the case of wax and most natural oils, for example, the floor must be recoated with the same product.
Once recoating is ready to begin, it is important to try with a test area first. You never know if the finish will flow out properly on this type of floor, or if the finish won’t actually stick to this floor, and any other possible pitfalls that may arise. Choose a testing spot in an inconspicuous area in case of any possible accidents, but pick a spot where cleaning products have been used regularly.
Make sure your arsenal of recoating products is fully stocked, with a wide range to be prepared to deal with any scenario. Chemical recoating systems, floor scrubbers specifically for wood floors, sanding machines specifically for abrading recoats and contaminant test kits are just some of the tools that might come in handy for such a project. It is important to keep in mind that hardwood floors and their re-coating processes are not one-size-fits-all.
One of the most important steps in re-coating hardwood floors is a thorough and detailed cleaning. If dirt and other contaminants aren’t removed before buffing, they could be ground into the floor, creating scratches and gaps. To be on the safe side, consider using the same techniques that are applied to gym floor cleanings. Apply the cleaner to the floor and buff using a screen before using a wet vacuum.
Finally, keep your client’s expectations realistic. Re-coating prefinished floors can be a tricky process with no guarantees. Some floors simply cannot be re-coated, while others can be re-coated a few times over and still display much of the visible damage from before. Using these tips will give you and your client the best chance for a productive project.
Helpful Links on this Topic
- National Wood Flooring Association Re-coating Guide
- Sanding and Finishing from the Pros at Hardwood Floors Magazine
- Top 8 Best Methods to Hardwood Floor Cleaning from WoodFloorDoctor.com