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Commercial Flooring News

Don’t Compromise On Wood Floors

Fred Waller, technical sales representative, Bona, gives some tips on achieving the desired result with finishes:  
AS I travel around the North of England and Scotland representing Bona I spend much of my time inspecting and recommending treatments for hardwood floors. The standard of finishing I see varies enormously and it’s always pleasing to see a well sanded and finished floor.

Today there is no excuse for poor workmanship, especially with the array of excellent wood flooring products available to contractors. However, good products will only produce the desired result if the contractor approaches the job with the right attitude, is properly trained in the method of application and has chosen the right finish for the floor.

At Bona we offer a comprehensive programme of training courses covering choice and application of all our products. We also promote best practice through our regional road shows and at distributor trade days. We are committed to supporting our users and helping them advance their businesses through recommendation.

The correct choice of lacquer is of vital importance and when I worked as a fitter I was never tempted to compromise on quality. It just wasn’t worth it – and I rarely had problems. I needed to know it would perform as I wanted it to. And it was also important knowing that if I need technical back up, the manufacturer would help me out.

One thing I would stress, however, is that contractors should ALWAYS follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for coverage and application method, as well as reading the site work sheets and recommendations for maintenance.

Don’t compromise on these if you want a problem free result.

When choosing a lacquer always consider the following when quoting for a sanding and finishing job:

– Is the floor in light, heavy or commercial use?
– Who will use the floor and what type of spillage is likely?
– Will I need a primer?
– How much lacquer do I need? (don’t compromise here)
– Will the floor be allowed to cure?
– What practical maintenance regime can I recommend?

Once sanding has been completed, start the lacquer application with a coat of primer. This is essential as the first coat on any newly finished floor will raise the gain and require a light sanding using a 120grit paper. It is therefore false economy to use a top coat as the base or primer.

Secondly using a primer helps prevent the condition known as ‘side bonding’ or ‘cumulative shrinkage’. This happens when the top coat of lacquer penetrates the gaps and ‘glues’ the boards together, often causing ugly splits in the floor as room conditions vary.

We all have our preferred method of applying floor seals. Mine is a roller, but others like an applicator bar. Whatever method you use you must apply the lacquer at the manufacturer’s recommended rate, for example 8-10sq m per litre for our Bona Traffic.

Using a Big Foot applicator bar will compromise this rate because it’s too heavy. In fact one of the main reasons floor seals fail is because there is too little seal on the floor. It’s essential to achieve the correct film thickness so that the seal can perform correctly and, more importantly, give you a problem free result!

I said earlier how pleasing it is to see a well sanded and finished floor. Conscientious contractors know that this can only be achieved when carefully selected products are correctly applied and when you resist the urge to compromise on quality.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.