December 16, 2022

Three Types of Bad Hardwood Floor Refinishing Jobs

Poorly installed or defective laminated wood parquet

Old hardwood floorings offer a timeless feel and historic sophistication in residential homes. While aging becomes a problem for many flooring options, these wooden floors become more appealing over time. Unlike new hardwood planks, refinishing old floorboards to the current trends is more convenient and cost-effective. However, homeowners can face a few problems once they encounter a bad hardwood refinishing job. Whether they’re from professional services or by DIY, these are the three common types of floor finish failures.

1.   Uneven Sheen

Uneven sheen is a common issue homeowners deal with, especially on existing hardwood floors. During a refinishing job, some hardwood services tape off certain areas needing repair. While this is a standard method for isolated repairs, they can result in uneven sheen levels after coating the floorboards with a new stain and finish.

Different sheen levels are sometimes products of optical illusion. Unlike new floorboards, old ones have different lighting and subfloor variations, causing light to reflect unevenly off the surface floors. In addition, this problem can also be the result of improper mixing of your finish.

Homeowners can prevent uneven sheens in several ways. The most recommended method is hiring more credible hardwood refinishing contractors. Always run a background check about the business by visiting its websites and reading its reviews. Look for photos of their recent projects and testimonies from previous clients.

  • But for remodelers on a tight budget looking for DIY prevention tips, here are some of them.
  •  Mix the finish properly
  • Keep a consistent mil thickness
  •  Use a new applicator
  •  Let it cure

You need to mix finishing coats properly, as matting agents often settle at the bottom of the container. When you don’t mix them well, some parts of the floor become shinier while others turn dull. The inconsistent thickness of the finish can also affect the sheen. Thicker coats are glossier, and thinner coats are more matte-looking. 

2.   Overworked Finish

An overworked finish happens when you or a contractor goes over the finish with an applicator after it skins over and starts drying. The action creates bubbles, making the coat look curdled and, in some cases, have the finish peeling off.

This problem often occurs when you use faster-drying finishes like waterborne or any finish with fast-drying conditions. When the coat begins to skin over, and remodelers run an applicator through it, they pull the skin back, creating the curdled look. Bubbles in your finish can come from different factors, including overworked finishes.

To prevent your floor from having an overworked finish, lay it down and leave it to dry. When you apply a finish, start in a manageable area instead of overextending it. Focus on small areas one by one and let them dry. Once the entire thing dries out, you can do the necessary repairs. But depending on the type of finish and the humidity levels in your area, remodelers can only have a tiny window of opportunity before it sticks to the hardwood.

3.   Lap Lines

Lap lines are flooring problems occurring when remodelers use a T-bar to back out of the refinished area, leaving parts where the coat didn’t flow and level completely. While they can happen anywhere on your floors, lap lines often appear when you back out at the end of the job.

There are several techniques remodelers can practice to avoid lap lines from forming. Here are some of them.

  • Choosing the right applicator
  •  Using a tape line
  • Coating the walk-off area beforehand

Most lap lines are inevitable when you use a T-bar. Before starting your project, consult an expert about which applicator is best for each finish. Some professionals opt for rollers, but that will depend on your finish. Unlike a T-bar, rollers apply the coat evenly and alleviate lap lines.

Using tape lines is highly recommended by many finish manufacturers. They make things more convenient if you're refinishing a large room or area. You can use them along the board edges and coat them to the line. When you pull the tape, you have a beautiful straight edge that you can cut back.

When you feather using a T-bar, pushing your applicator away is easier than reaching out and pulling it back toward you. Work on a manageable area, as it helps you limit the distance you need to push off.

Hardwood Flooring Refinishing and Repair in Austin, TX

Refinishing jobs are one of the most cost-friendly hardwood flooring projects for homeowners. Although they allow fewer expenses for remodelers, failures and other issues are also more common. Besides considering the conditions of your floorboards before the project, using the wrong applicators and techniques can create finishing problems. By identifying how these failures occur, remodelers can find better methods of applying coats on their hardwood floorboards, ensuring their timeless appearance and durability.

Find the best contractors for hardwood flooring refinishing in Austin, Texas, today and Contact Kelly Hardwood Floors!