Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood Flooring

Bona Polish messes up hardwood floors. Do not use it ever!

Let me blunt for anyone reading this post… Bona is a floor finish company in my industry that is the equivalent of Lumber Liquidators.They are both purely smoke and mirrors and offer mediocre products at best. Both companies market and advertise like crazy to create market share and brand identity. That is why you likely have heard these two names no matter how little you know about the wood flooring industry.

The REAL trouble with Bona as a company is that they count on you to trust that they always have your best interest in mind instead of being a savvy consumer. So………Prepare to have your mind blown. Just look below.

 

SKIP TO HERE IF BONA POLISH RUINED YOUR FLOORS

If you have come upon this blog post because you or the housecleaners used Bona Polish and it is now looking dull and cloudy, then read on. I will tell you a few ways to fix the issue listed in order of cost to you:

  •  This reminds me so much of “The Star Bellied Sneeches” that I cannot stop laughing. We’ll sell you the stuff to ruin your floor and now we will sell you the stuff to fix it. Fixing your floor this way is going to require lots of elbow grease and clean rags. By the way, buy an organic vapor cartridge respirator. Just look at the stuff in this product…. And this is the company that claims to be extremely eco friendly. Just remember that when you’re high on toluene fumes. If you don’t prefer to pay more money to the people who sold you the bad stuff, then you could simply buy a few gallons of solvent like denatured alcohol or lacquer thinner and take a chance that it works. It probably will but you’ll feel like you just drank 2 bottles of Chardonnay after you are done cleaning.

 

  • Prepare to have your wood floors stripped and recoated by a professional. This method will be the most costly, but will yield the best results. This product is VERY stubborn to remove.  I recently went through 6 double sided scrubber pads using a buffer to remove it from 1200 sq ft of floors. It took 3 hours of time to remove with a buffer, so on your hands and knees I would plan 1 to 2 full days if it is a big floor. After stripping the Bona Polish, then the floor still needs to be buffed again to prepare for the adhesion of a new finish coat. Once this is done we vacuum and apply a new coat of finish. This procedure results in the most even sheen across your wood floor, but will cost significantly more.

 

I write my blog posts primarily for one reason: TO INFORM CONSUMERS. 

It is incredibly sad when people are a day late and a dollar short because they already made a bad decision. Hopefully, someone reading this will avoid a mistake rather than make one. I live and work only in the Sacramento/Auburn region. So, if you live here too, then email me and I can possibly help. If you need a real contractor and live elsewhere, then go to woodfloors.org and find a certified professional. Whatever you do, I recommend against using a Bona certified craftsman because you’ll just get more nonsense and drivel then real answers for your problem. Bona is a purely bureaucratic company seeking profit. The DO NOT care about consumers. I see it everyday in my contracting business so take this as a warning from a third party who is transparent.

 

STAY SMART EVERYONE AND STAY IN TOUCH!

When the small details add up

There are a lot of details that do not get seen when a hardwood floor gets installed unless you watch your contractor every step of the way. Because this leads to tense relationships between a contractor and client in most cases, it is better that you learn to understand what requests to have before a project versus becoming an overbearing customer.

An often overlooked detail that requires minor extra effort and tools is to add spline or “slip-tongue” to areas of a project when needed. Spline is the hardwood flooring equivalent of a biscuit in woodworking that is cut to length and placed at the junction of two grooves between flooring materials.

 

 

Several areas where spline is extremely useful are the following scenarios:

  • Steps – The junctions with stair nosings and wood flooring where you will have extra force exerted.
  • Flush Vents – Though less critical for reasons of foot traffic, having a mechanical junction with flooring and vents helps prevent loose inserts during repeated heating a cooling cycles.
  • Headers – Headers are boards that are laid perpendicular to flooring to terminate into a different area, such as a fireplace hearth or different flooring. Headers provide a nice look too, but become irritating if they become loose.

Typically these areas are fastened using a router, spline, and glue. Contractors often skip the router and spline and rely on glue because it lasts for a while and is much quicker. The problem with using only glue is that some glue crystallizes over time and can break. This may not always matter unless it is in a high traffic area where a broken glue bond could result in a lifted board edge or possibly even a nosing coming loose. This could possibly send you tumbling if things get really loose on  the nosing at the top of your staircase.

The Problem

Here is an example of a nosing I recently fixed because it was higher than the flooring and had become loose at my clients home in Auburn, CA.

 

The stair nosing had become a little loose with time and could become a trip hazard. These poor workmanship issues usually take a couple of years to surface, so by then your contractor is likely out of sight and out of mind.

The Fix

Here is a shot of how we rebuilt the stair nosing. The spline and glue work to add two securing forces for this high traffic flooring part. The wood glue contains moisture, which expands the spline into the groove and provides and even better fit.

 

 

Following the nosing installation, we used narrow trim head screws to secure the nosing. Short of using a bomb or a sledgehammer to dislodge this nosing, not much is going to move it no matter how much foot traffic it encounters.

The small details of a project really do matter in the long run for the value of your investment. I encourage you to discuss these simple details when getting estimates to ensure you are getting quality for the long haul.

White lines in Wood Floors

 

White lines syndrome on hardwood floors is the result of finish stretch and adhesion loss. The last five or ten years have seen the loss of certain solvents within finishes that gave the coatings better adhesion and elasticity. In this video I discuss the two types of scenarios that create white lines syndrome.
Adhesion loss across the seams of the boards in a floor will create the look of white lines. The problem exhibits itself particularly when a floor experiences minor cupping from excess seasonal moisture. Because finishes like oil modified polyurethane lay as a film across the floor, upward pressure from cupping pushes the finish off the floor at the raised edges. An additional culprit for adhesion loss is excess solvent trapped within finish coats applied quickly, in which the coating becomes more brittle.
Finish stretch is the other form of white lines syndrome that can happen. The finish that is most prone to stretching is isocyanate catalyzed waterborne finish. This type of urethane is very tough and unlike other film finish will stretch rather than break when seasonal gapping happens.
What you really need to know is where white lines can become an issue. The major issues of white lines syndrome in floors occur in wide plank floors, exotic flooring, and dark stained floors. If you are planning a project along these lines then you should be advised that this could become a problem. The only alternatives to avoid white lines are hardwax oils and conversion varnish such as Glitsa Gold Seal.