Repairing And Preventing Floor Problems


Flaws In The Wood Floor Finishes

A list of repairing common wood finish, sanding, installation problems.

  • Bubbles - Air bubbles in wood floor finishes. Correct bubbles in wood floor finishes by screenning/buffing with a 150, 180 grit screen or 220 grit screen paper, then recoat. New screens should be worn down before using.

    Prevent bubbles, avoid shaking polyurethane, instead stir, and avoid brushing back and forth to many time, use ligth pressure when brush. Use a polyurethane floor roller for an applicator.


  • Flashing - A shinier spot that occurs during coating. Correct Flashing by Buffing and recoat.

    Prevent by coating in smaller areas with greater speed and keeping a wet edge, apply proper amount of coverage.


  • Lap Marks - Correct lap marks wood floor repair by Buffing and recoat.

    Prevent by coating in smaller areas with greater speed and keeping a wet edge.


  • Brush Marks - Correct Brush marks in wood foloor finish by Buffing and recoat.

    Prevent by coating with grain of wood, using a higher quality finish.


  • Puddles - Correct Puddles by lightly scraping excess polyurethane floor finish, Buffing with 220 grit sandpaper and recoat. Spot coating can be made. a thin coat should be applied.

    Prevent by applying a thinner coat.


  • Drips - Correct drips by lightly scraping excess polyurethane finish, Buffing with 220 grit sandpaper and recoat.

    Prevent by applying a thinner coat and using less pressure with brush strokes.


  • Wrinkles or Orange Peel - Repair wrinkles in wood floor finishes by scraping excess polyurethane finish, Buffing with 220 grit sandpaper and recoat. If, polyurethane finish is flaky resand and recoat. Entire floor should be inspected for additional repairing.

    Prevent by allowing previous wood floor finish coat to completely dry and harden properly before screening and adding additional coating.


  • Beading - Correct beading by scraping, resanding and recoat. Commonly occurs during a screen and recoat process.

    Prevent by testing surface for wax or residue. Clean surface with TSP before screening and coating.


  • Improper Drying - Correct improper wood floor finish drying by increasing room temperature and allow air circulation. If, necessary clean and wipe surface with mineral spirit, allow floor finish to dry, then screen and recoat.

    Prevent by keeping room temperature between 65-75 deg. Relative humidity should be maintained between 40 - 60%


  • Peeling/Delaminating - Repairing polyurethane finish peeling by resanding and recoat.

    Prevent by using products that are more compatible with each other, properly abrading surfaces to ensure proper bonding - use 220 grit sanding strips.


  • Scratches - Correct wood floor repair scratch by sanding and recoat.

    Prevent by avoid dragging items, use protective felt padding where necessary.


  • Scuffs - Correct wood floor scuffs by buffing and recoat.

    Prevent by avoid dragging items, use protective felt padding where necessary.


  • Gapping - Wood will naturally expand and contract. Repair gapping by filling with wood putty, be aware when wood expand it can cause wood putty to squeaze out.

    Prevent by allow wood flooring to acclimate a minimum of 72 hours, some species require longer time. Install a humidifier. Maintain relative humidity between 40-60 %.


  • Ooze out - Wood will naturally expand and contract, finish sometimes get trapped in the joints and oozes out as wood expands. Correct ooze out by scraping with plastic putty knife careful not to damage finish, clean with mineral spirit.

    Prevent by maintaining relative humidity between 40 - 60 %. Applying several thin coats of wood floor finishes.


  • Dark Brush Marks - Caused from excessive finish in one spot resulting in tanning pull, commonly with a latex wood floor finish. Correct by resanding and recoating.

    Prevent by using a high quality sealer, apply a thin, even coat and maintain a wet edge.


  • Uneven Sheen - Caused from insufficiently stirring polyurethane finishes. Repair by buffing and recoating.

    Prevent by stirring finish for at least 5 minutes, apply a thin, even coat.


  • Tan Lines - Caused from covering newly finished floors with rugs and mats, before finish fully cures and acclimates to light. Correct by resanding and recoating.

    Prevent by allowing wood floor finish to fully cure for 30 days. On newly finished floors and prefinish floors, allow wood floor finish to acclimate to light for 30 days.




  • Stains

  • Lap Marks - caused from wood stain drying out, too rapidly. Repair by removing lap marks with mineral spirit using a rag, then re-apply stain. Acetone can also be used, if a stronger wood floor finish cleaner is required.

    Prevent by using wood stain conditioner, this will allow extra work time, maintain a wet edge.


  • Blotches or Dark Spots - caused from wood absorbing wood stain unevenly. Repair by removing blotches with mineral spirit using a rag, then re-apply stain. Acetone can also be used, if stronger wood floor finish cleaner is required.

    Prevent by using wood stain conditioner or water popping, this will allow wood to take in stain evenly.


  • Footprints - caused by wet feet walking on bare wood. Water will open wood pores, causing your material to stain darker. Repair by sanding footprints out and then re-stain.

    Prevent by thoroughly wiping feet dry or enter bare feet.


  • Bleed Back - caused by applying accessive wood stain to wood surface. Repair wood stain by wiping with clean dry rag and allow to dry before top coating.

    Prevent by applying the proper coverage and cleaning thoroughly.


  • Sanding Issues

  • Chattering - Caused from drum machine. Correct chattering by resanding and recoating.

    Prevent chattering by taking lighter sanding pass at slower feed rate, use a belt sander, make finish pass with a hardplate or sanding disc on buffer. Maintain equipment, check drive shaft for run - out, check wheels for debris or out of round wheels.


  • Sandpaper Burn Marks - Correct wood floor burn marks by resanding and recoating.

    Prevent by avoid dwelling in one area, use lower rpm, increase feed rate.


  • Gouges - Caused from sanders, Correct by resanding using a floor edger.

    Prevent by avoid dwelling in one area, bumping into objects, feeding paper into wood floor too agressively.


  • Swirls-Edger - Caused from aggresive sanding or unbalanced sander, Correct by resanding and using a finer grit sandpaper.

    Prevent by adding maroon or white felt padding between machine and sanding disc, to act as suspension or cushion, Take a lighter sanding pass, use lower rpm's. Fine tune with a orbital palm sander.


  • Swirls-Buffer - Caused from aggresive floor sanding, unbalanced sander or debris getting trapped under screen. Correct by cleaning wood floor, replace white cleaning pad, rebuff using finer grit screeen.

    Prevent by adding maroon or white felt padding between machine and sanding disc, to act as suspension or cushion, Take a lighter sanding pass.


  • Rough Spots - Caused from uneven sanding, Correct by resanding using a finer grit sandpaper.

    Prevent by over lapping sanding passes by no more than 40-60 % of sander width


  • Lines In The Surface - Caused from uneven drum sanding or missed sanding, repair by leveling drum, resanding overlapping sanding passs.

    Prevent by over lapping sanding passes by no more tha 40 - 60 % of sander width, keep equipment maintained.


  • Equipment Lacks Power Or Will Not Start - Caused from loose connection, excessive equipment usage or worn down parts. Edger - Correct by checking for proper connection, replace carbon brushes. Drum Sander check for proper wire connection at panel, check belts for tension. Buffer check connections, replace carbon brushes.

    Prevent by maintaining equipment.


  • Fuse Blow Out - caused by loose connection in equipment, wire causing arching, lack of grounding. Correct by checking for loose connections, make sure power cable has ground, use higher amp outlet.

    Prevent by maintaining equipment, use proper gauge power cables with ground, use outlet with a working ground and higher amps.




  • Installation Issues

  • Cupping - Repairing cupping by allowing moisture content in wood floor to dry to 6% , sand and recoat.

    Prevent by testing subfloor for moisture before installation, avoid using excessive water when cleaning and installing a dehumidifier.


  • Buckling - Wood floor will naturally expand and contract. Repair buckling by replacing boards, sand and coat.

    Prevent by installing a dehumidifier and allow expansion gap around perimeter of room, use the proper amount of fasteners. Nails should be between 6-8 inches.


  • Open Joints - Flooring boards do not fit tight to each other, can be caused by poor tongue and groove construction, trapped debris, uneven subfloor surface, flooring rows are not straight or not enough force when tapping in place. Correct by cleaning subfloor, make sure underlayment is flat, use a better fitting floor board, use more force during installation.

    Prevent by keeping subfloor surface clean, use hardwood flooring with quality millwork, chalk reference line, use straight boards for starting row, use more force when tapping in place.


  • Squeaks - Caused by loose or damaged subfloor. Repair by replacing damaged subfloor, adding coarse wood screws into floor joist.

    Prevent by using quality subfloor products and using proper installation method.


  • Noisy Floor - Caused by lack of insulation or sound proofing. Correct by adding sound proofing material(recommended) or insulation.

    Prevent by properly preparing the subfloor, add sound proofing as needed.


  • Floor Feels Spongy - Caused by loose wood floor boards due to lack of fasteners, adhesive, or uneven surface. Repair by removing wood floor boards, prepare subfloor with leveling compound, use proper amount of adhesive or fastener.

    Prevent by preparing subfloor properly, using the correct amount of fastener or adhesive.


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