Loose floor peeling

Q: We recently had our floors screened and recoated throughout the house. They were recoated with high-gloss, oil base polyurethane (2 coats). At many of the board seams in the kitchen, the polyurethane is peeling up and bubbling. Less so in the LR, DR and foyer, but still peeling in some places. The bedrooms are fine. Some of the boards in the kitchen seem to move, especially where the peeling occurs.

The company said they will come back and redo the floors, but the floor peeling will probably happen again. We had our floors done 12 years ago with water-based polyurethane and never had this problem. Is there a better procedure to be followed when they are redone. The company doesn’t seem to know why the floor is peeling. Thank you for any light you can shed on this problem.

A: To me the big clue is that the boards move. So, what is the floor installed on? Apparently it isn’t doing a great job of keeping the boards tight to the floor. My guess is When they buffed the floor they missed spots along the edges because the floor was flexing down when they ran their heavy polisher over the floor. Was there any cupping or crowning of the floor? Peeling on recoats usually means either contaminants or missed spots in the buffing procedure.

Follow-up: Thank you for the information. The sub floor in the kitchen is the old fashioned 1″ x 6″ sub floor as is the entire house. Eleven years ago we removed tile flooring in the kitchen and replaced it with wood. We contracted for rock maple flooring that matched the rest of the house. However, we found out after the job (from a neighbor looking at our floor) that it was actually birch. Our entire house was then stained dark and coated with a water-based polyurethane. It lasted fairly well for 11 years. We then decided on a high-gloss oil-based polyurethane for the new recoat this past October (2013). We now have the problem I originally wrote to you about. Also, there is no cupping or crowning.

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