Finisher seems to have not used the necessary cross linker of two-component waterborne

Q: I work at an event venue. They recently got a new floor installed. The new finish scuffs and absorbs stains.. the word I feel is best to describe the finish is ‘raw’, almost like a piece of pottery that hasn’t been kiln-fired.

The installer says there’s nothing wrong with it, but I’ve seen enough floors and raised enough kids on one to know something is wrong. The new floor was supposed to be lower maintenance than the 90-year-old floor we got replaced, but I would actually rather have the old worn-out floor back! Can you help diagnose what the problem might be and what we might need to do to fix it?

A: Is this a site finished floor? If so, what finish was applied? If it is finished out of the box, give me the details. Who is the manufacturer? What is the product called? It is most common on those floors that a ceramic or aluminum oxide finish is used. That shouldn’t be a problem. So, this must be some other type of finish.

Follow-up: The installer used PALL-X 98 A two-component waterborne satin on a new installation 1st grade maple. I’m suspecting the installer did something wrong, like didn’t apply a base coat, or didn’t use 3 top coats, or didn’t use the catalyst.

A: This type of coating, water borne with a cross linker is suppose to be top of the line for durability. So, maybe he didn’t use the cross linker. And I tend to suspect what you said: He didn’t apply 3 coats. Water borne finishes are generally quite a bit lower in urethane solids so don’t have as thick a film when dry so you would need at least 3 coats. I bet it even says that on the container or on the manufacturer web site perhaps for that product. Why not call the person back who did the work. Walk him through the job and tell him the finish is not performing as expected and you really need at least one more coat of finish?

Follow-up: Thank you for your ideas. I’m glad you don’t think I’m a crazy because I, and the maintenance person that also works at the venue both feel this way, but the installer says it’s ‘normal’. In other words, he’s denying it.

So it seems like the only way to get it done right would be to prove it or see if the contract has any language about a performance or workmanship guarantee. I think I will look into having a local third party come do an on-site evaluation and see if they see the same problem.

Thanks again for your information.

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