Stain and polyurethane compatible? And pricing…

Q: Is there a way to tell if the stain and polyurethane are compatible? I have heard that sometimes using ones that are not compatible will cause it to flake? I had a quote from a gentleman to lay about 1200sf and finish a total of 1500sf for $3700 with H**** brand stain or poly– I am not sure. Is this a good or bad price?

How do I know if the job he does is good? What are the proper steps in finishing the floor; including sanding, buffing, how many coats, etc., so that I can supervise him?

A: I know prices may vary from one area to another. Let me understand this… He is installing 1200 sq. ft. and then sanding, staining and finishing 1500 sq. ft., for $3700?

If I was doing this job, my price would be $7725. This is to install, sand, stain, and finish; but not to supply the flooring nor any trim needed. I would get several quotes to see where this price is compared to others. It sounds far too low to me, and that throws up red flags, if your main goal is to have a good job done.

Most stains are compatible with polyurethane provided they are properly applied and allowed to dry before coating.

Follow-up Q: That is correct. I would be providing the flooring. There is about 300sf of existing flooring that needs to be refinished. There are no doors, and no baseboard installed anywhere in the house. I saw a house he did and it looked “good,” but I have no idea how to tell if it specifically is a good or bad job.

A: This is how I look at this work. I’ve been doing it more than 34 years. I’m not getting rich. Price break down is: $3.35 sq. ft. to sand, stain and finish with 3 coats. I use Poloplaz finishes which are second to none. I am not an “installer” per se. Generally, a floor installer is someone who is really fast. I have yet to see one of these guys pay any attention to detail. Their entire objective is to get the floor down fast and cheap. I do a good install, but I’m not fast. Certain issues with installing take time and attention. $2.25 sq. ft. to install… If someone is doing this work for half what I charge, and I am not making a killing, then the only way they can make a dime is to get in, get out fast and get paid. It makes me wonder.