White blotches all over wood floor

Q: We are building a new house. We had a flaming red birch wood floor installed. They sanded it and put two coats of a water based sealer on it, 4 months ago. The house took longer to finish then expected. When they came out to put the third coat on it and replace some big gaps in the floor (due to a subfloor seam pulling apart, due to drying), we noticed white blotches all over the floor.

The company that laid the floor states he has never seen nor heard of this. The rep of the company says he has never seen this before. They all say it’s a problem, but they don’t seem to have an answer except charging us more money to redo it and see what happens. What caused the white areas, and how does it get fixed?

A: You are so short on details, I could barely comment. However, some things you say indicate the timing was wrong to have this floor sanded when it was. None of the wet trades had finished. The sub floor shrank, so it was not dry either. You don’t say if the floor was immediately covered over after it was finished.

Moisture seems to be an issue. I don’t think the flooring company is to blame, unless you think they should have refused to finish the floor when they did. Who made that decision?

The floors should be one of the last items finished in a job like this. What I have seen is that as good as trades people may be at their job, many care little for the work of others. 🙁 For all I know, the white spots are paint.

I have to side with the floor sanders on this one, with a caution, for their own safety that they not do a job this early but wait until all else is complete. The other trades should have covered and protected the unfinished floor while work was being done.