When should we “buff and coat” the prefinished floor?

Q: We have a newer room (in a house we just bought) with prefinished engineered wood. It is in a good condition right now. We are getting the hardwood in the rest of the house refinished. We got quotes from two sets of professionals, and one of them suggested applying one coat of (oil based) polyurethane to protect it, and the other one told us to leave that room alone. He said that oil based polyurethane would only cause problems later on.

Should we just leave it alone? Thanks for any help!

A: If the engineered floor is in good shape why mess with it? However, I don’t understand the one persons view that oil or solvent based polyurethane will cause issues later on. I use Poloplaz Primero and have found it to be a fantastic coating which dries and cures quickly, offers excellent durability and looks great.

Follow-up Q: Thanks a lot! When should we “buff and coat” the prefinished floor? or do people never do it? We are totally new to hardwood floors. Lived in apartments with carpet so far.

Also, another question – The hardwood pros (both sets) asked us to get 4 coats of (oil based) polyurethane when we refinish the rest of the floors. Is that required? The internet says 2-3, preferably 3. We can afford the 4 coats, but is it required?

About your website – great job! I am learning a lot.

A: I don’t recommend four coats right off the bat. If I’m staining and finishing a floor and use Dura Seal Quick Coat stain which also contains polyurethane resin I will apply 1 stain application followed by two coats of Primero. If it is a natural finish I generally do one coat of Poloplaz Fast Dry sealer which simply is a polyurethane designed for penetration as a sealer. Back in the old days an architect or designer would have called for the first coat to be polyurethane cut 10% with mineral spirits. Similar idea to this sealer I use which is polyurethane. That would be followed by two more coats of Primero.

Pre finished floors are difficult to deal with. For one, the coatings used (typically now a ceramic coating) is designed to be abrasion resistant. Without thoroughly scuffing or scratching that coating adhesion with another coat of finish would be very testy. There have been chemical preps created to help etch these coatings. Basic Coating has developed such a system I believe. And if this floor has bevelled or micro bevelled edges, all those grooves also have to be individually buffed as well. Quite a job. I wouldn’t do anything with such a floor until you can see obvious signs of wear. For example, the finish is looking more dull than the rest of the floor from abrasion of the coating, particularly in main traffic areas.

After 43 years in this trade, I’m still learning also!

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