Unfinished bald spots in several rooms

Q: We have just bought a house and had some new wood floors put down. We showed up the night we were allowed to walk on the wood, to inspect the job. We have found about 12 bald spots in several rooms, as well as a square nail back sticking out of a board in the middle of our dining room.

I called the contractor and he said he’d saw the nail and will sink it and cover with putty. He couldn’t believe we saw bald spots (some 5 inches long). He says he’ll just patch them up and it’s no problem.

I feel we have a big problem. Should we insist he polyurethane the whole floor over again and move in later? If so, how many coats should we insist on? I don’t want these floors to age prematurely because they have too thin a coat. Also, I can feel the grain texture over multiple areas of the floor, which makes me think the poly was put on too thin. It is suppose to be 3 coats now.

A: It sounds like the floor needs to be buffed down and another coat of finish applied. Most coatings have a spread rate of 500 feet per gallon. Given so many spots he missed with the finish, I think a full buff and coat is really the only way to fix it up. Buffing with a fine abrasive should knock down any rough spots or grain raise.

Related Q: I had my oak hardwood floors sanded down and refinished with polyurethane (oil). I’ve noticed that some spots along the walls have been missed during the finishing part with polyurethane. It looks a bit dull in those spots. Would another coat fix the issue?

A: Yes, another coat will fix the missed spots but the floor will have to be buffed down again to make sure you have good adhesion.