Finish bubbling in darker spots of exotic wood floor

Q: We had a pre-engineered Brazilian Mahogany floor installed circa 2004. We started to notice dull spots and tiny bubbles in finish over time, but only evident where wood has darker colors. I brought it to attention of manufacturer, and they admitted it was product defect. (They provided cash settlement!) I experimented with one board that was badly bubbled.. sanded out bubbles, recoated with poly. In 6 months, finish is again loaded with tiny bubbles.

If I have floor sanded and refinished I fear the problem will recur. 95% Of floor is unaffected.

I wonder if I should have the worst boards replaced with lighter color boards and be done with it, or do that plus refinish?

A: I sounds like an abundance of oils in the wood causing this issue. There are water borne sealers and finishes which are advanced as excellent blockers for oils in exotic woods. has at least one such product they recommend. If course, it you have some boards left over it would be less expensive and far less disruptive to simply remove the offending boards and pop in replacements.

Yellow bubbles in middle of boards

Q: We moved into a house with installed hardwood six months ago. Lately we’ve been noticing a sticky substance on a few boards (not necessarily in the same area). Glue? We’ve also had a few bubbles appear in the center of some boards where we don’t remember leaving any water. Can you advise me on what might be happening and a possible solution? Thank you! We have not spilled or sprayed anything. We are on a cement slab. From what I’ve read, if there was a leak it should first present at the seams. This isn’t the case. The liquid is sticky and a bit yellow in color when wiped with a paper towel. Here are a few photos.

A: I’m not certain what is going on with this but issues like this are usually related to moisture. But I’m not seeing other indicators of a severe moisture issue such as cupping boards. Do you know who the manufacturer of this floor would be? I think I would contact them. Do you know the type of wood this is? Some exotics are high in oils and it may very well be that this is a defective product.

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