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Floor Sanding Enigmas 01 - Casuse & Effects

Quality Craftsmanship since 1951

Floor sanding and the use of different floor coatings / finishes, under a wide variety of site conditions can result in many unforseen issues arising.  The majority of investigations into apparent 'problems' show the cause can be identified by examining the sanding process, application process, site conditions, timber floor conditions, and the use of the timber floor. 

Below are just some examples that were photographed and filed to offer awareness and simple explanations.


Timber Floors.

Sanding & Finishing a beautiful timber floor is a skill acquired over many years.  As you live on the floor it will gain a character and feel that is unique to your home.

2 Pac Solvent Coating Cracking

Blistering / Air Bubbles

Unlike 'Water Based' coatings, Solvent 2-PAC component coatings DO NOT allow for timber movement

[Shrinkage & Expansion],

 resulting in unsightly opaque colored 'Stretch Marks' that will eventually Crack & Collapse into the 'Tongue & Groove' of the timber floor, which in turn can lead to peeling of the coating.



Visible Air Bubbles usually occur when the coating dries too quickly and does not have enough time to disperse.  Other reasons include; thin coating application, coating in direct sunlight, temperature of timber flooring, OR the coating was too old or stored incorrectly, resulting in the de-foaming agent not working.


Timber Bleaching Marks

i.e. Acid / Thinners / Carpet Tacks


"OXIALIC ACID",  Bleaching is used by amatures who believe that dark water stain/s can be removed.   Acid bleaching will only take the original stain from one extreme to the next [i.e. Black to White], in the end the timber floor will be more prone to the 'REJECTION' effect, where the coating is rejected and dispersed away from the timber floor.



Unknown too many, Bleaching can also come from Carpet tacks, which are installed to hold carpets in place.  This happens due to excessive steam cleaning of the carpets, where natural chemicals are withdrawn from the carpet tacks and absorbed by the timber floor. 


Thinners & Other Chemicals spilled onto the raw timber floor may also leave unsightly residue bleach marks.

Buffer Staining Marks


These damages are only visible after the stain has been applied by the buffering machine and are very hard to remove.  Inexperience with using  the buffing machine - staining application is the cause of it.  Always opt for more old school, staining methods, such as rolled on stains or even better, Direct Staining application.

Can be REPAIRED by Re-Sanding

Delamination - Coating Peeling Off

Timber Rott / Boarers

Many factors contribute to this problem, but the most common are improper coating procedures such as 2 X COATS ONLY or applying Water Based Finishes on top of Solvent Based products & calling it Water Based Finish can lead to this.


These damages can only be repaired by professional carpenters, in which the infected rotten floor boards must be replaced.

Timber boards damaged by borer will NOT have the same sheen level as those in good condition.

Excessive / Hot Water Cleaning

Excessive Water will swell up the timber as it is absorbed into the timber [specially in the joints] & Hot / Warm Water will slowly but surely wear out the coating, just like thinning agents, although not as quick.  In the worst of cases, the coating can begin to peel.

Improper & Excessive use of Cleaning agents / Hot Water and Warm Water Can lead to these timber floor disasters. Do NOT use HOT water & Alkaline/Stripping Agents & Do NOT Steam Clean Timber Floors

Removal of liquid stains from within the timber board, such as animal urine and water stains is IMPOSSIBLE.

U.V. Bleaching - Solvent Coatings ONLY

The overuse of Solvent Based products is not only Toxic & Dangerous for the people who use them, but also to people who live with solvent coated floors.  Solvent Based products contain over 80% of yellow pigments and are U.V. - sunlight absorbent; hence they darken & yellow faster.  Covering timber floors too early after they have been coated, can also speed up the discoloration process.  A minimum 8 weeks is required before any coverings, such as door mats & rugs can be placed on the freshly coated floor.  Please Use Water Based products if you do not want your floors to darken & yellow up.

Click Here - for Approved Repair Professionals

Click Here - For Approved Cleaning Agents & Mops

Insufficient Cleaning

Insufficient Cleaning of the timber floor and surrounding areas can lead to dust fallouts onto the freshly timber floors.  Although, under construction environment, it’s almost impossible to get rid of all the dust. [e.g.  A hair follicle can be air-born and floating for up to 13minutes]

Modern sanding machinery is fitted with dust-collecting equipment and professional will take all the necessary precautions against dust, by vacuuming and wiping down surfaces.  It's virtually impossible however to eliminate all dust from the job site. Common sense dictates that there is never an ideal 100% dust free environment.

There will always be some dust particles that settle on the newly finished surface. 

Ghosting Effects

This effect happens when either sweat or quick drying liquids are transferred onto the timber flooring in between coatings.  It usually happens to un-professionals, otherwise known as 'WoodDuck', who do not buff in between Coatings & rush to do 2 coats in one day.  So next time a sander tells you Not to walk on the floor, please DON'T, there is a reason for it.


Timber weeping occurs when either too much moisture is with the timber and it begins to sweat along the joints OR when other liquid residues are still trapped within the timber grain and are trying to escape, just like sweat.


Timber Weeping Residue



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