Blog
  • The Impact of VOC Regulations on Wood Floor Finish

    Nov 09, 2016

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    Being in the hardwood floor covering industry, you know that understanding VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) regulations is a routine part of doing business. It was recently announced that three states in the Northeast U.S. (New York, Connecticut, and Delaware) are working towards lowering VOC limits to 275 grams/liter for certain wood coatings.

    If you are a distributor of these products or a contractor using these products, you need to be aware of these regulatory changes, or you may face the possibility of fines.

    Six states are now following the trend of adopting lower VOC regulations for wood floor coating products.  As VOCs come down, it makes oil-modified urethane products a less viable option for the future.  As manufacturers reformulate to reduce the VOCs of their urethane products, the products became more and more difficult to work with, and coverage rate is reduced. The increase in solid content being added to a current formula is the reason for a thicker formulation but is needed to lower the VOC.

    Advances in waterbased technology make products much easier to use and offer a number of advantages over oil-modified urethane.  Waterbased products dry and cure much faster, tend to have lower VOCs, and are in many cases harder and more durable.  There have been many innovative breakthroughs in the waterbased category, making this sustainable option the choice for the future.

    Source: NWFA’s online magazine – Hardwood Floors Magazine

  • Simple Finish Repairs: Starting from Scratch

    Feb 16, 2016

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    If your floors are coated with a hardwood floor finish, chances are you’ve noticed some nicks and scratches. Even with great care, hardwood floor scratches are inevitable. Here are a few steps to fix floor scratches to help maintain your wood floor finish.

    Take a Closer Look at the Damage: Deep gouges require more attention than small surface scratches. To determine the depth of the scratch, take a few teaspoons of water and let them drip directly onto the scratch, then take a few minutes to let the water settle. If you notice a dark spot where you dripped the water, the scratch has gone through the finish and into the wood. If you notice beads of water instead, then you are dealing with a surface scratch, and you do not have any damage to the wood itself.

    How to Remove Light Scratches in Polyurethane Surface: We recommend you tape off the scratch along the board seams and gently rub the taped area with sanding strips. Do not apply too much pressure to avoid making the damage worse. Light scratches should rub out. Once the area is completed and abraded evenly, wipe the dust away with the tack cloths and water for a waterbased finish, or mineral spirits for an oil-based product. Apply finish per manufacturer’s instructions.

    For deep gouges, you will follow a similar procedure. You will also want to have very fine sand paper and a wood stain that matches your hardwood floors. To begin, sand through the finish until you have reached the wood.  Brush on the wood stain per manufacturer’s instructions and allow it to dry, then using the tack cloth, brush away any dust. Proceed to apply a layer of floor finish over the wood. This may take several coats depending on the severity of the scratch. It is important you allow each layer of finish to dry before applying the next coat.

    Basic Coatings® recommends using a National Wood Flooring Association Certified Professional for wood floor repairs to avoid possible further damage to your wood floor or finish.

  • Seven Ways to Care for Wood Floors

    Oct 07, 2015
  • What is Green Floor Care?

    Oct 07, 2015

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    Green floor care has several components and is essential in maintaining a green floor or any floor in which the goal is to reduce cleaning’s impact on the environment. In essence, we can define green floor care accordingly:

    Green floor care is a comprehensive system approach to floor maintenance that includes all the chemicals, tools, equipment, and related products used to clean, maintain, strip, and refinish a floor.

    By saying it is a “system approach,” we mean that the floor and its maintenance are only as green as the products used. If, for instance, a non-green stripper is used, we no longer have a green floor care program in place, even if all the other chemicals, tools, and equipment are green.

    The key components of a green floor care program include the following:

    Vacuuming: When dust mopping, some dust and other contaminants can become airborne, negatively impacting indoor air quality. A backpack with a high filtration filter can eliminate this, plus vacuuming the floor actually pulls – vacuums up – dust and soils from the pores of the floor, resulting in a more effective cleaning.

    Chemicals: It is essential to use green floor care products, and it is often a wise idea to use the same green products from the same manufacturer. The reasons for this are many, but key is that many green floor care products from the same manufacturer have a synergy – they are designed to work together. The result often is better product performance, and using a certified stripper, finish, and cleaner typically translates into reduced costs, less work, and a greener environment.

    Equipment: In general, green floor care equipment refers to machines engineered to be more sustainable and use water and chemicals more effectively than older or more conventional floor machines. They are designed to have built-in vacuum or “dust control” systems or “emissions packages” to help capture the dust generated in floor care work, keeping it from becoming airborne. Further, the batteries should be safer and more environmentally responsible than conventional or older batteries.

    One further component of green floor care that cannot be overlooked is worker training. Cleaning professionals must understand how to use green equipment, chemicals, and tools to help ensure that they not only are used properly, but also are used in a way that reduces the impact of the cleaning process on the environment, and the health of the cleaning worker and all building users.

  • Basic is Better: StreetShoe® Waterbased Wood Floor Finish

    Aug 26, 2015

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    One of the most common errors when applying a new floor finish relates to a problem we’ve all shared at one point in time—a lack of patience. Any professional in the industry wants every newly coated floor to look like a dream the first time around. In the best interest of both the contractor and the homeowner, proper application of floor finish means avoiding resanding or refinishing, which saves everyone time and money.

    The time between applying two coats of finish can affect the floor in a critical way. Many new homeowners, especially first-timers, are busy folks. They tend to be on the go, trying to unpack boxes, manage their families, and renovate their homes as quickly and efficiently as possible. But what is a person to do when they can’t walk on their floors because they’re being refinished? One day can make a huge difference to a mom and dad who need full access to their kitchen to pack their daughter’s lunch.

    A customer’s impatience can put a lot of pressure on contractors to finish projects quickly. When refinishing hardwood floors, this can be a major mistake. There are no shortcuts to longer-lasting hardwood floors. By waiting the proper amount of time in between coats, contractors can assure their customers that they are getting the most hardness, the best durability, and the most abrasion resistance the floor finish can possibly give. Detecting when the floor is ready for recoating is fairly simple. Using a moisture meter to ensure the level of remaining moisture on the surface coat is within 1 point of the initial reading means the next coat can be safely applied.

    What could go wrong if a coat is applied too early?: a major sacrifice in the hardness, durability, and abrasion resistance of the floor finish.

    Hardness is one of several measurements that determines the wear properties and durability of a floor finish. Measuring hardness of a finish is done after the first day and then each day after that for the duration of a week and can be compared to other finishes.

    StreetShoe® NXT waterbased wood floor finish is an excellent choice for homeowners concerned about spending so much time off their floors. This Basic Coatings® finish is the industry benchmark for waterbased finishes. Streetshoe reaches 90% of its full cure in the first day.

    The research and development team at Basic Coatings is so sure of the superior hardness of StreetShoe NXT, they conducted a head-to-head hardness test against their main competitor, Bona® Traffic®.  Using the Konig Hardness Test, they found that at the end of the first day, Bona Traffic came in at about 36 on the hardness scale, while StreetShoe NXT came in at 65.  At the end of seven days, Bona Traffic came in at about 62, while StreetShoe NXT settled in at 75. Even stacked up against the competition, StreetShoe NXT wins the race for faster cure times and overall hardness when compared to Bona Traffic and Traffic HD.

    StreetShoe NXT’s quick cure times and better hardness benefits everyone, because contractors can get customers back to the normal use of their floors sooner.  Newly coated floors can be lightly walked on after several hours. StreetShoe NXT has UV inhibitors which slow down damage caused by UV light.  With a low VOC content of 275, the smell is light and dissipates quickly. Depending on the situation, most customers won’t even have to spend the night out of their homes while the floor is being finished. This waterbased finish is not a combustible product, so contractors and customers can rest assured knowing the vapors are non-flammable.

    Basic Coatings offers superior hardness over the competition right out of the gate. For more information on StreetShoe NXT and other superior floor finish products from Basic Coatings, call (800) 441-1934, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • Flooring Professionals Still in High Demand for Millennials

    Jun 24, 2015

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    According to the fourth annual Houzz & Home survey, millennial homeowners were just as likely to renovate their homes as any other age group. The survey received more than 170,000 respondents in the U.S., with 15,000 being millennials (ages 25-34). The most common motivator for millennials to take on renovation projects among this age group is personalizing a newly purchased home (55%), while one-third purchased a new home just last year.

    Carpet and flooring professionals are among the top specialties hired for renovations without a general contractor. Flooring was reportedly replaced in over half of all interior renovation projects in 2014. Of the 29 percent of millennial respondents that renovated a kitchen, over half replaced kitchen flooring (55%). Among the 25% and 21% who renovated guest bathrooms and master bathrooms, respectively, over two-thirds (69%) replaced flooring on average. Flooring was replaced in 51% of all other remodels and additions.

    One of the most interesting details from the survey shows a trend in homeowners shying away from traditional carpeted rooms and opting for harder floor surfaces. Nearly one third (27%) of homeowners on Houzz plan to replace non-carpet flooring in the next six months while only 13% plan to purchase carpeting.

    Kitchens continue to be one of the most popular remodeling projects among all age groups, with nearly one-third of survey respondents taking on this renovating in 2014. While millennials are spending roughly half as much as younger Baby Boomers on major kitchen remodels, millennials still spent an average of $26,300 on large kitchen renovations and $16,100 on small kitchens.

    Specialty contractors and professionals are still a necessity for homeowners who need help with renovations. Eighty-four percent of all homeowners hired a professional; 47% using general contractors. Among the other specialty professionals hired were: landscape contractors (19%), interior designers (17%), architects (10%) and landscape architects/designers (10%). Specialty service providers are also still in demand. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed hired a specialty service provider such as electricians (18%), plumbers (17%) or painter (15%) directly, without going through a general contractor.

    Visit www.basiccoatings.com for all your floor care and floor refinishing needs. Visit www.Houzz.com for more information about this survey.

  • Too Much Bubbly …

    May 20, 2015

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    Too much bubbly can leave you with a headache.  Bubbles are imperfections from foam in dry finish and can easily be confused with particles, bumps, or dirt.  If you are not sure what you are dealing with, you can use a magnifying glass and a razor blade to distinguish between the two. Unlike particles or dirt, bubbles are hollow. If you are able to poke a hole with the razor blade, you are dealing with a bubble. If there is no hollow base to the imperfection, then you are dealing with another issue that is most likely related to dirt or particles that dried in the finish.

    See how to prevent floor bubbles and how to repair your floor finish.

    How to Prevent Floor Bubbles:

    Too much working back and forth of an applicator creates bubbles.   Generally this form of bubble is seen at row ends and in hard to reach areas. Flow the finish with the applicator; do not pull any more than absolutely necessary to cover the floor. Use easy strokes. Pick up the applicator like a drum sander; have it moving at the end of each stroke as you lift the applicator to feather out the stop. Have it moving as you set it down gently at the beginning of each stroke. Drop it hard and you will form bubbles and a heavy line of finish.

    Very fast dry conditions can “freeze” bubbles into place before they break and the finish has a chance to flow out into a smooth film. Bubbles will be in high-air-movement areas, such as under fans, in front of doors, or by windows left open for ventilation. Close up the jobsite to apply finish. Keep the environment free of air flow for 30–45 minutes, so the bubbles have a chance to break before opening up the jobsite to dry the finish.

    Hot finish on a cold floor will leave millions of very tiny bubbles on the floor. Finish left in the back of a van in the summer heat will get as hot as 160°F. This hot finish will set a quick surface film. The nature of the hot finish heats up the floor, expanding the air in the pores of the wood. As this hot air expands, it will blow a tiny bubble at the end of the wood pore under the partially set film surface. This phenomenon can be differentiated from other problems because the bubbles follow the grain pattern of the wood. Bring all materials into the jobsite so they can acclimate to the conditions on the floor. It is not as important to have them either warm or cool as it is to have them the same temperature as the floor. The finish and the floor should be the same temperature for the best results.

    Another cause of bubbles is using aged, separated, or mixed finishes.  Fresh and recently mixed finishes will dry smoother and level better with fewer bubbles. Rock all containers of finish before using to mix the matting agent uniformly throughout the finish. Traditionally, matte finishes need to be agitated before use, but it is a good practice to mix all finishes before use. Even single-component gloss finishes will benefit from agitation before use.

    How to Repair Floor Bubbles:

    If there are only a few bubbles in scattered locations, use a sharp scraper to cut off the tops of the bubbles and touch in fresh finish. If you have bubbles everywhere, but they are surface bubbles, a good screening and recoat should take care of the problem. If you scrape the tops of the bubbles, then hand sand the scraped areas with screen or strips for small spot repairs. If the bubbles are deep below the surface, then it is probably faster and more productive to just sand off the finish and start over.

    If you are still having trouble with floor finish bubbles, a Basic Coatings® representative will be able to help you with your problem. Contact us today!

  • GHS: What Is It?

    May 19, 2015

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    As you may be aware, OSHA has modified its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in March 2012 to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

    What is GHS?
    In 1992, the harmonization of classification and labeling of chemicals was one of six program areas that were endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly to strengthen international efforts concerning the environmentally sound management of chemicals. GHS provides a global standard for:

    • Creating classification processes that use available data on chemicals for comparison with the defined hazard criteria; and
    • Communicating hazard information, as well as protective measures, on labels and safety data sheets (SDS).

    What is the impact of GHS to Basic Coatings?
    All Basic Coatings labeled products manufactured after June 1, 2015, will be labeled with the new GHS labels.

    What changes can customers expect to see?
    Between now and the June 1 deadline, we will begin the transition to the GHS labels and SDS:

    • Labels will now have pictograms surrounded by a red diamond shaped border for materials that have health or physical hazards.
    • The name material safety data sheet (MSDS) will change to safety data sheet (SDS).
    • GHS requires the adoption of a new 16-section format of SDS as the standard, which is the same as our current Basic Coatings MSDS.
    • Certain standardized precautionary statements are required on SDS and labels.

    To help better understand GHS, we have put together a list of frequently asked questions. 

    Q. How will the user know the SDS is the new GHS version?

    A. The SDS sheet will be labeled Safety Data Sheet and not Material Safety Data Sheet, will contain the 16 specified sections, and have its GHS classification and Pictograms in Section 2 if applicable.

    Q.  When do the new SDS sheets and labels have to be provided by manufacturer?

    A.  June 1, 2015

    Q.  When do the new SDS sheets and labels have to be provided by the distributor?

    A. New SDS Sheets must be provided by June 1, 2015.  New labels by December 1, 2015

    Q. Is there a deadline for end users to use chemicals with current labeling?

    A. No, currently OSHA has not issued any use date.  From an OSHA perspective, customers may use current inventories until they are depleted.

    Q. Will a facility need to keep old MSDS sheets?

    A. Yes.  Manufacturers, distributors and end user employers must keep old safety data sheets for 30 years or equivalent records containing the chemical identity and information.

    Q. During the transition period, June 1, 2015 until December 1, 2015, can an end user have the option to use either the old MSDS or the new SDS sheet?

    A. No.  A distributor or end user employer should acquire or request the GHS SDS by June 1, 2015.  A distributor can continue to sell the older version label until December 1, 2015.  A customer can continue to use a product with the older version label but must refer to the new GHS SDS for the product.

    Q. Could there be more than one GHS Pictogram on a label and SDS?

    A. Yes.  If there is more than one hazard, multiple Pictograms may be used.

    Q. If the product is not classified hazardous, will it require a Pictogram?

    A.  No, only chemicals classified as hazardous.

    Q.  Can Pictograms have a black border?

    A.  No.  The Pictogram must have a red border, white background and black hazard symbols.

    Q.  Do I need to have an SDS for every chemical used in the facility?

    A.  No, only if it is a hazardous material.  But as a best practice users should request SDS for all chemical products used by an employee in their normal job function.

    Q. Will DOT Hazard Labels be on product containers in addition to the new GHS Pictograms?

    A.  Potentially.  Shipping cartons and containers will have DOT hazard labels and product containers will have the GHS Pictograms.  If a product container is also the shipping container, such as a 55 gal drum, both the hazard label and the GHS pictograms will appear on it.

    Q.  Do I need to update the facility HAZCOM Program with the new GHS requirements.

    A.  Yes.

    Basic Coatings is committed to complying with the requirements of HCS 2012/GHS and is taking every step necessary to ensure that we are prepared to successfully transition to the new GHS label and SDS formats in the U.S. by the June 1 deadline.

  • A Common Misconception

    Mar 28, 2014

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    Applying as many heavy coats of finish as possible is best…

    This is a common misconception. Multiple thick coats do not dry properly and will scratch easier. The total number of recommended coats of sealer and finish is normally three to four on a newly sanded floor. Most often, this includes one or two sealer coats and one or two finish coats. All coatings should be evenly applied at their recommended coverage rates. This will ensure proper drying, best appearance, and wear resistance.

    Excessive top coatings tend to give the floor a look as if it were plastic or artificial. In the case of solvent-based finishes, which yellow over time, the appearance of the wood grain becomes obliterated. It will also get “murky” if you apply too many coats and do not allow the proper curing time for each layer. Too many coats can make it difficult to determine a wood species when numerous coatings have been applied over the years, giving a look of a painted surface.

    The type of hardwood floor you have and use can determine the amount of finish coats you apply. Make sure you speak with an expert or your hardwood floor contractor if you have questions.

  • We Will Make this Choice an EASY One!

    Jan 27, 2014

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    Having issues with your Maple floors? We aren’t surprised. Maple wood floors are known to show the smallest of blemishes and cosmetic flaws. The density of the wood does not allow for the wood finish to permeate the wooden fibers.

    Our friends at The Philadelphia Floor Store, Inc., thought that testing floor finishes on maple wood would be a great opportunity to separate the good finishes from the great finishes. The Philadelphia Floor Store has a room filled with a variety of wood floor samples for the sole purpose of testing products. They decided to put Basic Coatings® EasyStreet™ to the test against the notoriously difficult maple wood floor.

    Before we tell you how it went, we are going to let you in on a little secret. EasyStreet, a one-component waterbased floor finish, provides outstanding clarity and durability without an outside catalyst. It is ideal for commercial, residential, and sports floors, including those that are maple!

    Now, back to EasyStreet. The Philadelphia Floor Store chose to test the Satin finishuntitled (EasyStreet comes in four different sheens: Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Super Matte and Satin). The reasoning for choosing Satin was that Satin is more likely to highlight finishing flaws that have to do with flow and leveling. What they found was that EasyStreet’s Satin finish responded flawlessly. Mike Glavin from the Philadelphia Floor Store commented on EasyStreet, saying, “It’s forgiving and easy to use for a single-component water based product; it’s a great overall product, and we would recommend it to any of our customers!” The company saw no blemishes, streaks, or bubbles. They also found that EasyStreet is one of the easiest finishes to use that is available in the market.  It is compatible with A, B, and C mechanics.  Since it is a single component finish, you do not have to worry about mixing a catalyst to get your desirable outcome. Another added benefit of EasyStreet is that unlike most floor finishes, EasyStreet can be applied with two different methods, rolling and pulling.

    Basic Coatings strives to stay current in the hardwood floor finish industry, providing you with the most technically advanced products. Visit Basic Coatings® today!

  • The Four Stages of Curing

    Jan 10, 2014

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    “Is it dry yet?” or “how much longer?” are common questions asked during a curing process. The proper mechanism for finish drying and curing varies by type of finish. It is important to know that each type of finish has its own needs and drying points, but there are several commonly used terms to describe certain points along the dry curve, regardless of the type finish. These are the four most common stages of curing.

    Set point:  The first stage that a finish arrives at is the point where it will no longer flow and level. This is called the set point. It is not dry, it may be tacky, and it may even feel liquid when touched, but enough liquid carrier has evaporated so the product will not flow and level any further. This is sometimes referred to as the gel point in two-part systems.

    Dry to the touch: This is the second stage of finish drying. It is just what it says; if you lightly touch the surface, liquid will not transfer to your finger. It will be dust-free at this point in the dry cycle, and no dust sticks to the surface. Most of the time, it will be wet underneath, only the “skinned” over surface is dry. This is also the point at which air movement can be started across the surface to draw off the liquid carrier.

    Dry hard: This is the third stage stage. It is hard enough and dry enough to go on to the next steps. The floor can be screened and another coat added, or it can be walked on lightly. Normally, it cannot be covered or rugs put back at this dry stage, even though many contractors turn the job over to the owner at this point.

    Fully cured: This will vary from days to months depending on the type of finish and the conditions of the jobsite. It is the point that the finish develops 100% of all its properties.

    These drying stages are well known by the finish manufacturers and any contractor can get a good estimate of the time the various stages will take to develop by talking with their supplier. When asking the supplier, the contractor would help himself by accurately describing the conditions to the best of his knowledge.

  • Toss the Steam Mop

    Dec 04, 2013

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    If you go to the store, chances are there will be steam mops on the shelves advertising beautiful results for your hardwood floors. The reality is that steam mops are not intended for word floors; in fact, steam mops can ruin your hardwood floors over time and leave you with higher repair costs and unnecessary maintenance.

    Moisture is a wood floor's worst enemy. Moisture content in wood floors can be defined as the weight of water in wood. This weight is expressed as a percentage. Wood fibers in your floor are dimensionally stable when moisture is above the saturation point. The saturation point is around 30% moisture content. When the saturation point dips below that, you are likely to see your wood change dimensions and start to discolor, warp, or distort. (Note that the saturation point may vary depending on the type of wood of your floors.) 

    Steam mops will give you a deep clean finish, but that is exactly why they are not ideal for wood floors. The deep penetration of steam into the wood surface to remove soils and contaminants will force unwanted water into your floors and increase the moisture percentage. Overtime, this can cause your floor boards to warp. (Picture above is of a warped floor board.)

    This does not mean that you can’t clean your floors. In fact, we advise that you use a recommended floor cleaner. To know if a floor cleaner is recommended for a hardwood floor and its finish, we suggest that you check with your contractor first. If you do not have a contractor, Basic Coatings® Squeaky Floor Care System will provide optimal results on both polyurethane and waterbased finishes. If you pair the recommended cleaner with a microfiber mop, you will see very satisfying results. Microfiber mops are great, because they are effective in removing dirt and dust without releasing particles into the air.

    For more information on Basic Coatings Squeaky Floor Care System, visit basiccoatings.com. For questions regarding Hardwood Floor Maintenance, contact an expert at Basic Coatings or call Customer Service at 1- 800-441-1934.

  • Are You a Master of Waterbased Finishes?

    Oct 16, 2013

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    If you are in the hardwood floor industry, you might know that Basic Coatings® is a believer in waterbased finishes. But, what are the perks of using waterbased finishes and how do you use them? 

    If you are a contractor, it is good to know that a waterbased finish is a smart option when refinishing hardwood floors. Not only do they provide you with a beautiful, clear, and odorless finish, but they also good for the environment since they do no omit high levels of VOCs into the air. The 2–3 hours of drying time is also an added perk of using a waterbased finish. So, the question is, are you a master of waterbased finishes? Read below to find out!

    Mixing: Read your labels. Some are shaken; some are stirred, and most have a rest period before use. The label will tell you what application tools are recommended, proper spread rates, and the proper method of applying your next coat of finish.

    Airflow: Two hours of aggressive ventilation during the drying process is a good rule of thumb to follow. Remember: never blow directly on the floor as it will cause skimming.

    Sunlight: Do not coat your finish in direct sunlight or during that portion of the day. Too much sunlight can cause premature drying, skimming, and streaking.

    Temperature: Acclimate your finish to your job sites. Do not leave it in your truck until you are ready to coat.

    Expectations: Keep your customer involved in all aspects of the job: kids, pets, dry times,noise, odors, maintenance issues, cleaning kits, soft bottoms on furniture where it will come in contact with floor surface, and most importantly, how the floor is going to feel and look.

    Recoats: The life of the floor and the finish depend on maintenance and recoats.

    Sales: Sell yourself; then sell your services, degrees, awards, special jobs portfolios, testimonials, and time in the business. Your qualifications should put the customer at ease.

    Please contact your Basic Coatings Regional Manager and/or Basic Coatings for more training and information on the benefits of waterbased wood floor finishes.

  • Cat-a-lyst

    Oct 11, 2013

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    Cat-a-lyst / katl-ist (noun) 1.) A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.

    Adding catalyst is a great choice when using a hardwood finish. While you may not “need” a catalyst, it is recommended to avoid excessive scuffing and scratching. If done correctly, your floor finish in conjunction with a catalyst will leave your floors aesthetically appealing and tough as nails.

    We recommend using catalyst in Basic Coatings StreetShoe® NX and PureMatte™. Catalyst is optional in Emulsion PRO™, and you can read about the benefits of catalyst in Emulsion PRO on its Technical Data Sheet.   Once catalyzed, wood floor finishes have a pot-life of 24 hours. After that, the catalyst slowly becomes less effective, because it reacts with the water in the system. Re-dosing or re-catalyzing unused portions of finish after 24 hours restores the mar and chemical resistance properties of the dried film.

    When working with unused portions of catalyzed finish, it is important to keep in mind that the un-reacted catalyst remains in the film and tends to act as a plasticizer, thus resulting in a slightly softer film. Therefore, we recommend that catalyzed products only be re-catalyzed one time and that re-catalyzed finish be reserved for lower coats, rather than finish topcoats.

    General Reminders When Using Catalyst:

    • Add catalyst slowly while stirring the finish with a clean stir-stick
    • Never add catalyst to hot finish; allow finish to come to room temperature
    • Never store catalyzed finish in hot temperatures, as it will solidify
    • Wear proper protection; catalyst can irritate skin and eyes upon contact

  • Snap, Crackle, Pop

    Oct 07, 2013

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    Hardwood floors are a common flooring choice for homeowners, as they are incredibly strong and add a level of elegance to any household. However, snap, crackle and pop are not words you want to associate with your hardwood floors. Floors are typically attached to the floor joists below with nails. Over time, the wood and nails may loosen and cause popping noises while you walk on them. This can be an annoying issue that may devalue your hardwood floors. To fix this problem, you can strategically find the particular wood floor panel that is popping and directly attach it to the floor joist with new nails. Follow the simple steps below to stop the pop!

    What you will need:

    • A safe release masking tape
    • Deep-scanning stud finder with metal scanning mode
    • Power drill
    • 10-penny finish nail
    • Hammer

    First, locate the popping portion of the wood floor by slowly walking across it. Press a piece of masking tape to the floor to mark the popping spot.

    Next, scan the area surrounding the marked spot using a deep-scanning stud finder. Locate the floor joist that supports that particular wood panel. Depending on the construction of the home, the joist will either run parallel or perpendicular to the nearest wall.

    Next, locate the center of the popping wood panel that is directly above the found floor joist. Drill a hole that is smaller than a 10-penny finish nail into the panel’s center point with a power drill. This tiny hole will prevent you from splitting the panel in half.

    Now, place a 10-penny finish nail into the drilled hole. Strike the nail with a hammer to affix the wood panel to the lower floor joist. This process should take some strength since the floor joist is extremely dense. The nail’s head should be below the wood’s surface.

    Finally, squeeze wood-colored filler putty onto the nail’s head. Leave adequate time to allow the putty to dry.

    Make sure you walk around the repaired area to verify that the popping noise has abated and do not install more than one nail in the same floor panel area. Clustering nails together can cause splitting in the hardwood structure.

    Tip: If you do not have a deep-scanning stud finder, you can locate the floor joists by scanning the floor for top nails. They will be covered with putty and located every 16 to 20 inches along the floor’s surface and denote the location and orientation of the floor joist below.

    These tips are also recommended by Amy Rodriguez, a professional writer from the San Fransisco Bay Area News. Follow SFGate on Facebook!

  • Why Basic Coatings®? Great Tips and Recommendations!

    Aug 16, 2013

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    Recommendations for Rolling Applications

    Basic Coatings® routinely tests commonly used paint rollers to ensure compatibility with all Basic Coatings Waterbased Wood Floor Finishes.  With good application methods, many different rollers will work with various finishes, but Basic Coatings has found the rollers listed below to perform best with all Basic Coatings Finishes.   If you are looking for great results, take a look at our list of recommended rollers and procedures.

    Recommended Paint Rollers for Basic Coatings Waterbased Finishes

    • 5/16” Sherwin Williams® Microfiber
    • 5/16” Wooster® Microfiber
      • Note:  Best results were found using rollers labeled for “Smooth Surfaces”.

    For bare wood, apply two coats of a Basic Coatings Waterbased Sealer with a T-bar, roller, and/or paint pad per label instructions, abrade, and tack floor with Basic Coatings Squeaky™ Cleaner before applying a Basic Coatings Waterbased Finish. For screen and recoats, use a 120 grit screen or higher for final screen, for best results use a maroon pad (3M spp) with 240 grit Gold Strips, then tack floor with Basic Coatings Squeaky Cleaner before you apply the top coat.

    To begin, use a paint pad to trim along the starting wall, pour a line across the floor boards about five to six inches wide, and condition the roller with finish.  Place the roller past the line of finish and roll back through the finish in three to four foot sweeps, roll forward through the finish again feathering up at the end.  Repeat this process in six to seven inch increments until the floor is completed.  Rollers sliding or skipping is an indication of too much finish, roll excess finish out before continuing.  Allow finish to dry 30 to 45 minutes before adding any airflow to prevent debris from collecting or skinning to occur. Finish will be ready for recoat in 3 to 4 hours depending on environmental conditions.

    Basic Coatings recommendations have been fully tested at our application laboratory and shown to work under proper environmental conditions and sound application techniques.  Recommendations are not to be considered warranty for misuse or improper application methods and should not be considered the only way to apply Basic Coatings Waterbased Finishes.  For many years, Basic Coatings products have been applied with a variety of methods from T-bars and paint pads to spray, brushing and wipe-on application.  Please contact a Basic Coatings Representative or consult basiccoatings.com for more information on application methods.

  • Take It From Us: Mike Vitti, Superior Cleaning

    Aug 09, 2013

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    Basic Coatings® is not only known for our high quality floor care products, but also for our training. We are proud to be leaders in supporting your floor care needs. Over the course of 30 years, we have trained countless wood floor contractors in a variety of areas, including product demos, application techniques, VOC regulations, floor installation, and floor repair.

    Basic Coatings has unique one-on-one training seminars for distributors and contractors across the country. Basic Coating’s training center features and impressive 700 sq. ft. sports floor area and a 900 sq. ft. mock apartment floor area, allowing our customers to train in a realistic environment and ensure optimal learning.

    “I would say this was the best residential class I’ve ever attended, and I’m very heavily into residential and have been for 20 years; therefore, I’ve attended many training programs. This class was paced well, very informative, and had great hands on training. I walked away feeling very confident that I could implement this in my business to the point that I walked into the convention center, went right to the counter and purchased everything needed and related to wood floor care.” —Mike Vitti, Superior Cleaning.

    Mike recently took part in our residential wood floor maintenance class. Our floor care experts worked with him in a hands-on training session to show him how to correctly take care of residential flooring.

    Basic Coatings works daily to stay current with advancements in floor care technology to provide you with the most accurate information. Mike Vitti is one of many successful training stories at Basic Coatings. Visit our training page to learn more about our variety of training programs designed for you and your business.

  • Staining Made Easy

    Aug 07, 2013

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    Staining your hardwood floor can be a tricky and scary process. Stains are permanent, so it is essential that you are confident in your selection of stain color. There are many choices to be made when deciding on a hardwood floor stain, and you might find yourself overwhelmed. Here are a few tips to prevent stress and avoid staining difficulties.

    • Safety first: When staining a wood floor, make sure you protect your skin and eyes with the proper protection. We recommend wearing safety glasses and disposable rubber gloves.
    • Test strip: Test your stain color on a scrap piece of wood to ensure you like the color before you start staining your entire floor.
    • Blotches: To prevent blotches on wood, apply a thick coat of wood conditioner before you stain. The conditioner needs 15 minutes to dry before you apply your stain. It is not necessary to sand the floor after the conditioner dries.
    • Oil-based stains: Stir stain thoroughly before applying. This will prevent the dyes and pigments of the stain from settling on the bottom of the can and ensure an even-looking stain. If you choose to use an oil-based stain, make sure the room is well ventilated.
    • No fumes: If you do not want to deal with the fumes that come along with an oil based stain, try using a waterbased stain. Waterbased stains come in a large variety of colors and can be applied the same way as oil-based stains. Basic Coatings® has a large variety of waterbased products for your needs!
    • How to apply: Apply stain with a brush or a rag, depending on your preference. If you choose to use a brush, work both with the grain and against it. Apply a nice, even and thick coat of stain on the wood. For a lighter tone, make sure you wipe the stain off immediately. For a darker stain, let the stain sit for five to ten minutes before wiping off. Be sure to wipe off the excess stain going in the direction of the grain to guarantee the stain gets into the wood opposed to settling on top.
    • Water and oil do not mix: Do not mix a waterbased stain and an oil-based stain. If you want to mix stains to create your own customized color, make sure that the stains are made by the same manufacturer and are both either waterbased or oil-based. Measure the amounts of each stain used and write it down so you can duplicate the mix if necessary.

  • Don’t Slip Into a Danger Zone!

    Jul 29, 2013

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    Accident prevention is always something on our minds and it is important that cleaning professionals and flooring installation companies take added measures to ensure floors are slip-resistant. Sometimes it may be hard to understand why a floor is slippery. Here is a list of reasons why floors may seem slippery following a floor refinish.

    1.) Not cleaned properly: Often times the floor that is being refinished is not cleaned the correct way or often enough. Many times, accidents can be prevented with proper cleaning. Dust accumulations can make a floor seem slippery. Pull out those mops and wipe the dust away!

    2.) The wrong chemical was used: When looking to buy a floor refinisher, make sure you check the label to see if it is “slip-resistant.” If you are worried about having a slick floor, do not invest your money on a product that is not slip-resistant. These products are usually higher quality so they are priced higher; however, it is worth the price when you are not spending your money at the doctor’s office!

    3.) Too few or too less- If there are not enough coats of refinisher on the floor, then your result may be a slippery floor. Same goes for too many coats. We recommend you apply three to four coats of floor finish and then test for slip resistance. Apply another coat if necessary.

    4.) An oily mop: An oily or over-treated dust mop can cause a floor to be slippery. We recommend you machine scrub the floor, and then go over it with a non-oil dust mop.

    5.) Dirty tools: Make sure when you are refinishing any floor, that you thoroughly clean all your tools and cleaning supplies. Contaminants may contain oil or substances that will make your floor a danger zone.

    We care about your safety! Use these helpful hints and tips for your future projects to prevent an accident! Basic Coatings can help you with any questions you might have regarding floor care. Contact us using the web form or by calling Customer Service at 800-441-1934.

  • "Is It Dry Yet?"

    Jul 22, 2013

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    If you want to ensure a long lasting finish on your hardwood floors, it is important that you allow the appropriate amount of drying time. While waterbased floor coatings are known for their fast drying times in comparison to oil-based finishes, there are still a number of factors that influence drying times for optimal results, including:

    • Amount of air movement and circulation over the drying surface
    • Film thickness
    • Relative humidity
    • Temperature

    Amount of Air Circulation
    Air circulation is very important when it comes to drying  floor finishes. Without it, the solvent and water evaporating from the finish can quickly saturate a small layer of air above the finish, causing  the rate of evaporation to slow down significantly. For example, if your floor is in an enclosed area, the amount of time it takes for the finish to dry will be much longer than a floor in a room with proper air circulation. To ensure the right amount of air circulation, you can open windows, doors or install a fan to keep the air moving. Always wait until the finish has “set up” and is tack-free before introducing air movement to prevent dust accumulation or a ripple in the finish. This will normally take 30 minutes to an hour.

    Film Thickness
    Many are not aware, but floor finishes dry from the top down. Water and solvents must migrate through the wet film to evaporate. This will cause the curing process to become slower as film thickness increases. This simply means that thicker films will take longer to dry, stay softer longer and potentially damage your newly finished floors. Make sure that the previous layer of coating is fully dried before you apply your second coat.

    Relative Humidity
    When there is more humidity in the air, there is more moisture in the air. This can dramatically slow down the drying process for your floors. If it just so happens to be humid on the day you are finishing your floors, try to increase the airflow with a fan.

    Temperature
    The last factor that can impact drying time is temperature. There are two ways that temperature can influence drying rate. 1.) Temperature increases the air’s capacity to carry vapor. This can increase the drying rate, but only if the air is circulating and moving. 2.) The cooler the temperature, the longer the drying time. When the temperature is cooler, it slows the curing rate. Your result will be a slower drying time and a softer floor.

    Waiting for your floor to finish drying can be a long process, but if you want the best results, be patient! Your beautiful floor finish will be finished drying before you know it. We recommend Basic Coating’s® StreetShoe® NXT for a fast curing finish.

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