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Hardwood Floor Care Tips and Recommendations
  • The Two Oaks and Tannin Pull

    Aug 20, 2019

    red-white-oak-comparison

    Solid wood flooring is one of the most recognizable and unique flooring surfaces available on the market today. There is an abundance of options, from the species of wood and its color or warmth to the more technical aspects such as wood hardness or ability to accept stain. These and many other factors should be considered before choosing a type of wood for any given project. One of the most common of these wood choices in the United States is oak.

    There are two main species of oak that are prevalent in the solid wood flooring market: red oak and white oak. It is vitally important to fully comprehend their intrinsic differences and how to distinguish between the two, as they react differently when used with waterbased coatings.  Typically, there is a noticeable color difference between the two, one being “white” or “blonder,” and the other being “red,” but this is not always the case.

    At times, distinguishing between red and white oak can be so difficult that now some companies manufacture testing kits. However, if you understand a few parameters, telling the difference is a piece of cake. To make sure you have the correct wood for your purposes prior to purchase, follow these instructions:
    • Remove a piece of flooring from the pallet.
    • Turn the board so the end is easily visible.
    • Visible holes or “bullets” in the cut end of the board indicate red oak.
    • “Fills” or “no bullets” indicate white oak.
    • Crossbred flooring typically is a mix of “bullets” and “fills” and should be treated as if it is white oak.

    Picture1
    (click to enlarge)

    But why does all this even matter?

    Wood is made up of many active chemicals.  One of those chemicals, tannin, is most prevalent in white oak and is very water soluble. Certain waterbased products can react with high levels of tannic acid, causing discoloration or heavy spots. This results in blotchy floors, with potential color differences seen all across the field. Pulling out these tannins will cause a color transfer from board to board.  Some professionals report this color as purple, green, or even red. When applying stain, if the stain pigment does not completely penetrate and fill-out these “fills,” tannin can pull up through the stain and create an even bigger disaster.

    The answer to preventing any potential unsatisfactory results is two full coats of a waterbased sealer that is designed to prevent tannin pull, such as Basic Coatings® Lock ‘N Seal™. This pre-catalyzed waterbased sealer has a specific blend of resins and solvents formulated to lock out the tannin pull problem.

    Interested in learning more about Lock ‘N Seal? Click here or call us at 800-441-1934.

  • Double Staining = Double Trouble

    Aug 14, 2019

    from-my-front-porch-to-yours-vertical-or-horizontal-flooring-real-wood-vertical-horizontal-s-63ba1426f34e0cd1

    Have you ever finished staining a floor and wished a darker or lighter color of stain had been selected? Applying a second coat of stain to change the color is something you might try once, but the chances of success are not very good.  A second coat of stain can cause other issues like peeling of the top coat(s).

    Some may wonder, “What’s the big deal? It’s just another layer of stain.” The problem is that most stains contain color pigments, dyes, and a very small amount of binder. The first coat is thin enough for the top coat or sealer to penetrate and bond to the wood fiber. If a second coat is applied, it builds the thickness and two things happen. First, the sealer or top coat cannot penetrate through the stain to grab the wood fiber. This causes the second issue, the bond now relies on the strength of the stain to bond the surface coats to the wood. Most stains do not have enough internal strength to hold the entire film surface together, and this can cause peeling of the finish.

    One way to avoid picking the wrong color is to do a test area using the actual wood and actual stain color.  It’s not that uncommon to do a couple of samples to give the decision maker a couple options before the real work begins. New Basic Coatings® HyperTone™ Stains consists of 14 oil/water hybrid stain colors that can all be mixed and matched—including black and white—for darker or lighter custom colors.

    The proprietary oil/water hybrid technology utilized in HyperTone Stains also facilitates greater pigment penetration for more intense colors. If you don’t like the color of the stain once it’s applied, it’s best to resand and restain the entire floor.

    For more information about HyperTone Stains, please click here.

  • Don’t Get “Stuck” on Adhesives!

    Jul 25, 2019

    No Tape

    If you are a wood flooring professional, you probably already know that adhesive tape is very harmful to gym floors. Coaches, athletic directors, and other contractors, however, may not know the dangers that tape pose; namely, the non-drying solvents, or plasticizers, found in tape can damage wood floor finishes.

    How do you get around these detrimental adhesive tapes? While we do not recommend use of any adhesives on any finished wood floor, the reality is that tape is still and likely will continue to be heavily used on gym floors. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to pass along to gym floor customers on how to properly handle adhesive tape on gym floors, so as to minimize the risk of harm to the finish. 

    1.) When removing tape, pull at a 45° angle, as opposed to pulling the tape in the same direction in which it was laid. This will decrease the chances of the finish peeling. 

    2.) Do not leave tape on the floor for more than 24 hours at a time. 

    3.) When protecting the floor, it is best to tape the protective paper to another piece of protective paper. This is a better solution than taping directly to the gym floor.

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  • Skip the Peel!

    Jul 18, 2019

    Peeling Hardwood Floor

    Is your floor peeling? Can you pull a thin layer of finish off like wallpaper? If a floor is not finished properly, you may run into problems down the road, including a peeling floor. Not only is this unsightly, but it can leave your wood floors susceptible to damage! Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself to determine why your floor is peeling.

    1.) Is the peel easy to remove from the wood or is it only loose in specific areas? Use a razor knife to see if the film peels off easily. If the peel is loose all over, the coats were not bonded well between them. If just occasional spots are loose, it is more likely due to some local contamination or condition.

    2.) Is the back of the film shiny?  Look at the film piece and note where on the board the failure occurred. The middle of the board can indicate the lower coat was cured or there was not enough abrasion between the coats to maintain a good bond for the next coat.  If the peeling occurred on an edge of a board, it could also mean expansion from moisture issues or improper abrasion.

    3.) Is there color on the film? If there was a stain on the floor, look to see if there is color on the peeled film. If so, the stain was not dry when coated … regardless of how long the contractor waited. Also, ask if the contractor double-coated the stain. In most cases, double-coating stain will result in failure to bond, because the internal strength of the stain is weaker than the coating bond.

    4.) Is there still finish under the peel or is it bare wood? Test with the razor knife to be sure. If there is still film, then the failure was between coats. If the area is bare wood, then the failure is off the wood.

    5.) Are you left with bare wood? If the peeling leaves bare wood, the options are narrowed to a sealer failure, or the wood was not prepared properly before coating. Check the peeling for abrasion marks to determine proper floor preparation, or contact the sealer manufacturer for more information. Proper mechanical abrasion is key to aiding adhesion.

    6.) Do the meter readings match or is the floor wet? Check the floor with a moisture meter along with some adjacent wood surfaces such as trim, beams, etc. Moisture issues can cause excessive wood swelling and increase the chances for delamination.

    If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, there is a good possibility you have your reason for a peeling floor. If none of these reasons pertain to you and your floor is still peeling, we recommend calling an NWFA Certified Professional.

  • Don’t Let Summer Floor Finish Issues
    Make You Hot Under the Collar

    Jul 10, 2019

    Welcome Summer

    As summer heats up, rising temperatures can give rise to a host of finishing problems. Here are some common problems and their solutions.

    ISSUE: Whenever finish is applied with an applicator, the churning action of Trapped Bubbles spreading works small bubbles into the floor surface. Normally the bubbles will break out in a few seconds, resulting in a smooth and even finish. However, when airflow is warm, the warm air blowing across the freshly applied finish can cause the bubbles not to pop, trapping them on the surface. In an air-conditioned environment this can still happen, as the air conditioner pushes a large volume of air in order to keep up with the heat.

    PREVENTION: To avoid this problem, add a small amount of water to the finish in order to lower the viscosity. Adding a small amount of water allows a few extra seconds for any bubbles to break before the finish surface dries. If the ambient temperature is between 85°F and 95°F, add 5% water to the finish after mixing the finish with catalyst. If the ambient temperature is above 95°F, mix in up to 10% water, adding a little water at a time until the working level is just right. As good rule of thumb, 12 ounces of water added to one gallon of finish is close to 10%. Do not add more than 12% water.
    This process can be utilized with all Basic Coatings finishes.

    ISSUE: Solar gain is a difficulty any time of year but tends to be Solar Gain more common during hot weather. Sunlight beating down through windows, patio doors, or window walls will considerably heat up wood floors. If a dark stain is on the floor, even more heat will be absorbed. Floor temperatures in these situations can reach as high as 180°F. If finish is applied over such a hot floor, the finish will set up so quickly that it will blister. In addition, the finish may not wet the wood well enough to stay bonded, drying so rapidly that it never penetrates the wood and may later peel.

    PREVENTION: The easiest way to prevent solar gain is to cover any windows, doors, etc. with an opaque material that does not allow sunlight to heat up the floor. Another way to control solar gain is to work at a time of day when the sunlight does not penetrate the glass and/or is considerably weaker. If it is not possible or practical to cover the glass, the work can be completed very early in the morning (4 a.m.–6 a.m.) before the sun can heat up the floor.

    ISSUE: Hot finish on a cold floor will create millions of tiny bubbles at the Bubbles at End of Grainend of the grain. If the finish is  stored in the back of a truck sitting in summer sun, it can get as hot as 160°F. When this hot finish is brought into an air-conditioned jobsite and applied to a cold floor, the warm finish begins to penetrate the wood and heats up the air within the wood. This air expands as it is heated and is trapped by the swiftly drying finish.

    PREVENTION: Bring all finish into the jobsite before beginning and allow it to come to room temperature before applying it. Never apply finish that is warmer than the floor.

    Have you been burned by other weather-related issues? Email us at social@basiccoatings.com with floor finish problems you’ve encountered, and we’ll select one each month to feature on our blog. If your finish issue is selected, we’ll name you in our post and also send you some Basic Coatings swag!

  • Grain Raise, Go Away: Finish Aesthetics from the NWFA

    Jun 18, 2019

    NWFA Grain Raise

    Like rain on a summer day, nothing will ruin a hardwood floor quite like grain raise. Grain raise occurs when some of the wood fibers swell and become elevated, so the surface feels rough to the touch. Grain raise is also accompanied by a dull appearance.

    So, what combination of circumstances created your grain raise perfect storm? Like usual, the answer is…it depends.

    Environmental issues:

    • It is simply a natural characteristic of wire-brushed or other sculpted floors.
    • A steam cleaner added moisture to the floor.

    Application issues:

    • Abrasion between coats did not adequately knock down the expected grain raise that results from water popping the floor or applying waterbased finishes, sealers, or stains.
    • Grits were skipped, the final sanding utilized an abrasive that was too coarse, or other sanding mistakes were made that rendered the process ineffective.
    • Oil finishes or finish systems were not properly applied or maintained.

    For certain textures, like distressed wood, roughness is no cause for distress. Otherwise, don’t let grain raise rain on your parade! Abrade the surface and then recoat. A full resand may also be necessary in some cases, depending on the severity of the issue. It’s important when addressing grain raise to know which way the wind blows:

    • The moisture content of the floor must reflect normal living conditions.
    • You must follow industry-accepted standards for sanding and finishing techniques as outlined by the NWFA and the recommendations of the manufacturer. When using Basic Coatings® HyperTone™ Stains, for example, we suggest using a thick red pad on a buffer about 15–20 minutes after applying stain to knock down any grain raise and smooth out the floor.

    Have other issues cast a dark cloud on your floors? Email us at social@basiccoatings.com with floor finish problems you’ve encountered, and we’ll select one each month to feature on our blog. If your finish issue is selected, we’ll name you in our post and also send you some Basic Coatings swag!

    Source: NWFA’s “Problems, Causes and Cures 2018”

  • See You Later, Alligator: Finish Aesthetics from the NWFA

    May 07, 2019

    alligatoring_small

    Alligator print cycles on and off the runway but is never in fashion when it comes to your floors. Alligatoring, also known as crazing, is when a system of tiny, interconnected cracks appears in a floor finish, so that the surface texture resembles the skin of an alligator.

    So, what unleashed this reptilian beast on your hardwoods? It could be environmental, application-related, or the finish itself.

    Environmental issues:

    • The wood’s moisture content was too high during coating, which can result in water becoming trapped in the finish once the solvent has evaporated (also known as a coalescing problem).
    • The finish was applied to a floor that was too cold or at low ambient temperatures, which can also cause a coalescing problem.
    • The finish was applied at high ambient temperatures, causing the top of the finish to dry more quickly than the full depth, which can result in uneven shrinkage and internal stress.

    Application issues:

    • A compromised previous coat was ineffectively removed and is telegraphing through the top coat.
    • One or more coats were applied too heavily.
    • Not enough time was allowed to elapse between two or more coatings.

    Product issues:

    • The finish or catalyst was expired.
    • The finish contained insufficient solvent or solvent efficiency, which could be a result of manufacturing or exposure to improper conditions.
    • The product was not thoroughly mixed or was past its pot-life.
    • Excessive amounts of or the wrong catalyst or hardener was used.
    • Improper solvents or additives were added to the finish.

    Once alligatoring has sunk its teeth into your finish, your only option is to abrade the surface and then recoat. A full resand may also be necessary in some cases, depending on the severity of the issue and the number of coats affected. There are, however, a few steps that you can take to ensure the best outcome:

    • Ensure the conditions of the jobsite are optimal with respect to temperature, moisture, airflow, etc., consulting with the finish manufacturer as needed.
    • Choose an abrasion method that will completely remove imperfections and then proceed through the correct grit sequence.
    • Work at the spread rates appropriate for the finish as suggested by the manufacturer.
    • Allow each coat to dry sufficiently before applying another.
    • Double-check that the finish and catalyst have not expired and have been stored properly.
    • Thoroughly mix the product, using the correct catalyst or hardener in the correct amounts.
    • Keep track of the time elapsed since catalyzation, remembering to recatalyze or discard once finish is past its pot-life.

    Are other floor issues rearing their ugly heads? Email us at social@basiccoatings.com with floor finish problems you’ve encountered, and we’ll select one each month to feature on our blog!

    Source: NWFA’s “Problems, Causes and Cures 2018”

  • What’s the Deal with Orange Peel?

    Apr 04, 2019

    orange-peel

    Oranges may be a great snack, but that doesn’t mean you want your floor to look like one! Orange peel is the pitting of a floor finish, so that the surface texture resembles that of citrus fruit.

    So, what made your floor a lemon? It could be application-related, environmental, or both.

     

    Application issues:

    • The roller was not suitable to be rolled, had the wrong size nap roller sleeve, or was used incorrectly.
    • The finish or sealer was overworked on the application surface, resulting in the formation of air bubbles within the applicator, which caused incomplete flowing out of the finish.
    • The finish was not applied according to the manufacturer’s recommended coverage rate and was either too thin or too thick.
    • The manufacturer’s recommended solvent additives or dry-time-extending retarders for unfavorable coating conditions were not used.

    Environmental issues:

    • The finish flashed-off too quickly due to hot, dry conditions.
    • The finish dried too slowly due to cool, damp conditions.
    • The finish or substrate was too cold at the time of application, which caused uneven flow and leveling.
    • The surface of the finish was skinned or otherwise disturbed by airflow.

    Once you discover those dreaded dimples, your only option is to abrade the surface and then recoat. A full resand may also be necessary in some cases. There are, however, a few steps that you can take to make sure your recoat bears fruit:

    • Confirm that you’re using the recommended roller with the correct size nap roller sleeve, and make the switch if you’re not.
    • Work at the spread rates appropriate for the finish as suggested by the manufacturer.
    • Verify that the product has adjusted to the proper temperature prior to application.
    • Ensure the conditions of the jobsite are optimal with respect to temperature, moisture, airflow, etc., consulting with the finish manufacturer as needed.
    • If necessary, utilize the proper solvent additives or dry-time-extending retarded.

    Don’t let orange peel and other floor woes make you bitter! Check the Basic Coatings blog regularly for new tips and tricks!

    Source: NWFA’s “Problems, Causes and Cures 2018”

  • Is Winter a-SALT-ing Your Floors?

    Feb 13, 2019

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    When it snows, it salts. While salt trucks go about their business keeping the roads a little bit safer for all of us, it’s our floors that wind up in danger. As people come and go in a facility they stomp, shake and dump snow, slush and salt on floors everywhere. This can wreak havoc on both carpet and hard surface floors.

    A snowy, slushy mess doesn’t end after it dries as unmelted rock salt and stains can be left behind. The stains appear as white as snow across all types of floor surfaces. There is good news; these stains are actually preventable and your floors are savable. Salt stains are not harmful if attended to quickly.

    A great solution to this winter weather woe is to use a reliable matting system. A matting system acts as a first line of defense against tracked-in contaminants on your floors. Over 80% of dirt and residues are brought in by people entering the facility; a good entrance matting system can trap 90% of this dirt and debris that is brought in!

    A successful matting system includes:

    • A high thread count mat with a rubber back to avoid slipping
    • Keeping outside entries  clear by shoveling  snow and ice up to 25 feet away from the building
    • Scraper mats in your entries, which contain rough threads that will buy tadalafil usa trap more dirt and grime from shoes
    • Wider mats allow more time for shoes to dry before entering the facility
    • Regular maintenance cleaning can help regulate the amount of contaminants brought in—vacuuming floor mats daily can eliminate excess ice melt and dirt from entering the building

    It is important to keep in mind that hardwood floors are vulnerable during the winter. There is danger afoot due to a combination of increased moisture and salt that can potentially harm your hardwood floors and finish. A white film forming on the surface of the floor boards will appear from salt residue. The stain not only looks bad but if it remains too long it will begin to diminish the floor finish and shine. It is extremely important to use a matting system on high traffic entrances with wood floors. Keeping these entrances clean and free of debris, melted snow and slush is the most proactive step to protect your hardwood floor investment.

    For the best solution to protect your hard surface floors from salt and other winter debris, use the Basic Coatings® Squeaky Floor Care System. Squeaky™ is designed for daily cleaning of wood, VCT, laminate and other hard surface floors. Using a daily maintenance cleaner during the winter months is one of the most important steps to extend the life of your floors.

  • A Scrubber Designed for Wood Floors

    Oct 03, 2018

    Dirt-Dragon-Blog

     

    Product innovation can sprout from anywhere. It’s goal – being a solution to solve an unmet need. The story behind the Basic Coatings Dirt Dragon is no different.

    Let’s go back a few years to 1997 when the TyKote system was first developed. Back then, the cleaning process of the TyKote system was done by wrapping towels soaked in cleaning solution around push brooms and tacking the floor. Pretty labor intensive, right?

    But, bigger floors needed a bigger, better solution. This is where the idea for the Dirt Dragon was evolved.

    Basic Coatings saw an opportunity in markets like gym flooring, where large automatic scrubbers were needed for agitating the cleaning solution and extracting it from the floor. Knowing that scrubbing and extracting cleaning solutions is always better than mopping, the Basic Coatings team got to work to improve the TyKote system for the residential and commercial markets.

    The foundation of the TyKote system is to get beautiful floors with less mess, so the first task on the docket was to figure out how to ensure that the majority of the dirt and contaminants are removed from the floor instead of being left behind. This system would need a machine with superior mechanical agitation from the brush to help loosen unwanted dirt. One of the suggested improvements was to use a grout scrubber on wood floors.

    Dirt Dragon Numero Uno

    Dirt-Dragon-12

    The first Dirt Dragon was a grout scrubber that was designed for scrubbing and extracting tile floors. The brush movement from a cylindrical brush is superior to a rotary brush on floors like tile in order to be able to get deep into the grouted joints between tile.

    This first machine was successful at cleaning wood floors better than a mop and bucket, but it had some limitations. One of the main issues with this machine was that it was difficult to remove all water from the floor. Nonetheless, Basic Coatings had introduced an entirely new business model to flooring contractors and the system took off. This success led Basic Coatings to develop a scrubber that uniquely met the needs of wood floors.

    While the first Dirt Dragon was not the first scrubber to enter the market, it was the only scrubber uniquely designed to be used on wood floors. Every other competitive scrubber marketed to the wood floor industry was first sold as a hard floor scrubber by cleaning companies. This is the key factor that sets the Dirt Dragon apart in the industry.

    New and Improved

    Dirt-Dragon-New

    The development of the second generation Dirt Dragon had wood floors in mind first. The guiding principles for product development were:

    • Water and Wood – we were sensitive to the issue that wood is hydroscopic and excessive moisture can cause problems for wood floors.
    • Wood is Unique – wood is a unique surface that is different than tile, concrete or other hard surfaces. Wood can dent, splinter and scratch. The finishes can burnish or dull due to different types of abrasion.

    Understanding the uniqueness of wood led to all of the machine features that the Dirt Dragon is known for today, like:

    • Brush Type – brushes can come in many different specifications and Basic Coatings tested hundreds of different variations on different species of wood. The brush needs to be able to abrade the dirt without abrading the finish or scratching the wood. It needs to be flexible enough to get deep into open wood grain but stiff enough for cleaning performance. Different Brush Bristle Materials were tested. The amount of brush strands inserted into each brush holder hole were varied.
    • Brush Pattern – another brush characteristic is the chevron pattern of the bristles. The entire brush needs to be wet for cleaning. Once wet, the chevron design helps funnel the cleaning solution towards the vacuum port. This pattern was chosen due to our desire to remove all solution from the floor.
    • Vacuum Power – the vacuum is 2x stronger than what typically would have been specified for a floor scrubber. This ensures all solution is removed.
    • Squeegee Design – the machine has forward and reverse squeegee holders and 4 squeegee sides that completely surround the brush. This design really helps to contain the solution.
    • Flow Control – Most scrubbers have an on/off feature. The Dirt Dragon also has a flow control knob that allows the user to dial down the solution applied to the floor for sensitive floors.

    To learn more about the Basic Coatings Dirt Dragon or the TyKote system, click here!

  • 4 Easy Ways to Prevent Your Hardwood Floors from Fading

    Apr 02, 2018

    Fading-Hardwood-Floor

    Hardwood floors are a pretty big and important investment. The wood type, color, sheen, and design at installation are all key factors in the look of the final product. Over time, these floors may fade, become discolored, or warp. What causes this? Sunlight—just like the sun can burn your body if you expose it for too long, the sun can affect your wood floors.

    Protect Your Floors from Fading and Sun Damage

    1. Rearrange your furniture.

    Every few months, consider changing up the layout of a room. Move a rug or reposition some furniture. It doesn’t take drastic changes—just enough so that different areas of the floor get different levels of sun exposure.

    2. Create some shade.

    Drapes or curtains help keep the sun out, but adding some plants to the landscaping in front of windows could be even more effective. Plants will help counteract the sun’s searing effects (not to mention, your yard will look fantastic!).

    3. Refinish regularly.

    Don’t wait until the damage is done. By refinishing wood floors regularly, you can prevent sun damage before it becomes permanent. Floors looking discolored, scratched, or extremely worn? It may be time to call a contractor to refinish.

    4. Connect with the experts.

    Think your floors are over-exposed to sunlight, but not sure what you can do? Don’t fret. Call a contractor in your area to come out and take a look at your floor. Their wood flooring expertise and knowledge of products will help you find a solution that works for you.

    Quick tip: Basic Coatings’ StreetShoe® NXT is a waterbased wood floor finish that was specifically made with a UV Inhibitor to minimize sunlight-related color changes for high traffic wood floors. Click here to learn more.

  • Overworked Finish? Here’s How to Fix It

    Mar 23, 2018

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    Fast-drying finishes can sometimes be tricky. If you go over the finish with the applicator once the finish has started to dry or “kicked over,” it can create bubbles or make the finish streak. This appearance is caused by pulling the new finish over the partially cured finish. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent this issue.

    Prevention:

    Don’t Use Old Finish: Make sure you check the batch codes from the manufacturer of the finish before you lay it down. Expired finishes can be foamy or bubbly, which can affect the way the finish performs.

    Lay it and Leave it: Focus on completing the floor a little at a time. Work in an area about 3 by 3 feet—something manageable and comfortable. Once the finish is dry, you can go back to do minor repairs, as opposed to repairing a big area of overworked finish.

    Don’t Wring out Applicators: When your “wring out” your applicator during the application process, you are introducing air into the applicator and into the finish you are applying. This will cause foam or bubbles. Instead of wringing out your applicator to remove drips, try just tapping the excess off.

    Control the Air Flow: When your coating the floor, make sure the HVAC system is off. This will prevent uneven finish, debris, streaks, etc. Once the floor is finished, wait about 30–45 minutes before turning the system back on.

    Add Water: If you are working in high temperatures or low humidity, it can be beneficial to add water to your finish to extend the “open” time.  You can add up 12 ounces of water per gallon.

    How to Fix it:

    Looking for a way to fix overworked finish? The best way to repair these issues is to abrade and recoat.  You can also check out our video on small board repair by clicking here.

    Still have questions? Call us at 800-441-1934 to talk with our experts.

  • Wood Floor Trends You Should Know About

    Mar 20, 2017

    BC-Wood-Floor_Blog-624x410

    Your home is an extension of yourself and your personal style. From the ceiling to the floors and everything in between, you make it whatever you want. The trends we see in homes have changed with each decade; mint green cabinets from the 50s, popcorn ceilings in the 60s, and brightly colored shag carpets from the 70s. However, while these trends come and go, there is on trend that has remained constant—hardwood floors.

    With more options available now more than ever, it can be difficult to decide on one particular look. Here are the wood floor trends you should know about for 2017:

    Don’t be afraid of the dark. The classic, yet edgy appearance of dark hardwood is growing popularity. Its dramatic look pairs well with lighter contrasting furniture and decor. While the darker color may be harder to keep clean, it hides imperfections better.

    Bigger is better. Wide plank floors add more depth to a room, giving it a fresh and modern look. This style offers diversity from your typical narrow strip flooring.

    Don’t hide these grays. Who says hardwood floors have to be brown? Gray hardwood is anything but boring and gives any room a new and improved appearance. The neutral color pairs easily with almost any design, giving you free rein to be creative in your home.

    Shy away from shine. The natural look of wood is beautifully understated. Putting a glossy finish sometimes takes away the simplicity of the wood floor. Adding a matte finish will keep your floor protected while preserving the classic natural look of wood.

    What’s old is new. Textured wood floors add an antique element to your home. Wire brush your floors for a more aged or distressed look. To obtain an earthy, more rustic feel, try hand-scraped for a one-of-a-kind style.

    Whatever trend you decide to incorporate into your home, make sure you choose the right contractor and products to bring your wood floors to life. To locate a contractor in your area or learn more about what products to use on your wood floors, please visit basiccoatings.com today!

  • Keep Your Gym Floor in the Game

    Feb 17, 2017

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    Is your gym floor leading the league in shine and appearance? In today’s sports world, the flooring is just as important as the game being played on it. However, ensuring that the look of your floor remains at the top of its game can be difficult.

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    With so many fierce competitors and key players in the sports floor industry, it’s hard to know where to start to find a solution that works for you. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for an assist on keeping your gym floor looking new.

    1. Time is of the essence. When looking to recoat your sports floor, the last thing you’ll want to do is run down the clock. Every second counts, so make sure you pace yourself for success and high-quality work.

    2. Identify the key players. Take the time to find the MVPs in the industry. The experts will be able to coach you through the process and train you to achieve ultimate results.

    3. Have a game plan. Get out the white board and markers. Determine the process, prep time, and desired end results for your gym floor, so you can stay in the game and avoid sitting the bench.

    4. Teamwork makes the dream work. Look for products that work together like a team. An all-star finish might look great, but won’t be as effective if it doesn’t have the proper system in place before applying it.

    5. Cut costs, not playing time. A delay in game is anything but ideal, but don’t rush into a buzzer-shot decision. Evaluate costs to ensure you stay within your budget while still achieving professional results for game time.

    Once your gym floor looks top-notch, it’s important to take care of it. Stay unmatched by the competition by following these general maintenance tips:

    • Do not use cleaners on newly finished floors for at least 30 days
    • Always clean up any liquid spills immediately
    • Use entrance matting at all doorways and keep vacuumed
    • Avoid scratching the floor when moving equipment
    • Only clean athletic shoes should be allowed on the floor
    • Maintain indoor relative humidity between 35 and 50 percent

    Looking for a revolutionary way to prepare sports floors for recoating? You can rely on the TyKote® Dust-Free Refinishing System from Basic Coatings®.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • A Common Misconception

    Mar 28, 2014

    solids

    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.

  • 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.

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