Why Basic Coatings?
  • Achieving Classic American Looks with Wood Floor Products Made in the USA

    Jul 11, 2024

    Whether you're a homeowner looking to bring a touch of classic Americana into your space or a professional contractor aiming to meet your clients' requested aesthetic, we've got you covered with products actually made in the USA. Here are 8 iconic American looks that you can achieve with the best water-based stains, sealers, and finishes from the Basic Coatings® line.

    1. Farmhouse Charm

    Farmhouse charm

    Channel the simplicity of American rural life with a farmhouse look.

    Wood Species: Opt for wide (6-10 inches) planks in reclaimed wood species like White Oak or Pine, which offer a natural, distressed appearance.

    Color: For a more rustic feel, use our innovative water/oil hybrid HyperTone Stains to create shades like Nutmeg or Sedona that enhance the wood’s natural grain. If the farmhouse leans more modern, our Custom Series also includes Raw and Bare Wood mixes.

    Sheen: Pair it with PureMatte™ Floor Finish to emphasize the organic texture and imperfections, creating a cozy, lived-in feel. If you are preserving a more natural look close to bare wood, put down Raw™ Sealer before coating; otherwise, use VersaSeal™.

    2. Colonial Elegance

    Colonial elegance

    Capture the stately elegance of early American homes with a Colonial-inspired look.

    Wood Species: Choose narrower 3-5 inch planks in wood species like Red Oak or Cherry for a classic, refined appearance.

    Color: HyperTone Stains in the Designer Series like Provincial or Hickory provide a rich, deep color that complements traditional colonial decor.

    Sheen: Top it off with a high-durability semi-gloss finish for a timeless, sophisticated look. Use VersaSeal with StreetShoe® NXT Semi-Gloss.

    3. Craftsman Character

    Craftsman character

    Emphasize the handcrafted quality of the early 20th century Craftsman style with rich, earthy tones.

    Wood Species: Choose wood species like Walnut or White Oak in 4-7 inch planks with pronounced grain patterns to showcase natural beauty.

    Color: Our Custom Series includes shades like Golden Brown or Early American that enhance the unique texture of the wood.

    Sheen: After sealing with VersaSeal, finish with the Satin sheen of Emulsion PRO+ to add a touch of understated elegance typical of this classic American style.

    4. Coastal Cottage

    Coastal cottage

    Bring the breezy, relaxed vibe of coastal living into your home with a light, airy coastal cottage look.

    Wood Species: Opt for lighter wood species like Maple or White Oak, which have a clean, bright appearance. Medium width (6-4 inches) is ideal.

    Color: We offer Custom Series stains like Birch that can lighten up any space and evoke the feel of a serene beachside retreat. Similar to the modern farmhouse, the Raw and Bare Wood mixes in our Custom Series also fit this aesthetic.

    Sheen: Pair it with a low-gloss or matte finish like PureMatte to create a casual, inviting atmosphere that's perfect for summer. Use Raw™ Sealer before coating for a raw wood look, or VersaSeal alternatively.

    5. Industrial Urban Loft

    Industrial urban loft

    For a modern twist on classic American design, opt for an industrial urban loft look.

    Wood Species: Choose darker wood species like Walnut in 5-8 inch planks for a dramatic base.

    Color: Our stains in cool, neutral shades like Grey or Special Brown create a sleek, modern feel.

    Sheen: Combine with VersaSeal and MainStreet™ Semi-Gloss for a polished look that complements the raw, unfinished aesthetic of urban loft spaces.

    6. Southern Plantation

    Southern plantation

    Achieve the opulence of grand Southern homes with deep, rich wood tones.

    Wood Species: Opt for wider (5-9 inches) planks in species like Walnut or Hickory, which add a sense of luxury and tradition.

    Color: Our Heritage Collection offers stains in luxurious shades like Jacobean or Antique Brown, perfect for recreating the grandeur of Southern plantation style.

    Sheen: A high-gloss finish using VersaSeal and StreetShoe NXT Gloss adds a layer of sophistication, making your floors the centerpiece of any room.

    7. Mountain Lodge

    Mountain lodge

    Embrace the rugged beauty of mountain living with a mountain lodge-inspired look.

    Wood Species: Choose hearty wood species like Red Oak or Cedar in 6-10 inch planks for their durability and rustic appeal.

    Color: Use custom mixes of our HyperTone Stains to achieve dark, rustic hues like Espresso or Aged Barrel, creating a warm, inviting atmosphere.

    Sheen: A semi-gloss finish helps highlight the wood's natural texture, giving your space an authentic, cozy feel that’s perfect for a retreat-like setting. For the ultimate durability, use VersaSeal with StreetShoe® NXT Semi-Gloss.

    8. Mid-Century Modern

    Mid-century modern

    Bring the sleek, minimalistic style of the mid-century modern era into your space.

    Wood Species: Use narrow (3-5 inches) planks in lighter wood species like Ash or Maple.

    Color: Use a mix of our stains in light, neutral tones like Pale Brown or Natural Wash maintain the clean lines and simple elegance characteristic of this iconic design period.

    Sheen: The smooth, matte finish provided by PureMatte over VersaSeal creates a casual, inviting atmosphere that's perfect for summer.


    As you embark on your flooring projects, remember that choosing American-made products not only supports Americans but also ensures the highest quality standards. Celebrate the ingenuity and hard work that define American manufacturing with our range of wood floor coatings, stains, and refinishing solutions.

    Ready to achieve these classic American looks? Explore our full range of sealers, finishes, and stains to find the perfect matches for your next project. 

  • Hardwood Hues: 3 Advantages of Tinting Finish

    Jan 09, 2024

    When working with different hardwood species, it can be a challenge to match natural colors and hues. Rather than sanding down the top layers to stain and refinish, finishes can be tinted for a personalized color-modifying recoat. Read on to learn more about how HyperTone™ Stains and Basic Coatings® finishes can help save time while extending the lifespan of hardwood surfaces. 


    The NWFA defines “tint” as “a color produced by the addition of another color to white paint or enamel. The act of adding the color to the white material is known as tinting.” To ensure proper adhesion when tinting a finish, it is important that HyperTone stains are used in tangent only with approved Basic Coatings finishes, which include: StreetShoe® NXT, PureMatte™, EasyStreet™, EmulsionPro™, GymShoe®, and Player’s Choice™ One

    Preserves Lifespan of the Floor

    Hardwood flooring is popular for its durability and beauty. However, modifying a surface that has been stained previously presents a few challenges. Sanding a stained floor to eliminate all existing color can remove half or more of the wear layer, which damages the integrity of the surface. Additionally, this outer wear layer can become worn from foot traffic, further compromising the hardwood surface

    In these situations, changing the color of the wood with a tinted finish is a simple and safe alternative. When using a tinted finish, the new color is distributed throughout the new finish coat and sits on top of the wood surface rather than adjusting the color of the wood itself. For future modifications, the tinted coating can be sanded off without removing any of the wear layer, taking less time than a traditional refinishing job. Due to the preservation of the wear layer and ease of application, tinted finish is a practical alternative for hardwood color modification.

    Simplifies Blending Different Wood Species

    Due to variations in grain, chemical make-up, and existing natural colors, various species of wood accept and retain stain differently. If a residential space has white oak installed in one room and Brazilian cherry in another room, the colors will be completely different. If the homeowner requests the same color throughout the entire floorplan despite differing species, tinting a finish with HyperTone stains is a cost-saving and effective way to blend two different wood species together. For more information on other methods for changing color without sanding, click here.

    Advanced Color Control

    Blending HyperTone stains adds a unique flair to every project. When properly mixed with a finish, HyperTone stains create depth of color that can be gradually enhanced with each additional coat application. Tinting finish also helps regulate the wood’s stain absorption, allowing for a more uniform color. When creating custom colors, enough stain must be mixed to sustain the entire project. This ensures consistent depth of color and direct control over the final appearance. The image to the right depicts a surface modified with a HyperTone tinted finish, with a few planks in the middle left untouched to reveal the floor's previous color.

    When applying a HyperTone stain mix to your finish of choice, it is important that the mixing ratio is correct. The mixing ratio will largely depend on the desired color, but a safe ratio is 1-3% stain-to-finish. The “golden rule” recommends that the stain-to-finish ratio does not exceed 10%. For example, if using a 128 fl. oz. (gallon) of finish, only 12.8 fl. oz. of stain should be added. After mixing, continue to stir throughout the application process to prevent settling.


    Prior to applying the tinted finish of choice, the surface’s existing topcoat should be abraded to remove any shine, then cleaned to prevent debris from interfering with the tinted finish application. Doing so allows the new tinted coating to properly bond to the surface. Once the sealer is abraded and appears dull, the tinted finish can be applied according to each product’s Technical Data sheet. It is recommended that multiple coats are applied for best results. For more information, please see Basic Coatings’ Blending & Tinting Finish Guidelines Technical Bulletin.

    While Basic Coatings’ products are designed for simple application, it is important to recognize the complexity of the process. Achieving a consistent and professional result requires skill and experience, which is why we recommend hiring a Basic Coatings certified contractor to keep your floors looking their best. Click here to connect with a Basic Coatings expert (link to contact us page).  

    To learn more about Basic Coatings’ dynamic coating solutions, please click here. To learn more about the innovative HyperTone Stains, please click here





  • Getting the Red Out of Red Oak

    Sep 28, 2023

    For the past 30 years, red oak has established itself as a staple in American homes and buildings. It is extremely durable, with Northern red oak rating 1290 rating on the Janka Hardness Scale and Southern red oak rating 1060. It is widely available in the United States due to its fast growing rate – nearly 1-2 inches per year – making it accessible and affordable. Red oak offers many benefits, but what if red oak’s signature deep red color doesn’t resonate with you? Basic Coatings provides a simple solution rooted in color theory.

    Color Wheel Concepts

    Red oak’s natural color fills a room with warm hues. However, you can take advantage of red oak’s versatility without resigning to the traditional look of a red hardwood floor. While it might seem more suited to an art class subject, the science of the color wheel provides direction in how to obscure and remove the “signature red” of red oak flooring

    Looking at the wheel to the right, take note of the three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. Follow the arrows pointing directly across from these colors, and you will notice “complimentary” colors. Complimentary colors are capable of masking their partnered primary colors. When working to remove red, green will be your color of choice. 

    The depth of HyperTone Stains’ primary colors makes it easy to mix and create a green hue that will conceal red tones. Mixing 1 part of Blue and 4 parts of Yellow creates a green stain, then you take 1 part green and mix it into 140 parts White. This mixture creates an unusual pistachio-colored stain that is ideal for concealing red.

    Bleached Appearance

    Traditionally, the “bleached look” is achieved with actual bleach. While this method is effective, applying bleach directly to the surface causes a negative reaction with the natural pH of the wood, weakening the cellular composition. To achieve this light look on red oak without using bleach, mix 140 parts White with 1 part green (using the green hue mix formula above). This formula can be adjusted depending on the depth of the red within the oak.

    Natural Wash

    Mixing 20 parts White, 3 parts Onyx, 1 part Yellow, and 100 parts Clear Base provides a light, natural appearance, stripping the wood of red tones while highlighting the beauty of the grain pattern. 




    Aged Barrel

    Creating a traditional brown stain without red tones can be achieved by mixing 2 parts Slate, 1 part White, and 5 parts Neutral. The Neutral tone provides a light brown, complimented by the darker Slate hues, which helps mask stubborn red remnants. 




    Pale Brown

    3 parts Onyx, 1 part Yellow, and 40 parts Clear Base builds a light brown stain that easily cancels out red hues with Onyx and Yellow, leaving behind a light wood with a hint of brown. 




    Staining a wood floor requires an understanding of the nature of your material and its qualities. From sanding to water popping, this Basic Coatings blog provides a list of considerations to help stain look consistent across the entire finished floor, including:

    • Sanding technique
    • Water popping
    • Finish application
    • The influence of wood grain

    HyperTone Stains

    Available in 14 colors for easy blending and color creation, HyperTone Stains' unique water/oil hybrid formula delivers unparalleled pigment quality, no matter the wood species. Basic Coatings' groundbreaking formula is non-flammable, meaning rags can be stored without the risk of combustion.

    For more information about HyperTone Stains, click here. If you are considering modifying your hardwood floors with HyperTone Stains or any other Basic Coatings product, click here to connect with a Basic Coatings certified contractor.

  • Top 4 Hardwood Species for Commercial Applications

    Jun 20, 2023

    Few other flooring options provide the depth of versatility and adaptability offered by hardwood flooring. When it comes to design, a beautifully finished hardwood floor sets the tone in any room. In a commercial setting, hardwood flooring offers a touch of class or a bold statement depending on the desired appearance. Read on to learn more regarding what species are best for commercial use.

    Janka Hardness Scale

    Like all living things, there are different tree species that offer varying attributes when processed into wood products, such as hardwood floors. When installing hardwood floors in high-traffic applications, it is important to know which species are capable of withstanding heavy use. The Janka Scale offers a trustworthy guide when determining what specie is best. The Scale rates hardwood based on the amount of pound-force required to insert a small steel ball halfway into a board.  It is important to note that the scale only refers to hardwood flooring, not engineered wood. To learn more about the difference between the two types of flooring, please click here.

    Image provided by the NWFA

    Brazilian Walnut and Brazilian Teak (Cumaru)

    These imported hardwoods are ranked highest on the Janka Scale, meaning they require the most applied force for the steel ball to penetrate itself halfway into the board. These dense species hail from Brazilian rainforests, and both Brazilian walnut and Brazilian teak offer lifelong, durable service, even when faced with high foot traffic. Brazilian walnut is known for its darker color and is often finished with a glossy sealer that does not distract from its natural beauty. Brazilian teak, often referred to as cumaru, offers a lighter color that accepts a stain more easily, but offers a traditional hardwood appearance when finished naturally. Both woods offer muted grain patterns and knots that blend together for an understated classic look. No matter the interior design vision, Brazilian walnut and cumaru are up for the task, guaranteed to deliver exceptional performance with unique appearances.


    Ranking towards the top of the Janka Scale, mahogany delivers beauty and longevity. It is ideal for installation in hotter climates, as it absorbs direct sunlight without fading and is less likely to warp when exposed to heat. Additionally, mahogany features fewer grooves and pockets than other species, simplifying the finishing and sealing process. Since its grain pattern is muted, mahogany’s interior fibers are structured closely together, leaving little room for excess moisture absorption. Similar to Brazilian walnut, mahogany is a quintessential example of elegant dark hardwood. Its dark color also means dust and debris are less visible, making it ideal for installation in dusty environments.


    Maple is one of America’s most popular hardwood flooring choices, and it ranks in the middle of the Janka Scale. Despite its mid-tier ranking, maple is an extremely dense and exceptionally durable wood. As a testament to its abrasion resistance, maple is often crafted into butcher blocks, sport surfaces, and cutting boards. Maple’s understated grain pattern does not distract from interior design choices, and its light color amplifies sunlight in well-lit rooms.

    With its signature lighter appearance, maple can be stained to personally tailor the look of a commercial space, or it can be sanded and finished with its natural color for an enhanced traditional light hardwood look. Due to its tight grain pattern, maple can be a challenge to stain, often resulting in uneven blotches. However, HyperTone stains’ unique water/oil hybrid technology easily penetrates the grain, guaranteeing your commercial space the best of both worlds: a quality maple floor with depth of color that reflects the desired décor. To learn more about staining maple flooring, please click here.

    "HyperTone Stains' unique water/oil hybrid technology easily penetrates the grain, guaranteeing your commercial space the best of both worlds."


    Known as the “king of hardwood floors,” oak shares a close spot with maple in the middle of the Janka Scale. Oak is an ideal match for commercial use due to its sheer versatility. It offers a wide variety of natural colors and grain patterns, is suitable for any design choices, and easily tailored to match its environment. Besides its famed longevity, oak is extremely resistant to insects and funguses, establishing it as a prime choice for installation in forested or wooded areas that are more likely to have pesky burrowing insects like termites. While oak is generally easy to stain and finish, certain species contain higher levels of a chemical called tannin, which can affect stain acceptance. To learn more about how to manage tannic acid when staining, click here.

    Other Commercial Wood Flooring Solutions

    Beyond the hardwood species listed above, recent construction developments have created additional options for commercial applications. End grain wood flooring has grown in popularity due to its exceptional impact resistance and durability. Defined by the exposed end grains from varying cuts of lumber, end grain flooring exposes the growth rings on the top wear layer of the floor. These tiles, which can be sourced from two-by-fours or cut in custom shapes and sizes, are rated for exceptionally high foot traffic and provide a unique look.


    When installing any kind of hardwood floor in a commercial space, it is vital that the surface is properly finished. Basic Coatings offers a complete selection of finishes to protect your investment. Designed for convenience and practicality, Basic Coatings’ line of finishes feature fast curing times and low VOCs for safe application. Finishing your commercial floors with VersaSeal and StreetShoe® NXT provide the most durable protection, no matter the species or type of floor selected for the space. StreetShoe NXT offers industry-leading hardness measurements, making it a perfect match for wood species already offering superior strength. Combining the species rated on the Janka Scale with Basic Coatings will provide unmatched protection for decades to come.

    If you are considering hardwood floors for a commercial or other space, click here to connect with a Basic Coatings certified contractor to ensure your surfaces are handled with care by someone with a passion for hardwood flooring. To learn more about Basic Coatings’ finishing options, please click here to browse our products. 
  • Selecting Wood Flooring: Solid or Engineered?

    Mar 15, 2023

    Different settings have dynamic demands when it comes to flooring. Wood floors deliver unmatched natural beauty within both residential and commercial applications. When selecting wood flooring, there are two choices: solid wood and engineered wood. Read on for a detailed breakdown of the differences between these two types of hardwood flooring.


    Solid wood is constructed with one thick cut of wood stretching from the top of each board to the bottom. It is typically ¾ inch thick and milled to be installed tongue-and-groove with nails and/or glue. Standard board width ranges from 4 to 5 inches, but it can be purchased in widths up to 12 inches for specific design applications. A wider board allows for a pristine view of natural grains and knots within the wood. 

    Engineered wood is still real wood and appears very similar, but it has a few prominent differences. Engineered wood is constructed with multiple layers, usually between 3 and 9 layers that total less ¾ inches thick. Its top wear layer is the species you are buying and has various thicknesses, while the other layers beneath are likely different species applied in perpendicular directions. Engineered wood is typically installed with staples and/or glue. Board widths range anywhere from 3 to 12 inches, with most common installations featuring 4 to 7 inch boards. Solid and engineered wood flooring offer varying features and benefits, which means there are several factors to consider when selecting the best type of hardwood flooring for your environment.


    Homeowners and hardwood flooring contractors alike may select solid wood flooring for optimum durability, but engineered wood flooring offers unique benefits as well. Since engineered flooring consists of multiple cross-grain layers of wood, it has greater wood flooring stability and is less likely to warp or distort in humid and damp conditions. Engineered wood is better equipped to withstand moisture, meaning it can be installed anywhere in the home: above, on, or below grade. Solid hardwood is an excellent choice when installing on and above grade, but according to industry standards, it cannot be installed below grade. For this reason, engineered wood is a primary choice for below grade applications.

    Durability and Lifespan

    Selecting the wrong type of flooring can lead to costly maintenance and even replacement, which is why it is crucial to install wood flooring that best serves the environment. Solid wood is a safe choice for high traffic and commercial applications. Whether it’s installed in a busy family’s living room or a hotel lobby, solid wood flooring guarantees unmatched durability. One of the main benefits of solid wood is that it can be sanded and refinished multiple times, transforming the appearance of the floor each time. This qualifies solid wood as an ideal solution for longevity, since engineered flooring can withstand limited sanding and refinishing jobs.

    Depending on the thickness of its top layer, engineered wood does not offer the same number of opportunities for re-sanding, and some engineered floors are completely incapable of being sanded. While engineered flooring can be installed at any grade, it generally cannot be sanded as many times as solid hardwood flooring.

    Engineered wood flooring and hardwood flooring share similar differences in lifespan. With proper routine maintenance, a hardwood floor can last up to 100 years. Engineered wood, on the other hand, usually lasts about half this time before becoming worn. Despite their contrast, both types of flooring are a worthy investment, and it is important that they match the needs of their environment.

    Overcoming Challenges with Engineered

    "TyKote® is the best solution for engineered wood's sanding limitations."

    Basic Coatings® offers a variety of products for beautifying and protecting solid hardwood floors, but we also offer products to help overcome challenges associated with engineered wood. TyKote® is the best solution for engineered wood’s sanding limitations,  creating a no-dust method for refinishing floors when the top layer is too thin for re-sanding. While perfectly suited for engineered wood, TyKote’s system is ideal for any type of hardwood flooring. TyKote is also an excellent choice for flooring with unique characteristics, such as an existing wood floor with an aluminum oxide factory finish. Following application, TyKote creates an intermediate bonding layer between the existing floor surface and the new finish. This means wood floors – including engineered wood – can be granted new life without compromising the integrity of the top layer.

    Whether you are finishing a brand-new hardwood floor or refinishing an existing floor, Basic Coatings’ HyperTone stains add personalized style and beauty to hardwood surfaces.  HyperTone Stains are low odor, low VOC, non-flammable stains that can be used in tandem with Basic Coatings’ finishes. HyperTone stains can be used on freshly sanded floors to manipulate the finished color, or they can be mixed with other Basic Coatings finishes to provide a controlled tint. When prepared with TyKote, finishes tinted with HyperTone can be used as the top finish coat on an engineered floor – no sanding required. There are multiple colors available, including primary options, allowing for personalized color choices.

    There is much to consider when installing new flooring, whether it is an engineered wooden surface or traditional solid hardwood. Between navigating the layout of a home or commercial space and proper application of tints and finish, wood surfaces present a series of unique challenges.

    The Key to Wood Flooring Installation

    The timeless appearance of hardwood flooring is extremely desirable.  However, it’s a bit more complicated than a traditional DIY project. From an engineered floor needing a gentle dust-free refinish to the installation of new solid hardwood throughout your home, hiring an experienced hardwood flooring contractor guarantees your floor will be treated with care and professionalism. This preserves your peace of mind and saves time as well as ensures long-term satisfaction with your hardwood flooring investment. Click here to connect with local Basic Coatings certified contractors in your area.

  • Keeping Residential Building Occupants Safe

    Jan 05, 2023

    Wood floor projects in residential complexes and buildings like apartments, townhouses, and condos can adversely affect all building occupants by particulate material and gases released into the air. Safety risks are increased as building occupants, and people outside the crew are exposed to airborne contaminants due to close-quarter housing. It is unrealistic to move out tenants to perform renovation work, so alternatives need to be used for the health and safety of building occupants. Continue reading to learn about these risks and how Basic Coatings is the solution.

    Odor & Flammability

    Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are carbon-containing substances that become vapors or gases and assist with the application and drying of oil-based wood floor stains. VOCs are emitted into the air as soon as a can of stain is opened, as the stain is applied, and as the stain dries. As the stain dries, the solvents evaporate and release the VOCs, which contribute to a strong solvent smell.

    The odor is hazardous to people who smell it because exposure to the fumes can cause a burning sensation, blurred vision, and collapsing. Those who live in a residential complex may be affected by the fumes if a nearby neighbor is having their wood floor stained.

    Additionally, rags used to apply oil-based stains are at risk for spontaneous combustion if not properly stored or disposed of. As the rags begin to dry, the combination of heat, oxygen, and cloth can lead to an accidental fire, even without a source of ignition. For wood floor stain projects taking place in a residential complex, this can be extremely dangerous to building occupants as well as homeowners. A fire will spread quickly and damage the building, other peoples’ homes, their possessions, and potentially cause death.

    "Waterbased stains are the best alternative to oil-based stains because water is used as the primary solvent."

    The hazards that come from using oil-based stains can be eliminated by simply avoiding them completely. Waterbased stains are the best alternative to oil-based stains because water is used as the primary solvent. Therefore, the number of VOCs are significantly reduced, and fire risks are eliminated. An alternative to oil-based stains is HyperTone™ Stains, a water/oil hybrid that provides unrivaled color penetration with all the benefits of a waterbased stain, including:

    • Non-flammability, which allows stain rags to be disposed of or stored without special instruction
    • Low odor, which avoids issues with offensive fumes
    • Low VOCs, which increase sustainability and improve air quality

    HyperTone Stains are extremely versatile with the ability to be used on sport, residential, or commercial wood flooring. Additionally, HyperTone Stains can be mixed to achieve many of the most popular colors in the wood floor industry. With 14 standard colors, which include primary colors, there are countless ways to formulate the perfect color for any wood floor. Click here to view our HyperTone Color Gallery to see swatches of colors created by HyperTone Stains on 4 different wood species.

    Wood Dust

    wood dust

    Wood dust is accumulated during every wood floor project, from sawing and routing to sanding and other operations. It becomes a potential health problem when the wood dust particles become airborne. Exposure to wood dust has been associated with health issues due to the natural chemicals in the wood and substances in the wood, such as bacteria, molds, or fungi. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, wood dust is considered carcinogenic to humans and causes cancer of the nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, and nasopharynx. Exposure to excessive amounts of wood dust is associated with irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. It also causes dermatitis, the irritation of the skin, and respiratory problems that include decreased lung capacity and allergic reactions.

    Dust is extremely small and light weight, which means it can travel quickly and uncontrollably through the air and ventilation. Contractors are exposed immediately to dust as they do a wood floor project, but residents of connected apartments, condos, and townhouses are also at risk for exposure if the proper steps are not taken.

    Dust accumulation can be reduced by cutting or shaping the wood outside of the building and by implementing the TyKote® Dust-Free Refinishing System, an innovative wood floor refinishing system that makes it easier to produce beautiful floors with less mess. A combination of intensive cleaning and recoating provides a very durable and protective finish for hardwood floors in 3 easy steps:

    TyKote Family of Products

    1. Use Intensive Floor Treatment (I.F.T.) to clean heavily soiled areas. Use Squeaky™ Concentrate Floor Cleaner to remove residue and prepare the floor.
    2. Apply TyKote Recoating Bonding Agent, which has exclusive properties that act as a bonding agent between the existing floor and the new topcoat.
    3. Apply StreetShoe® NXT for unmatched beauty and durability.

    Other Considerations

    To ensure the safety of everyone regarding stain and dust exposure, contractors should be educated on the type of wood being used, the type of stain being applied, and all hazards associated. For both stain and dust, it is important to have an appropriately designed industrial ventilation system that has a local ventilation exhaust and high-efficiency particulate filters. The proper personal protective equipment should be worn, which include protective clothing, gloves, and respiratory protection. Contractors should also be trained on how to prepare a space to be safe for building occupants and themselves, which includes ventilation and personal protective equipment.

    When it comes to wood floor projects in residential complexes that are in close quarters to neighbors and other residents, it is important to take the proper precautions to ensure everyone’s safety is not compromised. For more information about HyperTone Stains, click here. For more information about the TyKote Dust-Free Refinishing System, click here. To get in touch with a Basic Coatings representative, click here


  • Changing Wood Floor Color Without Sanding

    Dec 06, 2022

    Hardwood floor contractors are asked a lot of questions and field a lot of requests from prospective clients. Some requests are challenging, impossible, or at least seem to be impossible at first, like changing a wood floor color without sanding it. Continue reading to learn about how Basic Coatings® can turn this seemingly impossible request into a reality.

    Standard Stain Application

    For most, changing a wood floor color requires many steps to ensure it is done properly and the wood floor will fully take on the brand-new color. Standard stain application requires sanding down to the bare wood, which is arguably the most important step as it will reveal any imperfections once the project is complete. Following sanding, screening takes place by smoothing out any scratches left by the sander. These steps are time-consuming, challenging, and messy, and most contractors could probably agree that they are unavoidable.

    Some contractors took it upon themselves to try various methods to try and achieve the goal of changing a wood color without sanding. Some succeeded, while others did not. Today, Basic Coatings has an approved system and one-stop solution to accomplish this goal on sport, commercial, or residential wood floors. Our entirely waterbased system can help contractors change a wood floor color without sanding with a simple, easy-to-follow process.

    Step 1: TyKote® Dust-Free Refinishing System

    The TyKote® Dust-Free Refinishing System was originally developed for the sport market, but has been successfully used on sport, commercial, and residential installations for decades. Begin by cleaning the wood floor with Intensive Floor Treatment (I.F.T.) Floor Cleaner by tacking the floor with a push broom and clean towels. Next, neutralize the floor with Squeaky Concentrate Floor Cleaner. Apply a thin film of TyKote Recoat Bonding Agent to be used as an adhesion promotor. For more details about TyKote Dust-Free Refinishing System, products, and procedures, click here.

    Step 2: Tint StreetShoe® NXT with HyperTone Stains

    HyperTone Stains are low odor, non-flammable, easy-to-clean stains for hardwood flooring. In addition, they are also warranted as a tint for all Basic Coatings waterbased finishes. With 14 standard colors, including red, blue, and yellow, unlimited custom colors can be created to be used as a stain and as a tint.

    When using HyperTone Stains as a tint for StreetShoe® NXT, add anywhere from 0.5% to 10% of stain to the finish per gallon. 0.5% is roughly half an ounce and will usually give a light tinting to the finish, depending on the color. 10% is roughly 12.8 ounces and will darken the finish dramatically, especially with heavily pigmented colors like Onyx, Blue, Deep Red, and White.

    Additionally, a tint can be made very translucent with light percentages of HyperTone Stains. Or a tint can be made more opaque by adding White or heavier doses of HyperTone Stains into the finish.

    When mixing the stain and finish, remember that it is easier to start with a lower percentage of tint. With a t-bar, apply multiple coats to build a more uniform film instead of applying a single heavy load of tint and finish. The initial pass with a t-bar will create microscopic “peaks and valleys,” and the subsequent coats will “fill in” the valleys to create the uniform film and color.

    Projects Using HyperTone Stains as a Tint

    Tinting floor finish with HyperTone Stains to adjust or completely change the wood floor color has become a staple for wood floor contractors who use Basic Coatings products. HyperTone Stains can tint any of our waterbased wood floor finishes, making it extremely versatile and convenient for contractors to utilize this method. Below are a few real-life examples of HyperTone Stains being used as a tint.

    • This is a sport floor that tinted GymShoe® with HyperTone Stains Deep Red and Blue to create a custom purple color.
    Map of the United States
    • This residential floor tinted StreetShoe NXT with HyperTone Stains Tobacco, which darkened a white oak floor. 
    Map of the United States
      • Here is another residential floor that used StreetShoe NXT tinted with HyperTone Stains White. It toned down a darker, orange color wood floor to a white, natural colored floor.
      Map of the United States

        For more details about tinting finish with HyperTone Stains, refer to our technical bulletin or watch the video below.


        HyperTone Stains

        HyperTone Stains is the best product line for staining wood floors and tinting wood floor finish. HyperTone Stains delivers high-quality pigment of unmatched depth and vibrance that brings out the beauty of hardwood floors as a stain and a tint. They provide unrivaled color penetration, but with all the benefits of a waterbased stain:

        • Non-flammable
        • Easy to clean up
        • Low odor
        • Fast drying

        Available in pints and gallons and in 14 standard colors, HyperTone Stains can be endlessly mixed and matched to create a custom color pallet and complement any existing design style. Its versatility allows for use on sport, commercial, and residential wood floors.

        For more information about HyperTone Stains, click here. If you are a homeowner or facility manager, click here and we will connect you with a contractor who has experience with HyperTone Stains. If you are a distributor, click here and we will host a demo for your customers at your location. If you are a contractor, click here and we will come to your jobsite and help you with your project.  

      • VOC Trends Across the United States

        Aug 11, 2022

        The wood floor industry is quite familiar with volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are commonly used in wood floor sealer, finish, and/or stain to assist with application and drying time. These carbon-containing substances become vapors or gases when emitted into the air as soon as a product is opened, applied, and while the product is drying.

        VOCs have been on the EPA’s radar since 1998 when the first VOC regulation was published under the Clean Air Act because it was found that VOCs contribute to air pollution when combined with other pollutants. They form smog and create environmental problems that can lead to health problems.

        VOC regulations are getting stricter across the United States, with the current trend pointing towards lowering VOCs in wood coating products. Most recently, New York enforced an updated regulation regarding VOC content limits for wood floor coatings manufactured on or after July 1 from 350 grams per liter to 275 grams per liter. This update conforms to the Ozone Transport Commission Phase II (OTC II) regulations, which New York is a part of.

        Map of the United States


        The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) is a multi-state organization created under the Clean Air Act. OTC is responsible for advising the EPA on transport issues and for developing and implementing regional solutions to the ground-level ozone problem in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The organization provides an air pollution assessment, technical support, and a forum for states to work on their pollution reduction strategies. There are 2 model rules: Model Rule 2002 (Phase I) and Model Rule 2009 (Phase II). Model Rule 2002 has a VOC limit of 350 g/l, and Model Rule 2009 has a VOC limit of 275 g/l. Each participating state independently elects to adopt a model rule to comply with regarding VOC regulations.

        OTC categorized several sectors that are sources of air pollution, including Architectural and Industrial Maintenance (AIM) Coatings as one of the major VOC emitters. AIM applies to any person who supplies, sells, offers sale, or manufactures any architectural coatings. Wood coatings are included under AIM and must be in accordance with the VOC regulations for that sector.

        Several counties in Utah adopted OTC Phase II VOC content limit guidelines in 2017. In 2018, Maryland and Connecticut changed their VOC content limits to lower existing categories as an attempt to achieve their Clean Air Act air quality obligations. Additionally, Colorado also lowered VOC content limits for AIM coatings in 2020. Colorado and Michigan, who is currently following the EPA’s VOC content limit restrictions, are looking to adopt new rules for AIM coatings to tighten VOC limits.


        The Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO) was established in 1990 to provide technical assessments for and assistance to its member states on air quality problems and to provide a forum to discuss air quality issues. Their major pollution concerns are ozone, fine particles, and regional haze.

        Update: On April 18, 2023, Michigan adopted Phase IV of the OTC Model Rule (aka Model Rule 2012) to replace its current VOC regulations that are premised on Phase II of the OTC Model Rule.

        Although Ohio is part of LADCO, it was announced in 2021 that the Ohio EPA has plans to follow the lead of several northeastern states in moving from OTC Phase I to OTC Phase II which would result in new or lower VOC content limits for a variety of product categories, including AIM.


        A select few states have VOC regulations that vary from county to county or region to region that are dependent on many factors. These regulations are usually stricter than what the EPA advises, but the EPA recommends that states comply with the Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT), which is the lowest level of emissions that can be achieved when taking into account technical and economic considerations. A State will propose its VOC regulations and the EPA will review and ensure the rules meet RACT and will achieve the emissions reductions that are projected. Once it has been adopted and approved in the State’s State Implementation Plan, the VOC rule is federally enforceable. Check the local regulations of each county for more details.


        In the United States, the EPA regulates the emissions of VOCs at a federal level to prevent the formation of ground-level ozone, which can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and aggravate asthma and other lung diseases. These regulations, listed under 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 59, protect humankind and the environment from the adverse effects of VOCs. Federal regulations require the product with VOCs to meet the set VOC content limits, which vary depending on the product and product type. The general VOC content limit set by the EPA is 450 g/l.

        Wood floor coatings are covered in 40 CFR 59 Subpart D under Architectural Coatings and are defined as “a coating recommended for field application to stationary structures and their appurtenances, to portable buildings, to pavements, or to curbs” (40 CFR 59.401). This includes lacquers, sanding sealer, and varnish categories, all of which have a VOC content limit that varies depending on the product. This Federal Regulation is also known as the EPA National Rule.

        "Basic Coatings line of wood coatings meet or exceed the EPA National Rule and State Regulations, meaning every sealer and finish is compliant everywhere. "

        Basic Coatings® Low VOC Products

        Basic Coatings® line of wood coatings meet or exceed the EPA National Rule and State Regulations, meaning every sealer and finish is compliant everywhere. Our products take away the burden of ensuring that each sealer and finish comply with VOC content limits within a specific state or region. It helps simplify which wood coatings products can be used on a floor so customers can focus on other things.

        By switching to waterbased products from oil-based products, the number of VOCs released into the air are significantly lowered because water is being used as the solvent as opposed to oil. As a result, waterbased wood coatings are safer for the environment and safer for human health by reducing odor, harmful fumes, flammability, and pollution.

        Basic Coatings is committed to improving the environment one floor at a time. Several Basic Coatings products recently earned the MAS Certified Green® accreditation for a healthier indoor environment. Click here to review the Basic Coatings sustainability promise and for more information about MAS Certified Green. If you have questions about VOCs or how to make the switch to waterbased products, click here to fill out an online form and your Basic Coatings Regional Manager will reach out to you.



      • Taking Care of Sealer and Finish, Every Day

        May 13, 2022

        Wood floor sealer and finish can make or break a floor. Sealer and finish serve as lines of defense against floor traffic by creating protective layers when applied. It is important for wood floor contractors to properly store and prepare wood floor sealer and finish prior to starting a new project, or else the result may not be what was desired, or the floor may not hold up over a long period of time. Continue reading to learn more about what to do before applying wood floor sealer and finish.


        The packing of a product is the first thing a customer sees when they are viewing or ordering a product. Although some customers may be more focused on the product itself, the packaging is still an important part of the manufacturing process. It provides essential information, like the product name, ingredients, directions, batch codes, etc., and protects a product during transit and storage.

        Basic Coatings has brightly colored packaging to make identifying products on the shelf easier. The front label contains the product description, gloss levels, and features for easy reference. The side and back labels contain preparation, mixing application, and floor care instructions specific to each product. Manufacturer information can also be found on the label, along with the batch codes. The batch codes are a combination of numbers and/or letters that are used to identify a set of identical mass-produced products. Basic Coatings uses the Julian date because is it the continuous count of days since the beginning of the Julian period. It’s the best way to check the shelf life of a product because the code contains the year and the day the product was made.

        • Batch Code example: 18039
        • 18 = Year
        • 039 = The day the product was made during the year
        • 18039 = February 8, 2018
        • For convenience, download the Julian Date app

        Be sure to always check the batch code before using the product. The Julian date makes it easy to calculate the difference in dates by subtracting the numbers to find out how old it is. Basic Coatings products have a 1-year shelf life and should be used within a year of the batch code/manufacturing date.

        In the wood floor industry, floor products can be purchased in many different package types and sizes. At Basic Coatings, it is common for wood floor sealers and finishes to be available in 1-gallon bottles and 5-gallon pails. A contractor will select the size that best works for them and their current project. Once the product is received by the contractor, it must be stored correctly and prepped prior to application.


        It is important to take care of floor sealer and finish to ensure the product is working to the best of its ability during and after application. If not, it can ruin a project and cause additional time and money to be spent fixing what went wrong.

        When a product is purchased and/or delivered to a contractor or distributor, it will most likely be stored away until it is needed. Basic Coatings recommends that a wood floor sealer or finish should be kept in a room with a temperature under 120 degrees Fahrenheit and above 35 degrees Fahrenheit. More specifically, temperatures between 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is most ideal for storage. If a product becomes frozen or heat-damaged, it cannot be revitalized and used.

        It is recommended to store wood floor products in a temperature-controlled room, like a warehouse. Do not store products in attics, garages, in direct sunlight, or near appliances like a water heater or furnace.  

        Blending Ingredients

        If you have any additives for your floor sealer or finish, it will require blending to ensure it is dispersed evenly throughout the formula. In addition to any required catalyst, water can be added to Basic Coatings sealers and finishes to help with the application. In waterbased finishes, water is what is used to disperse the solids into a liquid state. It helps increase flow and level time when applying the product. Adding extra water to a sealer or finish is especially helpful when job sites have higher temperatures or lower humidity extra water will give you a longer open time. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to see how much water can be added per gallon.

        HyperTone Stains is also a common additive when used as a tint in specifically approved Basic Coatings waterbased finishes. When tinting finish, mix the products separately according to the label directions prior to combining. Next, combine the products by pouring them into a large container and continue blending with a stir stick until products are mixed and uniform in color. For more information about tinting finish with HyperTone stains, click here.

        It should be noted that 2-component finishes StreetShoe® NXT and PureMatte have a pot life of 24 hours, after which the catalyst slowly becomes less effective as it reacts with the water and polymer in the system. You can re-catalyze these two products, however, we recommend only re-catalyzing one time, and that re-catalyzed finish should be reserved for base coats when possible. XL Catalyst/Hardener is a second component used to re-catalyze various Basic Coatings products. It should be added slowly while stirring the finish with a clean stir-stick. For more information about re-catalyzing, click here.


        Stirring sealer or finish is important for a flawless application. Thoroughly stirring a floor sealer or finish is important because it will re-disperse any settlement of ingredients in the bottle or pail. Use a stir stick or rock the container to stir the product several times before application. It can be challenging to mix a large container of floor sealer or finish due to the size. To help with this, paddle attachment with a drill can be used. Insert the paddle into the spout of the 5-gallon pail and turn on the drill to thoroughly stir the floor product. It’s recommended to occasionally stir the product during use to prevent settling.

        Shaking the product is also an option. If shaking is the preferred method, shake well and let the product sit for at least 20-30 minutes.

        Basic Coatings Sealers and Finishes

        Basic Coatings has revolutionized waterbased technology by offering a variety of waterbased stains, sealers, and finishes that have the ability to stand the test of time on multiple kinds of wood floors. Waterbased advantages include:

        • Increased resistance to wear and abrasion
        • Less volatile organic compounds are emitted compared to OMUs
        • Faster cure and dry times which allows less downtime and more coats of waterbased finishes to be applied
        • Non-flammable
        • Less yellowing and dries clear

        To learn more about the storage and preparation of floor sealer and finish, click here to fill out an online form to speak with a Basic Coatings representative.

      • Basic Coatings® Certified for a Greener Earth

        Apr 22, 2022
        Emulsion PRO+ and VersaSeal side by side with the Mas Certified Green logo and Basic Coatings logo above them

        Earth Day reminds us of the importance of going green and practicing sustainable habits to better the Earth for ourselves and future generations. We accomplish this by recycling, using green products, and many other strategies that have been recommended by organizations who work hard to help with sustainability.

        In the wood floor industry, we can be mindful of sustainability through the products used on the job site. More specifically, products used inside a facility or home can contribute to poor indoor air quality, which can be harmful to you, your customers, and building occupants. The MAS Certified Green® accreditation ensures a healthier indoor environment.

        What is Mas Certified Green®?

        All Basic Coatings® floor finishes and sealers recently earned the MAS Certified Green accreditation for a healthier indoor environment. MAS Certified Green and its well-known green leaf logo were created to help consumers identify products that have been manufactured and designed to specifically reduce chemical emissions in indoor environments. Product types that can earn this certification include interior construction products, furniture, and furnishings.

        In collaboration with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association, and the California EPA referenced by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED and CDPH, MAS Certified Green formulated a set of rigorous product testing requirements, protocols, and standards. Testing is conducted by Materials Analytical Services, LLC, using samples of the products that are going through the certification process.

        Types of Testing

        Testing is both static and dynamic to help determine the type and concentration of chemical compounds that are potentially off-gassed from finished products and raw materials into the indoor environment. Static testing involves the measurement of emissions during short flash emissions, while dynamic testing involves placing a sample in a chamber to monitor off-gassed emissions over a long period of time. This testing helps predict air concentrations in the future by establishing decay curves for the materials tested.

        Using a chamber to test for emissions was originally developed by the EPA to assess the off-gassing of hazardous chemicals from building and interior finish goods. Today, it is now required for certain construction and interior finish materials manufactured and used in the state of California. It is also necessary to promote Green Building under the USGBC LEED program and many International Standards in Europe or Asia.

        A measuring cup with a clear liquid in it, labeled CH20 Formaldehyde

        Volatile Organic Compounds

        Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the biggest driving factor for emission testing because VOCs are emitted into the air as a product is opened, applied, and dries. They contain a variety of chemicals that may have short-term and long-term health effects. Some include irritation, organ damage, cancer, headaches, and dizziness. The EPA reports that the indoor concentration of VOCs can be up to 1,000 times higher than what it would be outdoors.

        Formaldehyde is one of the best-known VOCs and one of the few indoor air pollutants that can be measured. It is a strong-smelling, colorless gas found in many non-waterbased wood products. At even the lowest levels of formaldehyde exposure, it can be irritating to the eyes, noses, throats, and skin or potentially trigger an asthma attack. Exposure to high amounts of formaldehyde has been linked to some types of cancer, including nose and throat cancer and leukemia.

        Green Products

        Besides mandated emission testing, products that meet the MAS Certified Green standards are considered to be “green” products. Green products have gained popularity due to their ability to minimize environmental impact. Some characteristics of green products include reducing the number of toxins released, disposed of, or consumed, containing recycled materials, reducing wastes, conserving energy or water, and using less packaging. These aspects have sparked an interest and a demand from consumers because it is one way consumers can do their part in helping the environment.

        Mas Certified Green Logo

        The MAS Certified Green offers Basic Coatings a sustainable advantage over many competitors. Each Basic Coatings sealer and finish meet the stringent testing and qualifications for VOCs emissions and are compliant with:

        • The criteria of the MAS Certified Green program
        • LEED v4.1 ID+C, BD+C
        • LEED TVOC Emissions at 14-days
        • CHPS 2019 Core Criteria 3.0 EQ C6.1.5

        To signify that Basic Coatings products are part of the MAS Certified Green program, the logo is displayed on each product page. The logo assures that the products are certified for low VOC emissions. Basic Coatings MAS Certified Green products include:

        At Basic Coatings, we are committed to improving the environment one floor at a time. View the official MAS Certified Green Certificate of Compliance here. To learn more about MAS Certified Green, please click here to visit their website.

        In addition, Basic Coatings’ complete line of waterbased products contain less than 275 VOC and are NMP-free, meaning there are fewer harmful fumes and low odor. Other waterbased advantages include faster dry and cure times, long-lasting durability, less yellowing, and non-flammability. Click here to learn more about our sustainability promise. If you have questions about our waterbased products, sustainability, or the MAS Certified Green program, please click here to fill out the online form, and your Basic Coatings Regional Manager will reach out to you.


      • Diagnosing White Line Syndrome

        Mar 21, 2022

        The white lines that appear between wood board edges of site-applied finishes on wood floors is commonly known as White Line Syndrome, or WLS. This issue can be a headache for contractors because it ruins the overall look of the floor and needs to be dealt with. There are a few reasons why WLS can occur on wood floors. Continue reading to learn more and how to keep it from happening.

        Trapped Solvents

        Solvents from stains and finishes that are trapped and unable to evaporate can lead to WLS. Although both oil-based and waterbased stains can pool in between boards, cracks, seams, butt-joints, or filled knot holes, oil-based stain takes a much longer time to dry completely. Waterbased stains dry quicker than oil-based stains because water evaporates faster than oil. Oil-based stains, sealers, and finishes also generally contain more solvents than waterbased products. In addition, coating a floor with finish before the solvents from a previously applied product have evaporated will trap them, causing WLS and cloudy lines between wood boards.

        To help with the drying process and to ensure stains and finishes are completely dry, use strategically placed fans pointed at the wet floor. Creating a good airflow across the surface of the floor helps accelerate the drying process. Good ventilation is crucial during any wood floor project to help with the drying phase. There are a few tricks to determine if floor stain or finish has dried. Traditionally, a contractor might take a white rag, wipe the floor and see if any color from the stain is pulled onto the rag. This strategy tests the dryness of the floor surface, but it does not work for the gaps in the floor. Try using a vacuum test in several locations of the wood floor to see if any liquid is pulled to the surface. Simply add a white rag on the end of a vacuum hose and see if any liquid/stain in the tongue-and-groove of soft grains areas of the wood can be pulled up. If liquid is pulled, the floor needs more time to dry. Test if the floor finish is dry by using a moisture meter and/or feeling the floor. If the moisture meter achieves the readings required, or if the finish does not move or leave any marks from your hand, it has dried enough.  


        The wood’s Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) is critical to reaching a point of balance with humidity in the environment. With more humidity in the air, the wood will absorb the moisture and expand. With less, it will release moisture and induce shrinkage, resulting in gaps between the floorboards. Once the wood reaches its EMC, it will stabilize and changes in the wood will cease. However, if the humidity in the environment shifts drastically, the EMC will become unstable, and finishes may stretch over resulting gaps instead of breaking, causing the white lines to appear.

        Utilize a wood moisture meter to check the wood for excessive moisture before applying coatings to reduce the risk of WLS. Post-application issues, such as leaks or improper maintenance, can also affect EMC and cause WLS. The use of steam mops, for example, will force vapor moisture into and between boards. Read more about how temperature and humidity can affect a wood floor.

        "Once WLS appears on a floor, the only option is to treat it. "

        Loss of Adhesion

        When a wood floor experiences vertical or lateral movement between boards, finish may begin to lose adhesion and turn white. It can also start chipping or peeling. Peeling can be the source of other problems as well. Read more about peeling here.  

        Adhesion issues can occur when finishes are used over oil-based stains or previous coatings that have not dried or cured sufficiently. Contamination between the seams of the boards and poor inter-coat abrasion along the edges of adjoining boards result in finish adhesion failure and WLS. As previously mentioned, making sure the floor is dry will help prevent adhesion issues and WLS.

        Cures for WLS

        Once WLS appears on a floor, the only option is to treat it. If the finish appears to be stretching, break the finish at the gaps to allow any trapped solvents to be released and then reapply a new coating recommended by the finish manufacturer. Resand the area of the floor affected if necessary.

        To help prevent WLS, be sure to address seasonal fluctuations and movement between boards. If these factors are unavoidable, use a less-elastic finish to minimize the effects. Opt for an aziridine 2-component finish rather than an isocyanate 2-component finish, because it is less likely to cause issues. We recommend using StreetShoe® NXT and GymShoe®. Do not apply a more elastic finish on top of a less-elastic one. Always use a sealer before applying a finish to help wood boards separate so there is a cleaner break of the finish. We recommend using VersaSeal™, Hydroline® Sealer, Raw™ Sealer, or Lock N’ Seal™.

        For fast drying stain, apply Basic Coatings® HyperTone™ Stains. HyperTone Stains are ready to walk in as little as 30 minutes, while oil-based stains can take up to 24 hours to dry. Unlike oil-based stains, HyperTone Stains are non-flammable and safer for yourself and your customers. Read more about the dangers of oil-based stains and the benefits of waterbased.

        Using the right finish or stain and maintaining the environment’s conditions will help prevent WLS from occurring. If you have questions about how to prevent or fix White Line Syndrome, please click here to fill out the online form, and your Basic Coatings Regional Manager will reach out to you.

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

        Photo courtesy of NWFA’s Problems, Causes, and Cures (3rd Edition, 2018


      • The Dangers of Oil-Based Stains

        Mar 07, 2022

        Safety is always a huge priority when working on any project, including a wood floor job. Keeping yourself and your customers safe while working is critical. A standard part of a wood floor job is the actual staining of the wood for aesthetic purposes. Oil-based stains are the most traditional stains and are known to be extremely flammable, smelly, and dangerous if not properly stored or used. Continue reading to learn about the risks of using oil-based stains and how waterbased stains are a safer alternative.


        Oil-based stains consist of petroleum distillates, varnish, and linseed oil. Each contribute to the danger of oil-based stains. Petroleum distillates are colorless, flammable liquids that cause mild gasoline or kerosene-like odor when the oil-based stain is applied. When petroleum distillates are inhaled, ingestion, or come in contact with the skin or eyes, it can irritate eyes, nose, and throat and cause dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, nausea, and dry, cracked skin.

        Varnish is the combination of resins, oils, and solvents that creates the transparent, hard, protective film on a wood floor after application. Many varnish products contain benzene, a highly flammable carcinogen. It also emits a strong odor with intense fumes that cause drowsiness, headaches, skin irritation, and dizziness. High exposure can even cause unconsciousness and respiratory distress.

        Linseed oil is derived from dried seeds of flax plants and is a carrier in many oil-based paints and stains. When linseed oil is exposed to air, it combines with oxygen molecules that cause a chemical reaction, creating heat. The heat can cause a fire on a flammable object, like a rag, at as low as 120 degrees Fahrenheit without a spark.

        "The heat can cause a fire on a flammable object, like a rag, at as low as 120 degrees Fahrenheit without a spark."

        Clean Up

        To apply stain, a rag or cloth is normally used. A contractor will dip it into the container of stain and wipe it onto the wood. The process is repeated until finished. What can you do with the oil-soaked rags? Most would just assume they should be thrown out or stored away for the next job. This is when a staining project becomes more dangerous. If not properly disposed of or stored, as the rags begin to dry, the combination of heat, oxygen, and cloth can lead to spontaneous combustion and start a fire. As mentioned above, linseed oil can spark a fire just by being exposed to the air.

        According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 14,000 fires occur annually from spontaneous combustion. For home structures, the garage was the most common area of origin (20% of fires) and oily rags were the most common items first ignited (35%). To prevent spontaneous combustion, oil-based stain rags must be stored and disposed of in a specific way.

        • Rags should not be in a pile
        • Keep them outside and away from building structures
        • Put dried rags in a metal container that is airlocked and sealed
        • Keep the containers in a cool place out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources

        Removing oil-based stains or cleaning up spills requires a solvent, like mineral spirits that dissolve oil, and quick thinking to eliminate a potential fire hazard. There are many different methods and options, but they require additional supplies and steps to be successful.


        Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are emitted into the air as soon as the can of stain is opened. They’re also emitted when the stain is applied and then again as it dries. As an oil-based stain dries, the solvents evaporate and release VOCs into the air, contributing to air pollution and a strong solvent smell.

        VOCs are carbon-containing substances that become vapors or gases and assist with the application and drying of stains. When combined with other pollutants, smog can form and create even more environmental and health problems. VOCs contain the solvent odor that comes from oil-based stains. It is an unpleasant scent that could last for months or even years after stain application. It can be irritating for the people who smell the odor and inhaling fumes are harmful to human health. Prolonged exposure can cause wood stain poisoning, resulting in a burning sensation, blurred vision, and collapse.

        Adequate ventilation in the work area is important to reduce oil-based stain odors and help with the indoor air quality. A good ventilation system is necessary to help with eliminating odors and improving air flow and air quality. The EPA reports that the indoor concentration of VOCs can be up to 1,000 times higher than what they would be outdoors, and low air quality can cause health problems.

        HyperTone Stains

        The best defense against oil-based stains and their hazards is to avoid them completely. Waterbased stains are a safer alternative to oil-based stains because water is used as the solvent as opposed to oil. Acrylic resin forms the bond between the wood and pigment of the waterbased stain as it is applied. Then, the water evaporates from air exposure, leaving behind the resin and colorants on the wood surface. It also allows the stain to dry quickly and be ready to walk on in as little as 30 minutes. The ingredients are the clear difference between an oil-based stain and waterbased stain. Removing the petroleum distillates, varnish, and linseed oil of oil-based from the equation significantly creates a safer stain and reduces dangerous risks.

        Basic Coatings® HyperTone™ Stains is a water/oil hybrid, the first-of-its-kind formulation that provides unrivaled color penetration with all the benefits of a waterbased stain. Benefits of a waterbased stain include:

        • Non-flammability, which makes the clean-up process easier. Because water is the solvent, used rags can be piled together, stored together, and disposed of in a regular garbage can without the risk of sparking a fire. Used rags will not spontaneously combust. If there is a spill, only soap and water are needed to clean up. Accidental drips of water from sweat or bottles will also not affect the project, and contractors can continue working as usual.
        • Low odor, which avoids issues associated with offensive, extreme fumes.
        • Low VOCs increase sustainability and improve air quality. Click here for the HyperTone Stains VOC Calculation Chart.

        For those looking for a safer stain option, HyperTone Stains is the best choice for residential, commercial, and sport floors. It’s available in 14 standard colors with the ability to mix new colors for a wide variety of color options. Click here to view our HyperTone Stain Chip gallery for limitless possibilities. For more information about HyperTone Stains, click here. To speak with a Basic Coatings representative, click here.


      • Stain Stigmas

        Jan 14, 2022

        Wood floor stain adds color and aesthetics to elevate the overall look of a floor. Stains are required when changing the color of the wood species.

        The most important part of staining is ensuring that it looks consistent across the entire finished floor. Note that color tones may vary from board to board or within an individual board due to the natural characteristics of wood. However, if the stain appears blotchy and uneven from one area of a finished floor to another, the customer may not be happy.

        Wood Grain

        Various wood species can accept stains differently. Wood species like maple, black cherry, and pine have grains that do not evenly accept stains. Maple has a tight grain that does not allow pigment from stains to fully penetrate the wood. Read more about staining maple wood floors. The swirling grain in black cherry tends to not accept stain well either. Pine has uneven and dense grain. Due to the natural characteristics of these wood types, there is no solution for an even stain.

        Woods like red oak, white oak, and hickory accept stains the best because they have a more open grain that allows the pigment to be soaked up through their large pores. Choose wood with an open grain for the best stain results.


        Sanding a wood floor is a necessary step when preparing to stain it. Poor and inconsistent sanding throughout the area is another cause of a blotchy stain job. Sanding imperfections will leave differentiations, which will affect how the stain is absorbed into the wood. Stain pigment will seep into the more sanded parts of a wood floor, especially if there are scratches or markings. Those areas of the floor will appear to be darker compared to other areas.

        To solve this problem, a resand of the entire wood floor may be necessary. Follow proper sanding guidelines to ensure the floor is evenly sanded and will accept stain uniformly.

        Water Popping

        Water popping is recommended for all wood species to “pop” the smooth and closed wood grain. As the wood absorbs the water, the wood cells expand and remain more open as the water evaporates. It can help stain penetrate the flooring deeper and more consistently. Inconsistently water popping on a wood surface can make stain appear unevenly because the wood grain is more open in some parts of the wood compared to other parts. When water popping, be sure to cover the entire floor. Avoid puddles and do not leave areas too dry. If the stain appears to be blotchy after the water popping method, a complete resand is needed.

        Finish Application

        Floor sealers or finish applied stain that is not fully dry may cause the color to bleed. Wet stains can move around and accumulate in different areas of the wood floor. The build-up will dry darker than the rest of the floor. Resanding the floor will fix this issue. Follow manufacturer recommended dry times to prevent this problem.


        Miscellaneous causes of stain blotchiness may include improper preparation, debris, and containments left on the floor before staining. These will cause the stain to not apply smoothly or dry correctly. Read more about debris and how to ensure your wood floor is free of containments.

        Many of the cures for the causes previously mentioned above include a complete resand of the wood floor. It is critical to make sure previous coatings are fully removed during the resand process. Follow the NWFA Wood Flooring Sand and Finish Guidelines and check out Basic University onsite classes for any upcoming trainings with NWFA about sand and finish procedures.

        HyperTone Stains

        Basic Coatings® HyperTone Stains™ is a water/oil hybrid wood floor stain line that delivers high-quality pigment, vibrance, and unrivaled color penetration on all wood floor species, including maple and oak, with the benefits of a water-based stain. Read more about how Basic Coatings water-based products work on every wood floor. This first-of-its-kind formula has a safe and easier application process with no PPE required and non-flammability, allowing used rags to be stored normally without the risk of combustion.

        HyperTone Stains also has unmatched versatility with the ability to create an endless amount of colors on commercial, residential, and sports floors. Visit our HyperTone Stain Color Gallery to view HyperTone Stains digitally on 3 different types of wood and click on a chip to see the specific formula that will achieve the color.

        For more information about HyperTone Stains or to speak with a Basic Coatings representative, please visit this link.

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

        Photos courtesy of NWFA’s Problems, Causes, and Cures (3rd Edition, 2018)


      • Detecting Debris in Floor Finish

        Dec 09, 2021

        Debris is a broad term that defines particles, contaminants, or artifacts that end up somewhere they are not supposed to be. Hardwood floors are just 1 of those many places that should not encounter heavy amounts of debris, especially while they are being coated with finish. Debris can cause raised bumps in the film of the wood floor finish if it's not properly removed before finishing it.

        In most environments where wood floors are coated, minimal amounts of debris are expected in any coat of finish. Regardless of the process, normal amounts of debris are found at the job site and will exist under, within, or on a newly applied coat of finish. Usually they will disappear over time as the wood floor endures normal wear and tear.

        To avoid having a large amount of debris in the work area, there are a few prevention methods to take, most important of which is adequately cleaning flooring surfaces. Squeaky™ Concentrate Floor Cleaner is a precleaner for wood floors during the coating process. Its formula is tough on a dirt but gentle on floors so it cleans a wood floor without leaving a residue. It can also be used for routine cleaning for dirt, grease, and scuff marks.

        To clean floors with Squeaky prior to coating, follow these steps:

        1. Sweep or vacuum the wood floor
        2. Mix 1 part Squeaky to 4 parts water in a bucket or other container
        3. Place several large towels or microfiber pads in the bucket
        4. Wring out towels until they are damp
        5. Wrap a towel around a broom and tack the floor until it is free of dirt and oil. To prevent the redeposit of dirt and oil, refold the towel using clean sides as needed
        6. When the floor is dry, it is ready for screening or application of finish

        Note: Do not pour Squeaky directly on the wood floor. Excess liquid may be damaging to the fibers. Use plenty of clean towels. Using dirty cleaning solution and dirty towels will redeposit oil and dirt.

        It is also important to clean window sills, countertops, door jams, shoes, and clothing prior to applying the final coat, and to control air movement in the jobsite to prevent airborne debris from landing onto a recently applied coat of finish. If debris is discovered after applying previous coats, it should be removed before the final coat application.

        Debris can come from the finish or applicator themselves. If a finish is unfiltered, improperly mixed, or is contaminated, there is a risk for dried bits of finish to be present. These particles are considered to be debris and will form raised bumps. Another common type of debris comes from applicators. Applicators can shed fibers that will wind up sticking to floor finish or getting stuck under it.

        Once debris is found in the final coat of finish, there are not many options to fix it. In more extreme cases, one way is to completely start over by abrading and recoating the floor. If the debris is affecting only a part of the floor, spot fixing may be the solution. Scrape off the finish on the specific area of the floor, where hair, dust, fibers, or other small pieces of debris were found, then recoat it. Before using these methods, be sure to follow all prevention steps before applying the final coat to avoid having debris present again.

        To get in contact with a Basic Coatings representative with questions about debris or Squeaky, please visit this link.

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

        Photos courtesy of NWFA’s Problems, Causes, and Cures (3rd Edition, 2018).

      • Pinning Down the Cause of Pin Holes

        Nov 10, 2021

        Pin holes are blemishes on the surface of floor finish that form when the film pulls back from a small area of the floor surface. This forms tiny indents that look like pins pierced the wood floor. The finished floor appears to look and feel uneven, ruining the overall appearance.


        Many causes of pin holes stem from applying the finish too thick. If coats of finish are applied too thick, film builds up and solvents are not allowed to escape. It will not dry properly, forming these indents. Additionally, if the first coat of finish is not dry enough before the second coat is applied, the conditions are perfect for pin holes to form.

        Applying the finish in high temperatures is also a potential cause. Temperature can influence dry time because it can dry the finish too fast. If the finish does not dry as recommended by the manufacturer, it can cause pin holes or similar issues. Read more to learn about finish problems in warm temperatures.

        Some pin holes are naturally part of the wood being used for a wood floor. For example, pinworm holes are around 1/16 of an inch and form when a wood-boring insect lives and feeds on the living tree before it is cut down. Most hardwood flooring manufacturers only allow a specific number of pinworm holes because too many will cause moisture problems with the wood. Pin holes can also refer to other wood characteristics like nail holes and open grain.

        Prevention and Resolutions

        To prevent pin holes from forming, follow all finish manufacturer recommended directions when applying floor finish. Understand how much finish is needed to coat a floor and how much time is needed for the finish to dry properly. Know the recommended maximum and minimum temperatures to apply finish and be sure the environment is between those temperatures. Make sure the finish is also not too warm or too cold as well.

        Once pin holes form, repairs to the wood floor are needed. Before beginning, ensure the environment meets the finish manufacturer’s recommendations, including temperature guidelines. Scrape and recoat the floor using the proper applicator with the correct spread rates, both recommended by the manufacturer. Prior to recoating the affected areas, use an abrasive and scraper with the appropriate grit sequence to remove any pin holes from the floor. Once they are gone, refinish the floor. Check with the manufacturer for recommended repairs.

        Basic Coatings® water-based finishes have faster cure and dry times than oil-modified urethane (OMU) finishes. With fast dry times, more coats are able to be applied in a day.  It takes water-based 2–3 hours and OMU 6–24 hours to fully dry. On average, it takes 7 days for a water-based finish to fully cure and 30 days for OMU. Read more about the advantages of water-based finishes.

        To get in contact with a Basic Coatings representative with questions about pin holes and/or water-based finishes please visit this link.

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

        Photo courtesy of NWFA’s Problems, Causes, and Cures (3rd Edition, 2018).

      • Don’t Get Stuck with Sticky Board Syndrome

        Oct 19, 2021

        Imagine the last coat of finish on a new hardwood floor has been applied and it’s time to use the floor, but it feels sticky. This is known as Sticky Board Syndrome. Sticky Board Syndrome is a condition on a wood floor where the finish does not dry, adhere, cure properly, or appear the same on different areas of the board. Keep reading to learn about the causes, preventions, and resolutions, so Sticky Board Syndrome doesn’t plague your floor.


        One potential cause of Sticky Board Syndrome is the type of wood used on the floor, like white oak wood. Wood species with an excess of tannic acid, natural oils, or sap can affect the finish’s drying and curing process. An imbalanced pH softens the finish and leaves it susceptive to irregular drying and curing.

        Some wood species have knots, a natural phenomenon that occurs in the grain of the wood from tree growth, which disrupt the drying and curing process. Wood species that have natural knots include pine, cedar, and Australian cypress.

        Contamination of the wood is also a potential cause of Sticky Board Syndrome. Contamination can occur when maintenance products, oil, grease, and other foreign substances are spilled or dripped onto the wood floor surface before or during finish application. When the wood floor is exposed to harmful elements, the wood floor finish cannot dry properly.

        Factory-finished and site-finished wood floor cured with an ultra violet (UV) finish is at risk for Sticky Board Syndrome. UV finish is applied to the wood and cured with a chemical reaction triggered by an UV light. If the correct light is not used or not used long enough, the wood floor will be insufficiently cured.


        To prevent Sticky Board Syndrome, there are a variety of options. Use a universal sealer on either the affected wood boards or over the entire floor. It will block the reaction between the wood and the finish that causes Sticky Board Syndrome. Using a tannin-blocking sealer will minimize the effects of tannic acid on the wood floor finish. Raw™ Sealer and Lock ‘N Seal™ are both tannin-blocking sealers to help with the prevention of Sticky Board Syndrome. Raw Sealer is best for saving the natural look of white oak, while Lock ‘N Seal assists wood species with heavy tannic acid. Read more about tannic acid. Basic Coatings® has a line of waterbased finishes, when paired with a tannin-blocking sealer, can prevent Sticky Board Syndrome. Read more about our waterbased products and characteristics.


        If Sticky Board Syndrome has plagued the floor already and all other options are exhausted, work on the floor may be required. In some situations, a complete re-sand may be necessary to remove the finish and start over. A new finish system may need to be used if the previous caused the issues with the floor. It is important to read and follow the finish manufacturer’s directions for compatibility and proper use. If only a few wood boards are affected by Sticky Board Syndrome, the individual boards can be replaced.

        To get in contact with a Basic Coatings representative with questions about Sticky Board Syndrome, please visit this link.

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

        Photos courtesy of NWFA’s Problems, Causes, and Cures (3rd Edition, 2018).

      • A Spotlight on Wood Floor Sustainability

        Sep 14, 2021

        A sustainable home is one that uses resources that have a low impact on the environment. It includes the manufacturing, shipping, and installation of materials that will produce as little waste as possible. Whether a home or facility is currently being built or already standing, there are many elements to consider to make the structures more sustainable, including the type of floors and products used on the floors.

        Wood as a Renewable Resource

        Wood is one of the most sustainable building materials. It is a renewable resource that can be grown and harvested repeatedly. Wood can be reduced, reused, and recycled in countless ways, including as a floor. Hardwood floors serve as a sustainable option in homes and other facilities.

        When choosing the type of wood, take into consideration where the wood came from. Forest certifications are 1 way to differentiate between the types of wood and where it was sourced. These certifications signify that the forest management company is committed to taking every step to ensure that it is focused on the goal of sustainability. In the United States, there are 3 major forest certifications:

        Researching sustainability practices used by companies and manufacturers and where the wood is sourced from can also help determine if sustainability is a priority. It is also necessary to read labels. Terms like “non-toxic” may sound eco-friendly but can be misleading without additional research. The type of wood chosen for flooring also matters when it comes to sustainability.

        • Reclaimed wood is wood from a previous job. By reusing old wood, it’s not going to end up in a landfill.
          • Read more about using recycled wood and its advantages.
        • Maple trees are one of the most abundant trees in North America. Maple wood is sustainable because there are so many maple trees.
          • Read more about tips and tricks for staining maple floors.
        • Pine trees grow quickly, which makes them easier to replace.
        • Oak trees can be found in many forest-certified forests.

        Read more about the different kinds of sustainable wood here.

        Sustainable Products

        Water-based and oil-based, or oil-modified urethane (OMU), floor finishes are the 2 main types of finishes for hardwood flooring. Oil-based floor finishes contain more volatile organic compounds (VOC) that are emitted into the air when the product is opened, applied, and drying. According to the EPA, “Volatile organic compounds (VOC) means any compound of carbon, excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate, which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions.” These fumes are harmful to the environment by contributing to pollution in the air and forming smog when combined with other elements in sunlight. It can also impact indoor air quality. When breathed in, high concentrations of VOCs can cause long term health issues for the lungs, liver, kidneys, and respiratory system. OMUs can also be dangerous because they contain distillates that are combustible or flammable. Rags and other applicators are at risk of spontaneous combustion if not properly disposed of or stored.

        Basic Coatings® water-based finishes and sealers are VOC and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) compliant. They contain fewer VOCs than traditional OMUs and can be used anywhere throughout North America. This makes them more sustainable because they are not releasing as many VOCs into the air. Lack of VOCs in water-based products means there is less of an odor and no flammability risk. The extra precautions needed to prevent worksite accidents from the dangers of OMUs are not needed when applying water-based products or for cleanup. Basic Coatings finishes are also N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP)-free. NMP is a coalescing solvent that, when exposed to or inhaled, can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation as well as chronic long-term health concerns. NMP is also a developmental toxicant that is unable to biodegrade, which becomes an environmental hazard. As a result, NMP-free water-based finishes and sealers are more eco-friendly and safer for contractors.

        Water-based products also have advantages beyond safety. There are faster cure and dry times so customers can use their floors quicker after application. The average complete cure time for water-based is 7 days, while OMU is 30 days. Water-based products can dry in 2–3 hours, as opposed to OMU in 6–24 hours. This allows for multiple coats of water-based finishes to be applied in 1 day, saving time and labor. Read more for tips for applying water-based finishes. With a water-based finish and sealer, floors will be resistant to wear and abrasion on residential, commercial, and sport floors. Tougher durability prevents scratches, scuffing, and erosion on wood floors. The floor’s appearance will also not yellow over time like with OMU finishes.

        StreetShoe® NXT leads in wood floor finish durability and fast curing time. Emulsion® PRO+ has many attributes of a traditional OMU including the same ambering, rich tones. HyperTone™ Stains is our water/oil hybrid stain line, the first of its kind. TyKote® Recoat Bonding Agent eliminates any toxic dust accumulation during application. View more of our sustainable products based on the type:

        View our complete product catalog here. For more information about Basic Coatings water-based finishes and sealers, click here.

        Basic Coatings is committed to helping the environment 1 floor at a time. We are a leader in sustainable products and solutions including finishes, sealers, and specialty products. Search for a National Wood Flooring Association professional to help you get started here. Learn more about our sustainability efforts here. To get in contact with a Basic Coatings representative with questions about water-based products and advantages, please visit this link.

        ¹ “What is the definition of VOC?”. 2021.


      • Protect Your Floors, Protect Yourself and Others

        Aug 18, 2021

        The coronavirus pandemic and the current spread of the Delta variant have put a major emphasis on the importance of routine cleaning and disinfecting of all surfaces, especially those with high traffic. Information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in April 2021 says, “The relative risk of fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is considered low compared with direct contact, droplet transmission, or airborne transmission.” Even with a low risk of virus transmission via surfaces, the CDC still recommends “cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on the surfaces and help maintain a healthy facility.”

        Floors, including hardwood, are considered one of the highest traffic hard surfaces where germs and bacteria can be tracked in from shoes, pets, and other outside substances. Disinfecting a wood floor may be harmful to the finish and shorten the overall lifespan of the floor. It is recommended to clean the floor with proper products and application methods to keep a wood floor free of unwanted contaminants and germs.

        Always check with the hardwood floor or finish manufacturer for recommendations on the type of cleaner to use on hardwood flooring. It should be specifically approved for hardwood floor surfaces to avoid damaging the floors.

        Avoid using cleaning products with bleach or aerosols because it can leave discoloration, haziness, or permanent damage to hardwood floors. Antimicrobial products with ingredients like ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, peroxyacetic, and sodium hypochlorite should not be used on hardwood floors. For more information about what to use and what to avoid on your hardwood floors, click here.

        Intensive Floor Treatment (I.F.T.) Floor Cleaner and Squeaky™ Concentrate Floor Cleaner together are a 2-part deep cleaning system to thoroughly and safely clean hardwood floors. Each product is designed to remove different types of soils and contaminants on hardwood floors. I.F.T. is an aggressive cleaner that removes soils like heavy grease, oils, waxes, and dirt. Squeaky is used for routine cleaning of dirt, grease, and scuff marks without leaving a residue. Read more about the advantages of Squeaky.

        Clean wood floors in only a few steps:

        1. Prepare your floor for the cleaning process by removing debris from the floor with a broom or vacuum.
        2. Start with I.F.T., diluting it using a ratio of 4 parts water to 1-part I.F.T.
        3. Wrap a push broom with a dampened towel of the I.F.T. dilution and tack the floor until it is clean.
        4. Rinse the floor with clean water.
        5. Repeat step 3 with Squeaky and do not rinse, since there is no leftover residue.

        While applying cleaning products, do not oversoak the mop or towels to avoid excessive water. If using a spray mop, it should have good control over the amount of solution applied with absorbent pads. Do not use a steam mop due to the possibility of injecting water further into cracks and crevasses that will damage the floor and finish.

        To get in contact with a Basic Coatings representative with questions about I.F.T., Squeaky, or wood floor cleaning products or processes, please visit this link.

        ¹ “Science Brief: SARS-CoV-2 and Surface (Fomite) Transmission for Indoor Community Environments”. 2021.

        ² “Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility”. 2021.

      • Craters and Fisheyes: Double Trouble

        Jul 22, 2021

        Craters and fisheyes are visible imperfections on the surface of wood floor finishes that resemble small circular indentations. The rounded dips in the floor are known as craters (pictured top), while the small bumps are known as fisheyes (pictured bottom). Craters and fisheyes are common issues with hardwood floors, but they can easily be avoided by following proper procedures. The root causes are problems with finish, application, and contamination.




        Check the expiration date of the finish and be sure it has been stored in temperatures and an environment recommended by the manufacturer, or else it can increase the risk of these 2 finish flaws. Consult the manufacturer for recommended thinners, dry-time extenders, bond-enhancers, and other substances, if additives are needed. The wrong kind of substance or too much of 1 substance can contribute to these phenomena. Craters and fisheyes can also stay visible if existing ones were not removed before applying subsequent coats.


        An inadequately cleaned applicator is another reason craters and fisheyes appear. If the applicator was cleaned with a solvent that is incompatible with the finish, it can increase the risk of imperfections appearing on the surface, or excess water from washing the applicator may imbalance the finish defoamer system.

        Craters and fisheyes can also form when finish is applied over a not-yet-cured finish or sealer, or if trapped air or solvent bubbles burst but don’t level out in time. Read more about the curing stages of finish here. It can also be a problem if a finish is coated over an incompatible finish or sealer such as:

        • Perfluorooctane sulfonate
        • Wax finished with urethanes or oils
        • Natural oils finished with incompatible urethanes
        • Incompatible finishes from different manufacturers

        Click here to read more tips for applying finish.


        Wood floor surfaces can become contaminated when foreign substances such as maintenance products, grease, oils, polishes, soaps, sweat, and other contaminants are present before coating or have been introduced between coats. These contaminants can be dripped, spilled, or over-sprayed onto the floor surface prior to or during finish application. Contamination can also occur during mixing or packaging. 

        Resolution and Prevention

        If craters and fisheyes are discovered on the wood floor, there are a few options that may help resolve them.

        • Screen and recoat the floor with manufacturer recommended applicators and spread rates.
        • With a coarse to medium-grit abrasive, scrape or sand the area of the wood floor then move upward in grit sequence. If necessary, recoat and consult the finish manufacturer for final abrasives suggestions.
        • A contaminated floor or finish may require sanding in order to remove the contamination and start the finishing process from raw wood. In cases where the floor cannot be resanded, replacement of the affected areas may be necessary.
        • Fill the floor to block contaminates in voids or between boards with a trowel.

        To prevent craters and fisheyes from forming, follow all manufacturer directions and recommendations prior to and during application, including conditions for applying finish and storage. Ensure the applicator is thoroughly cleaned before applying and avoid contact with substances that are not supposed to be on the floor.

        To get in contact with a Basic Coatings representative with questions about preventing craters and fisheyes, please visit this link. For more information about the advantages of water-based finishes and sealers, click below:

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

        Photos courtesy of NWFA’s Problems, Causes, and Cures (3rd Edition, 2018).

      • Getting the Red Out of Brazilian Cherry

        Jul 06, 2021

        From the mid-1990s to around 2005, Brazilian cherry—also known as Jatoba—was extremely popular and installed in many homes built or renovated during that time. The Brazilian cherry wood floors and rich red, orange, and cherry tones trend has faded, and for those wanting a change, the solution may be easier than it seems. 

        When a contractor is faced with a Brazilian cherry floor, painting it black or bleaching it seem like the only options. Black may not be the first choice for a customer’s new floor, and bleach is an extra step that will increase time, work, and risk factors. Contractors can stain a Brazilian cherry floor to obtain the new color their customer wants by using the color wheel and our wide variety of HyperTone™ Stains

        The Color Wheel

        The color wheel is a useful tool to determine what color masks the red of the Brazilian cherry the best. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue and the complementary colors are green, purple, and orange. As seen in the image on the right, the primary colors and complementary colors sit opposite on the color wheel. The colors directly across from each other will “cancel out” when applied over the other. Using this logic, Brazilian cherry floors can transform to the desired color.

        Green is directly across from red on the color wheel. It is key to 2 popular stain mixtures below for Brazilian cherry, because it cancels out red. With HyperTone Stains primary colors, achieving the green-toned stain is possible. Mix 4 parts of Yellow and 1 part of Blue. Adjust the color by adding more Yellow or Blue until the correct color is attained.

        Bleached Look

        Create a bleached color floor without the bleach. Add 60 parts of White to 1 part green to achieve the bleached look. For floors with a heavier red color, add 1 part Slate or Tobacco to the mix to help mask the red even more. 


        To get a brown color without a red undertone, use 2 parts of Onyx mixed with 1 part Yellow. Because dark wood stains like Onyx have deep black pigments that derive from a dominant blue base, mixture with yellow will create a green tone. 

        Darker Brown

        Use Tobacco, a very dominant, opaque stain that can be applied on its own. Adding a small amount of white can assist in covering the red if needed.


        Mix 6 parts White with 1 part Slate to create a paint-like tone that will mask the red. A gray color naturally covers color well, which is why it is often used as a primer on dark-painted walls as opposed to white primers. 

        General Tips

        Keep in mind the following tips to assist you in successfully staining Brazilian cherry.

        • Sanding a floor will determine if more or less pigment will penetrate the wood. Check how much sanding is required. Read more about sanding and other procedures on exotic floors here.
          • Pro Tip: If your normal abrading sequence does not allow the stain to penetrate and adjust color effectively, try lowering grit size for final pass/preparation. For example, if 120 grit is your normal final grit size, try keeping it at 100 grit. This will allow for more stain to penetrate into the floor.
        • Create test formulas to find the best ratio of colors that match the desired color. Click here to read more about using a test area to determine if the color is correct.
        • Use a Clear Base to add transparency or cut color concentration as opposed to a Neutral base, because the latter contains warm tones that will alter the color. 

        By manipulating HyperTone Stains and the color wheel, Brazilian cherry can be masked and transformed into a different color. Curious about red oak floors or tinting? Watch a webinar here and check out our blog post about tinting with HyperTone Stains here.

        If you have questions about HyperTone Stains, please click here to fill out the online form, and your Basic Coatings Regional Manager will reach out to you.