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Question:

I have a 1 year old 3/4" prefinished floor by Harris Tarkett. The other night at a New Year's party, a guest put a good scratch in the floor with a kitchen chair. Any help with this? I was going to sand the area with a very fine steel wool and then apply several coats of poylurethane (brush applied) and sand in between coats. Please help me, my wife is goind nuts over this.

Marc

Answer:



Dear Marc

Here's an excerpt from my new floor maintenance article (found in the Floored news section). But read the whole article, both parts before you or your wife go nuts or worse yet, use the wrong finish on this floor.

All film finished wood floors, no matter how tough the finish is, will, in time get scratched. So now there are two ways to go. The first is to ignore all but the deepest of scratches and plan on recoating the floor every so often. This is what I do on my floors. On the deep scratches, I will however, fill them with floor finish applied with an artists brush. A couple of coats will be needed to fill up the scratches that have gone down to the bare wood. Use the floor finish according to directions even with these minor touch ups. A kitchen floor needs to be recoated every 2-4 years and the rest of the house every 5-10 years. A flooring contractor can do this for as little as 60 cents per sq. ft. In every case the old finish needs to be prepared by scuffing (a light sanding of the finish, not the wood) and good cleaning to remove all the fine dust that the scuffing made. I use lint free rags wetted with paint thinner. Be sure to let the paint thinner dry off before brushing on the new finish.

The very nature of these durable crosslinked floor finishes make them very difficult to blend in a small touch up. Don't be tempted to paint a fresh coat of floor finish where the surface has not been scuffed-sanded and cleaned. The finish will certainly not stick. You may find that you have to recoat a whole board that has been scratched, or a whole area of the floor from wall to wall. Before you go out to purchase a prefinished floor, see if they sell or provide free, a matching touch-up kit, with this rather expensive floor. Don't be too disappointed if the finish in the touch-up kit doesn't match the floor. Most factory applied conversion finishes are almost impossible to imitate with a site applied finish. In a few weeks of wear and tear, these will be less noticeable. After all it's only a floor.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE IN THE FLOORED NEWS SECTION OF THIS SITE.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.

You may also find these articles helpful:

1. Prefinished Hardwood Floors: How To Choose!

2. Plank Floor: What Special Considerations This Type Of Floor Raises

3. How to remove and clean various stains and odors from wood floors

4. Orbital Floor Sander

5. How To Take Care Of Your Health And Safety when Installing, Finishing, Repairing or Cleaning your wood floors