BEAUTIFUL floors aren’t born – they’re built. When it comes to designing and building floors that customers love, flooring professionals and contractors understand the relationship between the layers of a floor and how to bring out a floor’s best with the proper tools and coatings.
Whether your customers want a traditional look or a completely customised creation, choosing the right coatings can help create a stunning floor. Aside from flooring material, the biggest impacts on a floor are the use of wood floor primers and topcoat.
When so many homeowners are looking to get fresh new looks for their floors, resealing or refinishing floors are great options for customers to transform floors without replacing them. Here are some things to remember when using primers and topcoat.
Wood floor primers
Wood floor primers provide an excellent level of protection as well as being an important build layer for other protective coatings. Especially for wood floors, a primer coat gives installers more control over the look and durability of the finished floor.
Benefits of hardwood floor primers
- Evens out the surface of the wood
- Reduces tannin bleed and potential side bonding
- Increases durability of floor and finish
- Reduces the chance of negative reaction between wood and finish
- Can preserve, customise, or enhance a floor’s existing colour
Bona says it provides an excellent range of wood floor primers, giving installers a wide range of freedom and creativity. From waterborne primers to natural penetrating oils, it says its professional coatings provide an ease of installation with the performance and durability that flooring professionals demand.
‘Choose Bona Prime Natural to give the unfinished look, or Bona Prime Amber to enhance the richness of the wood,’ says the company.
Wood floor topcoat
While wood floor primers protect floors by penetrating the pores of the flooring material, the importance of a floor’s finish is, of course, the protective surface layer that is the first line of defence against floor damage. When it comes to a floor’s finish, professional installers have a range of finishes to choose from.
Although popular in their time, solvent-based or acid-cured lacquers aren’t in favour these days owing to the high VOC levels and persistent smell.
Traditional hard waxes are ever-popular in the UK but take a fair time to dry. Says Bona: ‘Modern 2 component penetrating oils such as Bona Craft Oil can be a primer and topcoat all in one and have grown in popularity since their launch a few years ago and benefit from a large range of colours, fast-curing, and significantly lower VOC levels than hard wax oil.
‘Waterborne Topcoat lacquers offer significant increases in durability for the floor-owner, much lower VOC levels and in the case of Bona Traffic HD or Bona SuperSport HD much quick-curing so you can return the floor to use in hours rather than multiple days.’
When it comes to helping customers choose the right kind of floor finish, ensure the following concerns are addressed to give clients a range of options:
- Durability (abrasion/scratch resistance)
- Look and style (colour, sheen level)
- Potential colour changes over time
- VOCs/green options
- Touch dry/full cure times
- Fixing floor finish mistakes
Proper care and preparation are needed for applying floor finish. Floors need to be properly sanded, cleaned or repaired before any finish is applied.
Fixing flaws in a floor’s finish can be a costly, time-consuming job. Here’s a list of common floor finish mistakes and ways to prevent them.
Ensure jobsite conditions are properly prepared for optimal drying. Most streaking problems can be traced back to the application or even the applicator itself. An easy way to eliminate problems with streaking is with the use of a roller and sufficient product application.
Proper acclimatisation of the wood flooring before installation in line with the flooring manufacturers guidelines is the first step. Using a Bona primer will then help prevent the topcoat causing side bonding. Informing the customers of the correct maintenance procedure to ensure minimal liquid is used for cleaning
Check to ensure the coatings you use are compatible with each other. Following manufacturer’s instructions will help give proper guidance on what abrasives are recommended when prepping the floor.
Temperature control is often the cause of blistering. When finishing a floor, consider the sun and either cover the windows with plastic or plan the job early in the morning or late in the day. Ensure the room is properly prepped to allow for proper airflow as the finish dries.
Swirls in the surface
Particularly with colours oils or stains, the porosity of the surface varies the product uptake. When working with colours make sure to use high quality abrasive like the Bona Ceramic or Diamond, and vacuum between sanding grits to ensure no stray particles are left.
Make sure the floor finish is prepared according to manufacturer’s instructions and that the finish is mixed well. If multiple containers of finish are needed to complete a single application, batch them together to ensure a uniform sheen.
To give your customers the best-looking floors with superior protection choose a Bona Primer or Penetrating oil and combine with one of Bona’s high performance topcoats like Bona Traffic HD.