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Disappointed with "professional" floor redo, ripples, spots...what do we do now?

I hope someone can give me advice on what to do about my newly redone hardwood floors.

We have beautiful red oak floors in our 1930's Tudor. We hired a professional floor refinisher to come in to sand and finish the floors. I'd been told they were "virgin" floors and hadn't been touched since installed by two refinishers except with waxings. They looked good but had some worn spots in front of doors, staiways, etc.

Well, we arrived home after two nights hotel as the fumes were so bad, to see our floors with ripples, or waves running across the entire room. If you stand at the end of the 35 foot room, the boards run lengthwise. It appears that sander was used across the grain thus giving it this rippled effect. And, last night when we we looking to move our furniture back into the room, we discovered a large, dark 4 foot scratch in the floor. This had to have occurred after the sanding as there is stain in it. It's rough to the touch and right in the middle of the room.

And, to make matters worse, we see hundreds of white spots that are round and/or long. It appears to be where they may have used a filler. These spots are rough to the touch as well.
As an interior designer, I've personally seen dozens of floors sanded and sealed. I've never seen these ripples before nor the white spots in 14 years in business. I've stripped my own floors many times and have never had them look this bad.
We just moved to a new community and this fellow came recommended to me.

I suppose I have to resand to get rid of the ripples? How many times can one restrip a floor? And, do I have an adhesion problem with the top coat (he used a water based finish) to the filler?

Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you

Re: Disappointed with "professional" floor redo, ripples, spots...what do we do now?

Hello, thank you for your reply.
I do think you hit the nail on the head. We had waxed floors, he mentioned it, the prior fellows mentioned it, and he did not strip the floors of the wax. I had no idea that he should have done this. I've never used a water based finish before, yes, it was Gliza, and I frankly never gave it a thought. When you hire someone who's been in business for a dozen years, you would expect them to know their craft.

Ironically, this firm was the most expensive and came recommended to me by a realtor. The other gentleman, who did my second story floors in January, (as well as all the floors in my previous home) prior to our moving into the home was, unfortunately, unable to come in our timeframe and is, understandably, more interested in getting his real estate business going (too many years on his knees and we are gutting our kitchen and have a fairly strict timetable to adhere to. I wouldn't have cared if the project took a week longer and he wanted to use oil. I, in fact, would have preferred the oil finish as that's what I'm familiar with. The contractor said he likes to use the Gliza as he only has two days into the project. The other two bids allowed for oil and did take three trips. This firm charged more and only was here twice. So, in reality, he was quite a bit more expensive. The third opinion was a contractor that I'd not heard good things about when I conducted my due diligence.

I called another firm I'd done business with before this intrastate move and they believe the ripples were likely caused by a drum that needed adjustment. They also don't use this Gliza water based product and concurred that the wax should have been stripped.

Prior to us going into the rooms, I'd asked the contractor to come by with his bill and he declined and said he'd mail it. After we looked at the floors since we'd left, we saw the bad scratch, the spots and the ripples. Fortunately, I haven't paid him.

I'm very disappointed. In all my years of having new floors installed and finished and clients homes having floors refinished, I've never seen such a poor outcome. The question is, what to do now. Do we have them resanded and if so, how many years will I have taken off the floors? I don't want carpet, area rugs won't cover the mess. I will not let this firm come back. If they didn't care enough to get it right the first time, why should I believe they would get it right now?

Thanks for you reply. I appreciate it.

Re: Disappointed with "professional" floor redo, ripples, spots...what do we do now?

Thank you for your great advice, I really appreciate the time you took to craft such an indepth answer.

I will call Glitsa and ask they send a rep to see this mess.

Something is going to have to happen here. It's unattractive and unpleasant to walk on as it's very gritty feeling underfoot.
Given what you wrote, I'm not so sure the floor shouldn't be pulled with new boards laid. What a nightmare!

Thank you, again. You're terrific!

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