Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>To seal or not to seal hardwood floor
18 posts / 0 new
Last post
thisoldhouse
To seal or not to seal hardwood floor

Hi,
I'm having my white oak hardwood floors refinished. How would you recommend they be finished? Every floor guy has a different answer and it's very confusing! Here are my specific questions:
1. Would you recommend sealing it first? One guy says he uses lacquer sealer, but I've heard that stuff isn't good to use. He recommends one sealer and two coats of oil based poly on top.
2. How many coats of poly do you recommend? Is it smart to use a third coat? I'd appreciate your advice!. Please respond ASAP because the work is just about to start. Thanks!

JLMCDANIEL
Re: To seal or not to seal hardwood floor

I always use Old Masters oil based poly and always 3 coats.
Jack

Re: To seal or not to seal hardwood floor

There's no question!! THREE coats always!!
Be sure the coats go on thin and even. One heavy coat doesn't equal two coats btw...lol. Some people think they do.
I like oil poly but there are "excellent" water borne poly's out there and soon thats all we're going to be able to use so....
Hell,,,,I LOVED "moisture cure" poly but that stuff is long been banned. The deadlier the better...LOL...only kidding...honest!!:D

thisoldhouse
Re: To seal or not to seal hardwood floor

Thanks for the replies. Do you use a sealer in addition to the 3 coats of poly? A couple floor guys said 1 sealer, 2 poly and a couple said just 3 coats poly and no sealer. Thanks again!

Re: To seal or not to seal hardwood floor
thisoldhouse wrote:

Thanks for the replies. Do you use a sealer in addition to the 3 coats of poly? A couple floor guys said 1 sealer, 2 poly and a couple said just 3 coats poly and no sealer. Thanks again!

If you stain the floor...the stain is considered a sealer.
Depends what you mean by sealer.
One can use a tung oil finish (sealer) or linseed oil (sealer) or...
Oh yeh...and "Waterlox" makes a really beautiful finish if you have the patience. thats a tung oil type finish.
http://www.waterlox.com/

thisoldhouse
Re: To seal or not to seal hardwood floor

We are not using a stain- we are keeping it as natural as possible. The floor guy said he uses a lacquer sealer. I know it's very flammable in the liquid state. Is it also a potential problem once it dries?

You recommended 3 coats of poly. Is it okay to use 1 sealer and 3 poly or is that just too many coats?

Or is it better to skip the sealer coat and just use 3 poly?

Thanks for bearing with all my questions- as you can see I'm a novice in this area.

Re: To seal or not to seal hardwood floor

What is he considering a sealer???? What's the name of it?
andddddddddd....THREE coats of poly no matter what.

thisoldhouse
Re: To seal or not to seal hardwood floor

Harco Heavy Duty Lacquer Sealer
http://www.harcocoatings.com/

I think he uses this for the poly:
http://www.bonakemi.com/sportpoly.html

Re: To seal or not to seal hardwood floor

I;ve heard of Harco but not of Bona X. Might be a regional thing. I haven't used either so I can't comment on the brand.
Sometimes people like using that type of "sealer" b/c they can second coat with the poly top coat the same day. Kind of a rush job but like I said...I never used that before so I won't comment.
I've always used three coats of poly.
Sorry...I don't want to steer you in a direction that may be ill advised.
If it were me....I'd call a flooring finish supply company and ask them their opinion on the product in your area.
Or even a wood flooring supply company. Someone that just supplies the wood floors to installers.

goldhiller
Re: To seal or not to seal hardwood floor
thisoldhouse wrote:

Harco Heavy Duty Lacquer Sealer
http://www.harcocoatings.com/

I think he uses this for the poly:
http://www.bonakemi.com/sportpoly.html

If you look at the info/spec sheets at the harco site, youll see that the advice is to use "like" products. Lacquer sealers and poly topcoats are not "like" products. They warn that bonding problems *can* result from the use of a lacquer sealer (unless you also use a lacquer topcoat for the floor and that would NOT be a good choice...period.)

I think your guy is wanting to use the lac sealer because it will allow him to proceed sooner/faster. But proceed to what? A potentially poor bond? Personally....I wouldn't use a lacquer based sealer for anything other than lacquer topcoat.

You don't really need a sanding sealer for an OB poly floor, but... I *would* use Zinnser's dewaxed shellac (Sealcoat) for a sanding sealer under an OB poly .....if I desired a sanding sealer. I understand that this sounds contradictory to the "like" product rule, but....dewaxed shellac can be used as a sealer under numerous different finishes. Dewaxed, mind you...not the normal run-of-the-mill shellac off the shelf which is not dewaxed. Zinnser's Sealcoat is available at most big-boxes these days, as well as at your paint store.

Boni-Kemi makes good products. If using an oil-based poly...3 coats for a long-lived finish on a floor. If you desire a satin or semi-gloss finish....the first two coats should be gloss....because gloss is clear. This will allow the grain to show thru best. If you use satin or semi for all three coats...the final result will be somewhat cloudy in appearance.

Our kitchen floor OB poly is 20 years old and going strong. No wear-thru and no scratches.

(Avoid Minwax film finish products these days. Used to be good, but not anymore.)

thisoldhouse
Re: To seal or not to seal hardwood floor

Yikes! I told the floor guy not to use lacquer sealer and I just got back from the house and there is already an empty container of lacquer sealer outside the house! He said he's putting poly over it and it will be fine even though I told him it says they aren't compatible. I don't know what to do now! :( Is lacquer flammable/ health problem once it dries?

Pages

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.