Monday, August 13, 2007

Hardwood Floor Finishing. How to Schedule with Painting on New Construction

Today we will discuss Hardwood Floor Finishing. We hope to help you decide how to Sequence Floor Staining and Finishing with Painting on New Construction projects.

Builders, subcontractors, and homeowners many times find it difficult to sequence the various steps during new home construction. Hardwood floor installation, staining, and finishing typically create one of the biggest logistical challenges to the project manager. Wall and ceiling painting many times involves ladders and scaffolding, which can damage freshly installed and finished floors.

So you might think to paint before you install the floors, right? No. The problem is that newly installed floors must be sanded prior to staining and finishing, creating a tremendous amount of dust. The machines used for sanding are bulky and heavy, and many times result in dented or damaged walls and moulding. The dust generated by sanding would certainly compromise the quality of any freshly painted surfaces. Even small amounts of dust on freshly painted walls will make touchup of paint virtually impossible, as the seemingly invisible dust becomes quite visible in the presence of the moisture in the paint.

So you might think to install wood, sand it, and then call the painters in, right? No. Even if flooring is installed, sanded, and left unfinished, drywall mud and paint can impregnate unfinished and unsealed floors making staining and finishing difficult for the installer.

The concensus among many hardwood and painting professionals is to install, sand, stain, and 1st coat and even second coat all hardwood. Allow the finish to dry sufficiently, then cover the floor with Builder Paper. Attach the paper with Safe-Release Green Tape at the perimeter only, then use conventional masking tape to tape the paper sheets where they overlap each other. For scaffolding or heavy ladders, lay down thick cardboard over the paper where needed to protect from dents or gouge s. For heavy work, use 4x8 sheets of thin plywood or sheeting to prevent damage from tool drops and ladders. Once the painting process is complete, the floors can be uncovered, and the floor finisher can prepare the floors and apply the final coat or coats of finish.

Good luck on your projects.

All the best.


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