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tigger

Am I expecting too much???? ('new' floor photos)

tigger
14 years ago

I just need to get some other opinions since at this point, not sure if it's just me thinking this isn't acceptable - maybe the past 9 months of remodeling has just finally gotten to me! So...for the past TWO WEEKS we have been living in our basement for what was supposed to be a 4-5 day job of having floors done (throughout entire house - a combination of new floors and existing floors being refinished to match). There have been major issues, and we're now going on week 3. Wouldn't you know, the worst issues were in the NEW kitchen, right in front of the island, so probably the most prominent and noticeable spot in the entire house. The floor company tried to blame the stain, us, etc, however I honestly think this is a result of poor preparation of the floors prior to staining. In the photos below, you'll see what look like scratches but the odd thing is that they didn't appear until the last few coats of poly were put on. We also have similar scratches in a bedroom, and they correspond exactly to scratches that were made by the bed BEFORE they sanded the floors. In the kitchen, it's probably the same since a refrigerator was moved across the new floor prior to finishing. We didn't worry about it since we THOUGHT any scratches would be sanded out.

The floor company rep basically implied that WE must have done it (yep, it's sooooo much fun living in the basement that I wanted to sabotage my new floors!). They are trying to fix it, but it looks worse every time, so unfortunately I think the only alternative is redoing the entire area (dining room/kitchen). Which means at least ANOTHER week in the basement, not to mention all the time we've lost so far not being able to continue construction, etc. But anyway, here are a couple of photos, so please tell me what you think. I don't think I'm expecting perfection, but am I just making more of this than I should??? To me, these floors look as if they are ready to be refinished rather than just having been finished!!!

This is one of the worst scratches - right in front of the island - keep in mind that it's actually much longer so in order to get a closeup photo we couldn't show it all. Sorry about the quality - ignore the light areas since they are due to the camera flash or recessed lights, as it was impossible to get the photos without using the flash:

{{gwi:1906269}}

Here's one more:

{{gwi:1906270}}

Comments (23)

  • plllog
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Traci,

    It's not you!! That scratch, considering that scratches don't show well in pictures, is a doozy!!! And It doesn't look like the kind of thing that can be done by a high heel. That looks like something was dragged. I'm sure it was an accident, but while you could be stuck for a scratch made by the plumber, you should not be stuck with the negligence of the floor installers!!

    I totally feel for your imprisonment, and you know I feel for the potential delay, but not only does it need to be fixed, you're paying for new wood in the new places and new wood isn't wood sanded down for refinishing.

    With all that you've put into and put up with on this remodel, I think it's worth holding out.

    Sending you more warm thoughts about good floor karma....

    JC

  • User
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I hate going to the basement for 5 minutes much less several weeks, I'm sorry this is happening to you! No you're not expecting too much nor are you over reacting. You paid for a professional job but that's obviously not what you're receiving. When you say each time they try to fix it, it's looks worse? What do you mean? Can you elaborate? What exactly are they doing to fix it, and what looks "off" after their done? I hope you're keeping a photo diary as a part of your records, better safe than sorry in case you have to push to get what you want.

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  • tigger
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    JC - thanks for the sympathy :) I honestly feel sick at this point. We contacted the floor company and told them that it just needs to be completely redone, meaning we've spent the past 2 weeks in the basement for nothing. I suppose I should just be happy that we weren't having to pay for a hotel! Although I would be making THEM pay for any expenses incurred at this point! The floor company said the exact same thing - that it looked as if something was dragged across the floor, but that it couldn't possibly be any of their equipment or their fault in any way. And the funny thing is that NO ONE other than us and the floor company has been in our house over the past 2 weeks and we don't even go up to look until we are VERY SURE everything is dry and we don't use shoes!!!! I really do think these scratches were there prior to sanding (from when we moved the refrigerator - the path was along the scratches) and they just didn't get them sanded out well enough prior to staining and sealing. And once the poly is on, with a major issue such as this, it really can't be easily fixed. Oh well, keep sending the good karma - I need to do some meditating or something - haha :)

    Lukkiirish - I totoally agree with you about the basement! I don't like spending any amount of time in it, and now I'm wondering if I'm ever going to get out :) It really could be much worse though. We at least have a bedroom, bath and teeny kitchen area. Although thanks to our contractor, we somehow lost hot water in the kitchen right before moving down here and the light is out due to the electrician not fixing it when he was finished. The worst part is trying to get organized since we brought a minimum with us due to thinking it was for a week!
    Anyway, to answer your questions, they have tried to "fix" it by re-sanding spots and just putting more stain and poly on. Now what do you think would be the issue with that?? There's no way to make it match when you are putting new stain on specific LARGE spots after completely finishing the floor (see photo below for the current "fix"). We are definitely keeping a photo log of this :) They are supposed to start refinishing the entire area this week, so then the fun part will be seeing if it matches the adjacent room (living room is right off the dining room). We'll just live with it though since I refuse to spend the time necessary to refinish the ENTIRE house rather than just the main problem area. I just want them to refinish the kitchen/dining area and then get out!

    A few more photos:
    {{gwi:1906271}}

    Ignore all the dust in this one - it's still there from re-sanding spots, but you can get the general idea of how it looks.
    {{gwi:1906272}}

    One more photo - this is the floor in the old kitchen (the kitchen in the previous photos is a new addition, therefore new wood). They told us that the wood in the old kitchen wasn't in the best shape, so weren't sure how it would look and we said we were fine with that. However, there are several areas that they didn't even attempt to patch with wood filler - if so, it would have looked just fine!
    {{gwi:1906273}}

  • boxerpups
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Traci29,

    They have no right to blame you. I have discovered (and I
    apologize to any floor people out there) that some floor
    guys are not the brightest bulbs in the pack. This is
    clearly a mistake they have made on your time. Not fair
    to you at all. You are not being a perfectionist. You paid
    for new floors you should get new floors.

    Besides the scratch could you photograph what else is
    going on? Are your floors oak? Pine? Cherry?

    One thing my floor guys did was to sand, stain and polish
    the kitchen without appliances in place. Then after the
    stain and first coat of poly was on they carefully moved
    the appliances back into place. Then proceeded to do sand
    again, poly, sand yet again, poly, buff and polish again.
    The floors under the appliances only have one coat of
    sealant because we do not want to keep moving large
    appliances across the floor. This is too big a risk of the
    floors getting damaged.

    Your floor fools. Ooopps I mean floor guys did not do this.
    They may not need to restain the entire project. They
    might be able to fix it. They could sand, fill in with
    tiny paint brush, wood filler, sand again, polish, buff,
    polish.. Until it looks perfect.

    My floor guys come again tomorrow to do the final 5th
    coat. I am up to my eyebrows in wanting my home back. So
    I really do understand how you must be way past your
    point of kindness. You are holding up much better than I
    would be.

    Your floor guys need to fix this and on their dime. Oh
    Before I forget to tell you, I love your dark floors.
    When this gets repaired your floors will be beautiful.
    Don'tgive up.

    ~boxerpups

  • boxerpups
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think I was posting at the same time you were. I now see
    the rest of your pictures. Shocking. I would be in tears.
    I truly feel bad that you are going through this.

    They can not fix a huge scratch in the way I suggessted or
    even the way they believed they could. It will look like patch work.
    And as you can see it is. You have every reason to be upset.

    They must fix this. And it can be fixed. That is the best
    thing about wood. Wood can be sanded down restained and
    made perfect. They need to start over and stop being so lazy.

    I truly wish you were not going through this mess. The
    fumes from all the sanding, staining, poly.. must be
    awful. I say this becasue we are going on week three and
    have been living in one part of our home while we have
    had our floors done.

    I will be send good wishes that this gets resolved fairly
    to you.
    ~Boxerpups

  • tigger
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Boxerpups - thanks for the good wishes :) I have definitely been to the point of tears over this, primarily because I've wanted dark floors forever and have so looked forward to seeing them. To have it turn out like this is a total nightmare. The good part is that with the exception of the Minwax oil-based stain, the fumes weren't so bad (lucky us to get to go through it again). We're using Bona Traffic which is water-based, so that part wasn't bad at all. I'm sure we're going to have to watch them like hawks this time since I would bet that they are going to try and do a quick job and cut any corners they can such as not putting the 4 coats of poly they are supposed to. Not that I'm not ready for it to be finished, but I'd prefer not to have to try a THIRD time! They definitely didn't move any appliances to stain under, so I'm very envious of your floor experience! :)

  • kateskouros
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    whoa! speak to them realllllly slowly and clearly. tell them they will remedy the situation immediately. i fail to see how that could possibly be your fault unless you decided to ice skate over the floors. good luck, i hope this mess is resolved quickly!

  • lesmis
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow Traci, those pictures say it all don't they? I actually *tried* to make scratches like that using nails, scissors and anything else I could find when we were trying to decide between different species of wood. I raked everything I could think of across those sample boards and I wasn't able to create anything even close to those gouges! It had to be something really heavy to make those!

    Hang in there...the collective GW karma train will hopefully turn this situation around for you!

    Kat :)

  • remodelfla
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Are you telling us that the pic of your old floor with the gouge is AFTER they claimed they sanded and refinished? I've stripped and sanded down a number of pieces of old furniture. Have never gotten close to tackling a floor... HOWEVER, that is obviously (both the old and new) a case of inadequate sanding. The stain didn't take in those areas because the floor around them were higher. It will be an enormous hassle for them to be redone but so worth it. The color you have chosen is rich and beautiful. I love the graining and the natural variation in depth of color. It's going to get fixed and it's going to be FANTASTIC! Chin up my friend!

  • desertsteph
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    actually a few of those look to me like the 'scratches'/gouges that were put into a wood flour - being refinished by the homeowners on one of those DIY shows. the DIY show guy was showing how DIYers could save money on different projects and then he'd show people doing them. this one on saving money on redoing your own floors had a few 'doozies' in it per the show guy. the home owners dad was running the sander and held it in place to long... nasty gouge. then someone changed the paper and didn't get the screw all the way in - so it was sticking out and scraped the floor - major. (dear dad might have done that one also).

    why would they refinish over it w/o saying anything if they weren't trying to cover/ignore their boo-boos? if they'd been there they'd have asked you what you wanted them to do with those / how much sanding down etc, wouldn't they?

    after the job, did you take a look at them before moving anything back in?

    if the stain /poly is OVER the scratches then it is very obviously something that was there before and they should have dealt with it before finishing/poly. why did they think you were having the floors redone - because they were just fine as they were?

  • seaglass7
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh, no. Traci I'm sooo sorry this is happening to you. It's bad enough you have to go through it again, but to even suggest it's your fault---unbelievable!

    You are definitely NOT being too picky. What seems strange to me is that the stain on my floors was applied by hand with rags. I can't figure out how they didn't get the stain in the scratches. But in any event, I wouldn't be happy with those scratches, and you shouldn't settle. We had old and new floors blended together and the entire gamut refinished--it's done all the time and they shouldn't be using that as an excuse for their sub-par work. We did have to walk around and put pieces of blue painter's tape down to "remind" them of places that needed to be filled, sanded or replaced (split boards).

    Don't let them wear you down, and don't let them skate. I guess today is day one do-over for you. Hang in there...it will look fabulous when they get it right!

  • rubyfig
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh no Traci, I feel your pain.

    That scratch looks like the fridge was dragged across it (Our contractor did the same. Our floor installer is great, and he said the ONLY solution is to re-do the whole floor otherwise you will see the marks (as you are experiencing). We used Bona traffic too, by the way).

    It is easy to tell if the scratch was there before (it would have the poly over it)--from the pictures, yours looks like it is scratched down to the bare wood.

    If I were you, I would have these guys cover all the furniture and appliance bottoms with heavy felt before they move anything back in, and I would wait an extra day to let the Bona set up (I know, the basement is no fun, but better one extra day than another start from 0) .

    Good luck!

  • User
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow Traci, amazing, how can they honestly call themselves professionals! I can understand why you're willing to settle for the minimum to be done, but would make them cut you a deal on the costs in return! This is a perfect example as to why we went with prefinished when we installed our floors. Good luck, my heart goes out to you.

  • tigger
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for all the sympathy everyone - I know you all know how I feel :)

    Kateskouros: that's funny, but looking at it, it does seem as if ice skates would make those scratches - haha! There's little ice skating around here right now though since it's in the 80's and 90's, so I guess they'll have to come up with another excuse :)

    Kat: I know you realize exactly how I feel since you've heard all my rantings through email :) Maybe I'll have some GOOD news eventually!

    Remodelfla: yes, we've decided that it practically has to be a sanding issue. The scratches are hard to describe and actually look a bit different in person than in the photos. The kitchen photos do look as if the scratches were sunken in, therefore maybe didn't take the stain, but in person look a bit raised - I know that sounds crazy, and it's the weirdest thing I've ever seen!! I don't know much about woodworking and definitely not refinishing floors other than what I've read, but we're wondering if the reason it became so apparent once the poly was down is due to the waterbased Bona opening the grain of the wood - does that even sound possible?? I posted a question on the floor forum but have gotten no replies - it doesn't seem to be very active compared to this one! Anyway, I'm putting one more photo below of the scratch in the bedroom (which we KNOW was there before the sanding started) because it does look slightly more as if it's raised. Picture a scar - you know how once scar tissue forms, there's a raised area. That's kind of what it looks like in person! I have no idea why the one in the kitchen looks as if there's no stain at all because it does have some on it - but the more they tried to "fix" the worse it became.

    Desertsteph: we saw the floors after every process dried, so we first saw the stain and there were no scratches, then one coat of poly, and that's the odd thing I was referring to above - only after approx. the second coat of poly did the scratches emerge. So I saw the floors one morning when I was leaving for work, and then we didn't go up until later that evening when the poly dried. We IMMEDIATELY noticed that and contacted the floor company. The "coordinator/scheduler" said that he was out of town, but would send the guys over to look at it the next day. That's when everyone said they had no idea how it could have happened but it couldn't possibly be from their equipment. So...we began investigating and found everything I wrote above to Remodelfla. We haven't moved anything back in and weren't planning to for several days just to make sure we gave the floors plenty of time to "cure" or whatever. Unfortunately, everything is in storage which we are also paying for much longer now!

    Seaglass7: thanks for agreeing that it's unbelievable that the company would try to blame us for the scratches and that I'm not just being picky! I was honestly beginning to question whether we were just expecting way too much and if anyone else would think it looked fine (as the floor company tried to say!). We asked them if since they think it looks fine, if they are OK with us posting photos everywhere as a reference for them - see what they say about that - haha!

    Rubyfig: we do know that the refrigerator was pulled across the floor, but it was well BEFORE the floor company started. And we didn't worry about the fact that we could see scratches in the new unfinished wood because we thought they would be sanded out!!! And none of the appliances were moved after the floor company started - they simply stained around them. It would have been impossible to move the huge refrigerator and get it back in without completely messing up the floors after finished, so we just elected to stain around it. Not the best option, but oh well.

    Lukkiirish: Yep, that's the "profesisonals" we were lucky enough to choose. You'd never believe this company has been around for at least 5-10 years and isn't just some one-man operation with a hand sander or something - haha! They seemed fine until we had issues - that's when you find out what companies are TRULY like! I'm beginning to REALLY regret not going with prefinished :)

    Floor in bedroom - scratch corresponds to one that was there BEFORE sanding. It was a fairly deep scratch made by the bed which we just ignored knowing that we'd eventually refinish them - little did we know we'd have the scratch forever - haha:
    {{gwi:1906274}}

  • tigger
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Just wanted to start a new post for this since I went on and on above :) We heard from the floor company today and they said that they can't possibly spend more time on our floors (and correct the mess THEY made) unless we give them MORE MONEY - can you believe that?!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was utterly speechless. We've already paid them WAY more than they deserve since we really need to refinish every single room now to ensure that it all matches and that we don't just have to do it again very soon. Looking at the shoddy work so far, something tells me that we'd have even more problems, possibly quickly and need to move everything AGAIN.

    So...before we move furniture back in, we now have to find another company and start completely over. We've actually paid them for all but approx. 25-35% of the entire job, so why would we give them more now until they PROVE they can correct this once and for all??!!! Unbelievable!! And this doesn't even include the time we've lost due to not being able to continue construction while the floors were being done (which we thought would be for a mere 4-5 days, but will now be a minimum of a MONTH!! Or the fact that we've put our furniture in storage and will have to pay for 3-4 weeks more than expected. Argh, I could just scream! :) Maybe I should just be glad that they made the decision for us though, so now we can hopefully find a company that's COMPETENT to do the job.

  • seaglass7
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Traci,

    I think it's best to move on to someone else. A lightbulb just went off in my head---when I was researching poly alternatives on the Flooring Forum a very helpful and knowledgeable person chimed in. He's very familiar with the Bona products and he offered to help me via e:mail with questions. His User Name is glennsfc and he's from Sohm Flooring. You might want to either give him a shout over on flooring or drop an e:mail. He may have some clue as to what went wrong and may be able to help you.

    Just a thought...and hang in there. Better days ahead. Good riddence to the incompetants.

  • tigger
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Seaglass7: thanks for the info for Glennsfc. I may ask him some questions! I'm sure it's definitely better to move on to someone else, however it still irritates me to no end to have spent over 2 weeks and still have floors that look like crap :) So the process begins again...

  • plllog
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Traci,

    I totally get the frustration. It's awful that you've been banished to the basement and have to pay to house your house elsewhere. But, yes, it's time to get a proper new floor and get it done right. And sue at your leisure...

    JC

  • pharaoh
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Are there before pictures? I am curious to see how much preexisting damage there was. Maybe the floor cannot be sanded down enough to remove all gouges.

    Maybe they should have filled the holes and then sanded. Did they ever mention that there was damage that they could not fix?

  • weissman
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If you're just going to go with someone else, you better send them a lawyer's letter indicating that you're terminating the contract due to their non-performance, otherwise they might attach your house with a mechanic's lien since you still owe them money. You also might consider legal action against them before they start it against you.

  • tigger
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    JC: yes, I'm hoping to get it done right this time! But I really wonder how anyone can ever tell if a person or company is truly ethical and will do a job correctly! For example, this place appeared fine in the beginning, had good reviews, etc, yet they turned out to be horrible. Our contractor had extremely good references, but we've had major issues with him, thus the reason for being in month 10 of a 5-6 month project. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm just cursed! :)

    Pharaoh: I wish we'd had the foresight to take photos of the scratches before the work began, but we never even thought about there being an issue related to sanding - maybe other things, but not that! And we even looked at the floors after sanding - the scratches weren't apparent but we didn't get down and run our hands over the floor! But no, they never once mentioned there were any issues that they could not fix. We would have been fine if they had just taken responsibility for it and agreed to redo the work rather than insisting WE must have damaged the floor and then refusing to fix the damage.

    Weissman: Why would we need a letter from an attorney stating we were terminating the contract??? As I stated above, the company stated in an email that they refused to return unless we gave them more money. Our contract states that there will be 3 payments (2 of which we made), the last one being termed "FINAL" which means AFTER the work is completed - not before. We never said we were terminating the contract, and in fact asked them to redo the floors as they initially said they would. They can try to attach a lien or sue all they want but I don't see how they have a case. The guy who coordinated everything for us even went so far as to state in his email that he "agreed that the floors weren't acceptable" but that they would not be fixing them unless we gave them more money - what more can you ask for than that as proof of an unethical company??!!

  • weissman
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If you've made 2 out of 3 payments they potentially have grounds for filing a lien to obtain their 3rd payment. Now the fact that you have an email stating that the floors are not acceptable and they are not planning to fix them unless you pay more would be a good defense for you, but it's better for you to avoid having to fight to have the lien removed. I guess somehow I'd try to make sure that they're content with you walking away at this point. I'm not a lawyer but depending on the amount of money involved, it might be worth your while to consult one.

  • weissman
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    There have been people on this forum who have paid their GC only to find out later that the GC never paid their subs and suddenly the subs have filed liens for their payments and the homeowner ends up having to pay twice. If you and the flooring people are mutually agreeable about ending the relationship, you ought to get a release from lien from them.