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Thread: Best finish for Hickory flooring?

  1. #1
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    Best finish for Hickory flooring?

    I've just about gotten to the point to where I need to put a very durable finish on my hardwood (hickory) floor. It is all reclaimed hickory and I know I'll have to fill in some knot holes before the last sanding, but the finish is where I am lost.

    I want to keep the color and not darken or yellow the wood. I also want the finish to be as durable as the wood is. This flooring is in all but the bathroom on the first floor, including the kitchen (my biggest worry).

    What's the best finish out there that I can use that will last and handle the high traffic?

  2. #2
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    The hickory will darken moderately over time and there is nothing that can be done about it. And all finishes will have some darkening effect. It's just the nature of the beast. (For floors that won't darken, try ceramic tiles.)

    As a practical matter the least darkening will come from a water borne finish. Two-part finishes from Bona Kemi are among the best of these.

  3. #3
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    I sort of figured that the wood would darken no matter what. Now to tell the Boss. She was asking me about the Bona Kemi, so you helped answer another question that she had.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    What Steve said, except that a truly clear waterborne finish adds almost nothing to the color of the floor. Go with the Bona Traffic, unless the price puts you in the cardiac ward, then the Mega is also a very good finish (but not a two-part).

    I really like putting down a coat or two of SealCoat shellac before waterborne finishes. Pops the grain, warms the color a bit and helps prevent grain-raising.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  5. #5
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    Thanks! I'll see if I can find the Bona Traffic. I know this floor, especially the kitchen area will be taking a beating.

  6. #6
    A seal coat really helps with grain raising, which shouldn't be too bad with this material. I love Mega, and it's almost fool proof. (Almost!)

    Can't go wrong with Bona.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    I did a search online for the Bona Taffic and found that floormechanics.com has it for $83.00/gal with free shipping. That's the best so far and from the prices I am finding elsewhere, that is a really good deal. I guess I'll give them a call today to see about getting 6 gallons, plus some sealer and other misc. items that Im sure I'll be needing.

  8. #8
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    It didn't take all 6 gallons as the company said it would, for the finish. I used the Bona Sealer, sanded, cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more...

    I put down the first coat of Bona Traffic, with the surprise that it was much easier than I had anticipated. I let it dry and then sanded and cleaned and (learned after the first time around) to chase the hair shedders out of the house, until I was able to get the next couple of coats of finish down and dry enough not to worry about hair (2 hours or less).

    I pretty much followed the mfg. directions and waited a week for the finish to completely dry. Since that time I have put the marble inlay down and some furniture on the new floor.

    FINALLY!!! I am down to making the baseboards. The baseboard will match the cabinet in this room. (Goncola Alves)



    I was very happy to see that it didn't darken the natural color of the wood at all.

    Thanks for all your suggestions and comments. It was well worth the asking to have a floor that looks like this.

  9. #9
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    Looks great John!!! How did the knot holes turn out?

    Bryan

  10. #10
    I just finished this week redoing our floors. Used Varathane Water Based Urethane floor finish. These floors are oak however. Quite old but came out better than expected. Had carpet over them longer than I've lived here.

    It did lightly darken the wood, but very little. Used clear gloss finish:


  11. #11
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    I used the fiberglass resin. It worked the better than the epoxy. It seemed to set up a little harder and was much easier to work with when I was mixing it. That gave me more time and less waste filling the knots. (There was a ton of them)

    The resin took on the color of the knots and couple of other spots that had cracks, worm or nail holes. Marianne (the boss) was skeptical at first, but after the finish was put down and dried she was impressed. So was I.

    I just finished this week redoing our floors. Used Varathane Water Based Urethane floor finish. These floors are oak however. Quite old but came out better than expected. Had carpet over them longer than I've lived here.
    Rick, Your floor looks great! What did you use to apply your finish? I experimented and found that a wax applicator that had a tank with a micro-fiber piece worked really well.

    Water based finish for floors is the ticket, if you ask me.

  12. #12
    John I used the applicator that was just a foam pad with soft fiber pad attached to it. Spead by hand. Used a brush for the edges. Started using a broom handle attached and applied standing, but that seemed to leave air bubbles.

    I apllied most of the coats on my hands and knees. Put on some rubber gloves and held that applicator and dipped it in the finsih. Actually worked much better that way. Had better control of the process.

    I would have liked to try your wax applicator method. Sounds like that might be the way to go.

    There is no shortcut thats for sure. Alot of work!
    Last edited by Rick Gifford; 11-15-2007 at 11:28 AM. Reason: misspelling

  13. #13
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    There are a couple keys to applying a waterborne finish to a floor. You have to follow the directions on the containers if you do a pour and spread method. To make that successfull (no air bubbles), you have to keep a puddle going, have to move at a steady speed (but not too fast or you'll create air bubbles), and you pretty much have to put it on as heavy as you possibly can so that it doesn't dry too quickly and trap any air bubbles there may be. I almost never get the spread rate on the containers because it's too hard to control that much finish.

    Rolling on the finish is another interesting animal that produces surprising results, but has its own set of challenges.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


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