Hardwood floor coating suggestions?

Wrecker's,
I'm currently installing a butt-ton of new red oak flooring and looking for suggestions for semi-gloss floor coatings, with the following criteria:
* Ambering - I like the amber tint of oil finishes over unstained red oak. * Durability - It's a floor, 'nuff said. * Ease of application - I'd prefer to stay away from finishes that require a three day school to learn how to apply it properly.
Other than that, I'm open to any and all suggestions.
I know this PROBABLY belongs in alt.home-repair, but I trust the folks here much more than there, and it's WOOD!
What say the group?
Thanks, Barry
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On Mon, 11 Oct 2004 23:45:48 +0000, Ba r r y wrote:

FWIW, I was pretty pleased with the way Parks Pro Polyurathane Varnish worked out on my 50 year old mahogany floors. Got it at the Orange Borg, when I ended up doing the floors in the house we rent. The company that was supposed to do all of the floors professionally dropped the ball. I got lucky we had visiting missionaries from England at the church and one of them was a professional floor refinisher. So the landlady got a pro job. I've got beautiful floors, and a guy on vacation had a busman's holiday.
I'm posting a picture of the main hallway to abpw.
Tigger
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I'm not an expert but I just finished installing about 400 square ft of maple. I used oil basedVarathane semi gloss polyurethane alone to do it with. I go the very nice amber look that you are talking about and the wife loves it. The problem I ran into was that the directions specify that you can recoat the floor after the 4 hours when the poly is dry to the touch. I waited 7 hours to make sure I was covered, figuring I wouldn't need to lightly sand between coats. What actually happened was that the second coat of poly caused the first coat to soften and sort of clump up. I was NOT a happy camper. I went and researched some of the flooring websites and found that that was a common problem apparently. I managed to recover pretty well by applying a thinned 3rd coat (after sanding lightly), which flowed very well and filled the low spots. I need to complete a landing going into the room tommorow night as a matter of fact and I'm planning on applying a normal 1st coat, wait a full day, sand apply a second coat, wait the 24 hours, sand and apply a third and final coat.
I liked the look from the Varathane I just didn't appreciate the poor instructions, definitely wait the full 24 hours between coats. Just my 2 cents....

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Polyurethane.
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Any brand or type suggestions? Personal experiences?
Thanks, Barry
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I agree with the consensus but will toss out two other suggestions.
One is Tung oil. If you search the rec.woodworking archives at Google over the past year or so you will find a thread started by a fellow trying to remove _improperly_ applied tung oil from his new hardwood floors. The discussion convinced me that it is possible to finish a floor well with pure tung oil but did not convince me to try it. ;-) The major drawback is that one must apply it several times over several days and not walk on it in the interim. Difficult enough for me by myself but I also have two cats and a dog.
The other is shellac. I have tried shellac in some high traffic areas of a badly abuse red oak floor. I had been scraping, sanding, and bleaching out stained areas and then slapping shellac on it to cover at least as an easily removed temporary coating. In my case, it looked fine but didn't last long. But I was using premixed and might have had better results mixing my own. Since my personal experience was poor the only reason I present it for consideration is that it was used for a hardwood floor in at least one _This Old House_ episode.
My current plans for the floor are to give it a quick coat or two of 1-2 lb orange shellac for color and then cover that with water-based polyurethane. I like the results on my test samples.
I really wish the floor was white oak.
--

FF

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I'm a bit surprised at the answers. None mentioned the product called "Traffic". I thought, from earlier posts, that it was the best (but expensive) for a hardwood floor. Is it just another poly type finish? Can anybody comment of this. I am currently getting bids on a house and will be putting down 3500 sq. feet of hardwood floors.
Thanks, Len
Ba r r y wrote:

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berlin.de:

Traffic is a water based urethane from BonaKemi USA, I'm not a fan of water based urethanes but if that's what you want it's on the higher end of the quality scale (imho of course).
Adam
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