Polyurethane For Wood Floors: Best ?

Hi,
Will be purchasing a new house in which the wooden floors aren't in the greatest of shape. As it's been a very long time since I thought about this, would like to ask:
a. Is Polyurethane still the coating of choice ?
- If so, for a living and dining room floor, what do most folks use: semi-gloss, or... ?
b. Is there any consensous on a "best brand" ?
c. After an initial thorough sanding, how many coats are usually applied for a living or dining room ?
d. Is it necessary to (lightly) re-sand between ?
e. How long, typically, is the drying time for, between coats ?
Much thanks, Bob
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wrote:

Not for me, I prefer McCloskey GymSeal. It's durable, easy to work with, repairable, isn't totally foul smelling, and adds an amber tint via some Tung Oil. Waterlox is great, as well. Either is about $44 a gallon and applied with a lambs wool applicator pre-rinsed in mineral spirits. I also use the same products on trim.

I prefer Satin, which is glossier in Gymseal than Satin poly, more similar to semi-gloss.

With GS, I use 3 for new wood, 2 for an existing floor. I also prefer an orbital 12x18 pad sander, NOT a belt sander. It's slower, but almost foolproof. Big belt sanders have a learning curve. <G>

Yes. I use a PC ROS and 220 grit discs, to very lightly sand. On my hands and knees, I can scuff a 150 sq/ft room in about 15 minutes. I also wipe the floor with mineral spirits after each sanding, including the bare wood.

One coat a day. It's a varnish, so the floor should be kept over 65 degrees, 70 is better. A 70 or above, you can walk on it in socks in about 8 hrs.
Barry
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Polyurethane is very good. I like Varathane brand myself.

Depends on how much dust you want to show. :-) Generally speaking, the higher the gloss, the more dust will show. I use semi-gloss.

They're all pretty tough. I'd go with oil base though and stay away from water base. Water base doesn't seem to bring out the color of the wood and it looks flatter than oil base. I really do like Varathane brand best I suppose.

I use 4 thinned coats. Thinning allows it to flatten better and makes sure all the bubbles come out. I thin about 25%. You can use a roller or a lambs wool 9 inch applicator. If you use a roller, you have to thin to avoid bubbles and a rough finish, with the lambs wool it's not necessary to thin.

Yes! Use 220grit on a pad sander or an ROS sander. Don't over do it. You just want to knock the rough stuff off.

Depends on your temperature and air circulation. Give it at least a day. Corners/edges take the longest to cure as they usually get less air circulation. If it balls up at all when you sand, it's not cured so give it some more time. You don't want to rush it. I vaccum and tack rag after each sanding. Make sure you do this really good before the first coat too.
Bryan
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Last time I did a floor in the home we moved into 16 years ago, I lightly sanded the dining room and living room and then used a product "Last and Last" poly that a buddy who is a Luthier told me about and it lived up to his raves. Not sure if it's made anymore.

Semi-Gloss and matte finishes do have a rougher top surface when they dry. So, they catch more dust and dirt which in the long run grinds down the finish faster. I've had both satin and gloss and I'll take gloss any time. Gloss also gives a richer color to the floor.

With the "Last and Last" brand I never thinned the stuff. But I also didn't use the lambs wool either as it gave loads of bubbles. I took and old paint roller and got one of the red colored, short nap rollers(mohair"????) and jammed a small nail in so it could not rotate and used that to coat the floor and had no bubbles, marks etc.

--
Thanks,
Ham

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