Chicago member complains about bubbling finish on flooring

Chicago member complains about bubbling finish on flooring

COMPLAINT: Lori Brand, Winnetka, Ill.

"Wizard of Wood Floors Ltd. refinished my floors, sanding some and recoating others. The sanded floors were fine but there was a problem with the recoated floors. The coating they put down reacted with the floors' existing finish and the coating bubbled.

"I just bought the house and hadn't even moved in yet; I had no idea what the floors had been washed with or previously finished with. I had several companies through my home, some that are members of the National Wood Floor Association.

"Everyone said Wizard should have tested the floors first. Wizard said they would try to rebuff and reseal the floors. I had to leave my home so they could do this, but it didn't work, so they were going to try it a third time. Now there are spots on my floors.

"They told me the thing to do was to sand the floors and that I'd have to pay them to do it. The stairwell and dining room can be sanded, but the kitchen cannot be sanded. It's engineered floor that's already been sanded at least once and in some spots there's less than an 1/8 inch of finished surface available.

"I've received an estimate of $11,000 to $17,000 for someone to chemically strip the floors' finish off, which I'd like to try first."

DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I request $17,000 from Wizard of Wood Floors."

RESPONSE: Michael Galloway, president, Wizard of Wood Floors Ltd.

"When I arrived for the estimate, I noted to the member that the kitchen, eating area and stair floors were badly worn, and that office and study floors were in terrible shape. She requested that we sand and finish the office and study, and just recoat the kitchen, eating area and stair floors.

"I explained to her that recoating the floors may cause a reaction to cleaning solvents or contaminants, because no one knew what had been [previously] used to coat and clean the floor. I explained that additional work may be needed if there was a reaction and she agreed.

"She also stated that other companies had cautioned her about the very same circumstance. After we coated the floors, there was a reaction between what was on the old floor and the new finish. As for the National Wood Flooring Association, of which we are members, testing does not always produce consistent results.

"The new finish reacted differently in different areas because the floors were so badly worn. This was further reason to resand not recoat. We went back to the residence at no charge and buffed and recoated the floor again, reducing the reaction.

"She still wasn't content, at which time I explained to her that the floors really need to be resanded. The floors are in better shape than what I started with. I've offered her a more than fair solution to correct the problem."

STATUS: Stalemate


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