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Q: One visitor asked, "We just had maple wood floors installed in our home (living room, dining room, kitchen, hall and bath) by a contractor. After the job was finished, I noticed a large dent on the wood floor in one area of the living room. The contractor came back to look at it and said that it was the result of the sanding equipment. He explained that maple is a soft wood and if not careful in handling/operating the equipment, dents can be made easily. He further expressed that his crew was not careful.
He returned later to resand the entire living room area in order to blend in the dent and polyurethaned the room again. After 24 hours, I noticed there were some dull spots and the floor was not as smooth as the other rooms. To make a long story short, he has returned several times to resand and polyurethane the floor, but we continue to have the roughness. My kids can slide on the other floors with their socks, but are unable to in the living room. He is very baffled as to why it's not finishing up with a smooth, clear finish. We all are very frustrated. It's been now a month since he started the job and we are still not finished.
He said he has been in the wood floor business for 10 years and has never had this happen. I'm now noticing that the living room area is more glossy than our other rooms. He mentioned that we might want to get another contractor to come and look at it. I really hesitate to go that route as I know there will probably be a charge. Also, I'd like for him to fix it. Upon my request, he is checking within his network system to see if he can find someone who may know what the problem might be. He seems to be an honest man and has returned promptly each time to try to fix the problem. He said that he will not expect us to pay the balance as it's been a long standing problem, and it's not been good business for him.
Do you have any suggestions as to what might be the problem?"

A: Maple is not a soft wood. It is rather hard, with a very tight grain. While it is very hard, harder than oak, it does show marks more readily than oak because of it's tight and slight grain.
The gloss difference you mention could be simply a variance between the finish manufacturer in the other rooms and what he is using in this room. They don't all have the same "recipe" for their finishes, so I think you can give him a break on that one. As to smoothness: You don't say there are flecks in the floor or bubbles or anything of that nature. If the previous coats of polyurethane are buffed with a fine grit screen (220 grit) and the floor is thoroughly cleaned before coating, then it should be smooth. It is a rare day that I have a problem with the floor being smooth. Sometimes a satin (especially) or a semi gloss will streak if they dry to fast, because they have a flattening agent in them, which gloss does not have. This does not affect the smoothness of the coat.
Perhaps they need to use a different floor finish. what product are they using?

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