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  • Tinting with HyperTone™ Stain Saved His Ash!

    Apr 13, 2021

    Tony Vecchio of 1st Class Flooring, LLC, in LaFayette, GA, had been hired to repair a water-damaged floor on a residence’s second story. The project included tearing out a damaged portion and replacing it with new flooring, then sanding, staining, and finishing the entire floor.

    When Tony originally looked at the floor, he was told that it was white oak. As such, he ordered and weaved in white oak. Fast forward to after Tony had sanded/prepped the floor and stained it with a traditional solvent-based stain. Once the floor was dry, he noticed a color variance from the old white oak to the newly weaved white oak. Tony thought it might have to do with grade of flooring, so he applied a coat of sealer, hoping the difference would become less noticeable. Unfortunately, the coat of sealer didn’t appear to change the look of the floor, so Tony applied 2 coats of finish, again in hopes of moderating the variance.

    Once completed, Tony knew he had a challenge on his hands. Instead of the 2 coats of finish helping to blend in the color, it actually made the color discrepancy more noticeable. After some detective work, it was discovered that the homeowner was wrong on the species of existing flooring, and instead of the floor being white oak, it was actually ash. So, as it turns out, the new white oak was actually weaved into existing ash flooring.

    The white oak (near) was weaved into existing ash (far).

    The homeowner loved the refurbished floor but agreed something had to be done to fix the difference in color. They did not, however, want to have to sand the flooring again, and they were definitely not interested in tearing out all the ash. Tony told us, “They realized that even if they sanded the floor down to bare wood again, the ash would have to be stained/finished differently than the white oak if they wanted things to match up.”

    Tony had seen a number of posts from contractors on social media who were tinting Basic Coatings® finishes with HyperTone™ Stains, and he wanted to find out if this new method of applying color could be a suitable solution for this particular challenge. He contacted Basic Coatings, and after discussing his various options, decided to offer tinting the finish to the homeowners. Ultimately, they liked the idea and agreed to move forward with fixing the floor using HyperTone Stains as tint as follows.

    Step 1: The white oak was covered with blue tape at all the seams, and the ash was left uncovered/open.
    Step 2: HyperTone Stain was mixed into StreetShoe® NXT (in this case, 3 ounces of Tobacco per gallon of finish). Steps 3 and 4: The first and second coats of tint/finish were applied to the ash portions of the flooring. 
    Step 5: A top clear coat of finish was applied.Step 6: The tape was removed.

    Final Result

    Ultimately, the homeowners were thrilled with their new floor, especially because they didn’t have to replace all the ash, and Tony was excited that he had a new tool available to him to resolve customer issues and challenges. According to Tony, “This solution will save a lot of contractors from having to re-sand or tear out flooring when things don’t go as planned.”

    We want to thank Tony for his call and the opportunity to help him with products and methods that are unique in the industry. To contact us for help on any hardwood flooring issue, please click here to fill out the online form, and a Basic Coatings representative will contact you shortly. To view our technical bulletin on blending and tinting finish, please click here.

    “This solution will save a lot of contractors from having to re-sand or tear out flooring when things don’t go as planned.”


  • Floor Polish Removal Can Save a Hardwood Floor

    Mar 18, 2021

    The cleaning products aisles at grocery and home improvement stores the world over showcase countless products that claim to improve the appearance of hardwood floors. From the shelves, they beckon homeowners with flashy claims, like “refreshes hardwood,” “new floor in a bottle,” or “professional results.”

    What homeowners who are enticed by these propositions don’t know is that using floor polish is like cracking your knuckles: it feels good at first, but once you start, you can’t stop, and—eventually—you regret forming the bad habit.

    The Problem

    Most of these polish products contain acrylic and stick to the floor really well when dried. Due to low-quality solids and weak chemical bonds within the formulas, however, the new layer of polish rapidly becomes hazy, scuffed, and sticky. So, what do most homeowners do? They apply more polish to their floor to improve its appearance, beginning a vicious cycle that repeats until it dawns on them—usually many coats later—that their hardwoods now need professional help.

    In steps a hardwood floor professional, who likely recommends:

    • Sanding and refinishing in the case of solid or engineered wood floors that are sandable ($$).
    • Tearing out and replacing textured, handscraped, or engineered wood floors that are too thin to be sanded. ($$$) 

    What if we told you that there is another option, and that under the acrylic mess, there could be a perfectly good wood floor in need of simple a recoat or nothing at all?

    The Solution

    Contrary to misguided advice on the web, the answer is not vinegar, ammonia, or abrasive powders, all of which can cause etching in the wood’s surface, harm finish, and take years off a wood floor’s life. The solution, we humbly submit, is Basic Coatings® Dissolver, a product that is specifically formulated to quickly and easily remove acrylic-based polishes while still being gentle on  hardwood floors. 

    How does it work?

    A proprietary blend of solvents, such as benzyl alcohol and glycol ethers, work in conjunction with alkaline organic compounds, like Monoethanolamine (or MEA), to act as a lock-and-key mechanism with acrylic floor polish’s cross-linking. This action results in the “unlocking” of polymer chains and allows the plastic film to be emulsified back into the stripping solution, which can then be picked up in a liquid form. 

    How is it used?

    Before using this product, the presence of acrylic should be confirmed by testing a small spot in an inconspicuous area using an acrylic test kit or a drop of Dissolver (a bluish white dot where the solution was applied indicates a positive result for acyclic).   

    Then, removing the polish is just a matter of following the steps below.

    1. Careful not to over wet the floor, apply Dissolver diluted with water at the ratio specified in the directions on the label. A pump-up garden sprayer works well for this task, and it is best to work in a small area to start, say 5’ x 5’. 
    2. Allow the solution to dwell on the surface for a few minutes, then agitate. A buffer with a white scrubbing pad is ideal.
    3. Then, pick up the solution with the emulsified polish. It is important to not let the solution dry before this step is completed. We recommend using a Basic Coatings Dirt Dragon™ Wood Floor Scrubber for this part of the process. On occasion, it might be necessary to repeat the Dissolver application.
    4. Finally, clean with Basic Coatings Squeaky™ Cleaner to neutralize the chemicals in Dissolver that make the removal possible. At this point, the floor can be recoated if needed using TyKote® Bonding Agent and any Basic Coatings finish.

    Want to see more visuals? Click here to watch a 3-minute video that outlines the floor polish removal process.

    Acrylic buildup is seriously unsightly, but with the right tools, it’s a relatively easy and inexpensive problem to fix. If you’re a homeowner, please reference our contractor locator for a list of local professionals who can provide an estimate to rescue your hardwoods using Dissolver. To request a local Basic Coatings certified contractor contact you with more information about their services and pricing, please fill out the form here.

    If you’re a contractor or distributor interested in learning more about these products or processes, please contact your Basic Coatings regional manager or fill out the form here.

  • 3 Tactics to Prevent Tannic Acid Discoloration

    Feb 18, 2021

    Tannins are polyphenols, or secondary metabolites of plants, that play diverse roles in plant physiology, like defense against UV radiation, pathogens, microorganisms, and insects. Tannic acid is a specific form of tannin, and its concentration varies not only between different plant species, but even within the same species based on individual growth environment. Generally speaking, however, lighter-colored woods like maple, birch, and aspen contain less tannic acid, while darker-colored woods like oak, cherry, mahogany, and walnut contain more.

    Higher levels of tannic acid can cause discoloration in the staining and/or coating processes. This happens because:

    • Water, including in water-based finishes, can draw water-soluble tannic acid to the surface.
    • Contact with water and iron (like nails) causes tannic acid to take on a gray or blue hue.
    • As an acid, it greens or browns when exposed to alkaline materials, like ammonia, which is a common ingredient (pH regulator) in water-based finishes.

    Even experienced, high-quality contractors can run into problems with tannic acid discoloration, also called tannin bleed or tannin pull. Although tannin pull doesn’t always occur and can occasionally be difficult to spot when it does, the result is often sanding the floor twice (while still getting paid once), making an ounce of prevention with the strategies below definitely worth a pound of cure.

    Photo credit: NWFA, “Problems, Causes and Cures 2018”

    1. Take extra care preparing the floor.

    Remove contaminants that may react with tannic acid by deep cleaning the floor before sanding according to accepted NWFA/MFMA procedures.

    Most importantly for wood species that contain high levels of tannic acid, be sure to remove ALL dust, first by vacuuming, and then by tacking with a dry microfiber mop. If wood dust is not entirely eliminated, it can build up in the application puddle of the finish to the extent that even a light applicator mark leaves a darker layer of finish. 

    2. Use a tannin-blocking sealer…correctly.

    By and large, use of a tannin-blocking sealer is always recommended by manufacturers of water-based finishes to help combat alkalinity and moisture in their formulations. It is arguably most crucial when working on a color-sensitive project. These days, when we hear complaints of discoloration, it usually involves light-colored stains, such as grays and whites. On floors stained dark brown, tannin pull may be present but not visible.

    The first coat of finish should be applied over the tannin-blocking sealer before any buffing, screening, or fine sanding of the grain raise, as this will provide a surface for finish coats to build while preventing or minimizing discoloration. Dry time—between application of stain or paint and sealer, as well as between application of sealer and finish—is also critical to avoiding tannin pull.

    • For HyperTone™ Stains, it is strongly recommended that initial coats of sealer not be applied for 24 hours, even if moisture readings are back to the original baseline.
    • For Basic Coatings® sealers and finishes, each coat should dry a minimum of 2–3 hours (in ideal conditions), with the goal of reaching original baseline moisture readings before proceeding to the next coat.

    Need help selecting a tannin-blocking sealer? Basic Coatings® offers Raw™ Sealer, which is recommended specifically when preservation of the natural look of white oak is desired. We also offer Lock ‘N Seal™ for all other use cases working with species with heavy tannic acid.

    3. Avoid puddling the finish, application trails, and applicator set marks.

    Too much or not enough overlap in the working puddle can leave uneven areas on the floor or streaks, so even coats are critical. Achieve optimal results with a T-bar by following the directions in the video or steps a–c below.

    1. Edge out about 6 inches from baseboard or wall with a paint pad or polyester brush. Stay within 2–3 feet of the finish line to avoid lap marks, streaking or thicker film build. Be sure to feather the edge.
    2. Starting about 1 foot from the head wall, pour a 4-inch wide line of finish the length of the floor going with the grain. Stop about 3 feet from the opposite wall. As close to the wall as possible, hold the applicator at a slight angle and drag it in a “squeegee” or “plowing” type motion to move the puddle from one side of the room to the other. Overlap 2 inches of the last pass and pull parallel passes until the entire floor is coated. Brush out all turns, stops, and other applicator marks brushing in the direction of the grain of the wood. Feather out turns with a painters pad after the T-bar has made the turn. Add finish to the puddle-line when needed to maintain a wet edge across the room.
    3. When 2–3 feet from exiting wall, begin to taper the puddle-line down to a nickel-sized bead. Back out of the room by wetting small sections of the remaining floor, brushing away from you in the same direction as the grain of the wood.

    Using a roller instead of a T-bar? Check out an instructional video by clicking here.

     

    By following these 3 tips, you can prevent tannin pull, even on color-sensitive projects. If you have questions about tannic acid discoloration or other issues you are experiencing, please click here, fill out the online form, and your Basic Coatings Regional Manager will reach out to you!

  • What Is Stain Bleed Back and How Is It Affecting Your Floors?

    Oct 19, 2020

    Stain bleed back is a unique phenomenon that can occur following the application of stain. While the stain dries, it wicks back to the surface of the wood, ultimately leading to color inconsistencies and finish issues. It can happen at the board seams, the surface of the board (often following the grain pattern), knots, or burls.

    Cause

    The main culprit of stain bleed back is failure to allow the stain to fully dry. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to ascertain whether or not stain has completely dried, because while it appears dry on the surface of the wood, an abundance of stain deep in the cell cavities is often still liquid.

    Rushing to coat over undried stain too soon will only exacerbate the issue, as the stain that has “bled back” and the trapped solvents therein can create severe long-term issues, including poly-beading, peeling, and even complete finish failure.

    Prevention and Testing

    The only way to prevent stain bleed back is to allow stain adequate time to dry. It is also critical to avoid pouring stain directly onto a wood surface or allowing pools to sit, both of which cause stain to soak down into the cracks between boards.

    Always read and apply stain following the manufacturer’s application instructions. Take note of temperature and humidity levels, as these can affect drying times. There are several options for testing that the stain has dried, including:

    • Wiping the floor with a clean rag to detect wet stain.
    • Using moisture meters are always recommended, but they can be inaccurate in testing whether stain is ready to coat—especially over cracks. They can also be affected by certain pigments or solvents in the stain.
    • A less-well-known secret is using a vacuum hose directly on the stained floor on those areas that would be the most likely to still be wet, such as cracks and knots, to bring any undried stain to the surface. If excess stain appears upon vacuuming, allow the floor more time to dry and retest before proceeding

     

    The unique nature of waterbased stains, like Basic Coatings® HyperTone™ Stains, will greatly reduce bleed back and related issues.

    Resolving

    Once bleed back happens, it can sometimes be amended by aggressively screening the floor and exposing the trapped stain. After allowing time for it to fully dry, touch up any color issues and recoat. If extensive stain bleed back has occurred below a finish film, however, the floor will require a complete re-sand.

    If you have questions about stain bleed back or other issues you are experiencing, please click here, fill out the online form, and your Basic Coatings Regional Manager will reach out to you.

    Photos courtesy of NWFA’s Problems, Causes, and Cures (3rd Edition, 2018).

     

  • Save Money, Save Time: 2 Innovative Ways to Use HyperTone™ Stains on Sport Floors

    Sep 10, 2020

    In 2019, Basic Coatings® introduced HyperTone™ Stains at the NWFA Convention in Fort Worth, Texas.  Since that time, widespread and profound success have inspired contractors to seek our assistance in using the product beyond simple application as a hardwood flooring stain.

    In addition to the low odor, non-flammability, unlimited, vibrant color options, and ability to consistently stain tough species like maple and Brazilian cherry, the product is now being used in innovative ways—2 of which have proven notably cost and time efficient.

    Tinting Finish

    For residential, commercial, and sport floors, contractors traditionally stain the properly prepared bare hardwood, followed by (a) coat(s) of sealer, and then finish.  This is still the predominant method to change the color of hardwood flooring.

    Some contractors, however, have begun sealing the floor first, then applying coats of tinted finish. The benefits are numerous:

    1. On the front side, this process is faster and provides greater control over the depth and consistency of color. 
    2. On the back side (when it’s time to re-sand the floor), there’s less work, because contractors don’t have to take off as much of the top layer of flooring to remove the stain and/or worry about the stain seeping further into the tongue and grooves. 
    3. Plus, because less sanding is required, more sandings are possible, saving customers significant costs over the life of the floor.
    HyperTone Stains is roughly 10% of the cost. When you add the cost of finish plus stain, there’s a whopping 23% savings!

    But the advantages don’t stop there.

    Spurred by all the buzz, we worked with a sport contractor to quantify the benefits in terms of their savings.  We kept things simple—1 gallon of finish with comparable paint and stain levels—and the results showed that HyperTone Stains is roughly 10% of the cost. When you add the cost of finish plus stain, there’s a whopping 23% savings!

    Paint Versus Tinting Finish

    Although stain was applied to plenty of sport floors in the past, use skyrocketed once the MFMA recognized the practice at their convention in 2018. While paint for game lines and logos continues to be the dominant process, we have encountered sport floor contractors using a heavier load of HyperTone Stains to tint finish instead—again, with various upsides:

    1. Using the same product for lines/logos as the finish could reduce chipping that is often seen with paint (time will tell if this holds true, but so far, so good).
    2. Significant reduction in the cost of paint—both in the number of gallons purchased and the paint gallons that go unused due to shelf life. 
    3. When the paint lines or painted logos are abraded (to prepare to accept finish coats), the heavily pigmented colored dust from the paint can contaminate adjacent colors (or flooring), which can be tough to prevent or remove (for example, a bright red paint logo contaminating the adjacent white).  When HyperTone Stain is encapsulated into the finish and used like a paint, the pigment load is reduced significantly, and the issue is virtually eliminated. 

    We again calculated the cost savings when working with a contractor to tint the finish with heavier pigment loads, so the product could be tested in lieu of game line/logo paint.  When comparing 1 gallon of stain plus finish with comparable game line paint, tinting finish was roughly half the price! While this may or may not be a savings large enough to make the switch for any one job, just like tinting the finish above, the contractor sees tremendous cost advantages over the entire season. 

    When comparing 1 gallon of stain plus finish with comparable game line paint, tinting finish was roughly half the price!

    Ultimately, the jobsite benefits and cost savings have more contractors rethinking processes to improve their offering. If this is something that might interest you, let us know by clicking here to fill out the online form. We’ll be more than happy to work with you to see if these or other innovative HyperTone Stain application methods could enhance the value of your operation, as well as calculate your potential savings.

    To learn more about HyperTone Stains, please click here

     

  • One Simple Secret for Avoiding the Dreaded Picture Frame

    Jul 07, 2020

    When it comes to refinishing hardwood floors, blending the perimeter with the field of the floor is an important skill.

    To help blend in the edges with the scratch pattern over the rest of the floor, most hardwood flooring professionals already know to try to follow NWFA wood flooring sand guidelines, which include:

    • Following the abrasive guide pictured right (click to enlarge)
    • Using the same mineral and grit for the perimeter with an edger as they did in the field with a drum sander
    • Never skipping performance of a final screen

    Why, then, would a hardwood flooring contractor who followed each of these guidelines to a T be experiencing the dreaded picture frame—when the edges of the room have a slightly different appearance than the rest?

    The Story

    In late April of this year, a Basic Coatings® Regional Manager was called by a contractor who had experienced a picture framing issue on a previous job and was looking for some advice. On their recent project, they had stained a floor, applied sealer and finish, then noticed the stain had different sheens between the perimeter and field of the floor. In that particular case, the edges could be best described as having a burnished look. 

    The Regional Manager visited a new project with the contractor and noticed the contractor’s sanding sequence was fine for both the drum sander and the edger—36 grit, then 50, followed by 80, and finally 100, concluding with a 120-grit screen. However, he also noticed that the paper on the edger was not being changed as frequently as it should have been, so he recommended changing it more frequently.

    Once proper sanding was completed, the application of stain, sealer, and finish was consistent and even throughout the floor, including along the edges.

    Lo and behold, no picture frame.

    The Regional Manager and contractor both agreed that by not changing the paper on the edger fast enough on his previous job, the contractor was, unbeknownst to him, burnishing the wood along the perimeter and closing the grain. The edger, cutting at a much finer grit, was essentially polishing the wood along the edges.

    The Simple Secret

    Edging is hard, grueling work. Often, contractors want to finish as quickly as possible, which sometimes results in less frequently stopping to change the paper on the edger. Keeping the paper fresh early and often, however, can eliminate picture frames in the final product.

    Even if paper feels sharp, it very well may be beyond its prime, which is why the best way to judge whether paper is due for changing is by square footage. 

    Ultimately, edgers should be used to reproduce how the rest of the floor was prepared.  This will give you the best chance to blend the stain, sealer, and finish to give you a great looking floor.

    If you have questions about picture framing or other issues you are experiencing, please click here, fill out the online form, and your Basic Coatings Regional Manager will reach out to you. 

     

  • TyKote® With StreetShoe® NXT Vs. Screen/Recoat with OMU

    Mar 26, 2020


    With how these numbers stack up, who wouldn't use the Basic Coatings® TyKote® Refinishing System with StreetShoe® NXT over a screen and recoat with OMU?

    Curious to see how we came up with these figures? Click here to check out the math for yourself.

    Wondering how other Basic Coatings® systems compare? Reach out to your Regional Manager to find out!

  • Squeaky Clean

    Jan 27, 2020

    1126 Squeaky Kit

    Have you ever found yourself battling heavy oil-based soils on your hardwood floor? You may be using the wrong products. Most general-purpose neutral cleaners take multiple attempts to remove common contaminants, such as furniture polish, shoe marks, and dust mop treatments, and we ask ourselves, “Who has time for that?”

    Basic Coatings® provides a product that can solve these issues. Squeaky™ Cleaner for wood, LVT/SPC, and laminate flooring is specially made to dissolve oil-based soils in one pass. This is how Squeaky can help you!

    Advantages:
    1. Wood Floor Cleaner: Squeaky is specifically formulated to clean hardwood floors without leaving an oily residue behind for a streak free appearance!
    2. De-foaming: Squeaky has significantly better de-foaming capabilities than neutral cleaners.
    3. Dry Time: The alcohol and solvents in Squeaky assist in the prevention of hardwood floor cupping from water-solution-related issues.

    We want your floors to be as squeaky clean as much as you do!   Squeaky Cleaner Wood Floor Cleaner is available in kits, concentrated, ready-to-use, and in various packaging sizes.

    Instructions for Removing Oil Soap Cleaners with Squeaky Ready-to-Use

    Supplies needed:
    • Basic Coatings Squeaky Cleaner
    • Basic Coatings microfiber mop
    • Rubber/latex gloves and safety glasses

    Process:
    1. Sweep or vacuum the wood floor.
    2. Spray Squeaky Cleaner on a Basic Coatings Microfiber Mop and wipe the surface clean.
    3. To prevent redeposit of dirt and oil, clean the microfiber as needed. Pay special attention to corners.

    Do not pour Squeaky directly on the wood floor. Excess liquid on any hardwood floor may damage the fibers. Do not use this product with any wax-finished floors.

    Real hardwood floors are always a great option! Basic Coatings is the expert in staining, sealing, finishing, and maintaining your hardwood floors.  Please go to www.basiccoatings.com for ideas and complete product information.

  • The Solid Truth

    Dec 02, 2019

    gymshoe

    What exactly are solids? In waterbased hardwood floor coatings, solids are whatever is left on the floor after the coating cures. Solids are usually expressed as a percentage of weight; a coating with 50% solids will be half gone after it dries. Still confused? To put it simply, the higher the solids, the more coating you will have left on the floor after it dries. There are several myths floating around the hardwood floor finish industry regarding solids. Keeping this in mind, let’s examine the three biggest misconceptions about solids.

    Myth #1: The more solids, the better.
    Solids can be anything that does not evaporate during the curing process, so you have to look at what makes up the solids and what each of them does. Merely comparing finishes by percentage of solids is not an adequate test of their capabilities and performances. Finish solids are often a blend of several ingredients, each having a specific purpose. Many of these have nothing to do with how long a finish will last. These various ingredients help the finish resists scuffs, reduce bubbling, improve adhesion, alter clarity, regulate sheen, and last but not least, determine overall durability. Ingredients used to adjust sheen or to control bubbles, for example, may add to the solids, but they do nothing for the durability.

    Myth #2: Taber abrasion tests are always accurate.
    The only scientific data less reliable than a Taber abrasion test result is what you get from your local weatherman. The American Society of Testing and Material (ASTM) states that the accuracy of one Taber abrasion machine compared to another may vary up to a range of 90% to 106%. This is considered the normal range and means the tests can be off by 100% and still be considered accurate. These results can occur even when documented test procedures are used. In a nutshell, this is why we don’t value Taber abrasion tests as the one and only way to determine the durability of a finish.

    Myth #3: Pure urethane solids are best.
    Like the first myth, this one concerning urethane solids is also incorrectly based on the idea that “if a little of something is good, then a lot must be better.” Many people (and some manufacturers) think omitting acrylic will improve a waterbased coating. We’ve found the opposite to be true, and we are not alone.  Like most everything else you can buy, there are expensive acrylics and inexpensive filler acrylics, and the same is true for urethanes.  It is possible to have more expensive acrylics in a finish formula than the urethane used in the same formula. For flooring applications, urethane resins work best when blended with acrylics.

  • Simple Tips for Waterbased Users

    Nov 12, 2019

    wood floor

    When using waterbased finishes, the thing to keep in mind is that you are working with water. Equipment and techniques are slightly different than when working with OMUs. Whether you have never experienced using waterbased products or just want a refresher, here are some pointers to remember…

    • Grain raise is normal with waterbased coatings. Don’t fret about it, just anticipate it. Screening to 120-grit or finer is a good ending point before applying stain or waterbased coating. Always follow NWFA guidelines.

    • Just remember, once you apply your sealer or finish, don’t overwork the material, allow it to flow and wet itself out. Like they say, don’t watch a waterbased finish dry, just walk away.

    • Read the manufacturer’s directions for mixing your finish. Some recommend shaking, others recommend stirring, but everyone recommends some way of blending the product before application. This not only allows for ease of proper application, it also prevents final appearance issues like streaking or inconsistent sheen.

    • Clean and tack the floor before coating. It is even a good idea to clean the window sills and counter tops or any place where saw dust could have accumulated.

    • If using a T-bar, make sure to feather out your turns. Also, many contractors like to use rollers or paint pads as it’s easier to use and control versus a T-bar. It’s a personal preference.

    • Regardless of which tool you use, apply an even amount of pressure. Different pressures can lead to varying film thicknesses, which could lead to varying sheens. Be consistent with your application across the floor.

    • Try to achieve the recommended coverage rates. Finishes are designed to be applied at a specific film thickness. If you apply the finish at the recommended rate, it will have a better chance to flow and level.

    • Prior to application, make sure the jobsite temperature and humidity levels are acceptable. Also, make sure to turn off the HVAC system and close all windows and doors during application, which will keep the finish from drying too quickly. After about 30–60 minutes of no airflow, the finish should be level and will tack over, at which point the floor can be opened to airflow.

    • Use fans to move air across the room to help the finish dry and air out the room. A well-ventilated floor makes for a strong finish.

  • Coating Decals with StreetShoe®

    Oct 14, 2019

    Basketball-Shoes-

    Years ago, applying decals to sports flooring was new to the industry. At this time, it’s pretty common practice, yet we always get asked whether decals affect slip or trip on sports flooring.

    The Basic Coatings® laboratory compared the static coefficient of friction in between StreetShoe® on wood and StreetShoe on a decal. These coatings chemists determined that there isn’t a significant difference in the static coefficient of friction in between the different substrates. Testing was conducted using the ASTM D2047 - 11 standard test method for static coefficient of friction of polish-coated flooring surfaces as measured by the James machine.

    Slip resistance of floor finishes is determined by measuring the static coefficient of friction. The most common device for measuring this is the James machine. Underwriters Laboratory (UL®) developed it in the early 1940s. Laboratory test data corroborated by field experience established a minimum value of 0.5 for the static coefficient of friction for a floor finish to bear the UL seal of approval. Since then, 0.5 has become the commonly accepted threshold for classifying slip resistance in floor finishes. Furthermore, the James machine is the only recognized test method (ASTM D-2047), and the 0.5 value (as measured by the James machine) is the recognized minimum criterion for slip resistant walking surfaces in courts of law in the United States.

    All Basic Coatings floor coatings are tested for slip resistance in accordance with ASTM D-2047 and meet or exceed the standard of 0.5 and are therefore considered to be slip resistant. 

    Basic Coatings Floor Care Expert, Micah Petersen, is an expert witness for slip/fall cases and is also a member of the ASTM D-21 Committee on Polishes, as well as the D-21.06 Slip Resistance subcommittee.

  • Why Choose Basic Coatings® Waterbased Finishes and Sealers for Your Wood Floor?

    Aug 08, 2019

    Photo12-C.-Re-coat-_-Re-finish

    Wondering why you should choose Basic Coatings® waterbased finishes and sealers for your wood floors? Because they are more durable, are better for your health and for the environment, achieve a wide array of looks, are faster to implement, and are safer. Also, because there’s nothing quite like a beautiful wood floor to take a room to the next level. Let’s take an in-depth look at the advantages of waterbased finishes and sealers.

    1. Advanced durability: Waterbased finishes and sealers offer the ultimate protection for your wood floor, allowing you to safeguard your beautiful wood floor with long-lasting durability. Tested for abrasion resistance (the ability of the coating to withstand mechanical action such as scuffing or erosion), some waterbased finishes, like StreetShoe® NXT, have proven to be five times more resistant to wear than oil-modified urethane.
    StreetShoe hardness

    2. Greener/low VOCs: All Basic Coatings waterbased sealers and finishes are VOC (volatile organic compounds) compliant and can be used everywhere throughout North America. The lower the VOCs, the lower the odor. In addition to lower odor during installation, because waterbased sealers and finishes cure faster, the lower odor dissipates faster. All Basic Coatings waterbased sealers and finishes are LEED compliant. Furthermore, exposure to increased VOCs can cause health and environmental problems, so limiting them should be a top priority.
    VOCs

    3. Design options: Whether you prefer a clear or traditional, warm amber look, Basic Coatings can offer finishes in both options to fit your style.

    4. Available choices: No other manufacturer offers more sheen levels than Basic Coatings. Whether you are looking for gloss, semi-gloss, satin, or super matte, we have you covered. We even offer Pure Matte® for the most discriminating tastes. 

    5. Speed of application: With the quick dry times of Basic Coatings waterbased finishes and sealers, you can actually apply more coats on the floor faster, ultimately completing jobs sooner!

    6. Faster cure: In addition to completing the job sooner, floors are also back in service faster. StreetShoe NXT is the fastest-curing finish on the market, achieving 90% cure in just 24 hours.
    StreetShoe cure time

    7. Safety: Waterbased finishes are not combustible or flammable, and neither are their vapors.

    There are a lot of options in floor care, and it can get overwhelming quickly. That’s why Basic Coatings® makes it easy. We’re here to educate, evaluate, and advise you on what’s best for your floors. To learn more about the advantages of waterbased finishes from Basic Coatings, click here.

  • Get a Bead on Poly Beads

    Aug 01, 2019

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    Have you ever noticed small, gummy bumps along the edges of your floor boards during the warm summer months? Chances are that you’re a victim of poly beads. Poly beads are soft, gummy bumps that are tracked across the floor between individual boards. If left untreated, these bumps will solidify along the edges of your floor finish, or they can cause smears.

    As the VOC regulations tightened up in many parts of the country, oil-modified urethane solids (OMUs) have been raised in order to comply with regulations. All OMUs dry from the top down. Since higher solids with low VOC OMUs are thicker, they do not flow through the cracks as well. This causes the drying process to slow down significantly.  The surface will dry, but the liquid underneath dries so slowly that liquid may remain in the cracks of the floor boards for six to nine months.

    If the humidity is high, the moisture content in wood will rise. This will cause your wood to expand and the cracks to tighten up, closing up any remaining cracks and squeezing the semi-set liquid. As the liquid is squeezed, some goes down the cracks and some rises to the surface. The portion that squeezes up will form a bump in the dried surface film with a liquid core from underneath. Poly beads usually result from jobs done in the spring, about three to four weeks on either side of Easter. That is the time of the year when the floor will have cracks open due to shrinkage from the winter months. If the finish is not completely dry between the boards by the time spring arrives, the seasonal rains will raise the ambient humidity and cause the wood to swell and squeeze out poly beads. You are more likely to encounter this problem if you cross mop with lambswool. If you start across the grain, make sure the lambswool can push enough finish down the cracks. Start in line with the grain to minimize this problem.

    This is a problem that is difficult to prevent. Our best advice is to convert to waterbased sealers/finishes to prevent the issue. However, if you need to stick with OMU, try to coat wood with a heavy applicator that leaves thin films for the best drying conditions. For optimal results, make sure you have plenty of air circulation to help with the drying process.  We also recommend that you leave each coat to dry before applying the next coat.

    To fix poly beads, scrape the finish with a putty knife and wipe the liquid residue with mineral spirits on a rag. This “squeezing up” will stop when one of three things happen:

    1. All the liquid has squeezed out and has been wiped up.
    2. The finish reaches a cure point hard enough that it can’t be squeezed out.
    3. The floor will start to drop some of its moisture and the wood will shrink back, relax the pressure and the bumps will stop forming.

    Note: Some contractors have added oil drying agents to their finish thinking they are speeding the dry time and acting to prevent the problem. In most cases, the problem will be worse as the surface film dries faster. The OMU needs oxygen to cure with or without drying agents.

     

  • A Scrubber Designed for Wood Floors

    Oct 03, 2018

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    Product innovation can sprout from anywhere. It’s goal – being a solution to solve an unmet need. The story behind the Basic Coatings Dirt Dragon is no different.

    Let’s go back a few years to 1997 when the TyKote system was first developed. Back then, the cleaning process of the TyKote system was done by wrapping towels soaked in cleaning solution around push brooms and tacking the floor. Pretty labor intensive, right?

    But, bigger floors needed a bigger, better solution. This is where the idea for the Dirt Dragon was evolved.

    Basic Coatings saw an opportunity in markets like gym flooring, where large automatic scrubbers were needed for agitating the cleaning solution and extracting it from the floor. Knowing that scrubbing and extracting cleaning solutions is always better than mopping, the Basic Coatings team got to work to improve the TyKote system for the residential and commercial markets.

    The foundation of the TyKote system is to get beautiful floors with less mess, so the first task on the docket was to figure out how to ensure that the majority of the dirt and contaminants are removed from the floor instead of being left behind. This system would need a machine with superior mechanical agitation from the brush to help loosen unwanted dirt. One of the suggested improvements was to use a grout scrubber on wood floors.

    Dirt Dragon Numero Uno

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    The first Dirt Dragon was a grout scrubber that was designed for scrubbing and extracting tile floors. The brush movement from a cylindrical brush is superior to a rotary brush on floors like tile in order to be able to get deep into the grouted joints between tile.

    This first machine was successful at cleaning wood floors better than a mop and bucket, but it had some limitations. One of the main issues with this machine was that it was difficult to remove all water from the floor. Nonetheless, Basic Coatings had introduced an entirely new business model to flooring contractors and the system took off. This success led Basic Coatings to develop a scrubber that uniquely met the needs of wood floors.

    While the first Dirt Dragon was not the first scrubber to enter the market, it was the only scrubber uniquely designed to be used on wood floors. Every other competitive scrubber marketed to the wood floor industry was first sold as a hard floor scrubber by cleaning companies. This is the key factor that sets the Dirt Dragon apart in the industry.

    New and Improved

    Dirt-Dragon-New

    The development of the second generation Dirt Dragon had wood floors in mind first. The guiding principles for product development were:

    • Water and Wood – we were sensitive to the issue that wood is hydroscopic and excessive moisture can cause problems for wood floors.
    • Wood is Unique – wood is a unique surface that is different than tile, concrete or other hard surfaces. Wood can dent, splinter and scratch. The finishes can burnish or dull due to different types of abrasion.

    Understanding the uniqueness of wood led to all of the machine features that the Dirt Dragon is known for today, like:

    • Brush Type – brushes can come in many different specifications and Basic Coatings tested hundreds of different variations on different species of wood. The brush needs to be able to abrade the dirt without abrading the finish or scratching the wood. It needs to be flexible enough to get deep into open wood grain but stiff enough for cleaning performance. Different Brush Bristle Materials were tested. The amount of brush strands inserted into each brush holder hole were varied.
    • Brush Pattern – another brush characteristic is the chevron pattern of the bristles. The entire brush needs to be wet for cleaning. Once wet, the chevron design helps funnel the cleaning solution towards the vacuum port. This pattern was chosen due to our desire to remove all solution from the floor.
    • Vacuum Power – the vacuum is 2x stronger than what typically would have been specified for a floor scrubber. This ensures all solution is removed.
    • Squeegee Design – the machine has forward and reverse squeegee holders and 4 squeegee sides that completely surround the brush. This design really helps to contain the solution.
    • Flow Control – Most scrubbers have an on/off feature. The Dirt Dragon also has a flow control knob that allows the user to dial down the solution applied to the floor for sensitive floors.

    To learn more about the Basic Coatings Dirt Dragon or the TyKote system, click here!

  • Wood Floor Trends You Should Know About

    Mar 20, 2017

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    Your home is an extension of yourself and your personal style. From the ceiling to the floors and everything in between, you make it whatever you want. The trends we see in homes have changed with each decade; mint green cabinets from the 50s, popcorn ceilings in the 60s, and brightly colored shag carpets from the 70s. However, while these trends come and go, there is on trend that has remained constant—hardwood floors.

    With more options available now more than ever, it can be difficult to decide on one particular look. Here are the wood floor trends you should know about for 2017:

    Don’t be afraid of the dark. The classic, yet edgy appearance of dark hardwood is growing popularity. Its dramatic look pairs well with lighter contrasting furniture and decor. While the darker color may be harder to keep clean, it hides imperfections better.

    Bigger is better. Wide plank floors add more depth to a room, giving it a fresh and modern look. This style offers diversity from your typical narrow strip flooring.

    Don’t hide these grays. Who says hardwood floors have to be brown? Gray hardwood is anything but boring and gives any room a new and improved appearance. The neutral color pairs easily with almost any design, giving you free rein to be creative in your home.

    Shy away from shine. The natural look of wood is beautifully understated. Putting a glossy finish sometimes takes away the simplicity of the wood floor. Adding a matte finish will keep your floor protected while preserving the classic natural look of wood.

    What’s old is new. Textured wood floors add an antique element to your home. Wire brush your floors for a more aged or distressed look. To obtain an earthy, more rustic feel, try hand-scraped for a one-of-a-kind style.

    Whatever trend you decide to incorporate into your home, make sure you choose the right contractor and products to bring your wood floors to life. To locate a contractor in your area or learn more about what products to use on your wood floors, please visit basiccoatings.com today!

  • Basic is Better: StreetShoe® Waterbased Wood Floor Finish

    Aug 26, 2015

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    One of the most common errors when applying a new floor finish relates to a problem we’ve all shared at one point in time—a lack of patience. Any professional in the industry wants every newly coated floor to look like a dream the first time around. In the best interest of both the contractor and the homeowner, proper application of floor finish means avoiding resanding or refinishing, which saves everyone time and money.

    The time between applying two coats of finish can affect the floor in a critical way. Many new homeowners, especially first-timers, are busy folks. They tend to be on the go, trying to unpack boxes, manage their families, and renovate their homes as quickly and efficiently as possible. But what is a person to do when they can’t walk on their floors because they’re being refinished? One day can make a huge difference to a mom and dad who need full access to their kitchen to pack their daughter’s lunch.

    A customer’s impatience can put a lot of pressure on contractors to finish projects quickly. When refinishing hardwood floors, this can be a major mistake. There are no shortcuts to longer-lasting hardwood floors. By waiting the proper amount of time in between coats, contractors can assure their customers that they are getting the most hardness, the best durability, and the most abrasion resistance the floor finish can possibly give. Detecting when the floor is ready for recoating is fairly simple. Using a moisture meter to ensure the level of remaining moisture on the surface coat is within 1 point of the initial reading means the next coat can be safely applied.

    What could go wrong if a coat is applied too early?: a major sacrifice in the hardness, durability, and abrasion resistance of the floor finish.

    Hardness is one of several measurements that determines the wear properties and durability of a floor finish. Measuring hardness of a finish is done after the first day and then each day after that for the duration of a week and can be compared to other finishes.

    StreetShoe® NXT waterbased wood floor finish is an excellent choice for homeowners concerned about spending so much time off their floors. This Basic Coatings® finish is the industry benchmark for waterbased finishes. Streetshoe reaches 90% of its full cure in the first day.

    The research and development team at Basic Coatings is so sure of the superior hardness of StreetShoe NXT, they conducted a head-to-head hardness test against their main competitor, Bona® Traffic®.  Using the Konig Hardness Test, they found that at the end of the first day, Bona Traffic came in at about 36 on the hardness scale, while StreetShoe NXT came in at 65.  At the end of seven days, Bona Traffic came in at about 62, while StreetShoe NXT settled in at 75. Even stacked up against the competition, StreetShoe NXT wins the race for faster cure times and overall hardness when compared to Bona Traffic and Traffic HD.

    StreetShoe NXT’s quick cure times and better hardness benefits everyone, because contractors can get customers back to the normal use of their floors sooner.  Newly coated floors can be lightly walked on after several hours. StreetShoe NXT has UV inhibitors which slow down damage caused by UV light.  With a low VOC content of 275, the smell is light and dissipates quickly. Depending on the situation, most customers won’t even have to spend the night out of their homes while the floor is being finished. This waterbased finish is not a combustible product, so contractors and customers can rest assured knowing the vapors are non-flammable.

    Basic Coatings offers superior hardness over the competition right out of the gate. For more information on StreetShoe NXT and other superior floor finish products from Basic Coatings, call (800) 441-1934, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • GHS: What Is It?

    May 19, 2015

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    As you may be aware, OSHA has modified its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in March 2012 to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

    What is GHS?
    In 1992, the harmonization of classification and labeling of chemicals was one of six program areas that were endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly to strengthen international efforts concerning the environmentally sound management of chemicals. GHS provides a global standard for:

    • Creating classification processes that use available data on chemicals for comparison with the defined hazard criteria; and
    • Communicating hazard information, as well as protective measures, on labels and safety data sheets (SDS).

    What is the impact of GHS to Basic Coatings?
    All Basic Coatings labeled products manufactured after June 1, 2015, will be labeled with the new GHS labels.

    What changes can customers expect to see?
    Between now and the June 1 deadline, we will begin the transition to the GHS labels and SDS:

    • Labels will now have pictograms surrounded by a red diamond shaped border for materials that have health or physical hazards.
    • The name material safety data sheet (MSDS) will change to safety data sheet (SDS).
    • GHS requires the adoption of a new 16-section format of SDS as the standard, which is the same as our current Basic Coatings MSDS.
    • Certain standardized precautionary statements are required on SDS and labels.

    To help better understand GHS, we have put together a list of frequently asked questions. 

    Q. How will the user know the SDS is the new GHS version?

    A. The SDS sheet will be labeled Safety Data Sheet and not Material Safety Data Sheet, will contain the 16 specified sections, and have its GHS classification and Pictograms in Section 2 if applicable.

    Q.  When do the new SDS sheets and labels have to be provided by manufacturer?

    A.  June 1, 2015

    Q.  When do the new SDS sheets and labels have to be provided by the distributor?

    A. New SDS Sheets must be provided by June 1, 2015.  New labels by December 1, 2015

    Q. Is there a deadline for end users to use chemicals with current labeling?

    A. No, currently OSHA has not issued any use date.  From an OSHA perspective, customers may use current inventories until they are depleted.

    Q. Will a facility need to keep old MSDS sheets?

    A. Yes.  Manufacturers, distributors and end user employers must keep old safety data sheets for 30 years or equivalent records containing the chemical identity and information.

    Q. During the transition period, June 1, 2015 until December 1, 2015, can an end user have the option to use either the old MSDS or the new SDS sheet?

    A. No.  A distributor or end user employer should acquire or request the GHS SDS by June 1, 2015.  A distributor can continue to sell the older version label until December 1, 2015.  A customer can continue to use a product with the older version label but must refer to the new GHS SDS for the product.

    Q. Could there be more than one GHS Pictogram on a label and SDS?

    A. Yes.  If there is more than one hazard, multiple Pictograms may be used.

    Q. If the product is not classified hazardous, will it require a Pictogram?

    A.  No, only chemicals classified as hazardous.

    Q.  Can Pictograms have a black border?

    A.  No.  The Pictogram must have a red border, white background and black hazard symbols.

    Q.  Do I need to have an SDS for every chemical used in the facility?

    A.  No, only if it is a hazardous material.  But as a best practice users should request SDS for all chemical products used by an employee in their normal job function.

    Q. Will DOT Hazard Labels be on product containers in addition to the new GHS Pictograms?

    A.  Potentially.  Shipping cartons and containers will have DOT hazard labels and product containers will have the GHS Pictograms.  If a product container is also the shipping container, such as a 55 gal drum, both the hazard label and the GHS pictograms will appear on it.

    Q.  Do I need to update the facility HAZCOM Program with the new GHS requirements.

    A.  Yes.

    Basic Coatings is committed to complying with the requirements of HCS 2012/GHS and is taking every step necessary to ensure that we are prepared to successfully transition to the new GHS label and SDS formats in the U.S. by the June 1 deadline.

  • Oh, Those Pesky Swirl Marks

    Dec 11, 2014

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    Remember the recent job you completed by full sanding and applying that absolutely gorgeous dark walnut stain, and how heartbreaking it was when you went back to apply the finish and noticed all those sander and swirl marks? What must have gone through your mind knowing that all the hard work you put in must now be sanded away and completed again to correct the sanding issues? Talk about throwing away profits!

    The heartache you felt could have certainly been avoided by using a Basic Coatings® Sand Dragon Orbital Sander. With a weight package to increase the head pressure, the Sand Dragon makes it easy to apply level abrasion to the floor for proper smoothness and eliminate those pesky sander or swirl marks. As dark stained floors are again becoming popular, using the correct machine and proper grit abrasives will ensure that you should not have to complete your job twice to be paid once.

    dragon-orbitalThe Basic Coatings Sand Dragon Orbital Sander is available in 20” and 28” widths, making it the ideal choice for both small residential areas and large open areas, like gymnasiums. Having 3,400 rpm orbit speed and 1.5 horsepower make this the perfect combination for final sanding of hardwood or inter-coat abrading of even the toughest finishes. Top it all off with having an optional dust containment attachment and you have all the machine you will ever need to complete that flawless flooring project that your clients deserve.

  • We Will Make this Choice an EASY One!

    Jan 27, 2014

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    Having issues with your Maple floors? We aren’t surprised. Maple wood floors are known to show the smallest of blemishes and cosmetic flaws. The density of the wood does not allow for the wood finish to permeate the wooden fibers.

    Our friends at The Philadelphia Floor Store, Inc., thought that testing floor finishes on maple wood would be a great opportunity to separate the good finishes from the great finishes. The Philadelphia Floor Store has a room filled with a variety of wood floor samples for the sole purpose of testing products. They decided to put Basic Coatings® EasyStreet™ to the test against the notoriously difficult maple wood floor.

    Before we tell you how it went, we are going to let you in on a little secret. EasyStreet, a one-component waterbased floor finish, provides outstanding clarity and durability without an outside catalyst. It is ideal for commercial, residential, and sports floors, including those that are maple!

    Now, back to EasyStreet. The Philadelphia Floor Store chose to test the Satin finishuntitled (EasyStreet comes in four different sheens: Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Super Matte and Satin). The reasoning for choosing Satin was that Satin is more likely to highlight finishing flaws that have to do with flow and leveling. What they found was that EasyStreet’s Satin finish responded flawlessly. Mike Glavin from the Philadelphia Floor Store commented on EasyStreet, saying, “It’s forgiving and easy to use for a single-component water based product; it’s a great overall product, and we would recommend it to any of our customers!” The company saw no blemishes, streaks, or bubbles. They also found that EasyStreet is one of the easiest finishes to use that is available in the market.  It is compatible with A, B, and C mechanics.  Since it is a single component finish, you do not have to worry about mixing a catalyst to get your desirable outcome. Another added benefit of EasyStreet is that unlike most floor finishes, EasyStreet can be applied with two different methods, rolling and pulling.

    Basic Coatings strives to stay current in the hardwood floor finish industry, providing you with the most technically advanced products. Visit Basic Coatings® today!

  • Are You a Master of Waterbased Finishes?

    Oct 16, 2013

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    If you are in the hardwood floor industry, you might know that Basic Coatings® is a believer in waterbased finishes. But, what are the perks of using waterbased finishes and how do you use them? 

    If you are a contractor, it is good to know that a waterbased finish is a smart option when refinishing hardwood floors. Not only do they provide you with a beautiful, clear, and odorless finish, but they also good for the environment since they do no omit high levels of VOCs into the air. The 2–3 hours of drying time is also an added perk of using a waterbased finish. So, the question is, are you a master of waterbased finishes? Read below to find out!

    Mixing: Read your labels. Some are shaken; some are stirred, and most have a rest period before use. The label will tell you what application tools are recommended, proper spread rates, and the proper method of applying your next coat of finish.

    Airflow: Two hours of aggressive ventilation during the drying process is a good rule of thumb to follow. Remember: never blow directly on the floor as it will cause skimming.

    Sunlight: Do not coat your finish in direct sunlight or during that portion of the day. Too much sunlight can cause premature drying, skimming, and streaking.

    Temperature: Acclimate your finish to your job sites. Do not leave it in your truck until you are ready to coat.

    Expectations: Keep your customer involved in all aspects of the job: kids, pets, dry times,noise, odors, maintenance issues, cleaning kits, soft bottoms on furniture where it will come in contact with floor surface, and most importantly, how the floor is going to feel and look.

    Recoats: The life of the floor and the finish depend on maintenance and recoats.

    Sales: Sell yourself; then sell your services, degrees, awards, special jobs portfolios, testimonials, and time in the business. Your qualifications should put the customer at ease.

    Please contact your Basic Coatings Regional Manager and/or Basic Coatings for more training and information on the benefits of waterbased wood floor finishes.