+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Tape pulled the finish off my floors - what can I do?

    We hired a contractor to replacing trim and some walls in my old 1950 house (we just moved in). He put down brown paper on the floors w/ blue painters tape at the baseboard area and masking tape everywhere else. When we removed the masking tape it pulled the finish right off the floors - blue painters tape did not remove the finish! The finish (whatever it was) was stuck to the masking beige-colored tape! I now have zebra striped floors. I should mention that the floors in every single room (except the kitchen) were pristine. There was not a scratch or mark on them and it actually looked like no one had ever worn shoes/had pets/had children/or ever moved furniture in the house. I should also mention that this was brought to the attention of the contractor at the very beginning - that the floors must be protected and the expectations were they would look the same after the work was completed. The contractors comment 'this has never happened to us before and it must be a bad finish that you have on your floors'. He thinks the remedy is a can of polyurethane spray from Lowes - he actually already tried to cover it up with this method in one room (you can imagine semi-gloss poly sprayed in a stripe next to beautiful old floors with a more aged satin look).
    Is there anything we can do for the floors? We cannot go to the expense and trouble to move all our antiques back out of the house and have all the floors refinished - we just moved in a month ago amid construction and painting Thanks for your comments!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Tape pulled the finish off my floors - what can I do?

    Sadly, the only way to fix this is to have your contractor hire a professional floor refinisher to re-sand the floors.

    We never let ANY tape adhere to finished surfaces unless its the blue tape and only for a few days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Tape pulled the finish off my floors - what can I do?

    1 - Withhold final payment to contractor until this issue is resolved to your satisfaction.
    2 - The contractor damaged your floors in the process of his work, HE is responsible for the repair and expense of it.
    3 - Sadly, the only real repair is going to be to strip/sand/refinish the floors. A pro can do it with little disruption to you, though you will need to move your belongings from the room(s ) while this is done. You won't have to move out, but certainly make the spaces available. If necessary, the refinishing can be broken into two stages, half the house first, move furniture, finish other half.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,360

    Default Re: Tape pulled the finish off my floors - what can I do?

    I agree that the ONLY solution is to have your painting contractor pay a professional floor refinisher OF YOUR CHOICE to strip and refinish the floors.

    Unfortunately, the cost of this repair will likely be more than the outstanding payment that is due him, so you may never get that recourse. It might be cheaper for him to write off the remaining payment. If this is the case, a lawsuit -- or at least a threatening letter on your attorney's letterhead -- may be necessary.

    For future reference, there is only ONE type of tape that may be safely used on finished floors: gaffer's tape. It looks similar to duct tape, but the adhesive is formulated to not interact chemically with floor finishes. Even so, it should not be left on the floor for an extended period of time, but it can be there for several days and still peel up cleanly.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Tape pulled the finish off my floors - what can I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    For future reference, there is only ONE type of tape that may be safely used on finished floors: gaffer's tape. It looks similar to duct tape, but the adhesive is formulated to not interact chemically with floor finishes. Even so, it should not be left on the floor for an extended period of time, but it can be there for several days and still peel up cleanly.
    Oh, I would not go there! That be some seriously sticky stuff!!! I'd be afraid it'd pull the foundation up with it!
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Tape pulled the finish off my floors - what can I do?

    I've seen blue painters tape peel off the poly too. Esp in the high traffic areas.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Tape pulled the finish off my floors - what can I do?

    I have zero tolerance for sub contractors who carelessly cause damages while doing their job. That's why withholding a retainer is so important.

    Give your painter a chance to fix the damage, not with a can of poly from lowes, but with a professional floor finisher.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Tape pulled the finish off my floors - what can I do?

    I use blue painter's tape for this and have never had any trouble. Paper alone is more dust protection than anything so I also put dropcloths down over the paper (and sometimes cardboard or plywood too) for added 'padding' against dropped materials and tools. These can be removed and shaken out as needed, leaving the paper intact till the end. Most contractors are more new-work oriented and remodeling is a whole different ball game with different priorities and procedures involved. As one guy put it "I spend ten minutes working and a half hour cleaning, then I do it all over again". That is why you should always check with several of a contractors previous customers- they might be great at new construction but rotten remodelers

    This contractor should not have used regular masking tape; there are better products these days even if they ciost more. And their attempt to 'touch-up' using spray poly tells me that they may not know as much about what they are doing as they think they know. I can refinish a single plank (or more) in a floor with a brush and you can't tell anything ever happened- you can't do that spraying from a can. I'd tell them that if they want final payment, they will have to refinish the affected floors to pristine again, and that I'd prefer to choose who did that job. Legally you may not have the ability to choose who does it initially (based on the contract wording) but if the job doesn't please you afterward everything changes. It's lawyer time for you so that you can know what options are available to you. More than anything, I try to keep my jobs from ever reaching that point because when you involve lawyers nobody except them walks away happy. I like happy customers!

    Phil

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Tape pulled the finish off my floors - what can I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastercarpentry View Post
    That is why you should always check with several of a contractors previous customers- they might be great at new construction but rotten remodelers
    And visa-versa. It surprises me how much trouble remodellers and new construction people have when they change sides of the fence. It is like they forget what they know about the trades and just fall to pieces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastercarpentry View Post
    I like happy customers!
    You and me both. My attitude is that I work WAY too hard to come back to the office and deal with pissed off customers. Let's not piss them off to begin with, then everybody stays happy and you have a life long client. It bears mentioning, though, that not all people are good clients, so contractors must choose their clients just as carefully as clients choose contractors.

    I am in no way, shape, or form insinuating that the OP is not a good client, what I'm saying is that people - all people - have compatible partners throughout life and incompatible partners. Life is way too short to for anyone to choose poorly.
    Last edited by A. Spruce; 01-04-2014 at 03:42 PM.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,584

    Default Re: Tape pulled the finish off my floors - what can I do?

    With the popularity of hardwood floors in the last couple decades, I always had rosin paper at the ready in my truck. I put it down with painters tape at the perimeter and then where the rosin paper lapped, it was taped with regular masking tape. NEVER put regular masking tape directly on urethane! In fact, I am extremely cautious of putting any tape out in the middle of any floor. Regular masking tape is too sticky, leaves a residue and becomes britlle and non-removable within a few hours. If you do have removal problems, heat it with a hair dryer and pull it very slowly!

    Urethanes are very particular about what they will bond to. If there is a lot of stain on the surface , be very cautious. Those "pickled" white stains so popular in the 80's and 90's left way too much pigment on the surface. The subsequent urethane finish did not actually bond well to the wood, as the pigment got in its way. Too much dark pigment left on the surface or improperly dried stain can also cause problems. Oil stains need several hours of drying time under ideal temp and humidity conditions.

    I did a luxury apartment where rosin paper was put down across traffic areas (not by me thank God) and fastened down with 3M painters tape. When the paper was pullled the blue tape pulled the urethane right off. They had to redo 3000 feet of flooring! There was debate amongst the tradesmen about how long the floor guys had waited before finish coating, and if they had sufficiently wiped the excess stain. I am not sure who ended up eating the costs of resanding all those floors.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •