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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

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

    Thanks to all of you for your comments. To clarify, it was not the painter that damaged the floors, it was the contractor we hired to remove some walls (paneling and plaster board), put up new sheet rock and replace some baseboards. We had used this contractor before and been happy - but to everyone's point our past experience with this person was new construction rather than re-modeling. With new construction, they can tape till their little hearts desire because the floors are not finished until the last step! Unfortunately, he blamed the damage on 'old floors' in our 1950s house. Every single place where the masking tape was applied the finish came up, thus the zebra striped floors. We did withhold 10K from the final payment and are securing estimates today on refinishing ~ 2400 sf of floors and moving our furniture out and back again (antiques and all). I imagine that it will be >10K to move out, store furniture, and repair the floors (based on the cost of just moving the furniture in a month ago). Sad thing is ..... 95% of the floors are pristine - its only the 5% zebra stripe that is costing so much money.

    BTW - the 2 floor companies who visited our home today both agreed with all of you - NEVER EVER let any contractor put any tape down on your hardwood floors .... EVER.
    My moral - just because you have been happy with someones work in the past, does not mean you will always be happy - likely holds true for references as well.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

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

    Thank you for the report and I hope you get your problem resolved.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago

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

    If your contractor carries such "needless overhead" like insurance, his insurance company will be coverng his goof. If he doesn't carry insurance, you had the wrong contractor!

    I sometimes thought I was in business solely to keep the insurance cmpanies in business Unfortunately, there were a lot of "contractors" out there who weren't carrying such overhead as insurance who would come in with lower bids.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Boston area

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

    Not only should you never put masking tape on finished wood (nor ever use it, period) but blue painters tape says right on the roll to never use it on wood floors! http://www.amazon.com/ScotchBlue-Pai.../dp/B00004Z4DI Mouse over the picture and see for yourself.

    I bet the the masking take says the same. Maybe if you work quickly the blue tape is "safe" on finish (like peel it a few hours after sticking it), but if you let is stick for a while it can rip the finish right off.

    Anyway, your contractor needs to refinish your floors for you, and if he argues show him the writing on the inside of the roll of tape he used.
    Last edited by skintigh; 01-09-2014 at 03:33 PM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

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

    I never read that on a roll of the blue tape I use for this purpose and my experience is a lot different than what happened to the OP. I know a lot of other contractors who do the same as I do and none have ever mentioned this problem. I am aware that some products should not be used together but I'm not aware of a specific tape recommended for this purpose either or I'd use it.

    The homeowners seem to have just bought this house with the floors already finished, and with the extent of the changes they wanted it should have been obvious that some problems were likely to occur, yet the contractor should never have expressed or implied that there would be no damage done to the floors either; they should have simply said they would do the best possible and that if there were any problems they would rectify them. There's fault in the homeowners expecting too much and fault in the contractor not knowing that what they may have done dozens of times before wasn't going to work the same way this time around.

    In the end nobody is happy because nobody allowed for what was realistic. Somewhere along the way the human factor crept in and of that we're all human and thus guilty as charged. I guess that I'm now going to have to find a tape approved for use on a poly floor now that I know my blue tape might be trouble. That tape may not exist as no manufacturer will want to be paying for thousands of floors if they were wrong about the application. So what do I do if there is no such tape? Not seal the paper with tape when that's necessary? Tell the customer that I can't do the job unless I refinish the floors? Not even try to protect the floors? I'm not superman nor can I do the impossible- and nobody should be expecting that of me or any other contractor, yet they do and I usually deliver.

    Maybe I should have opted for a career with a McBurger chain. I could have had a tidy sum saved for retirement just in the savings on aspirin alone....


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