One reason we love wood gym floors so much is that they are easier to repair than a synthetic floor – and usually, we can make that repair invisible once we are done. However, that process can be more time-consuming or expensive than some clients want. Sometimes shortcuts are requested. This blog will explain what has to be done in order to make a patch job seamless, and what the result will be if shortcuts happen.
Patching the Correct Way
Any time you need to patch your wood floor, there is a certain process that must occur if you do not want to be able to see the patch when we are finished. First, we will tear out the damaged flooring and inspect the concrete below to make sure it is dry. If not, we will allow it to dry for a few days. Once the concrete is ready, we will install new flooring, lacing it in with the existing flooring. NOTE: Any reputable wood flooring company will lace the maple in – you should never have straight edges where they have simply cut out a square of damaged flooring and replaced it the same way. If you see this while a company is patching your floor, IMMEDIATELY stop them and insist that they lace your floor together.
Now, this is the part that determines whether your patch is going to be visible or invisible. The correct way to proceed is by sanding down your ENTIRE floor – not just the patch. This will make all of the wood in the room the same color so that we can then put two coats of seal down, repaint the gamelines and logos, and then apply two coats of finish. Voila! Your floor looks flawless and brand new.
Patching with Shortcuts
Now, patching the correct way takes time and money. It can take 2-3 weeks, and costs thousands of dollars. Some of our clients don’t have that kind of time or a budget that can handle the cost. We understand that completely. In those cases, there is a temporary solution to the problem (we call it a Band-Aid).
In order to patch the floor quickly and cheaply, we can tear out the damaged flooring, allow the concrete to dry out, and install new flooring, lacing it in (as always). We can then simply put two coats of seal on the patched area only, and then apply one coat of finish to the entire floor.
At this point, your floor is technically repaired and it will perform properly. However, we have to warn anyone who goes with this option: YOUR FLOOR WILL LOOK DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT WHERE IT IS PATCHED. The patched area and the already-existing floor will be different colors. We could attempt to stain the patched area to make it as close to the color of the rest of your floor as possible, but this process takes time and money. In most cases, it will cost nearly as much to do that as it would to just patch and sand it correctly.