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My wood floors look awful three years after I refinished them

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Q. My floor doesn't look good anymore. It's a wood floor that was scraped and finished, and yet in less than three years it looks gray and worn down. What should I do? Should it not have been washed with water? Was it treated wrong, or finished incorrectly in the first place?

A. It looks as though you were robbed—of at least one coat of polyurethane, says BrickTank expert and general contractor Jeff Streich of Prime Renovations in Manhattan.

“It sounds like it wasn’t finished correctly,” says Streich. “There should be three coats. I would say that it is probably deliberate—it’s not that hard to count to three. And unless you are at the apartment [while the floor is being finished], it is very difficult to tell how many coats were applied.”

You could call the contractor and ask him to redo it for free, but Streich says he doubts they would return after three years.

While washing your floor with water probably didn’t cause your problem, too much water can hurt it.  Streich recommends using Bona hardwood floor cleaners, available at many hardware stores.

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