A method of finishing a wood floor comprising a first step of applying
an aqueous polar solvent for a sufficient period of time to allow
removal of a portion of any existing stains and soils and to at
least partially etch the surface of an existing finish. A second
step of applying an aqueous rinse to flush at least a substantial
portion of any residue formed in the first steps and a third step
of applying a water based finish and allowing it to dry.
What is claimed is:
1. A method of finishing a wood floor comprising: in a first step
applying an alkaline aqueous solvent to a wood floor including an
existing finish to be resurfaced and exposing said wood floor to
the solvent for a sufficient period of time to allow substantial
removal of any existing stain and soil and to at least partially
etch the surface of said existing finish; in a second step applying
an aqueous rinse comprised of water and a softening agent to flush
at least a substantial portion of any residue formed in the first
step and soften said existing etched finish; and in a third step
applying a water based finish and allowing it to dry.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein said aqueous solvent has a pH
above about 10.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein said aqueous solvent has a pH
above about 12.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein said third step is repeated multiple
times to increase finish thickness and durability.
5. The method of claim 1 wherein said aqueous solvent includes
an active ingredient selected from the group consisting of alkali
metasilicates, orthophosphates and mixtures thereof.
6. The method of claim 5 wherein said active ingredient is selected
from the group consisting of sodium orthosilicate, sodium metasilicate,
trisodium phosphate and mixtures thereof.
7. The method of claim 5 wherein said active ingredient comprises
at least 2.0% by weight of said aqueous solvent.
8. The method of claim 1 wherein said aqueous solvent further includes
a chelating agent.
9. The method of claim 8 wherein said chelating agent comprises
10. The method of claim 1 wherein said aqueous solvent further
comprises a surfactant.
11. The method of claim 1 wherein said aqueous solvent further
comprises a colorant.
12. The method of claim 1 wherein said softening agent comprises
13. The method of claim 1 wherein said finish comprises a water
based urethane and/or acrylic resin dispersion.
14. The method of claim 13 wherein said finish comprises both urethane
and acrylic resins.
15. The method of claim 1 wherein said first step further includes
scrubbing the surface of said wood floor.
16. The method of claim 1 wherein sanding of said wood floor is
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to the refinishing of wood floors. More
particularly, the invention relates to a product, and a method of
its use, for refinishing a wood floor without the need for sanding.
Hardwood floors have been employed in quality housing and offices
for more than 150 years. To improve the ability of the surface of
the flooring to withstand wear and tear and also to make it attractive
in appearance, the raw wood is subjected to smoothing and finishing
steps. Nonetheless, over time, even the protected surface of the
floor degrades. Accordingly, refinishing of wood floors is a necessary
task. Traditionally, refinishing has been considered a relatively
messy and time consuming undertaking, often left to the professional.
The process of refinishing has historically included sanding to
prepare the surface to accept a new coat. Refinishing then typically
involves applying sealants, varnishes, stains, shellacs and waxes
to provide the desired appearance. Today, there are machines which
will do some of these tasks, for example, sanding machines to drive
a belt, circular disc or an oscillating rectangle of sandpaper.
Buffing machines are made to provide the same basic motions to a
pad of stiff fibers which function to abrade the surface more gently
than sandpaper. A typical combination and order of these steps might
be i) to hand scrape or rough sand a raw wood floor; ii) to sand
by machine with a medium grit sandpaper; iii) to sand by hand with
a fine grit sandpaper; iv) to remove all dust; v) to apply a coat
of sealant and allow it to dry; vi) to buff the surface; vii) to
remove all dust; and viii) to apply a coat of varnish or shellac.
U.S. Pat. No. 5709589 teaches a modification to the above procedure
wherein the floor is smoothed and cleaned with a rotating buffing
pad having a strip of fine grit sandpaper adhered to the buffing
pad, followed by buffing without the sandpaper being present, and
then cleaning the floor of all dust by vacuuming and by wiping with
a dampened rag. Thereafter, a finish comprised of an aqueous dispersion
of urethane and acrylic polymers is applied.
Obviously, the sanding requirements of this process are time consuming
and messy with respect to the creation of significant quantities
of dust. In addition, sanding can be a difficult task for the non-professional
floor refinisher. Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide
a system for refinishing wood floors which does not require sanding
to remove the prior finish.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a three component system for refinishing
of wood floors. According to one embodiment of the invention, a
floor refinishing kit is provided which facilitates the preparation
of an old finish for the application of a new finish without the
requirement of sanding. The floor refinishing system of the present
invention comprises a kit including three floor treatment compositions.
A first composition is comprised of an aqueous polar solvent. Preferably,
the aqueous polar solvent will have a pH above about 10 and more
preferably above about 12. Most preferably, the aqueous polar solvent
will include an active ingredient in excess of at least about 2.0%
by weight. Particularly preferred active ingredients are alkali
metasilicates, orthophosphates, and mixtures thereof. The second
component of the kit comprises a residue removal and surface softening
formulation, preferably comprised of water and a glycol ether. The
third component of the kit comprises the finish, preferably a water
based finish including urethane and acrylic polymers or copolymers
and a crosslinking agent.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
While the invention will be described in connection with certain
exemplary embodiments, it will be understood that it is not intended
to limit the invention to those embodiments. On the contrary, it
is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents
that may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention
defined by the appended claims.
The present invention provides a departure from the traditional
steps for preparing and refinishing hardwood flooring. Particularly,
the present invention is directed to a system including at least
three components which does not require sanding to prepare an existing
hardwood floor finish. More particularly, the present invention
is directed to a chemical system which provides an appropriate treatment
of an existing finish to allow the deposition of a new finish. The
chemical system (kit) for performing these functions includes a
first cleaning agent, a second rinsing and softening agent, and
a third finishing agent.
The Cleaning Solution
The cleaning solution of the present invention is an alkaline aqueous
solution including an active agent. The cleaning solution has been
found to remove stains and soils from the surface of the floor and
provide etching of the old finish. Moreover, the existing finish
is preferably not totally removed via this process but rather is
cleaned and sufficiently etched to facilitate the later chemical
bonding (i.e., step 3) of a renewal finish. The active agent is
preferably selected from orthophosphates and alkali metasilicates.
Exemplary, alkali metasilicates include sodium or potassium hydroxide,
sodium or potassium carbonate, sodium or potassium silicate, sodium
gluconate or sodium heptahydrate. Particularly preferred alkali
metasilicates include sodium orthosilicate and sodium metasilicate.
Exemplary orthophosphates include sodium hemiphosphate; sodium
dihydrogen phosphate monohydrate; sodium dihydrogen phosphate dihydrate;
sodium dihydrogen phosphate compound with disodium hydrogen phosphate
(MSP-DSP); disodium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate; disodium hydrogen
phosphate heptahydrate; disodium hydrogen phosphate octahydrate;
disodium hydrogen phosphate dodecahydrate; trisodium phosphate hemihydrate;
trisodium phosphate hexahydrate; trisodium phosphate octahydrate;
trisodium phosphate dodecahydrate (TSP crystalline); phosphoric
acid, postassium salt; potassium dihydrogen phosphate compound with
dipotassium hydrogen phosphate monohydrate; monopotassium phosphate
(MKP); dipotassium phosphate (DKP); dipotassium hydrogen phosphate
trihydrate; dipotassium hydrogen phosphate hexahydrate; tripotassium
phosphate; tripotassium phosphate trihydrate; tripotassium phosphate
heptahydrate; tripotassium phosphate nonahydrate; calcium hydrogen
phosphate; calcium hydrogen phosphate hemihydrate; calcium hydrogen
phosphate dihydrate; .alpha.-tricalcium phosphate; .beta.-tricalcium
phosphate; octacalcium phosphate; hydroxyapatite; fluorapatite;
phosphoric acid, calcium salt; calcium salt hydrate; aluminum dihydrogen
tripolyphosphate; aluminum phosphate dihydrate (variscite); monoaluminum
phosphate sesquihydrate; dialuminum phosphate trihydrate; poly(aluminum
metaphosphate); monoiron(III) phosphate; trimagnesium phosphate
octahydrate; aluminum hemiphosphate; phosphoric acid, aluminum salt
hydrate; aluminum sodium salt; tetrahydrate, iron (III) salt hydrate;
triphosphoric acid, monosodium salt, disodium salt, trisodium salt,
tetrasodium salt; pentasodium salt; sodium potassium tripolyphosphate;
sodium trimetaphosphate; sodium tetrametaphosphate; sodium hexametaphosphate;
poly(sodium metaphosphate) (insoluble metaphosphate (IMP)); zirconium
phosphate monohydrate; zirconium phosphate dihydtrate; aluminum
pyrophosphate; calcium dihydrogen pyrophosphate (calcium acid pyrophosphate);
calcium pyrophosphate; potassium trihydrogen pyrophosphate; dipotassium
dihydrogen pyrophosphate (potassium acid pyrophosphate); tripotassium
hydrogen pyrophosphate; tetrapotassium pyrophosphate; sodium trihydrogen
pyrophosphate (monosodium pyrophosphate); disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate
(sodium acid pyrophosphate); disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate hexahydrate;
trisodium hydrogen pyrophosphate (trisodium pyrophosphate); trisodium
hydrogen pyrophosphate monohydrate; trisodium hydrogen pyrophosphate
nonahydrate; tetrasodium pyrophosphate (TSPP); tetrasodium pyrophosphate
decahydrate; silicon pyrophosphate; titanium pyrophosphate. Preferably,
a combination of the various cleaning agent compounds will be utilized.
The cleaning solution will preferably contain additional components
to accomplish its purpose. For example, a surfactant may be included
to facilitate wetting out the cleaning solution on what is often
a greasy/oily surface. Similarly, common defoamers and dispersants
(to prevent redeposition of soil) may be used. In addition, a chelating
agent may be included, such as an ethylenediaminetetra acetic acid,
to reduce the tendency for the active cleaning agent to become chemically
bound to ionic elements in the water. Furthermore, a surface softening
agent may be included, such as ethylene glycol. Finally, a colorant
and odorant may be used to improve handling characteristics.
Preferably, the active agent will be present at a level sufficient
to raise the pH of the solution in excess of about 10 most preferably
in excess of about 12 more preferably in excess of about 13. For
example, the active agent may comprise from about 1% to about 10%
of the cleaning solution with water comprising from about 99% to
about 50%. The surfactant and surface softening agent may each comprise
up to 20% by weight, preferably less than about 10%. The remaining
ingredients are individually generally less than about 5% by weight.
Interestingly, the cleaning agent is of a type which is commercially
available as Liquid Wall Cleaner from Chemspec.
The Rinse Solution
The rinse solution of the refinishing kit is directed to a solution
comprised primarily water, but may also include a suitable agent
for softening of the existing etched finish. Preferably, the surface
softening agent will be a glycol ether. In that embodiment, the
rinse solution will be comprised of from 30 to 70% water and from
30 to 70% softening agent.
The Finish Component
The water-based coating composition preferably includes urethanelacrylic
copolymers. Preferably, the curable water-based coating compositions
of the present invention do not contain an undesirable amount of
VOCs, more preferably, they contain less than about 5 wt. %, and
preferably less than about 2 wt. % VOCs based on the total weight
of the composition (including water).
Preferably, the curable coating compositions of the present invention
have a solids content of about 30-70 wt. %, more preferably about
35-65 wt. % based on the total weight of the composition (including
the water). With a solids content of less than about 30 wt. %, the
curable coating composition is generally too thin for most applications
to form a useful cured coating, although it may be used in applications
that require thin coatings. With a solids content of more than about
70 wt. %, the curable coating composition is generally too viscous
to coat easily.
The curable water-based coating compositions of the present invention
will preferably include urethane/acrylic polymers or copolymers,
coalescing aid and an alkaline-stable crosslinker. Optional additives
include, for example, a thickener and a surfactant.
The "principal polymers" are those that are capable of
crosslinking (e.g. urethane/acrylic copolymers, aliphatic urethanes,
acrylic copolymers, and other polymers containing pendant carboxylic
acid groups). Suitable polymers of urethane and acrylic and urethane/acrylic
copolymers (i.e., a polymer containing urethane (--R.sup.1 NHC(O)OR.sup.2
--) and acrylic--R.sup.3 --C(O)OH moieties) for use in the compositions
of the present invention are those are that are capable of forming
stable dispersions in water. One specific example of a nonfilm-forming
urethane/acrylic copolymer is a high solids, monomer-free, radiation-curable,
water-borne urethane/acrylic copolymer, which is commercially available
under the trade designation "NeoRad 3709" from NeoResins,
a division of Avecia, Wilmington, Mass. Specific examples of urethane
and acrylic polymers include NEOREZ R9699 and NEOCRYL XA6092. These
urethane/acrylic polymers and copolymers are designed for high performance
uses, where hardness, flexibility, UV resistance, chemical resistance,
and abrasion resistance are desired.
The curable water-based coating compositions of the present invention
may use a glycol ether as a coalescing aid for the nonfilm-forming
urethane/acrylic polymers or copolymers. This coalescing aid not
only enhances film formation but contributes to the flexibility
of the coating. Suitable glycol ether coalescing aids are commercially
available from The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich., under the
trade designation Dowanol. These coalescing aids typically also
function as wetting agents in the compositions of the present invention.
The coalescing aid, or a mixture of coalescing aids, is present
in the curable coating compositions of the present invention in
an amount effective to meld the urethane/acrylic particles during
the drydown or curing stage and thereby allow a continuous film
to form. Preferably, coalescing aid, or a mixture of such coalescing
aids, is present in the curable coating compositions of the present
invention in an amount of no greater than about 15 wt. %, based
on the weight of polymer solids. More preferably, the curable coating
compositions include about 1-10 wt. %, most preferably, about 3-8
wt. %, coalescing aid, based on the weight of polymer solids.
A crosslinker is included in the curable coating compositions of
the present invention to enhance the tensile strength of the present
invention to enhance the tensile strength of the cured coating and
improve its chemical resistance, for example. Suitable crosslinkers
are those that can be used to crosslink urethane/acrylic polymers
or copolymers, and are stable in aqueous alkaline solutions. Examples
of such crosslinkers include, but are not limited to, epoxy silanes,
amino silanes and aziridine derivatives. Suitable epoxy silanes
include Z-6040 available from Dow Corning. Suitable aminosilanes
include Z 6020 available from Dow Corning. Suitable polyfunctional
aziridines are those commercially available under the trade designations
propionate) and "XAMA-7" (penaerythritol-tris-(.beta.-N-aziridinyl)
propionate) from B.F. Goodrich Chemical Co., Cleveland, Ohio and
"NeoCryl CX-100" from Zeneca Resins, Wilmington, Mass.
These crosslinkers are particularly desirable because they also
function as adhesion promoters to materials such as polyester, glass,
etc. They are preferably used with polymers containing active hydrogens
such as the urethane/acrylic copolymers described above that contains
pendant carboxylic acid groups.
The alkaline-stable crosslinker, or mixture of alkaline-stable
crosslinkers, is present in the curable coating compositions of
the present invention in an amount effective to provide a durable
cured coating. Preferably, the alkaline-stable crosslinker is present
in the curable coating compositions of the present invention in
an amount of 0.1-10 wt. % and more preferably about 0.5-6 wt. %
based on the weight of polymer solids.
A thickener may be used in the curable coating compositions of
the present invention to increase the viscosity of the dispersions.
This is sometimes important to provide coatings that do not sag.
Suitable thickeners are those that are compatible with urethane/acrylic
dispersions. As used herein "compatible" means that the
component does not cause adverse effects to the curable compositions
(e.g. precipitation, flocculation, or other separation of the components),
or to the cured coating (e.g. disruption of film continuity, phase
separation, or loss of adhesion to the backing). Preferred thickeners
for use in the curable coating compositions of the present invention
are associative thickeners. An "associative" thickener
is a polymeric compound having hydrophobic groups that associate
with the dispersed polymer particles of the curable coating composition.
This association is believed to result in adsorption of the thickener
molecule onto the dispersed polymer particles.
A preferred thickener is a polyurethane available under the trade
designation "DSX-1514" from Henkel Corp., Kankakee, Ill.,
is an aqueous dispersion having 40 wt. % solids. It is a high shear
and low molecular weight thickener having a Brookfield viscosity
of 3000 centipoise at 25.degree. C. It is particularly desirable
because it provides a significant increase in viscosity of the coating
composition when used in small amounts. An associative thickener,
or mixture associative thickeners, may also be present in the curable
coating compositions of the present invention in an amount effective
to increase the viscosity of the dispersions to provide coatings
that do not sag.
Surfactants may be used in the curable coating compositions of
the present invention to reduce foaming and to enhance leveling
and wetting. This is important to provide smooth, uniform coatings.
A wide variety of surfactants, i.e., surface-active agents, are
suitable for use in the curable coating compositions of the present
Suitable surfactants include, but are not limited to, flow control
agents, wetting agents, dispersants, adhesion enhancers, defoamers,
etc. Preferred surfactants are nonionic or anionic. Examples of
preferred surfactants are available under the trade designation
"Silwet L-7210" (a nonionic polyalkeneoxide modified polydimethylsiloxane)
from Osi Specialties, In., Danbury, Conn., "Surfynol 104PA"
(2479-tetramethyl-5-decyn-47-diol) from Air Products and Chemicals,
Inc., Allentown, Pa. and "Triton GR-7M" (an anionic sulfosuccinate)
from Union Carbide Chemicals and Plastics Company, Inc., Danbury,
A surfactant, or mixture of surfactants, is present in the curable
coating compositions of the present invention in an amount effective
to provide a smooth, uniform coating. Preferably, a surfactant,
or mixture of surfactants, is present in the curable coating compositions
of the present invention in an amount of about 0.1-3 wt. % and more
preferably, about 0.5-2 wt. %, based on the total weight of the
curable coating composition (including water).
Additional additives that are suitable for use in water-based systems
are those that perform the functions of zinc complexes, ammonia,
defoamer, leveling agent, and/or wetting agent, for example, are
Exemplary finish compositions suitable for the present kit are
sold as Pacific Strong and Basic 1 or Impact available from Bona
Kemi, Basic Coating, respectively.
Method of Application
First, the cleaning solution is deposited on the floor finish to
be refinished using, for example, squeeze or mister bottle, damp
mop, brush or roller techniques. The finish can then be lightly
scrubbed with an abrading brush or pad. Thereafter, the cleaning
solution is removed with a mop or towels. Next, the rinsing agent
is deposited via, for example, roller, brush, squeeze or mister
bottle, or mop. The rinsing agent is also scrubbed with a brush
or pad and then removed again utilizing roller, pads, towels, or
mop, etc. Subsequent to drying, the finish can be applied according
to any technique known to those skilled in the art such as lambs
wool or other short nap pad or brush, etc. Preferably, multiple
coats of the finish will be applied, (i.e. 2 to 5) to effect sufficient
thickness and durability.
Thus, it is apparent that there has been provided in accordance
with the invention, a method and kit for refinishing floors that
fully satisfies the objects, aims and advantages set forth above.
While the invention has been described in conjunction with the specific
embodiments thereof it is evident that many alternatives, modifications
and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light
of the foregoing description. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace
all such alternatives, modifications and variations as fall within
the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims.