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Bona Australia
Bona Australia

Home Owners F.A.Q

Frequently Asked Questions for Home Owners

Whether you are planning to engage the services of a timber flooring professional, or even considering doing it yourself, you need to be informed when it comes to making decisions about your floor. Bona has the right products to bring out the best in your timber floor. In addition to 100% water-based non-toxic finishes and coatings, Bona also have a range of easy-to-use floor care and maintenance products to keep your floors looking beautiful over thier lifetime.

Commonly asked Home Owner questions are addressed below to assist you in making an informed decision and obtaining the best outcome for your floor.

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How do I find a good flooring contractor?

Finding a contractor to undertake any building work can be a daunting task. Word-of-mouth recommendations are usually a good way to assess the contractors quality of work and reliablility. Using a Bona Certified Flooring Contractor is a guaranteed way of knowing your contractor has a proven professional track record. The Bona Certified Contractor is by invitation only. It is only for contractors who have demonstrated professionalism in their work practices over an extended period of time, and demonstrate expertise in the use of Bona non-toxic waterbased systems.

Bona Certified Contractors have access to the latest Bona machinery to give the best possible results for their clients, including the Bona Dust Control (DCS) system for dust free sanding and the Bona PowerScrubber for deep cleaning. Head here to find a BCC near you.

Most contractors will be happy to provide a free quotation, subject of course to the time and distance to reach you. A couple of quotes from well sourced contractors is generally enough to judge what is a fair price. To ensure you know exactly what the contractor is offering get detailed quotations showing all work to be carried out. Clarify the little things such as, “Will the rubbish and sawdust from the floor be removed from site”? Compare 'apples to apples' or you might find that your 'cheap' price leaves you with much work still to do.

Ask the contractor for references, good contractors are only too happy to let you speak to their customers. Be wary if the majority of the money is asked for 'up front' and make sure you are happy with the end result before making final payment. Stage payments are common for when each phase of work is completed, but again make sure you are happy before signing off each stage.

What are the dangers associated with solvent-based finishes?

Toxic fumes given off by solvent floor finishes contain free isocyanates that affect the respiratory system and are particularly dangerous for asthma sufferers, children and the elderly. Solvent-based floor finishes are classified as poisons and homeowners should vacate premises until solvent based coatings are fully cured. This can take a minimum of 7 – 14 days. In addition the fumes from solvent finishes can taint food in pantries and even refrigerators. Some water-based paints can turn yellow due to the reaction of isocyanates with the amines in the paint. Plants, paintings and pets should also be removed from the area until the finish is totally cured.

Alternatively choose the convenience of a non-toxic water-based floor finish. No toxic fumes or isocyanates - so no need to move out! Bona’s modern polyurethane finishes offer excellent wear resistance, are non-yellowing and bring out the real beauty of timber flooring - without risking your health. Solvent finishes are a thing of the past, so ask your professional floor finisher about the benefits of the Bona water-based alternative.

Whats the difference between 'Polishing' and 'Coating' a floor?
Timber floor polishing is a misconstrued term. The application of a protective finish to a timber floor should be more accurately referred to as ‘coating’ or ‘finishing’. The truth is no timber floor coating actually polishes the floor. Timber floor coatings provide a finish which can be of gloss appearance, however polishing is a maintenance process done after the application of the floor coating... to find out more head here.
How soon can I use my floor after it has been coated?

"When can we move back in?” is a common question. Whether you’ve vacated just the part of your house that has been re-coated or have moved out completely, homeowners want to reoccupy their home and bring back their furniture etc. as soon as possible. How quickly you can move back into a room or even walk on it varies depending on the type of finish that has been used. Head here for info on when you can move back in after having your floors coated.

Solvent-based vs water-based finishes?

It is a consumer’s choice to either use a solvent, or a water-based floor finish. Solvent-based timber floor coatings are toxic, carry serious health risks and are harmful to the environment. Water-based coatings are non-toxic and environmentally responsible. Bona pioneered the development of water-based floor finishes in 1979 and is now the recognised world leader in non-toxic water-based coatings for timber floors. Read more about Solvent-based vs water-based finishes here...

Do solvent-based floor finishes wear better?

The myth that solvent based floor finishes wear better is not correct. Today’s polyurethane technology means that the best water-based finishes provide wear resistance superior to that of a solvent-based product - and are 100% polyurethane based without toxic fumes. Water-based finishes are a preferred choice for commercial premises due to their wear resistant properties and non-toxic composition. Minimal disturbance is required as there are no toxic fumes or health risks.

Bona are the world leader in high quality durable floor finishes and since the early 1990's ceased production completely of toxic solvent based finishes, now exclusively producing water-based finishes only. This is in line with EU regulations which ban the use of toxic solvent based finishes in EU countries.

Bona coatings have been used to coat more than 2 billion m2 of flooring worldwide. They have been sold in Australia for over 20 years and used to coat flooring at Old Parliament House, Parliament House, The National Gallery & National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, the National Gallery Vic, State Library Vic and Melbourne Museum, Adelaide Oval and the main auditorium & stage at Sydney Opera House plus countless other commercial and residential projects.

What advantages do Bona floor finishes offer?

Bona non-toxic water-based finishes offer many advantages over solvent-based products. Firstly all Bona finishes are classified as non-toxic and there is no need to move out while the finish is curing. This usually takes between 7 and 14 days. Bona finishes are fast drying and have excellent resistance to wear. Remember however that although the finishes are unaffected by light, unlike solvent based products, the timber can be affected by UV light so exposed areas may change colour a little over the first few months; it is worth avoiding putting mats back during this time. There is wide a choice of sheen levels ranging from ultra matt to extra matt, matt and satin. Unlike solvent finishes that give floors a plastic appearance, Bona finishes look natural and highlight the beauty of the timber.

Are water-based finishes more expensive?

The difference in product cost between using a water-based finish and a solvent finish is usually about $4 - $6 per m². This is a small difference when the many benefits of a non-toxic Bona finish are taken into account. For example, there is no need to move out during the finishing of the floor. If you are only having floors in part of your house being coated then you can use the remainder of the house. Similarly there are no lingering odours or solvents as there would be with a solvent-based finish so you can reoccupy the coated areas quickly with no fear of being exposed to dangerous chemicals.

What floor finish specification should I choose?

It is always difficult to be able to advise what specification is needed for a floor without having information regarding the expected traffic levels, the required appearance with regard to colour / sheen / depth of the finish, the expected floor care regime and the budget considerations. In general terms all of the Bona finishes are suitable for all levels of domestic use but clearly, they also have varying expected performance levels. For instance, if you have a young family and expect that your floors will be subject to very heavy wear then you may wish to use one of our commercial finishes, such as Bona Traffic HD or Traffic GO, whereas if the floor has lighter use then Bona Mega or Mega ONE may be more suitable.

Whichever specification you decide upon with your contractor there are a few things that you should make sure of in relation to the finishes used. The specification should have a Bona primer followed by 2 applications of the same Bona finish. The use of solvent-based primers from other companies is not acceptable. Similarly using a different Bona finish for the middle coat compared to the final application, such as using Bona Mega and then Bona Traffic, can bring issues. Finally, if you are unsure as to which product to use on your floor always try to use the 'higher' specification to ensure that the system chosen can deal with the expected level of traffic and use.

Why use a floor sealer or primer?

Although Bona top coats can be used directly on bare timber, we strongly recommend the use of Prime Classic UX, Intense, or Classic. Firstly, you save money because a primer costs less than a top coat. More importantly apart from the savings there are sound technical reasons to use a primer. Bona primers ensure the floor has an even look without discolouration or a patchy appearance and minimise any possibility of edge bonding occurring with your floor. You also save time because the products dry faster than top-coats.

How do I clean and care for my timber floor?

Caring for a timber floor is simple. To begin with take preventative measures to minimize the floor getting dirty by using door mats and cleaning up spillage as soon as possible. Make sure that all furniture has felt pads and non-marking feet. Use a neutral detergent floor cleaning solution to regularly clean the floor. Sanding and Recoating may be necessary every 5 – 8 years if the floor has been subject to heavy wear but in many houses this timescale can be extended significantly.

To ensure that floors treated with Bona finish systems stay in good condition Bona has developed a full range of non-toxic Greenguard Certified floor cleaning products which are widely available through , head here for more info: Bona floor care products.

What effects can sunlight have on a floor?

The subject of the effects of light on a timber floor is quite involved and not easily summarized in a single paragraph. Please follow the link for more information.

Dogs and timber floors

We all recognize that owning a dog can affect our lives in different ways and that includes what happens around the house. For information on how best to deal with the interaction between your dog and your floors, look here.