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Professionals F.A.Q

Frequently Asked Questions for Professionals

Bona has a passion for Floors. Bona’s mission is to bring out the best in timber floors, with a full range of adhesives, sanding, finishing, maintenance and floor care products together with the best technical support available. Bona works closely with flooring contractors and has a market leading position within the Australian timber flooring industry.

We address some commonly asked questions for Contractors and Specifiers below. Should you have additional enquiries please contact us directly.

FAQ for professionals
I'm an Architect, do you have specific info for Specifiers?

We understand how difficult and time consuming it can be to have to digest numerous datasheets for individual products to extract the key points to enable a specification to be written.  To make it a little easier we have prepared specification paragraphs which can be placed directly into a specification document with a minimum of changes required.  The paragraphs are designed to provide a basic framework for Bona product specification. Where product choices need to be made in relation to appearance or technical issues these are highlighted in blue. View Architect specifier information.

Why use Bona water-based finishes?

There are two main reasons for contractors using Bona finishes.

Firstly, for the sake of your health and that of your employees. It is an undeniable fact that solvent-based polyurethane coatings pose severe health risks to flooring contractors, other trades on site, during and after the floor has been coated, and occupiers of the property. These coatings contain high levels of solvents, up to 80%, and chemicals such as Toluene Di-isocyanate, Formaldehyde, Xylene and Benzene. Suppliers of H & S equipment will only recommend the use of an independently supplied air system whenever solvent based finishes containing isocyanate are used because the dangers are such that it is not possible to be protected using a normal face mask.

Secondly, using water-based finishes will give you an advantage over competitors who only offer customers solvent products. In other words, you will win more quotes at a higher price. That’s because homeowners and other customers are willing to pay for the many benefits of Bona non-toxic finishes.

Solvent-based vs water-based finishes?

Although illegal in Europe, in Australia a consumer can still choose 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 the recognised world leader in non-toxic water-based coatings for timber floors. Read more about Solvent-based vs water-based finishes here...

Aren’t water-based finishes expensive?

In dollar terms, the difference in product cost between applying 3 coats of a solvent-based finish or 3 coats of a Bona water-based finish is generally between $4 and $6 per square metre depending on the products used and coverage rates. On a typical 50 m² floor that means a difference of $200 to $300. The customer must compare the extra cost with the numerous benefits of a non-toxic, non-yellowing waterborne finish. In many cases, just the fact that there is no need to vacate the premises for at least a week is more than enough reason to make the waterborne choice.

Aren’t water-based finishes difficult to use?

No, this is a myth which has developed for no readily apparent reason. In many ways Bona water-based finishes are easier to use than solvent-based finishes. For example, there is no need to wear a respirator, in normal circumstances, and all coating tools wash out in water so there is no need to have to buy cleaning solvent. As far as application technique is concerned, water-based finishes are easier to apply than solvent finishes and all that is required is a little experience to get used to a new healthier way of working. The essentials are the same with all coatings: apply evenly with a smooth technique whilst ensuring that the coverage rate is observed.

How wear resistant are Bona finishes?

Bona water-based finishes such as Traffic HD, Traffic GO, Traffic and Mega are 100% polyurethane and have a resistance to wear comparable with both 2 pack and moisture curing solvent finishes. Bona Traffic HD has over 60% better wear resistance than the original Bona Traffic and floors can be put back into normal use 24 hours after the final application. Bona Traffic HD Raw is a unique formulation with the same performance level as Traffic HD in relation to wear. However, the absolutely flat matt finish means that it is almost impossible to see any wear even in the most highly trafficked areas. These levels of performance have been demonstrated in various Standard Abrasion tests and are supported by ‘real life’ evidence over many years. Bona finishes perform well in busy homes, restaurants, museums, art galleries and retail outlets in over 90 countries all over the world. Since 1980 Bona have sold enough finish to coat over 2.7 billion m2 of timber flooring!

Recent examples of commercial projects in Australia include 5,000 m2 at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, over 8,000 m2 at the State Library in Melbourne, 10,000 m2 at the National Gallery, Victoria and the main auditorium and stage at the Sydney Opera House.

Why and where should Anti-Slip coatings be used?

The slip resistance of any floor surface is a complex matter. The interaction of materials such as shoe soles with a surface which may have dust, moisture, dirt or spillage present all affect the selection of an Anti-Slip floor finish. Head here for advice on why and where to use Anti-Slip coatings.

Why use a sealer or primer?

Many Bona finishes can be used directly on bare timber but the use of a Bona Primer is strongly recommended. Firstly, you save money as primers cost less than a top coat, unlike many other coatings systems, and in addition there are sound technical reasons to use a primer. Prime Classic UX, Classic or Intense ensure the floor has an even look without discolouration or a patchy appearance. You also save time, again saving money, because these products dry faster than top-coats.

Do I have to follow the Bona Specifications exactly?

Bona produced their first water-based finish in 1979, over 30 years ago. The product datasheets for each individual product are the result of that experience and the accumulated knowledge they have gained working throughout nearly 100 different countries. The support and advice provided by the Bona distributor is related to the use of the Bona product range in accordance with the guidance provided by Bona in datasheets and other associated product information. If you choose to use a solvent-based primer / stain from another company, add colour into the finishes or use a different finish specification by using different finishes for the middle and final applications then unfortunately Bona, like all other coatings manufacturers, are unable to support you if you experience difficulties.

What is the difference between Prime Classic and Prime Intense?

Classic and Intense have different properties but both give great advantages.

A 100% polyurethane coating, Intense has been developed with several things in mind; to reduce a phenomenon know as 'tannin bleed’ on timber species containing high amounts of tannin, such as Blackbutt, and to give a greater depth and colour on all timber species in comparison to other waterborne based primers. As a 100% polyurethane finish it sands easily if there is a need to cut back the surface, although it does not need to be cut back if coated within 24 hours after application.

Intense is suitable for all timber species and has been designed, like Prime Classic, to minimise the effects of edge bonding. Care should be taken with Jarrah and other ‘reddish’ coloured species to ensure that coverage rates are maintained at 8 m2 / Lt as anecdotal reports suggest that where coverage rates are not maintained there is a slightly greater risk of seeing lap marks.

Classic UX is part of a new range of products bringing both technical advances together with better environmentally conscious formulations. It is very low in VOC at less than 3% and contains no PFAS chemicals, meaning it is safer for both contractors and their customers whilst reducing pollution within the environment. Classified as EC1 Plus under the EmiCode scheme it has extremely low indoor air emissions.

Classic UX is extremely easy to apply with excellent levelling and film forming properties. It is a polyurethane acrylate co-polymer that retains a surface very close to the natural appearance of the wood thus making it the ideal primer to use together with Bona Traffic HD Raw.

Classic is a 100% acrylic coating. Classic minimizes the risk of edge-bonding by allowing the boards to move freely as the product stretches with the movement of the timber. Classic is suitable for most timber species with the exception of Blackbutt or other high tannin timbers.

What effects can sunlight cause to 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.

What is ‘tannin bleed’?

This is a phenomenon that occurs on some timber species containing high amounts of tannin, especially Blackbutt. After the second coat of finish has dried, the effect gives a green, blotchy look within the grain of the timber. Sometimes the finished floor can still be acceptable, but often the floor needs to be sanded back to bare timber and coated again. Always use Bona Prime Intense when coating Blackbutt, or other similar high tannin content species, as it has been proven to minimise tannin bleed.

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.