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 Post subject: WATER POP
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:50 pm 
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Hey guys I am stupid with Hardwood, but trying to learn. What is Water pop? Thanks for the help


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:07 am 
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Basically, it is dampening the finish sanded wood EVENLY with water to "pop" the grain. This process cause the wood's cellular structure to swell ever so slightly and just at the very surface. When dry in a few hours, the floor will be slightly "rougher" which will allow it to absorb more stain. This is especially helpful on dark stained floors, on white or pastel shaded floors or any floor where a deeper, more uniform color is desired.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:29 am 
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Gary, Thank You for the info. Tony

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:30 am 
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What are your thoughts on stair treads/risers Gary? I never have water popped but Monday or Tuesday I will be staining up a set to match the Bruce Gunstock color.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:34 pm 
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It depends. The solid treads I have purchased in the past were pre-sanded, somewhat. They were not sanded ultra fine. Seemed like maybe 80 grit. If it were me, I'd make tests first to see if I could match the stain without popping the grain. Gunstock is medium, reddish brown if I recall correctly. Do you have your stain already? If so, what brand? I would "waste" one tread for a test tread. Divide into 3 sections. 1st section, stain without any sanding, 2cd section, sand to 100 grit, 3rd section, sand to 100 and water pop. After stain is dry, try various finishes. IMO, I think Bona Dri Fast oil based sealer followed by 2-3 coats of Bona Traffic should give you the look you'd want.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:45 am 
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I might give that a try, and yes I always buy an extra tread and riser. So far i have been getting excellent results, I have a good stain guy that does my color matching.

One time a bought a quart of factory stain from a floor manufacturer, and it was not even close in color.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:59 am 
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I am new to water popping. I just did my first last month turned out real nice.

What do you charge to water pop a floor or is it just a part of what it might take to get the right color and is included if necessary to achieve the desired look.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:49 pm 
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Quote:
What do you charge to water pop a floor or is it just a part of what it might take to get the right color and is included if necessary to achieve the desired look.


The way I look at jobs like this, the finisher should be able to determine prior to contracting for the job, if extra steps are required to achieve the desired results. I don't like line itemizing for minor stuff like fuel surcharges, water popping, estimate fees, etc. IMO, it looks like the person is a penny pincher and cheap. I just add up the hours I believe are needed to do the work and all my expenses, including overhead and profit. Oftentimes, the most demanding jobs pay the least, in terms of dollars per hour. It just seems to work out that way. Example: I just finished installing 2100 ft. of prefinished nailed down 5" plank at $5 a ft. took two EASY weeks at about 6 hours a day by myself. There was some minor prep I didn't charge for and installing four door trims at no charge. I mean, 11 grand for 2 weeks is awesome for me. Now the next one will be a small unusual kitchen with a sand in place 5/16" wo quatersawn plank stained to match an existing. Plus there's demo. This is also going to take two weeks but for less than half what I got for that prefinished plank floor. :( I charged $28.00 a ft. but still will not make all that much. I figure just wages on this one.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:12 pm 
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i agree with gary ,you win some and you lose some,some jobs go super smoothe and some are a nightmare,but you cant especially in this business try to cut corners to make the job go faster.where im at i get all my business from word of mouth and stay busy,you always do your best for each client and you will never be slow.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:18 pm 
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I never itemize my bids. However, I do offer some service options. I bid for a natural sealed floor, with Bona Mega. Then I offer a traffic upgrade, a stain option, often if there are not flush mount wood vents installed they are offered to be fit.

So there are different options the customer is allowed to choose from. I have found that many customers are satisfied without popping a floor. It is a bit more work and there is more of a chance of messing it up I suppose. I asked one of the other 3 contractors in the area he said he charged more but I guess like Gary would determine if this step was necessary before quoting a price.

Then there is the potential that a customer desires a coat of sealer over their stain color. Perhaps, for me to use Bona's Drifast sealer to give a bit of luster that might be missing from the water based finishes.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:37 pm 
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Yeah, I pretty much do it that way as well. I try to find out what the customer is wanting before quoting prices. I mean, what's the point of quoting them for a natural if they have already decided on a dark stained floor. And I typically only pop dark colors and whites or off whites. No reason to pop golden brown and similar colors, IMO. So, if I know they want a dark, Antique Brown, I will figure:
1) I'll need to spend more time ensuring no edger/spinner marks.
2) I'll need to water pop.
3) I need to charge to stain the floor
4) I'll probably use Bona Dri-Fast urethane sealer, as it looks better, IMO, as a first coat sealer than a waterbased sealer, including Traffic.

With this info, I'll simply bid the job figuring I'm going to do it this way. If the customer changes their mind and wants something else, I'll figure it that way. If they need a lower price, I'll say let's just do an all OMU finish, or go natural. That's the way I handle it anyway.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:10 am 
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Ok, I write-up my estimates similar to Barquios and Gary (deciding what is needed or desired first, then figuring the estimate accordingly), but I don't view the water-ppoing technique as something you you do simply based on stain color.

I do take extra care in sanding wood species that are usually associated with water-poping (Maple, Pine, etc.). And I usally cut it with at least four different sanding grits, address edger marks and " the big machine" line, and buff with at least two different grits. But if all this is done, water-popping usually isn't necessary. Water-popping produces a very specific look that some people like and some people don't because it looks too busy. Some designers desire that "grain-less" look from Maple. Also NEW maple is usually the canidate for water-popping because of it's tight grain whereas older maple seems to have "relaxed" and is much more stain friendly. My personal prefence with new maple is to water-pop it if it is going to be stained anything darker than Neutral.

I show my clients pictures of popped and un-popped floors, explain the technique and the reasons for it, and have them make the decision.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:41 pm 
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Here in CA, we don't stain maple. I suppose some may try but I've never cared for the way it looked. If someone wants a maple floor, their only choice from me is a natural or a factory finished maple floor. We also don't do much pine either. If a customer wants a darker floor, I'll either recommend a wood that is naturally darker or recommend a wood that stains well. After installing maple for nearly 30 years, I've decided I don't care for it much. It is just too plain, IMO. There so many other beautiful woods to choose from, why choose maple? It has no character unless it's birdseye or flame. Then we use that for violins or guitars, rarely for floors anymore.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:40 pm 
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stained maple is something that some people like, others hate. It's fairly easy to do well though, sand it very thoroughly, water pop it and coat. In terms of stair parts we always prefinish our materials prior to installation, and haven't EVER popped plywood, the veneer is too thin to introduce that kind of moisture to it. Any for some reason it always looks exactly the same as what we sanded and popped.

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