Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ’s are common questions from our customers answered. Got one? Submit it through our form!
Synteko Classic, Urethane and Natural will give you the appearance you prefer. Synteko Top is a waterborne floor finish, Classic is an acid-cure product and Synteko Natural is a penetrating floor finish, which gives you a more natural wood finish without film build up. Urethane is a high solids oil modified finish. Alternatively we have oil modified water base finish called Grand (a non-Synteko product).
There are several things you can do to enjoy your Synteko finished floor and prolong the life of the finish.
- Use thick felt protective pads(or Safeglides) on the bottom of all your furniture placed directly on the finished floors. Felt pads are recommended.
- Place door mats in front of each entryway to trap dirt, dust and other debris your shoes bring in from the outdoors.
- Dust mop daily and vacuum frequently to remove dirt, dust, etc.
- Remove any spilled liquid immediately to prevent spotting or damage to the floor finish or the floor itself.
- Avoid spilling ammonia or alcohol based cleaners on the finish as this may discolor the finish and/or the wood of your floor. Immediately wipe up any spills to avoid damage.
- Do not leave wet shoes or wet clothes on the floors, as again, this may damage the floor finish or floor.
- Pet nails should be trimmed regularly as they may scratch floors.
- High heel shoes will damage your floor.
Vacuum your floor frequently. Damp mop when needed, using Synteko Superclean; Do not use a generic floor cleaner that contains wax or oil. For Synteko Superclean availability check with Synteko or your floor contractor.
Do not use ammonia or alcohol-based cleaners as they may damage or discolor the floor finish or the wood floor.
We do not recommend the use of wax or soaps that leave an oily residue on floors finished with Synteko finishes. These cleaners may cause adhesion problems when you decide to screen and recoat your floors.
Generally speaking it is always recommended to apply Synteko Nova Best, Top or Pro according to the recommended spread rate (see Technical Data Sheets).
However, during high humidity and/or low temperatures ( both conditions will slow down the drying) it is recommended to stay on the higher side of the recommended spreading rate and apply thinner coats to avoid moisture from getting trapped in the wet film. During low humidity and/or higher temperatures, it is recommended to apply Synteko Nova Best, Top or Pro a little thicker (towards the lower side of the recommended spread rate) to avoid too quick drying as the moisture evaporates more easily during these low humidity and/or warmer conditions.
Never apply Synteko Nova Best, Top or Pro too heavily as moisture may get trapped in the drying film and cause a white/milky-coloured appearance. Cover windows when the sun is shining directly on the floor, and check the temperature of the timber floor before applying finish to ensure surface is not too warm, otherwise it will cause the waterborne finish to dry too quickly resulting in application lines.
Floors finished with Synteko Classic; Nova Best, Top or Pro should cure for at least 10 days. Floors finished with Synteko Natural should cure for at least 14 days. For all products wait longer during periods of high humidity.
Add 5 – 10% Synteko Retarder to the last coat to allow more open time.
Apply a heavier (but do not puddle) coat of Synteko Classic for your last coat as it takes more time for solvents to evaporate, therefore allowing more open time and better flow.
During the application only, reduce ventilation in the room where Synteko Classic is applied. Thereafter, ventilate the area. Cover windows when the sun is shining directly on the floor.
Allow the stain to dry completely as recommended by the manufacturer and allow more time when it is humid or cooler.
Never apply any Synteko floor finish over a stain which has not dried the recommended time.
Some stains require up to three days of drying/curing before a waterborne floor finish can be applied. Never apply a waterbase sealer (Selamaster) over stain.
Take a synthetic scuffing pad and rub these little beads/bumps away. Next take a lint free cloth and buff the area. This will take care of the problem.
When there are some small gaps between boards (which is normal), excess Synteko Natural or Synteko Urethane may accumulate in the gap, and during curing it can sometimes ooze out and may form small soft bumps/beads of product.
Periodically check for these little soft droplets/beads as they may appear during the first couple of weeks after application of Synteko Natural or Urethane.
The formation of bumps are caused by the wood filler being pushed out by the floorboards. During the winter months the relative humidity of the air is usually very low. As a result the wood floorboards will dry out and shrink a bit in the winter and gaps will form. During the summer the relative humidity rises and the boards will absorb moisture in vapour form and expand, and gaps will usually close or become smaller. It is not a good idea to fill gaps during the winter months as the expanding floorboards can push the wood filler out of the gaps.
To fix the bumps, carefully scrape off the bumps, screen and recoat the floor.
It is a very good idea to use climate control system in the buildings especially when new flooring has been laid to control the humidity and movement of floorboards.
Not mixing the product well before use or catalyzing can cause this problem. Flattening agents should be thoroughly stirred and mixed in well before use.
A contaminated applicator may also cause this problem. Use only one applicator for one gloss level.
Another problem, which is often the cause, is applying the floor finish in an uneven layer thickness, or undercoat has been screened back too severely.
Screening and recoating is the fix for this problem.
Cratering (also called fisheying) is typically caused by a contaminated substrate. Oily substances, silicone lubricants, wax or other contaminants can cause these problems.
Sanding and screening followed by recoating is usually needed to remedy this problem. Prior to re-screening floor to thoroughly washed with Synteko Remover. In extreme cases the floor may need to be re-sanded down to bare wood.
Yes, solvent fumes may absorb into paper or absorbent packaging. Remove food items in absorbent packaging or cover all cabinets with a heavy mill plastic taped securely to the cabinet framing.
Some odour is normal. After coating application it is important that windows should be opened to allow the building to ventilate thoroughly. Carpets, draperies and other cloth materials may absorb solvent odours of the floor finish being used. So, it is always a good idea to remove such items or to cover them with heavy mill plastic before application of the floor finish. Adjacent rooms with fabrics should be isolated from the application area to prevent this from happening.
The product does not have good adhesion to the previously applied floor finish. This is likely caused by a contaminated floor substrate not being cleaned properly before screening and recoating. It may be that floor polish or wax was used or if the homeowner used furniture polish on wood furniture this can also leave local contamination around furniture on the floor.
Use a small putty blade and try to see if the adhesion loss is serious around the damaged area. If so, check some inconspicuous areas for coating adhesion. When this condition is widespread, re-sand down to bare wood and recoat. When damage is local, try to carefully scrape and sand to create a smooth transition, and then spot repair the floor finish by feathering it into the surrounding area.
Before screening and recoating, Synteko recommends that the floor is first cleaned with Synteko Remover. Waxed (spirit or acrylic) floors should be sanded down to bare wood.
Caused by sanding the edges of the room differently to the field(main part of floor), either smoother or rougher than the centre makes the finish appear different as it is absorbed differently. Re-sand the floor, being sure to use the same sanding procedure on the whole floor.
The applicator used had hardened spots or the finish was not applied evenly. If the finish is satin or semi-gloss, the finish may not have been mixed thoroughly. The finish may have been applied to a floor subjected to direct sunlight. Alternatively application of the finish was not feathered in correctly.
Screen and recoat the floor.
Any solvent or oil-modified finishes brown off or amber/yellow in appearance – this is to be expected. Timber floors subjected to direct sunlight or UV light will naturally change colour over time. This is called oxidization. This is a natural process that is a characteristic of timber and cannot be prevented. Especially with Australian timbers which are photosensitive.
Board to board bonding can occur with polyurethane finishes. This has the effect of preventing timber from moving as it naturally expands and contracts, and can lead to the possibility of large gaps between boards and cracks appearing in the timber itself.
New tongue and groove strip flooring and parquetry products are best finished with Classic, oil-modified type sealers or water-based urethane finish. Note water based finishes can cause edge bonding if there is excessive movement in the timber.
No! This could result in delamination or rejection of waterbased finish coat.
It is a common mistake or belief to assume that floor finishes which scratch easily are soft or weak. On the contrary, the harder the surface finish is, the greater the probability, it will scratch or be damaged during the curing period.
The damage to the hard, brittle surface is caused by the force of a grain of sand or grit being dragged across the surface, for example under a shoe or caught under a chair leg. The result of this action, on an uncured floor finish, will be the tearing of the hardened film of the floor coating. Synteko Classic, a hard brittle finish, when subjected to this force will tear or scratch, revealing an array of crystalline structures along the path of the scratch highlighted by a white line. Each of these crystals will reflect the light at various angles. This is known as “white light” and therefore by definition not a characteristic of a weak finish. In addition the presence of this white line is exaggerated, as the surface film on either side of it, is crystal clear. Conversely, softer finishes which are not crystal clear, do not highlight the scratches but do however wear through rapidly.
A shoe scuff on an uncured floor finish will leave a permanent black mark or “dull patch” on the floor finish. The scuff is a result of an instantaneous high heat build up, caused by the shoe movement. This burn mark on the surface is commonly known as a scuff mark.
To summarise Synteko Classic is a hard resilient finish. As it cures through, this Swedish finish will have sufficient strength to respond to the scratch or scuff by dissipating the force through the entire film. Therefore the incidence of damage will reduce as the surface finish cures.
Yes, Swedish finishes are categorized as Conversion Varnishes and are compliant in every State, and satisfy the new U.S.A. VOC regulations.
When handled with proper industry standard safety equipment, Swedish finishes do not cause health problems. As with any finish application, Synteko strongly recommends wearing goggles, gloves and an approved respirator with organic vapour or formaldehyde cartridges. In fact, wearing a respirator is a must when applying all professional wood floor finishes, such as polyurethanes, tung oil seals, etc.
Some States in the USA are choosing to enact their own regulations, setting their own VOC limits for architectural coatings. Most of the changes taking place do not affect the conversion varnishes commonly known as Swedish Finishes. So, for most contractors in the industry, any changes in the VOC limits will not affect business whatsoever.
First of all, you may be surprised to know that many foods and everyday household items contain formaldehyde: lipstick, toothpaste, soft drinks, apples, smoked foods, shampoo, kitchen cabinets, pressed board, laminates, carpeting, wine, beer, cigarette smoke, paper towels, draperies, permanent press clothes, and fingernail polish. The largest producer of formaldehyde, more than any man-made device, is Mother Nature! Formaldehyde is a natural by-product of incomplete combustion (smoke), fermentation (alcohol), and other naturally occurring chemical reactions (metabolic processes).
That said, yes – formaldehyde is bad for you if inhaled in significant quantities. However, as with these other examples, the trace amounts of formaldehyde present in Classic finish after the finish has completely hardened are so minute that no physical side-effect takes place. When the finish is fully cured, no amounts of formaldehyde have been detected.