Bona Traffic HD Review

Bona Traffic HD Review

Bona Traffic HD Review

Wood floors are some of the longest-lasting floor installations. In fact, when properly cared for, they can last even up to a century. The right care and maintenance will keep them looking new all through. This ranges from getting them properly installed in the first place, applying the required treatment and finish coats, to the routine cleaning and occasional sanding and refinishing. The kinds of products used here will depend on factors like the level of traffic witnessed in the building, as well as the desired aesthetic attributes. In this review, we will focus on one of the market’s leading products, the Bona Traffic HD. 

Benefits Of The Bona Traffic HD

Like it says in its name, this is a lacquer that has been formulated to handle loads of traffic. It is one of the most popular options used for treating establishments that are exposed to extreme levels of wear. 

Material and resource preservation is a part of sustainability. After all, dealing with formulations that feature a prolonged lifespan reduces the frequency of renovation tasks, hence the amount of resources that are required for the process. This is one of the pluses of using Bona Traffic HD, where the prolonged protection provided by the lacquer lengthens the time in between floor renovation projects, which in turn means that your wood floor can give you longer service life.

  • Clear lacquer

While protecting the floor, it still allows the natural hue and grain to be showcased prominently through it. That way the aesthetic attributes that accentuate the interior space are maintained. 

  • Fast drying time

With the Bona Traffic HD, floor maintenance can be carried out in record time. In fact, this is one of the main reasons where you will see the formulation being used in areas like hotels and airports, where there is an emphasis on reducing downtime. Here, you get to treat the floor and allow normal traffic back onto it in just 12 hours – which is way less than the days that one would have to wait with conventional lacquers.

Floor contractors applying multiple coats of the Bona Traffic HD onto the floor surface also get to benefit here. This is as the initial cats will be ready within 2-3 hours, after which light sanding and adding the second coat can be carried out. 

  • Preserves the indoor air quality

When treating wood floors, the safety of the product being used is a key factor to consider. This is especially with regards to the kinds of emissions involved. You want to work with a product that will not put the household occupants at risk. Worker safety too is a priority, especially since they will be coming into contact with the wet formulations being spread out on the floor, when there are greater risks of agents being released into the immediate indoor space. Bona formulations have been developed with this in mind, emphasising on the need of preserving the indoor air quality. The products have also undergone thorough testing by independent third parties to ascertain the suitability of the products.

When treating your floors with the Bona Traffic HD, the occupants of the building will be safe. For starters it has minimal solvent content, under 5%. It has even obtained the EC1RPlus classification for very low emissions, which are the most stringent standards in the industry that focus on indoor emissions. 

Another of the approvals that the Bona Traffic HD comes with is from DIBt (Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik). This is the appointed authority that is responsible for verifying the safety of construction and maintenance materials in Germany, certifying that they are good for the indoor air quality. The authority is involved with everything from carrying out technical studies and granting European and national technical approvals, all through to carrying out market surveillance. Products used for installation and treatment of surfaces, including adhesives and floor care solutions in Germany must have the DIBt approval. The standards used are stringent, based on the EU’s Building Construction Directive. DIBt has been enforcing these standards in the industry since January 2011, and a wide range of Bona products have attained the certification, including the Bona Traffic HD lacquer under review.

In addition, Bona Traffic HD has achieved the Greenguard Gold certification standard. This certification is carried out by the industry-independent Greenguard Environmental Institute, which is a non-profit organisation. Established in 2001 and currently under UL Environment, the GREENGUARD Certification is globally recognised and incorporated in building codes and sustainable building programs. For a product to bare the certification, it shows that it has been taken through stringent chemical emission tests, looking at permissible limits for over 10,000 chemicals. Products that have the certification have been scientifically proven to be safe for indoor use. This is not a once-off test. Instead, the products are taken through annual tests for them to retain the certification. It’s not just limited to floor treatment products. Furniture, paint, and even electronics are tested, and over 200 manufacturers voluntarily participate in it.

Products being taken through the GREENGUARD program are held in a regulated dynamic environmental chamber for days or weeks, checking to see how much chemicals will be gassed off. The reliability of the Greengard certification program has seen it be relied on by builders, architects, designers and maintenance contractors, since the products have demonstrated low chemical and particle emissions. The GREENGUARD Gold certification shows that the Bona Traffic HD is even more sensitive to emissions, and the particular standard used here takes into account the requirements for institutions like daycares and healthcare facilities.

Initially called the GREENGUARD Children and Schools Certification Program, this standard was developed as a response to health concerns caused by children in schools and day-care centres being exposed to VOCs from the furniture, cleaning supplies and construction materials used in the schools. The standard looks into the unique characteristics in these institutions, and has very strict emissions criteria. Now known as the GREENGUARD Gold Certification, products that pass it like the Bona Traffic HD can be safely used in such establishments. The safety of the Bona Traffic HD to indoor environments also bodes well for the flooring contractors. This is as it gives them more conducive working conditions, reducing the risks involved when carrying out the floor maintenance tasks.

  • Non-yellowing 

A common concern with conventional floor treatment products is the yellowing effects that are witnessed over time, due to the effect of sunlight on the chemicals being used. This usually ends with the surface appeal gradually deteriorating, calling for it to be sanded off and refinished. However, with the Bona Traffic HD, you won’t have to worry about that. It has been formulated to be non-yellowing, retaining its charm for long. This, in addition to the durability that results from treating the floor with the product, enables you to get extended service, and increases the duration in between the occasional maintenance. 

  • Easy application

Spreading the Bona Traffic HD over the floor surface is a breeze, and you can apply multiple layers depending on the level of protection that is needed. Simply mix the lacquer with the Bona Hardener, and carry on with the task. The tools that are used can be cleaned with water after the process is completed.

Let’s look at the different application scenarios when treating floors with this waterborne lacquer. 

How To Use The Bona Traffic HD

Before the application, allow the lacquer to reach room temperature. Ideal conditions for applying it are 18-25°C for the temperature and 30-60% relative air humidity. Let’s look at the different use cases of the Bona Traffic HD – one where the wood does not have any other treatment on it, and the other where you intend to use the product on previously lacquered floors, which is essentially overcoating:

A. Untreated Wood

Start by preparing the surface. It is imperative that you ensure that the wood floor has properly acclimatized to its surrounding environment. Next, it should be sanded well to remove any substances, including oils and waxes that are on it and to open up the pores in readiness for the treatment that is to be applied. Clean the floor to remove the sanding dust and any contamination that is on the surface. 

Pre-treat the surface using the preferred Bona waterborne primer. This is to ensure that the lacquer will be able to bond strongly with the wood floor installation. 

For this treatment, you will apply one primer coat, followed by two coats of the Bona Traffic HD. Follow these steps:

  1. Shake the Bona Traffic HD bottle, and add a bottle of the Traffic HD Hardener, also from the same brand. Shake this mixture thoroughly for about a minute. After inserting the enclosed filter, you’re good to go.
  • In case you want to work with a smaller amount of product, you can prepare this mixture in a different can, using a 1:1 ratio i.e., 1 litre of the Bona Traffic HD is mixed with 1 litre of hardener. 
  • If needed, the lacquer can be diluted with 4% Bona Retarder in order to get a longer open time
  1. Spread the Bona Traffic HD onto the floor. You can use a Bona Roller, working with a smooth and flowing motion. Alternate the direction between going across and following the grain. This is helpful in preventing the lacquer from accumulating in one section. 
  • As you roll the tool across the floor, maintaining a “wet edge” during the strokes will be important to avoid overlapping. 
  1. Allow the surface to dry before adding another layer of lacquer. Increase this drying time with subsequent layers. 
  • Note there will be some light sanding required in between consecutive coats of the Bona Traffic HD lacquer that are applied. Here, you can use a screed, or work with the Bona Scrad System. High grit levels are used here, since the focus is simply smoothening the surface, such as using grit 150 or finer. Ensure that you have removed the sanding dust from this operation before adding another coat. 

B. Overcoating

When overcoating, you get to extend the service life of the existing treatment on the floor before having to sand it down to the bare wood. It’s a quick and cost-effective measure that will keep your floor protected in between the major renovations. 

During the overcoating, a deep cleaning is carried out, followed by light abrasion of the surface during which scuff marks and superficial scratches are removed from the floor, after which the new Bona Traffic HD layers are applied. When preparing the surface, the specific approach that will be used will vary based on the particular condition of the floor and how much maintenance has been carried out. Let’s break this down into two:

  1. Overcoating new installations that have been prefinished

Usually, you can go right ahead with the abrasion – since the newly installed floors don’t need deep cleaning. However, if the surface has contaminants, you can use a diluted Bona Deep Clean Solution in the PowerScrubber to work on it. Allow the surface to dry before proceeding. Lightly abrade the surface, using grit 240 Bona Diamond Abrasives. Pay particular attention to the edges and corners, which normally need to be worked on manually, or using an eccentric sander. Remove the dust from the surface, whether it is by vacuuming it away, wiping the floor with Bona’s Dusting Pad, or using the PowerScrubber, but this time with plain, clean water in the tank.

With the floor now ready, use a stainless steel trowel to apply the Bona Traffic HD, then give it 30 – 60 minutes to dry. Add another layer of the lacquer, spreading it on the surface using a roller or T-bar.

  1. Overcoating wood flooring that is already in use 

In this case, the floor will need to be first degreased. If the floor has been waxed or polished, then this will first need to be sanded off as the wax or polish interferes with the bond of the Bona Traffic HD and the wood floor. You can easily check if there is wax or polish on the floor by scratching its surface using a coin, and if there is still material remaining you will easily notice it being removed. 

Working with the diluted Bona Deep Clean Solution will be a necessity here, to remove contaminants on the floor and degrease it. When working with an autoscrubber, ensure that there aren’t any puddles left behind. After allowing the surface to dry, sand it with grit 80 Bona Diamond Abrasives. Note that this is coarser than the grits used for the newly installed floors. Sand the surface until all the polish or wax has been removed, using the coin to scratch the surface regularly to check the process. 

Carry out another round of cleaning with the Bona Deep Clean solution and allow the floor to dry. After this, sand it with the fine grit 240 Bona Diamond Abrasives. Vacuum away the sanding dust, wipe it off, or clean the floor with an autosrubber. 

You can now go ahead to apply the Bona Traffic HD lacquer. Start with one thin layer, then allow the 30-60 minutes drying time. After this, subsequent layers of the lacquer can be spread onto the surface with a T-bar or roller, with each litre of product covering about 8-10 m² of floor surface. 

It is recommended that you don’t apply more than 2 coats of the Bona Traffic HD per day. This is to avoid risks of excessive wood swelling. 

When it comes to the drying, issues to take note of include:

  • Light traffic can be allowed back onto the area after around 8 hours.
  • Normal use can resume after 12 hours. 
  • Give the floor at last three days to dry before you cover it with a carpet or similar items. If Bona Prime Deep and Bona Create formulation had been used with the lacquer under review, then give the treatment at least one week to cure before covering it. 
  • During the drying time, you should avoid putting heavy objects on the floor, and damp mopping. 

DOs And DON’Ts Of Working With The Bona Traffic HD

  • DO use the Bona Traffic HD and Hardener mixture within 4 hours after it has been applied. 
  • DO ensure that there is proper ventilation in the room when the floor is drying. The better the drying conditions, the stronger the film due to the enhanced adhesion that will be witnessed. 
  • DO sand the surface before applying subsequent coats – and this is mandatory especially if it has been over 24 hours since the initial coat was applied. 
  • DON’T apply the product in temperatures below 13°C

A Brand Trusted For Its quality

Bona has a rich heritage, starting out in a small coffee shop in Sweden and growing into a global brand spanning across 90 countries. It all started back in 1919 in Malmö, Sweden, where its founder -Wilhelm Edner- ran a coffee business. He also dabbled in floor wax to add to the revenue stream. Here, the floor treatment product – bonvax, brought a polished effect to the surfaces it was used on, and also added a protective layer. Edner saw the potential this had, and went ahead to register the floor wax company to bring more similar products to the market. 

Over the course of its life, Bona has grown in leaps and bounds. From the 1953 D-503 Floor Sealer that rapidly become a popular product from Germany and Austria all through to Switzerland, increasing the value of the companies exports; the R&D from the company that saw it pioneer waterborne finishes in the floor care industry in 1979 to replace the solvents used, taking way the health risks from toxic elements while still providing the required floor protection; the 1980s expansion across Hungary, China, Poland, Slovakia, and Singapore; all through to the early 2000s when the company entered the US retail market and by 2016 the products were available across the 10 largest retailers in the USA – Bona is a brand that is renowned for the reliability of its products. 

The company is big on sustainability, as evidenced by its wide range of waterborne finishes, which proved to be safer than alternative solvents that were heavily relied on. It also went into the production of finishes from renewable raw materials – which was first seen in 1995 with the release of Bona Mega. Here, vegetable oils in the formulation cross-linked after it was applied onto the floor, with oxygen playing a role – enabling the resultant finish coats to have enhanced durability while minimising the impact on the environment. As such, by turning to Bona for your floor care solutions, you’re choosing to trust a brand that has proven its mettle, and is relied on by professionals and end consumers alike all over the world. So you can rest assured that the Bona Traffic HD under review here will also deliver on its mandate.

Threats To Your Wood Floor

While wood is highly durable, it is not immune to the barrage of abuse that is meted out onto it daily. Treatments like the Bona Traffic HD are used to ward off these effects, and preserve the structural integrity of the underlying wood. Let’s take a look at the different issues facing these installations:

  1. Moisture

Being hygroscopic, wood is sensitive to changes in moisture levels in its surrounding. For instance, allowing spills to remain on the floor for long gives the wood tissue time to soak up the liquid content. Mopping with too much water increases the risks of wood swelling. Cupping, warping, buckling of floors – all these are attributed to water damage. Similar problems result when steam cleaning. This is a cleaning method that is used on carpets. Applying it to hardwood floors causes the hot steam to be injected into the wood tissue, increasing its susceptibility to rotting and cracking. 

  1. Footwear

Dirt and grit particles all over the floor are a prime contributor to the wear. This is exacerbated when these particles are grinded against the floor underfoot. Dirty shoes bringing in soiling from the outdoors increase the rate at which the floor wears down. It causes numerous small scratches all over the surface, which drag down the appeal of the floor. Measures like instituting a “No Shoe” policy in your house and setting up mats at the entrances into the building go a long way in reducing the amount of grime that is tracked in. Granted, foot traffic is an inescapable reality facing your wood floor, which is why finishes like the Bona Traffic HD are important in protecting the underlying installation. 

  1. Pets

Do you have cats or dogs in the premises? The furry members of the family are cute and all, but their effect on the wood floors cannot be ignored. As they run around the different rooms, they will have their claws drawn out to give them traction. As the claws dig into the wood floor, it leaves behind scratches. The more the pets in the building, the greater the effect witnessed. Measures like trimming the claws of the pets are key, to reduce the extent of the effect on the floor. 

  1. Heavy furniture

Those heavy sets of furniture, from the sofas to the bookshelves, can easily dent the wood floor. However, there are aspects that can be taken to prevent this, from using area rugs to having furniture glides. In addition, whenever the furniture is being moved, emphasis should be placed on lifting and carrying it to the desired spot, instead of dragging it across the floor. 

  1. Kids and toys

As the little ones play around with their toys, the last thing on their mind is protecting the floor. However, as they use it as a ‘road’ or ‘track’ for their toy cars and trains, there is the risk of numerous tiny scratches being formed on the floor. Protective finishes like the Bona Traffic HD on the floor enable you to have peace of mind as the bubbly kids go about their activities. 

  1. Staining from spills

Accidental spills – whether it is that coffee mug that got knocked over at the breakfast table, nail polish drips as you were prepping to go out, or kids making messes with their milk and yoghurt – they can all lead to unsightly stains forming the floor. Water-based and oil-based stains are all problematic, and you don’t want a situation where you end up with permanent spots that ruin the appeal of your floor. This is also why chemical resistance is a key aspect to consider when sourcing for finishing products, since you want agents like the Bona Traffic HD that will protect the underlying floor from the effect of the different kinds of spills that can wind up on it. Certainly, the spills should also be cleaned up as soon as they can. 

  1. Improper cleaning processes

The wrong cleaning habits can wreak havoc on your wood floor. Take using abrasive cleaners for instance. These are the tools and products that have been developed for scratching away heavy soiling on utensils and barbeques, from the natural cleaning agents such as baking soda to the manufactured ones like bottled cleaner and scrub pads. When these are used for cleaning the floor, they scratch away at the protective finish. Others like vinegar and water, popular alternatives to the harsh household cleaners, end up eating away at the glossy finish applied onto the wood floor, reducing the level of protection offered.

What You Should Look For When Buying Floor Lacquers

The success of any floor treatment program is directly tied to the kinds of products that are used. You want to ensure that the lacquer that you select for your particular installation will get the task done without putting you or the buildings’ occupants at risk, while still delivering on the desired protection and aesthetic attributes for the floor. Let’s delve into factors that you should consider when making your decision:

  • Expected levels of protection

This is in regards to the target application for the lacquer. You want one that will be suitable to the conditions of the facility in which it will be used. Is it a calm domestic setup with empty-nesters enjoying their retirement, or is it a busy home with toddlers and pets running about? Is the commercial space handling light traffic like in consultancy offices or is it a busy venue like shopping malls and entertainment areas? You want a lacquer whose build enables it to withstand the levels of traffic that are witnessed in the space. This also extends to chemical resistance, from homes with kids where there is a higher rate of spills, to industrial complexes where potent chemicals are handled daily. 

  • Brand

The manufacturer of the lacquer is a key determinant in the kind of quality you expect. Here, you generally want to deal with a firm that has built a solid reputation for itself, with lots of feedback from the market about what to expect from it. This ranges from the review sections of the different retail sites that stock the product, the comment sections of the brand’s own social media pages, all through to the feedback you get when asking around from architects, builders, floor cleaning and maintenance contractors to similar persons who play different roles in the floor care industry. Brands that have a track record of providing quality products will no doubt have plenty of positive feedback that you can comb through before settling on the particular company that you will be comfortable with. Also go through aspects like the life of the company. The flooring industry is competitive, and for a company to survive and thrive for multiple years in it, it will have to deliver products that meet consumer needs.

Consumers are also increasingly looking at the sustainability of the processes of the company behind the different products being availed to the market. Here, the focus is on the environmental impact of the products themselves, as well as the measures that the company is taking to reduce its carbon footprint, and deliver products that are safe for the environments in which they are being used. 

Bona Traffic HD Review

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