Floor Care Made Simple With The Bona Mega ONE
As a property owner with a wood floor installation, definitely you want to see it last for long. That natural look and feel that the wood brings to the surface, the warmth and beauty that accentuates the ambience – they are all worth the loads of funds that went into getting the floor installed. The longevity of the structure is tied to how well it is taken care of, especially given the loads of abuse that it is bound to come under. Foot traffic alone contributes greatly to the gradual wear that is witnessed – and this drastic effect can be seen in areas like the corridors, living rooms and kitchens, where traffic lanes develop. The friction that occurs underfoot as the soles of the shoes grind against the floor surface leads to it fading over time. There is more abrasive action that is seen when there are soiling particles on the floor. They are grinded against the surface when people walk on them. The greater the levels of dirt accumulation, the greater the wear that occurs. From the dust settling onto the floor from the airspace, to the gunk that is tracked into the premises from the outdoors, and even pet fur and dander for the households that have dogs and cats – the particles building up on the floor will become a direct threat to it when abraded against the floor. Speaking of pets, they are notorious for creating scratches on the surface. This is attributed to their sharp claws, which they use to get traction as they run over the floor. Finish coats that increase the scratch resistance of the floor are key, especially for households with pets.
Even spills come into the picture, given the risks of water damage, discoloration and staining that they bring to the floor. Wood will readily absorb the spills that are on it, hence the need for a protective barrier that prevents them from soaking into the surface. What’s more, the finish coats used should have adequate chemical resistance to ward off corrosion by the accidental spills that will eventually wind up on them. The beauty and structural integrity of the wood floor is on the line, making formulations like the Bona Mega ONE a key consideration to factor in for the long-term preservation of the wood floor. The interaction of the finish coats and the sun’s radiation should also be considered. You don’t want the natural hue of the wood floor, and even the effect obtained for those cases where one applies a wood stain to the floor, to be replaced by a yellowish hue that gradually becomes dominant on the surface. This is a common problem that affects many of the conventional floor finishes that are out on the market, where the only recourse available is having the finish sanded off completely to the bare wood, and fresh new coats applied. Given its size, the state of the floor will have a direct impact on the rest of the décor of the premises. Using the Bona Mega ONE will enable you to retain its beauty and structural integrity for the long haul.
For floor contractors carrying out wood floor finishing projects, whether it is for a new installation or a renovation task on a dilapidated floor, the efficiency of operations comes into focus. You want to be able to carry out the task in minimal time, without compromising on the quality of the results. The impact of the floor treatments being applied on the equipment also factors in, since this will determine how long your tools will last. Such aspects have been put into consideration with the development of the Bona Mega ONE. This review will take an in-depth look at the formulation, and the benefits that it brings on board for the property owner, occupants of the building, as well as the contractor applying it onto the floor.
Going Green In Your Floorcare
From flooring contractors to building professionals and environmental groups, there is an increased push for the adoption of sustainable products and formulations that are safe for the indoor air. A key concern throughout the flooring industry is VOC emissions. These volatile organic compounds are produced by different items in the household, from building materials, paint, to furnishings and floor finishes, contributing to the pollution of the indoor air. For finishes, this is a huge problem especially with solvent based products. VOC emissions lead to nasal, throat and eye irritation, can cause nausea and dizziness, trigger asthma attacks, exacerbate breathing respiratory conditions, and prolonged exposure even increases risks to lifelong conditions like cancer. Sure, there are different ways to control the level of indoor chemical pollutants, from opening up the window to allow fresh air to circulate, getting plants like aloe vera that absorb the emissions, all through to using air purifiers that have activated carbon filters. However, one of the most effective is ensuring that the products used in the indoor space have low emissions from the word go, meaning you’re safe from the moment they are applied onto the floor. This involves checking their total VOC emissions, which is also where certification programs like GREENGUARD come in.
Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI) is an industry-independent non-profit organisation offering the GREENGUARD certification that is globally recognised as a standard that proves products have low chemical emissions. This program tests products ranging from electronic equipment, building materials, cleaning and maintenance products such as the Bona Mega ONE, to medical devices. For a product to pass the tests, it is checked for off-gassing of more than 10,000 chemicals, in chambers where the temperature and humidity are regulated. The products are held in these chambers for anything from a day to a couple of weeks, and annual testing is carried out to ensure that later versions of the product maintain the low emission standards. The testing methods are amongst the most rigorous in the world, and are recognized for usage in established green building rating systems and sustainable programs. They are aimed at reducing indoor air pollution and the risks that come with chemical exposure, while promoting the creation of healthy indoor environments – which is what you get when you use formulations like the Bona Mega ONE as part of the floor treatment and protection process.
The Convenient Approach To Floor Care
When sourcing for lacquers, you want formulations that actually deliver on their mandate. From the floor protection, the aesthetic appeal that they bring to the space, the safety of the contractors and those using the building, to issues like how the application process itself will affect the day-to-day operations in the home or business premises – it all comes into focus. The Bona Mega ONE has plenty going for it, including:
- Superior build characteristics
The main purpose of the lacquer treatment is to protect the floor from the barrage of abuse it receives on a daily basis – be it the wear attributed to foot traffic, chemical and water damage from the spills that occasionally wind up on it, to scuffs and scratches whether they are from pet’s paws or the furnishings in the household. The high build characteristics of the Bona Mega ONE polyurethane topcoat enable the treated floor to withstand the traffic in homes and medium traffic commercial establishments. Its high chemical resistance prevents issues like corrosion of the wood tissue during those spills. Note that this does not mean that you have the green light to allow spills to dwell on the surface. You should clean them up as soon as possible.
- Easy to abrade
When applying multiple coats of a lacquer on the floor, intermediate light sanding is carried out to smoothen out the previous coat. Here, there is the need to end up with a smooth result in preparation for the additional coat that is to be applied, and the need to ensure efficient resource utilisation, especially with the abrasives that are to be used. The unique properties of the Bona Mega ONE come in handy here as well. Clogging is avoided during the sanding, enabling the abrasives used to last longer and provide more service.
- Quick to dry
The Bona Mega ONE reduces the disruption to your normal routine by drying fast. Compared to other lacquers that would take over two days in which the treated rooms are sealed off, floors where the Bona Mega ONE has been applied can permit light traffic in just 24 hours.
The quick drying is also seen as a plus when applying multiple coats – which is one aspect that draws contractors to this formulation. Here, after applying the first coat of the lacquer on the floor, it will be ready for abrasion and recoating within 1-2 hours. (These timelines occur within the conditions of 20°C for the temperature, and 60% relative humidity). Speaking of which, the optimal application conditions of the lacquer are:
- Temperature: 18-25°C
- Relative air humidity: 30-60%
Before applying the Bona Mega ONE, first allow it to reach room temperature. In addition, the minimum temperature at which the product should be used is 13°C.
- Wide coverage rate
Resource utilisation during the floor treatment process directly affects how much it will cost. With this polyurethane topcoat, you get lots of coverage with each unit product purchased. Here, a litre can be used on 8 – 10m² of floor surface.
A 1-Component Treatment That Speeds Up The Application
One of the biggest attraction points of the Bona Mega ONE is its fast application, where you can use the product with or without a primer. This is achieved without compromising on the quality of the desired protection. A few things should be noted before the application:
- The floor boards should have properly acclimatized to the environment. This is particularly important when treating the newly installed floors. Acclimatizing ensures that the wood has stabilised to the temperature and humidity conditions of the premises, so that the subsequent expansion and contraction of the floor boards will be minimal.
- Bona Mega ONE is applied directly to the wood tissue, meaning that any existing treatments will need to be sanded off. There shouldn’t be wax, oil or other kinds of contamination on the surface. After the sanding, the floor should be cleaned to remove the dust particles, since you don’t want the particles getting trapped under the lacquer.
There are two ways that the Bona Mega ONE can be used:
- The most popular, and in line with the main goal of the lacquer, is where it is used just as it is, without mixing it with any other product, or applying a primer coat. Here, 3 coats of the Bona Mega ONE are all that the floor needs.
- One coat of a primer is applied – like Bona Waterborne Primer, followed by 2 coats of the Bona Mega ONE.
- Using a primer coat before the lacquer is usually recommended in cases where there are risks of side bonding. For instance, this is seen when dealing with softwood plank floor installations, end grain floors, as well as for the wood floors that have underfloor heating.
Follow these steps for the application:
- Sand the floor using equipment like the Bona Belt or Bona Flexisand.
- Pour the Bona Mega ONE into the tray, then dip the roller into it.
- Roll the formulation out onto the floor. When rolling it, use a smooth and flowing motion. Go across the wood grain, then alternate and follow the wood grain. This is key to avoid the product accumulating in one area for long.
Tip: Ensure that you maintain a wet edge when working with the roller, as one of the measures of avoiding overlaps.
- Give it 1 hour to dry, then carry out the mid-abrasion. For this intermediate sanding, fine grits are used, like the Grit 120 Bona Diamond Abrasives.
- Remove the sanding dust. You can use units like the Bona DCS25 or work with a Bona Dusting Pad.
- Apply the second and third layers. The drying time between these two may be longer.
- Allow sufficient drying time. While the light foot traffic can be permitted into the area after around 8 hours, it is recommended that you hold off covering the floor with carpets or similar items for at least 5 days, as well as loading it with heavy objects. During this time, you should also avoid wet mopping the floor.
Key points to note during the application process include:
– Do not exceed more than 2 full Bona Mega ONE coats per day. This is to avoid risks of the wood swelling excessively.
– Should there have been 24 hours that have elapsed when additional coats are to be applied, the floor should always be lightly sanded.
Get Value From Bona
As a brand, Bona has proven itself to be a world leader in the floor care industry. It started out as a small family-owned coffee shop in Sweden in the early 20th century. Back in 1919, its founder Wilhelm Edner sold floor wax for the extra income from the coffee shop. He saw how the product had massive potential, and went ahead to register the company. Through the coming decades, Bona proceeded to produce a wide range of floor cleaning products. For instance, in the early 1950s, it introduced the D-503 Floor Sealer that quickly became popular across Switzerland, Germany and Austria, leading to a spike in the company’s exports, and by the 80s the company was already selling its products in Slovakia, Poland, Singapore, China and Hungary. From its entry into the US retail market in 2002 with the Hardwood Floor Cleaner, formulations from the brand were already being sold by the five largest US retailers by 2011, increasing to 9 of the top 10 largest retailers by 2016, another indication of the increased demand for its product.
Bona as a company is strongly committed to using sustainable floor care solutions. These are products that deliver the desired protection and aesthetic attributes while being eco-friendly. For instance, it was amongst the first companies to introduce waterborne floor finishes in the 1970s, marking the shift from the previous solvents that released toxic agents into the indoor air space. It was also one of the main companies behind the push for the usage of dust containment system during floor sanding, since the dust that is generated as the floor finishes and wood tissue are grinded down is an allergen, carcinogen and pollutant. The company was the first to have a full range of waterborne floor finishes that were certified to be safe for indoor air quality. Even the Bona Mega line is testament to the company’s resolve to push for sustainable products. From the first generation of the Mega line released in 1995, the product was based on vegetable oils which cross-link upon application, creating a strong finish that protects the floor whilst having minimal impact on the environment. As such, when you turn to the Bona Mega ONE to protect your floor, you’re dealing with a brand that has a verifiable track record, ensuring that you get the reliability and quality your floor deserves.
The R&D that Bona has invested in enables the company to provide products that are tailored to different applications, to enable the specific demands of the different floors to be met. With the lacquers for instance, there’s the Bona Novia that offers regular protection and is typically used for domestic environments, the Bona Mega ONE under review that is used for its medium protection – suitable for busy homes and commercial establishments with medium traffic, all through to Bona Traffic HD which is ideal for the areas exposed to heavy wear, where you want high levels of protection. That way, you get to work with the product that suits your particular needs, all from a brand that you can trust.
Routine Floor Care
After treating the floor with the Bona Mega ONE, routine cleaning will be needed to maintain that resultant look and feel. Allowing dirt and grime to accumulate on the floor will be detrimental to your efforts. Regular vacuuming and mopping are key. For the vacuums, be careful with the particular setup being used. Vacuums that have hard plastic wheels will add to the strain on the floor, and those with beater bars can leave marks on the surface. Ensure that the vacuum being used has smooth rubber wheels, and that the brush or beater bars of the unit have been turned off as you vacuum the floor.
For the cleaning, you should work with formulations that are suitable for wood floors. Here it is recommended that you go with formulations like Bona Cleaner or the Bona Wood Floor Cleaner together with a microfibre pad.
When cleaning the floor, there are some aspects that should be avoided, including:
- Using too much water for the mopping
Dipping the mop in the bucket of cleaning solution then sloshing the contents all over the floor is one sure way of ruining the wood. The mop should be wrung out until it is just damp. Wood, as a result of its hygroscopic nature, will absorb the excess water, which exposes it to risks of water damage.
While the mixture of vinegar and water is common for cleaning tasks around the household, it can etch the wood surface, ruining its appeal in the process.
Here, the ammonia solution will dull the floor, discolour the finish, and even cause deterioration in the structural integrity of the wood. By eating away at the lignin of the wood tissue, the ammonia drastically reduces the life of the wood floor, putting you in a position where you’ll end up being forced to replace the wood floor much sooner.
- Steam cleaners
These cleaning machines are intended for use on materials like carpets. The combination of heat and water will quickly damage the wood. It can lead to issues from cloudiness in the lacquer, peeling of the protective coat, to cracking and wood rot – all of which will be costly to resolve.
Floors treated with Bona Mega ONE can be overcoated at intervals. Simply add more coats of the lacquer as needed, remembering to include the intermediate abrasion to smoothen the surface.
Products like the Bona Freshen Up or the Bona Wood Floor Refresher also come in handy when you want to revitalise the floor. These allow you to remove that dulled appearance and revitalise the surface. They also allow more coats of lacquer to be applied. That way you get to keep your floor looking new without having to go through the whole sanding and refinishing route, saving your time and costs.
Different factors need to be considered when selecting the floor finish to use for your particular situation. These include:
- Specific type of finish
The protective treatments used on the floor have varying chemical setups, which direct their performance and longevity. Take penetrating oil sealants for instance. They get into the wood tissue and make the grain patterns more pronounced, which is particularly effective when you want to contrast the grain in dark and light floors. Shellac finishes, which can be easily brushed onto the floor, come at very pocket-friendly prices, but their reduced durability means that more frequent refinishing will be required. Moreover, they are not compatible with other kinds of finishes like polyurethane, meaning that you can only topcoat them with more shellac finishes. Wax, which has been used for floor care for centuries, is also easy to apply. However, the waxes have been declining in popularity because of the need to have to remove the entire existing wax layer when having a new one applied, and also their nature of being more susceptible to stains.
With moisture-cured urethane finishes, the formulations have a very high durability, which sees them be used on highly trafficked areas like kitchens and hallways. However, their high VOC content makes them have a negative impact on the indoor space, with the fumes generated even lasting for weeks in the premises and increasing the risks that the occupants of the building are exposed to. When it comes to the polyurethane finishes – commonly referred to as ‘polys’, there are two main kinds: oil-based and water-based. The oil variations are easy to apply, but have a longer drying time and over time they may begin to form a yellow hue. The water-based polyurethanes on the other hand – like the Bona Mega ONE we’re looking at here – are fast drying, with far less VOC output, and they also don’t yellow over time.
This will largely impact the aesthetics of the floor. Lacquers with a high gloss finish have a shiny effect. They reflect light the most, giving them a classic, beautiful appearance. With gloss finishes, they can work with nearly all backdrops, accentuating the space. However, these will need more effort during the maintenance since even those tiny scratches and minor imperfections will be pronounced. A semi-gloss finish on the other hand still brings an elegant result due to its reflective properties but doesn’t reflect as much light as the high gloss formulations. On the flip side though, the semi gloss finishes will be easier to maintain since less effort goes into keeping the floor looking food for long. Such finishes are common for domestic setups and low traffic areas.
For the finishes with a silk matte or satin effect, these can be used in the areas handling normal traffic levels. It shines just enough to keep the floor looking good and enhances the natural beauty of the underlying wood species, while at the same time camouflaging those scratches and small imperfections, which reduces the workload when it comes to maintenance. Sure, the shine is less compared to the high gloss and semi-gloss variations, but it makes up for it when it comes to the ease of maintenance. The matte finish is one of the most common, especially in areas that handle high levels of traffic. Such zones are more susceptible to accidents, scratches and surface imperfections, and the matte finish will outdo the other options when it comes to hiding the blemishes. As such, the floor will look good for longer. There are also “Extra Matte” finishes, which reflect the least amount of light, but can be handy in adding character to the wood, resulting in a specific look that gives the room a unique décor.
For the Bona Mega ONE, it comes in three variations:
- Extra Matte
- VOC levels
Given that most of the chemical exposure that occurs in our day-to-day life happens indoors – from homes and office spaces, to schools, restaurants, and similar environments, there is an emphasis on reducing the amount of chemical exposure, especially to volatile organic compounds. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other bodies that have researched VOC concentrations in indoor environments put them at multiple times higher than the concentrations witnessed outdoors. There could be anywhere between 50 and hundreds of individual VOCs that are in the indoor airspace at any given time, with some being at such low levels that you can’t smell them. Many of the volatile organic compounds are irritants, affecting the respiratory system, eyes, causing headaches and dizziness. When there is long-term exposure to VOCs, then chronic diseases can occur, and they are also some of the risk factors that increase the chances of getting cancer. When they are in high concentrations, the VOCs are actually toxic. You don’t want to exacerbate the situation by working with floor treatment products that choke up the indoor airspace with these agents. As such, when selecting the product to use on the floor, be keen on the VOC levels that it emits. Better still, check for logos such as the GREENGUARD Certification, which are proof that the product has been scientifically tested, taken through rigorous programs to ascertain that it has low emissions, and is safe for the indoor air space.