Looking for a durable lacquer that will protect your floor for the long haul? Here, we will look at the water-based Tover Idrolak DR 97, a two-component formulation whose enhanced mechanical performance makes it a popular choice for finishing floors in high traffic establishments. It’s easy to work with, and comes with additional attributes like enhancing the natural look and feel of the floor, as well as a fast-drying nature that reduces disruption to the establishment’s day-to-day activities.
Preparing the surface
This can be generally broken down into two parts:
Here the focus is first removing the existing treatments that are on the floor.
Do not sand the floor excessively. First, grinding away too much of the wood tissue will reduce the number of times that you can have the floor sanded in future. Secondly, making the final passes using sandpaper that has a very high grit will cause the floor to become too smooth for the subsequent coats that are to be applied to adhere to.
A thorough cleaning is needed before the treatment coats are applied onto the floor. Dirt and debris on the surface will ruin the quality of the results. Any debris that is on the floor will be trapped in the finish coats that are being spread on the installation. The wet finish, acting like a large piece of flypaper, traps the dust, dirt and fabric fibres that wind up on it. As such, even the surrounding surfaces should be cleaned. For debris that gets into the finish coats, the only recourse will be to resand the floor and start the whole treatment afresh, or stick with debris in the floor finish that is being enhanced by the coats that have been applied. Moreover, the contaminated floor can also result in the finish coats peeling. The contamination can be due to dirt on the floor, or even stain residue that was not removed before the finishing was carried out. So, give the floor a good clean to remove the sanding dust and other substances that are on the surface before proceeding with the treatment process.
Preparing the finish
The package has two products, the Tover Idrolak DR 97 lacquer, and Hardener. These will need to be mixed 10:1 – but first shake each of them well in its bottle.
Take a clean container and pour the lacquer into it. Then take the hardener and slowly pour it into the lacquer as you stir the blend. Ensure that they have mixed properly, then allow 5-10 minutes for the required reactions between the lacquer and hardener to occur. This catalysed finish will be what is applied onto the floor.
Spreading the coats on the floor surface
Don’t just pour the finish directly onto the floor. Here use a roller for the application, preferably a microfiber medium hair roller. Such tools will enable you to achieve a homogenous coat. This is further aided by the levelling properties of the formulation. The lacquer has a wide coverage rate – at 12 to 14m²/Litre, which has the welcome benefit of reducing the amount of costs that go into the floor treatment process. This, coupled with the durability of the finish that protects it for longer, thus increasing the duration between consecutive rounds of floor sanding and refinishing, means you will make more future savings.
- You can also use a spray application system. In this case, the finish will need to be diluted 10% with water.
After spreading the first coat onto the floor, give it 4-5 hours to dry, then slightly sand the surface with 180-grit abrasives. This smoothens the floor and prepares it for the second coat to be applied.
- While 2 coats are usually enough, a third coat can be applied if need be, such as in establishments where the floor is exposed to very high levels of wear. In this case, wait for 2-3 hours after the second coat has been applied, then proceed to apply the third one. Here there won’t be a need for intermediate sanding.
- When working on large floor areas, or when temperatures are high – especially above 25°C, adding 5% of Rallenty retardant to the finish will slow down the drying, for you to ensure that the coats have been evenly spread out over the floor.
The first finish coat can be substituted with sealers like the water-based Idrofondo H20, a mono-component that makes the original hue and grain patterns of the wood more prominent; Idrofondo Mito SQ that’s a two-component sealer which allows you to just use two coats to complete the finishing cycle; or the Tover Fast&Full that can be used on any wood floor.
Pointers For Working with The Tover Idrolak DR 97
- Be keen on the quality of sanding pads or abrasive screens that are being used for the intermediate sanding. If they are worn out, it can lead to unsightly scratches being formed, which will negatively affect the final result. Remember that any scratches that are on the floor will only be magnified further by the subsequent finish coats that are to be applied. Removing the scratches will require the sanding to be carried out past the lacquer coat where the scratches were made, and this may prove to be a difficult balancing act, especially pointing out the specific coats that scratches have been created in. So, you may just have to sand away the entire finish and start the process all over again.
- The lacquer/hardener mixture that you prepare will have a 4-hour pot life. Do not use it once this period elapses, even if it is still in liquid form. Another round of catalysed finish will need to be prepared. Also, don’t “reharden” the mixture. As such, only prepare sufficient product at a time that you can use within the 4-hour period.
- For the drying, the floor treated with the Tover Idrolak DR 97 lacquer will be ready for foot traffic in just 24 hours. Ensuring that there is proper ventilation will speed up the drying. However, don’t turn on the heating system to rush this. The finish treatment should be allowed to dry naturally.