Getting A Refund On Faulty Bruce Prefinished Oak Strip


It is a prefinished solid oak strip. I believe it’s part of the Natural Reflections line and I think it’s 3/4 IN X 2 1/4 IN X Random Lengths. It has square edges and ends. The flooring guy says that Bruce should take care of the cost, but my point is that we are going to end up with a floor that is not of the quality that we paid $5,000 for. I was told that we shouldn’t have to worry about refinishing it for 25 years, if ever. I am going to approach them about getting a full refund. Does that sound reasonable?



Dear Marc

You know, warranties are no substitute for good products. It sounded like you have bought one of the better of the Bruce products, and the only thing I object to is the so called square ends and edges. This is the type of floor that I had my problems with. Bruce doesn’t seem to have the good factory control to mill and finish this tricky floor on a consistent basis. I hardly ever install prefinished floor these days. I cannot honestly say I have ever really liked any of my prefinished jobs once completed.

Frankly the whole prefinished floor business is a hit or a miss operation as far as I can see. The warranties are just the fire wall they have tried to put up, it serves no real purpose other than to keep you coming back. The floor finish will wear out well before 25 years, but odds are you will not be in this house. They are betting on this.

If I were you I would go for a full refund. You could have them remove all the floor if they wish, but have them put you up in a hotel, if they really want to take full responsibility. If not get the refund, and consider having the floor removed and replaced with a better product. I would find a good wood floor contractor, have him install an unfinished floor, sand and finish it on site with 3-4 coats of oil mod. poly. If you treat this smoothly finished floor correctly (read my articles) I can assure you you will get 10 years out of the finish before it need re-coating. And 3 re-coatings later that brings you to a minimum of 40 years without having to re-sand. You would never hear that from one of those floor boutiques.

This has been the normal maintenance schedule for sand on site floor, for most of this century. You don’t need miracle finishes, just good cheap maintenance. And it is a lot easier to clean a floor sanded smooth than those bumpy prefinished floors. I’m going to write an article soon about the sham of those warranties. Removing and replacing a wood floor is only done once every century or two. Just what kind of junk is this company using when it won’t last 6 months ?

Please don’t show this to your contractor, they get very litigious these days, even when they are wrong. Remember Oprah and the beef guys. This is a private letter between ourselves, not meant to be publicly displayed.