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Thread: Hardwood Flooring - Educational Tips!

  1. #1
    Coupon Junkie
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    Jul 2011
    Toronto, On
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    Hi everyone!

    It's almost reno season and I know many of you will be exploring some renovation options. I wanted to make this thread to share some things I have learned when I looked into buying flooring for my home. Please feel free to add to the discussion, since I feel like there is so much clutter to do with this subject I thought I would share some of my knowledge I have picked up with my fellow smartcanucks.

    What are the risks of buying hardwood flooring without proper research?
    Wood is not properly dried or treated, risk of harmful chemicals, wood not sustainably harvested, floors can split, crack, shrink or buckle over time.

    A lot of hardwood floors out there will advertise as "Canadian" "Made in Canada" etc. This is sometimes misleading as some companies falsely label their products. I found out sometimes wood can be from Canada and then shipped and finished oversees (ie. Asia) or wood can harvested and processed oversees (Indonesia, Russia, China etc) and only the actual vanish/coloured here in Canada. OR even a Canadian company can be manufacturing completely oversees but because they are Canadian owned they slap the Canada name on their product.

    What's wrong with a product from Asia?
    I'm not picking on Asia saying everything is bad from there but if you're looking for something priced well or cheaper than average chances are there are some sacrifices. China for example doesn't have as stringent manufacturing laws, hardwood and laminate can be processed and finished with chemicals not set to the Canadian standards, and could possibly pose a risk to your health (think about how many hours your spend in your home). One really important note to make also from products from Asia is that you might not be getting what you paid for. For example, you might have purchased some beautiful "Canadian Maple" from a manufacturer in China, but what you could possibly get is Chinese Acacia wood which is a much cheaper product. My point being, you might be paying top dollar for a more expensive type of wood but in reality you are getting a much cheaper wood instead. Lastly, if you can't find the source of the wood, you may be buying wood that was illegally harvested (possibly contributing to deforestation and loss of endangered animal habitat).

    Hardwood is alive!
    Okay so it's not actually alive, but it moves and breathes. Wood expands and shrinks and just because its on your floor doesn't make it any different. Installing your floors in a hot and humid environment can cause your floors to have gaps and separation after the humidity dissipates (like during the winter months) and installing your floors in a dry environment can cause waving and buckling in more humid months. It's important to install the floors and maintain the floors in an ideal humidity range, ie don't let your humidity get to 80 or 100% and don't let it get down to 10 or 20%.

    Humidity isn't the only thing that poses a risk to your floors. A proper hardwood flooring installer will know how to install your floors to allow for some breathing space for the floors to expand and contract. Installers should also know a few tricks to make the floors looks visually more beautiful. Sometimes there can be some color or grain variation between boxes of hardwood (even if from the same manufacturer and batch) a professional installer should know to open a few boxes and mix the variation together to prevent grouping of a variation of color or grain. They will also be able to sift out any planks that may have knots or visually unappealing imperfections (these planks can be installed in a closet if needed).

    Where to buy:
    It's easy to gravitate towards big box stores but keep in mind not everything they sell is good, do the research before purchasing and visit a few specialty stores as well. I found the products I saw from the big box stores to be from companies I didn't know or have ever heard of. The top 2 hardwood flooring companies in Canada for quality are Mirage and Preverco (my opinion from research) these companies are not carried in big box stores.

    This thread is currently associated with: The Source
    endi2000 likes this.

  2. #2
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    Thanks, Silvia for sharing such informational tips. I am glad that you have picked a good comparison of Asian woods and Canadian woods as people going for renovation can easily make a decision on the same.

  3. #3
    Frosh Canuck
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    This is really great information and I would just like to add one other type - cork flooring.

    Although the majority of what I have found is made in Portugal, it is still and ecofriendly and sustainable product and healthier than some other products.

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    Starting a new Chapter in the Golden Horseshoe in 2017!

  4. #4
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    Thank you so much for this great tip.. It is really nice..

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