Contact | 1-877-333-0433 | info@gaylordhardwoodflooring.com |

Prefinished vs. Site Finished Hardwood Flooring

 

Clients often ask us whether prefinished or unfinished flooring is better. I would typically only recommend site finished flooring if you are trying to match an existing site finished floor and are refinishing the entire area. We do not recommend it for boards over 2-1/4” wide.

There is a misconception that site finished flooring is completely sealed and will not move. The fact is, wood will shrink and expand with changes in humidity, and gaps in a site finished floor are far more noticeable than prefinished. When site finished flooring shrinks in the winter, the gaps that develop will crack the finish, which is especially the case in wider boards.

Also, since the boards in a site finished floor are stuck together by the finish the gaps will develop at the weakest point in the finish which may be every 3- 4 boards. This is called “side bonding” and doesn’t occur in prefinished floors. In a prefinished floor the boards are free to shrink individually so you have small gaps between each board, rather than large gaps randomly throughout your floor.

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Hardwood Flooring in the Kitchen

 

We are often asked by clients if they can install hardwood flooring in their kitchen. The answer is yes. The majority of new homes built are open concept and the kitchen is part of a large open space. It can be unnatural to install a different flooring product in the kitchen, and in some cases it may be a tripping hazard where the two floors aren’t the exact same height. Hardwood flooring is much more comfortable to walk on and warmer than ceramic tile. 

Obviously, water damage is a concern with flooring in the kitchen. Your everyday spills shouldn’t cause any issues, but you will want to wipe them up right away. There are potential scenarios where your wood floor can be damaged in a kitchen. We had clients that were away in Florida for the winter and their dishwasher leaked. However, this would cause damage on any floor covering. This scenario is something that rarely happens. Overall, the natural, flowing look of hardwood flooring in your home, and through your kitchen outweighs the potential for damage. Mark Twain said it best when he said “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which has never happened.”

 

 

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Hardwood Flooring is an Investment

It might be because they look great or it could be because they’re so easy to keep clean, but Canadians increasingly prefer homes with hardwood floors. Installing high-quality hardwood can bring you years of enjoyment and increase the value of your home when it’s time to sell. Hardwood flooring is an investment that can last hundreds of years if properly maintained.

An Edge Over Other Options

“I think carpet has lost its momentum; demand for hardwood is pretty high,” said Greg Gaylord, Sales Manager at Gaylord Hardwood Flooring. “You don’t hear people say ‘Wow, I love your carpet!’ Hardwood makes an impact.”

While the actual value of hardwood floors is “in the eye of the beholder”, it can give homes an edge over the competition: A survey of real estate agents across the U.S. showed that a vast majority (more than 80%) feel a home with hardwood floors will likely sell faster and at a higher price than one without.

“The value is probably driven by the popularity,” Gaylord explained. “If someone goes into a house and sees dirty old carpet, they know it’s something they’ll have to replace. Having hardwood already installed helps buyers skip that step, and the home shows better.”

Over the years, Gaylord has seen some pretty awful old carpet. “I’ve seen enough carpet removals to know what sinks into it,” he said. “Especially when someone has pets, it can be pretty gross.”

Why Quality Wood is Good

With hardwood floors, what you see is what you get. That’s why they’re recommended for people with allergies; things like dust mites and other allergens have nowhere to hide.

Keeping hardwood clean is a low-effort commitment. As Gaylord explained, it’s easy to maintain: “You need to dust it, and quickly wipe up spills to keep it clean. But it’s pretty low maintenance.”

Compared to other cleaning-friendly options like tile and linoleum, quality hardwood will outlast these other options; as Gaylord Hardwood Floor’s 40-year finish guarantee implies, it’s an upgrade that keeps going and going.

“If you install something cheap it will only last for a few years,” Gaylord noted. “Even cheaper hardwood doesn’t have the same lifespan; if it only has a few coats of varnish, you’ll need to refinish it when the varnish wears through, which means moving out of your house while they put chemicals on it. Good quality hardwood can last forever, really.”

Explore Your Renovation Options

Kitchens and bathrooms are consistently listed as renovations that can add solid value to your home. However, over the years these rooms require regular maintenance to keep their good looks and there’s always the risk that trendier upgrades will go out of style.

That’s not the case with hardwood, which offers classic style that you can always complement with design elements like rugs.

When you’re trying to keep renovation costs in check, there are also ways to customize your hardwood floor to fit your budget.

“The wider the board, the more expensive it is,” Gaylord said. “People might choose a four-inch board in main areas, but two-and-a-quarter inch in the bedroom where it will be covered up. Or they might use a more expensive wood like hickory in main rooms, and oak or something more affordable in other areas.”

Our factory outlet in Kingston is a great option for the do-it-yourselfer looking for quality hardwood flooring at an affordable price.

If you would like to learn more about how hardwood flooring can add value to your home, visit our award-winning showroom or give us a call at 1-877-333-0433.

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Best Flooring Options for Pets

You love the look of hardwood floors, but you have a dog. Hardwood flooring is out of the question, right? Luckily, that’s not the case. Your pet can live in harmony with your hardwood flooring. You just have to be sure to select a hardwood floor that will be pet friendly.

The hardness of the actual wood you are using for your hardwood flooring is very important. Harder wood species will be less likely to dent and scratch than softer woods. Some wood species to avoid would be North American walnut and cherry. Hardness of the wood alone isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a pet friendly hardwood floor. No matter how hard the wood, it will still dent and scratch. In addition to hardness, there are several other factors to consider.

Choose a Rustic Hardwood Floor for your Pet

It is inevitable that your hardwood floor is going to get damaged with normal wear and tear. The key is to choose a rustic hardwood floor, so those dents and scratches will add to the character of the floor. On a perfect floor, especially a dark hardwood floor; dents and scratches will be more noticeable and will look like defects and take away from the overall appearance of the hardwood flooring.

Opt for a Lower Sheen Finish 

A glossy finish will magnify each and every dent and scratch in your hardwood floor. Although lower sheen finishes don’t eliminate dents and scratches, it will make them less noticeable. This higher the sheen level, the more this damage will be magnified in your floor, this is especially the case with dark shiny floors.

In addition to a lower sheen finish, we also offer specialty finishing options that will make your hardwood flooring very pet friendly.

Opt for a Distressed Hardwood Flooring Finish

Before the flooring is stained and finished, it runs through a large wire brush. This wire brush tears out the softer fibres in the wood providing a more textured surface. The combination of removing the softer wood fibres and the texture makes this hardwood flooring extremely durable and low maintenance. The wire brushing really helps display the unique patterns and medullary rays found in quarter sawn and live sawn oak. We only finish the distressed in our Matte finish. Finishing the distressed in a higher sheen makes it look like plastic. The distressed is very versatile, because depending on the stain colour and grade of flooring, it can work in any setting. The best part about the distressed finish is that it is already textured so dents and scratches only add to the look of the floor.

 

Opt for a Two-Pass Flooring Finish

The two-pass finish is very unique. All of the boards are stained entirely black and then refinished and stained a different colour. This provides and incredible rustic look which is especially popular in wide plank floors. On species with very little grain like maple, the two-pass mostly just turns the bevels of the boards black, which really showcases the board’s width. On species with grain like oak and hickory, the black stain also highlights the grain patterns in the wood by turning it black. On our live sawn white oak, the two-pass finish does an incredible job of bringing out the unique grain features like the medullary rays. On two-pass floors we also offer the option of having “nail holes” put in your flooring. Before we stain the wood black, we hit the surface randomly with a pin hammer. These marks soak in the black stain giving the appearance of nail holes or worm holes. The two-pass can also be done with a white base instead of black like in our champagne and beach sand floors. 

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Hardwood Flooring Finish Options

At Gaylord Hardwood Flooring we offer three different sheen levels. All of which offer different benefits and drawbacks. The key is to find the most suitable one for your home and lifestyle. All three of these finishes are the same durability but the lower the sheen, the less light is reflected across the floor. This reflection is what shows dents, scratches, and dust. You must keep in mind how much light you have in your home and exactly what look you are trying to achieve. In a home with a lot of natural light you may want to opt for a lower gloss and vice versa.

Semi-Gloss Flooring Finish (50% Sheen)

Semi-Gloss Hardwood FlooringThe semi-gloss provides a classic look that many clients are expecting in a prefinished hardwood floor. The sheen level is high enough that it provides a nice warm sparkle but not too high that it looks like plastic. Since it is our shiniest finish, it will also be the highest maintenance. Dents, scratches, and dust will be magnified across the surface, and it will require regular cleaning.

The semi-gloss finish is very popular on red oak and works well in traditional settings.

Satin Flooring Finish (25% Sheen)

Satin Hardwood Flooring FinishThe satin finish is a popular sheen level because it still provides some shine to a floor but will be much lower maintenance than the semi-gloss finish. We used to call the satin finish our “Dog Finish” because at that time it was the lowest sheen level we offered making it the most pet friendly. This finish is popular on any wood and is suitable in a rustic or formal setting.

Matte Flooring Finish (10-13% Sheen)

Matte Finish Hardwood flooringThe matte finish is the lowest sheen level we offer. It is meant to look similar to a low sheen “Oiled” floor but with far less maintenance. There is very little light reflected on this floor, so dents, scratches, and dust will be hidden. This is the gloss level we typically put on our most rustic floors. It can also work in a traditional or modern environment where the homeowner would like a lower maintenance hardwood flooring option. Matte finish is the best options for a busy house hold with children and pets. In addition to the three different sheen options, we also offer some unique finishes to give your hardwood floor a more unique look and feel.

Distressed (Wire Brushed) Flooring Finish

Distressed Wire Brushed Flooring FinishBefore the flooring is stained and finished, it runs through a large wire brush. This wire brush tears out the softer fibres in the wood providing a more textured surface. The combination of removing the softer wood fibres and the texture makes this hardwood flooring extremely durable and low maintenance. The wire brushing really helps display the unique patterns and medullary rays found in quarter sawn and live sawn oak. We only finish the distressed in our Matte finish. Finishing the distressed in a higher sheen makes it look like plastic. The distressed is very versatile, because depending on the stain colour and grade of flooring, it can work in any setting. The best part about the distressed finish is that it is already textured so dents and scratches only add to the look of the floor.

Two-Pass Flooring Finish

Two Pass Flooring Finish The two-pass finish is very unique. All of the boards are stained entirely black and then refinished and stained a different colour. This provides and incredible rustic look which is especially popular in wide plank floors. On species with very little grain like maple, the two-pass mostly just turns the bevels of the boards black which really showcases the boards width. On species with grain like red oak and hickory, the black stain also highlights the grain patterns in the wood by turning it black. On our live sawn white oak, the two-pass finish does an incredible job of bringing out the unique grain features like the medullary rays. On two-pass floors we also offer the option of having “nail holes” put in your flooring. Before we stain the wood black, we hit the surface randomly with a pin hammer. These marks soak in the black stain giving the appearance of nail holes or worm holes. The two-pass can also be done with a white base instead of black like in our champagne and beach sand floors.

 

 

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Dark Hardwood Flooring Downsides

Why Colour Choice Matters

When choosing hardwood flooring, one of the first considerations for many people is colour. The colour choice often depends on your taste, the décor of your home and the tone you want to set for the area where hardwood flooring will be installed. Maybe you’re looking to create a warm and luxurious feel to a room and are considering dark hardwood flooring. While dark flooring is currently very stylish and popular, there are downsides to consider. Depending on your lifestyle, dark flooring may not be the right choice for you. Pets, kids’ high traffic areas, even the amount of time you’re willing to invest cleaning your hardwood floors all play a part in the appearance of the flooring.

 

Dark Hardwood Flooring

General Appearance of Dark Flooring

Checks and cracks, a natural characteristic of wood, are magnified on dark flooring, especially on those with a high gloss finish. In fact, all dust, dirt and damage is magnified on dark flooring. As well, when sunlight hits dark flooring at the right angle, even the slightest irregularity in the subfloor will be noticeable. If you truly have your heart set on dark flooring, consider going with a lower gloss finish to help minimize the appearance of any irregularities.

Damage and Repairs

Small dents and scratches that don’t penetrate the finish of dark shiny floors are very noticeable and basically impossible to repair, other than replacing the entire board. Repairs can be made when dents and scratches penetrate the finish, but the repaired area will typically have a lower gloss than the rest of the floor. Often, the repaired area will be just as, if not more, noticeable than the damage was. Again, by choosing a low gloss finish, the appearance of dents and scratches will be minimized. And the beauty of dark flooring with a low gloss finish is that dents and scratches can usually be repaired with a stain marker.

Dust, Dirt and Dog Hair

One of the biggest problems with dark flooring is that it will show every speck of dust, every bit of dirt and every dog hair. If you love your home to appear immaculate, you’ll be spending a lot more time cleaning dark flooring than you would with lighter coloured flooring. Even if you don’t mind the extra cleaning involved with dark flooring, the tendency for homeowners is to over clean the floors with hardwood floor cleaner. This eventually leads to a build-up of cleaning residue, leaving a dull film on the floor. Even the best hardwood floor cleaners will leave residue if the floor is cleaned too often.

A good tip to avoid residue build-up is to limit cleaning to once a week and use paper towels to buff the floor when a film is noticed.

Hardwood flooring is a lifelong investment and consumers want to be happy with their final choice. If you still prefer the look of dark flooring for your home, keep in mind the downsides and the ways to minimize such issues.

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Wood Floors that Change Colour

All natural hardwood floors will change colour slightly over time. Some woods will change significantly based on that species photosensitivity. These hardwood floors typically take between six months to two years to reach their mature colour depending on the specie of wood and the amount of natural or artificial light the flooring is exposed to. Some wood species become darker and some become lighter over time.

Exotic Wood Floors Darken 

Wood Floors that change colorMost exotic wood species like Jatoba, Tigerwood, and Cumaru will darken over time. This also occurs in North American Cherry. When selecting one of these floors you must make sure you are choosing it based on the mature colour and not the colour it is when it comes out of the box. When these floors are first installed, they are much lighter but it will deepen over time to the rich colour you based your selections on.

Wood floors that change color Depending on the amount of light the hardwood floor is exposed to, all natural wood floors will change colour. Even though manufacturers use UV cured finishes that reduce amount of discolouration and yellowing, the wood itself will still change. Natural maple, ash, and hickory will typically lose their snowy white colour and begin to yellow with exposure to light. North American walnut is unique, because it is one of the only wood species that will become lighter with exposure to natural and artificial light.

 

 

 Color change can be expected on certain species 

All of these colour changes are normal and to be expected. We recommend not using area rugs, or moving them around periodically in the first two years. This allows the flooring to mature in colour evenly throughout the entire space. For more information on which wood species change colour and how, feel free to contact us at info@gaylordhardwoodflooring.com or 877-333-0433

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Cleaning and Maintaining your Hardwood Flooring

 Cleaning Your Hardwood Flooring - Bona VS. Water & Vinegar  

 

 

How to Clean your Hardwood Flooring  

Prefinished hardwood floors are very durable and easy to maintain, however they are not indestructible. As the homeowner, it is your responsibility to care for and maintain your hardwood flooring. If you follow our guidelines, your hardwood floor will look beautiful for a lifetime.

Before Move-In

  • Relative humidity must be maintained between 30-50%
  • Ensure floor is clean before moving in, so small pebbles and debris don’t scratch the floor
  • Install felt pads on all furniture. Sharp edges on furniture can scratch and damage flooring. We recommend Flexi-Felt (www.flexifelt.com)
  • Use extreme caution when moving appliances. The wheels on the bottom of stoves and refridgerators will dent your hardwood flooring. We recommend a product called “Glide Guard” to protect your flooring when moving appliances.
  • Office chairs can be very damaging to your hardwood flooring. Grit and dirt that build up on the caster wheels is very abrasive and will wear off the finish on your hardwood flooring. A plastic mat on your hardwood floor can be equally damaging. They can trap dirt and moisture on the surface causing damage to the flooring and the finish.

Regular Maintenance of Hardwood Flooring

  • Dust or vacuum your hardwood flooring regularly and do not use any household dust treatments
  • If something is spilled on the floor, be sure to wipe it up immediately.
  • Clean floor only when necessary and/or only in soiled areas. Do not “over clean” your hardwood floor

Cleaning Hardwood Flooring 

The only cleaning product we recommend is Bona. Cleaning products with a large amount of soap will leave a residue on your hardwood floor, and will eventually make it appear cloudy and not clean. Using water on your hardwood flooring will also leave a film because the water will settle and dry on the surface of the hardwood floor. The water can also cause damage to the finish on the hardwood flooring because the water is absorbed by the wood flooring which causes the finish to check and crack. Never use Murphy’s Oil Soap, water, or a steam mop on your hardwood flooring.

Step 1

Vacuum or sweep your hardwood flooring to remove debris and other solid particles from the floor’s surface. If necessary, dry mop hardwood flooring to remove any excess dust not picked up by the sweeping.

Step 2 

Spray floor with Bona spray cleaner and spread on the hardwood floor with the mop.

Step 3

Before Bona solution is dry, place two layers of paper towel between the mop and the hardwood flooring. Buff the flooring until dry, this will remove excess film from the hardwood flooring

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Environmental Impacts of Bamboo Flooring

 

Why we don't sell bamboo flooring

Bamboo Hardwood flooring We are often asked if we carry bamboo flooring. Of course, we do not. A lot of people have the misconception that bamboo flooring is the most environmentally friendly flooring option when in fact, it is actually the opposite. The majority of marketing for bamboo flooring is based solely around this fallacy, but is very convincing to the average consumer who wants to go “green.”

Here is a walk through comparison of the three main manufacturing steps of both bamboo and Canadian made hardwood flooring. It will help you decide for yourself which option is better for the environment.

 

 

 

 

  

The Manufacturing Process of Bamboo Flooring

The first step in the process is the harvesting of the raw material and this in essence is where bamboo earns its reputation as the “green” alternative to solid wood. Bamboo can grow up to 2 feet in a single day. Compare this to hardwood trees which take between 40How Bamboo Flooring is made and 60 years to fully mature. In this case bamboo does seem to be the “greenest” option. Although it takes hardwood trees far longer to mature, the growth in our forests is far greater than the removals. The trees that are sprouting today will not be needed for over 100 years. Contrary to popular belief, hardwood forests in North America are harvested very sustainably. The “clear cutting” you see on the news is done in softwood forests like pine and spruce. The mature trees in the forests are marked with spray paint by either the logger themselves or someone from the ministry of natural resources and these are the only trees to be cut down. This practice provides light for the smaller trees so they can one day reach their maturity. Standing hardwood volume in North America is currently 328 billion cubic feet, which is an increase of 90% since 1953. One of our lumber suppliers, Chisholm lumber owns thousands of acres and have been harvesting that same land since 1857.

The second step is the actual manufacturing process. Bamboo must be cut into lengths, ripped into thin strips, laminated together with formaldehyde based glue, milled into a tongue and groove, and then finished. All of this is done with no regulations on the plant, glue, finish, or waste. Not to mention, 80% of the electricity for these plants is generated from coal. This process is pretty complex when compared with the manufacturing process of hardwood flooring. The logs are sawn into lumber, the lumber is milled into flooring, and then a 0% Voc finish is applied. Flooring takes less water and energy to produce than any other flooring option. The only by product is sawdust which can be used as bedding for horses or made into wood pellets. Waste from the manufacturing of bamboo flooring can be very toxic and is sent to landfills or dumped illegally.

The Impacts of Shipping on the Environment and Bamboo Flooring

How Bamboo Flooring is manufactured Finally, we come to the last step in the process, shipping. For most products, the biggest impact on the environment is from shipping. The environmental impact of shipping Canadian made hardwood flooring in Canada is very minimal, but the impact of bamboo is huge. Bamboo is shipped across the ocean in huge container ships. These ships use a regular grade diesel when near ports or other regulated waters, but when they are in international waters they burn a far lower grade of diesel that is cheaper and causes far more pollution. According to the UK newspaper The Guardian and other sources; 15 of the world’s largest container ships pollute more than all of the automobiles in the world. To put this in a more local perspective, one container ship coming from Shanghai to Montreal will pollute more than all of the registered automobiles in Canada driving 70,000 kilometers.

How Bamboo Wood flooring is ManufacturedTo truly recognize how “green” a product is, you must take the entire life cycle of that product into consideration. Bamboo flooring is fairly new to the market and hasn’t proven itself to be a good long term option. It is quite possible in a few years it will be taking up space in our landfills like carpet, vinyl, and laminate flooring are. In European castles like Versailles, you will see hardwood floors that have been installed for hundreds of years. Hardwood flooring should never end up in a landfill, and at the very least if you decide to tear up your flooring, it can be burned as fuel.

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Why Board Lengths Matter in your Hardwood Flooring

One thing Gaylord Hardwood Flooring is known for is our long board lengths.  Our standard hardwood flooring comes in lengths up to 8 feet and our wide plank and engineered flooring comes in lengths up to 10 feet.

Wide Plank Wood Flooring

Wide Plank White Oak - Cognac Stain

 


Lengths of Wood FlooringIf you compare our flooring to most quality North American hardwood flooring manufacturers, you will find our average board lengths are almost double industry norms.  We bought boxes of red oak flooring from 4 of the largest North American hardwood flooring manufacturers and found the average board lengths for each to be somewhere between 27 to 29 inches.  The average board length in our red oak is 48-54”.  This is a significant difference.  Longer lengths provide more visual continuity and a nicer look, whereas short boards look very choppy. The reason for our long board lengths is quite simple.  We use better lumber.  Before we started making hardwood flooring our sole business was selling rough kiln dried lumber.  Our clients consisted of kitchen cabinet, furniture, and hardwood flooring manufacturers.  We knew what lumber was typically used in what industry.  The select and better (FAS) lumber was used to make mouldings and trim because long clear boards were required.  The #1 common lumber was used to make kitchen cabinets, and 2-3 common lumber was used to make hardwood flooring.  This means hardwood flooring manufacturers needed to cut between the knots in the boards to get clear pieces, giving them very short lengths.  We use select and better and #1 common lumber to make our flooring which have fewer knots to be cut out giving us longer lengths.  We knew what grade of lumber other flooring manufacturers were using, since we were selling it to them.  We decided that to set us apart we would use a higher grade to give us longer lengths.

 

Long boards are especially important in wide plank floors.  The wider the boards, the choppier a floor with short lengths will look.  You may think this would be common sense but the majority of wide plank floors on the market come in 8-6 or even 4’ boxes.  Our wide plank flooring comes in lengths up to 10 feet with an average length between 6 and 7 feet.  These lengths give you a beautiful flowing look you would expect from a rustic wide plank floor.  Below on the left is a competitors wide plank floor and below on the right is a Gaylord Wide Plank Floor.  Do you notice the difference in board lengths?

If you are shopping around for hardwood flooring, you will notice that virtually no manufacturers will post what their average board lengths are.  Does this maybe mean they are hiding something?  It is up to you to find out.  If you are in a flooring store and the salesperson can’t tell you definitively what the average board length will be, ask them to open a box for you to see for yourself.

 Download Full PDF: Click Here

Hardwood Flooring Board Lengths

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Gaylord Flooring Wins Wood Floor of the Year

Gaylord Hardwood Flooring Wins "Best Manufacturer Factory Finished" Wood Floor of the Year

Best Hardwood Flooring Design 2015

Greg Gaylord accepts award from NWFA Chairman Jeff Fairbanks on Wednesday April 29th 

Gaylord Hardwood Flooring was presented with the National Hardwood Flooring Association’s “Wood Floor of the Year” award in the Best Manufacturer Factory Finished Category.  Lewis, Greg, and Rosemary Gaylord were on hand to accept the award.  The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has over 3000 members in more than 50 countries worldwide making this award the most coveted in the hardwood flooring industry. A panel of judges comprised of trade and consumer press editors, industry leaders, and professional designers, evaluated the individual categories to determine the winners. The award was presented at the 2015 NWFA Convention held at Edward Jones Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.  Some of the visitors/speakers included; Bill “Coach Bill” Courtney from the documentary “Undefeated”, Gary Sinise; best known for his role as Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump, and Hall of Fame baseball player Ozzie Smith.  The trade show portion of the convention had some pretty incredible exhibits as well as an education demo stage and it was held right on the field where the St. Louis Rams play which was really cool.

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Our favourite hardwood floor to sell | Wide Plank White Oak

Wide Plank Flooring for pets

Why We Love Selling Wide Plank White Oak Hardwood Flooring

When we tell people we manufacture and sell solid hardwood flooring up to 11.5” wide, they look at us like we are crazy, especially if they are in the flooring industry.  To most people, the wider the board the more likely you are to have problems with cupping, gaps, etc.  We can happily say that our wide plank live sawn white oak is our most trouble free hardwood flooring option, and the one where we receive the fewest complaints.

The live sawn method of sawing the boards makes it incredibly stable, minimizing cupping, gaps, and squeaks if installed properly.  Of course, all of these problems can occur in environments with extreme humidity fluctuations but happens significantly less than other hardwood flooring options.

Because of the rustic look and texture of most live sawn floors you hardly notice cupping if it does occur.  When you have a hardwood floor with a smooth finish and a high gloss, especially in a dark floor, even the slightest cupping is very noticeable.  This makes the live sawn white oak an ideal hardwood flooring option for a cottage environment which will have more relative humidity fluctuations than a normal home.

In an extremely dry environment, even hardwood floors as stable as our live sawn white oak can shrink.  In a rustic wide plank hardwood floor, gaps are almost expected and really don’t take away from the overall look and appeal of the floor.  In a traditional hardwood floor, especially one with a dark stain, gaps in the floor are magnified. This is especially true with very light woods like maple, hickory, and ash.  If the flooring has a stain, the tongues on the boards are still white and when the wood shrinks, this white tongue is exposed.  This isn’t an issue with natural floors but very noticeable when the wood is stained.

Of course, most people expect engineered hardwood flooring to be our most problem free flooring option but it isn’t.  When a solid wide plank live sawn white oak floor is dried out, it shrinks and the worst case scenario is you get some gaps between the boards. When a wide plank engineered floor is dried out, the surface wood layer shrinks and the plywood below doesn’t.  This causes the surface wood layer to check and crack.  When we make the wide plank engineered flooring with a two-pass or distressed finish with a low sheen, these cracks are less noticeable, but are still there.  With proper humidification these cracks should close up but will always be there.

Another reason we have so few complaints with our wide plank live sawn white oak is because of its rustic appearance.  Clients buying this floor are expecting a lot of character and not a perfect floor.  Wood is a natural product and there is no such thing as a perfect floor.  If a live sawn white oak floor gets dented or scratched, it adds to the character and charm of the floor.  On a standard hardwood floor with a perfectly smooth finish, these same dents take away from the look of the floor and are considered by most clients to be an issue requiring repair.  These dents and scratches look especially bad on a floor with a dark stain and a higher gloss finish.  So there you have it, those are the reasons why I would much prefer to sell someone wide plank live sawn white oak than any other floor.  It makes the world a better place for everyone.

Me- I don’t receive complaints.  People call to tell me how much they love their flooring which is very rewarding and music to my ears.

Builder- The builder doesn’t have to be as cautious when protecting the hardwood floor on the jobsite.  With a standard hardwood floor, it is like everyone working in the home is walking on eggshells. Installer- The wide planks and long boards make the installation faster and easier.  If the installer drops a tool on the floor or dents it somehow, it only adds to the look.  Face nails can be used a little bit more in certain areas because when filled properly, they will rarely be noticed.

Homeowner- Any floor, no matter how hard the wood, is going to get dented and scratched.  With our wide plank live sawn white oak, these dents either add to the look or can easily be touched up so they aren’t visible.

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How long do hardwood floors need to acclimate? Answers Here:

When discussing delivery and installation dates with clients, they are almost always under the impression that the wood flooring must sit in their home before installation. We’ve all heard someone in the flooring industry say the wood flooring must sit in the home to acclimate for a period of time before installation. There are all different answers from 5 days to 2 weeks or more. This is an old myth from back before wood flooring was properly kiln dried. The wood flooring needed to sit in the home to actually dry out. Wood flooring is kiln dried between 6- 9% moisture content which is the optimum moisture level for a home with normal living conditions.

Problems with leaving the wood flooring on site to acclimate

For a real understanding of where this moisture would be watch our YouTube video Wet Houses: Click Here 

Wood Flooring acclimationIn most cases, having the wood flooring sit on site before installation will cause far more harm than good. Take for instance, a new home. The wood flooring will be the driest product in the home and will absorb the surrounding moisture like a sponge. New homes have thousands of gallons of moisture trapped inside creating a very humid environment.

If wood flooring sits on a new home construction site with a relative humidity of 70%, it can easily start cupping inside the boxes within 48 hours. If the wood flooring is in the home while it is being painted, or drywalled, the cupping within the boxes can happen even faster. Drywall mudding and painting can account for over 200 gallons of moisture in a new home. It is all airborne humidity and can create an environment with a humidity level over 90%.

Hardwood Flooring cannot sit on site while wet trades are working.

Also, since wood flooring is a natural product and each piece is different, the boards will not all shrink and expand the same way. Having a board wider on one end or having each board a different width will make for a difficult installation.

For more information on Width Variations, check out our YouTube video: Click Here

The same is true in the humid summer months. If the wood absorbs moisture on site before it is installed, it will shrink excessively when the home is dry or reaches normal living conditions.

For more information, watch our YouTube Video on Acclimation: Click Here

Acclimation of wood flooring depends on the situation

Hardwood Flooring width issuesEvery situation is unique, and may or may not require acclimation. If someone at a flooring store tells you how long you should acclimate your flooring for without knowing your situation, they have a lot to learn when it comes to the important relationship between wood flooring and moisture.

If you have a cottage that is not heated in the winter; a crawl space; a structure on piers; or any situation that may not be considered normal, please contact us at info@gaylordhardwoodflooring.com for more detailed information on acclimation.

In the Northeast, we have a very unique climate. It is hot and humid in the summer and cold and dry in the winter. Acclimating your flooring too much to either of these seasons can cause permanent damage to your hardwood flooring. If your wood flooring sits in your home too long in the winter and dries out, it will expand and permanently cup in the summer or when the home reaches normal living conditions. This is why it is typically best to install your hardwood flooring right away. Our warehouse is climate controlled to a relative humidity of 40% which is the optimum humidity level for your hardwood flooring. The moisture content of your hardwood flooring will be between 6-9% which corresponds to a relative humidity level between 30-50%. You do not want the relative humidity in your house to go outside this range, not only for the health of your flooring but for your own health.

Of course, there are situations where wood flooring will need to acclimate. If we are delivering our wood flooring to a very dry region like Alberta or Arizona, we will want the wood to acclimate. The normal living conditions in these areas are on the drier end of our recommended humidity range so the wood flooring will need to dry out before installation. If the wood flooring is installed right away, when it eventually dries out, there will be gaps in the flooring. If the wood flooring is to be installed in higher humidity coastal regions, the wood will need to absorb moisture before installation. If the wood is installed too dry, when it picks up moisture from the higher humidity environment it will expand and could cause permanent cupping. The goal is to acclimate the wood to whatever the normal living conditions are and ensure the wood flooring moisture content is within 2% of the subfloor moisture content.

Lewis Gaylord Flooring

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OSB vs Plywood test | What's the best?

What is the best, OSB or Plywood?

All wood floors have one thing in common. They are only as good as the subfloor beneath them. Everything in your home interacts with your subfloor so making the right choice has a long term effect. Just because subfloors are not visible that doesn’t make them not important. Without a good solid flat subfloor with great fastener holding power even the best hardwood flooring will not perform as they should. Like all wood products moisture is its worst enemy. When a roofless, partially built structure takes on moisture what effect does that have on the subfloor?  After gathering information online I was left very confused as each product made good points on why it was better than its competitor whether it compared OSB against plywood or OSB against OSB. In OSB we found there are 3 price ranges and qualities so we chose what we considered good, better and best. In the plywood we chose 5/8” and ¾”.

OSB is manufactured from heat cured adhesives and rectangular shaped wood strands arranged in cross oriented layers. The end product is an engineered wood panel that shares many of the same strength  and performance characteristics of plywood. While OSB was developed quite recently, it became more popular than plywood in North America by the year 2000. Today, nearly 3 times as much OSB is produced in North America than plywood. Manufacturers have a Good, Better and Best quality available. This is based on how much resin is integrated into the wood to resist water absorption. Less resin means less expensive but less moisture resistance. The higher the price the more moisture resistant the product. The moisture resistance is measured with No Sand Warranties measured in days. The less expensive having no warranty,  the middle material having a 180-200 day No Sand warranty, and the best material having a 365-500 day, to a lifetime No Sand warranty. The Limited Warrantees are very long and hard to understand. What the limited warranty does not cover. “Sustained cascading or pooling of water, immersion in water or other abnormal exposure to moisture, or exposure to moisture avoidable by good and customary maintenance practices”. Also, product must be stored before and after installation according to APA standards which in my translation means it can’t get wet.

Testing OSB and Plywood 

Our test procedure was very simple.

  1. We purchased 1 - 4’ x 8’ sheet of each product and cut them into pieces 2’ x 4’.
  2. Each piece was weighed, moisture content tested, and thickness measured with calipers. Each piece was numbered and weighed writing information on the piece with black permanent marker.
  3. 2 pieces of each product were submerged into a tank filled with water with sticks separating them  so they would absorb the water equally.
  4. Samples taken out after 22 hours, weighed and measured and returned to tank.
  5. Samples taken out after 68 hours, weighed and measured and left out of tank.
  6. Wet subfloors nailed and stapled and then exposed to 22 C degrees and 20% humidity until the product had reached 6-8%. Once all products reached 6-8% nails and staples removed and holding power rated for each product. We measured the moisture content after 10 days/17 days and 30 days.
  7. Wet pieces ripped and cut into blocks to expose centre pieces. After 24 hours measured and stacked  6 pcs high. Dry pieces cut into same size blocks and put beside wet pieces and pictures taken. 
  8. Stacks of 6 pieces left to dry for 10 additional days then re-measured and moisture content taken.
  9. Dry samples not exposed to water nailed and stapled. Remove some nails and staples to test holding power.
Gaylord Flooring Subfloor Test

Conclusion

  • OSB swells when exposed to moisture. Once swelled, it does not shrink back.
  • Plywood picks up moisture quickly, but loses the moisture quickly. When plywood absorbs moisture, the swell is very limited. 5 times less than OSB.
  • Additionally, plywood dries back to the original thickness
  • Not all OSB is the same. There is a huge difference in moisture resistance between the lower, medium, and high quality OSB.
  • OSB swells more on the edges than on the inside.

When exposed to moisture, the OSB expanded significantly and when it was re-dried it did not shrink back to it’s original thickness. Plywood expanded minimally in thickness, and when dried out, it returned to the normal thickness.

The plywood tested has significantly more fastener holding power than OSB. Although the Advantech OSB had similiar nail holding power to the 5/8” plywood. The OSB swelled much more at the joints than it did in the center.

Overall, we found plywood outperformed OSB and is a better subfloor option. We also found a significant difference in the performance between the different OSB options

DOWNLOAD FREE PRINTABLE PDF BELOW 

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Four Advantages of Hardwood Flooring You Need To Know

When building or renovating a home, flooring options can leave you feeling overwhelmed: carpet, vinyl, linoleum, tile, laminate, stone, and hardwood flooring plus all the variations within each type. We have an obvious preference at Gaylord Hardwood Flooring. However, beyond the fact that they look great, we know there are many advantages of hardwood flooring.
  • Hardwood floors will literally last a lifetime.
  • They’re natural—and, as explained below, more environmentally friendly than rumour might have you believe.
  • Dirt and allergens have nowhere to hide.
  • The wide variety of colours, textures and styles make wood very versatile.
Ultimately, your choice will be guided by budget, needs, lifestyle and your own preferences. Take a few moments to consider some of the key advantages hardwood has to offer.

A Lasting Look That's Unmatched; The Advantages of Hardwood

Hardwood floors look great, and we're not the only ones who think so. A survey of U.S. real estate agents by the National Wood Flooring Association found more than 80 percent agree that homes with hardwood floors sell faster—and for more money. When it comes to making smart investments in your home, hardwood flooring is high on the list. But what about laminate flooring? Durable, cheaper and with a near-wood look, laminate is another popular flooring choice. However, it still falls short in comparison.
  • Shorter lifespan: A study by the National Association of Home Builders found laminate floors have an average lifespan of 15-25 years, not nearly the 50-100 years they say you can expect from hardwood.
  • More noise: Generally harder than hardwood, laminate floors can really bounce sound around a room. This can be reduced with an acoustic underlay, but you'll likely still get a hollow sound whenever you walk on it. Wood floors naturally absorb some of the sound.
  • Less flexibility: Laminate looks like wood because it has a wood-like image printed onto the material; if you want a different look, you need to start over. Hardwood floors, however, can be refinished and even recoloured.
  • It's still not hardwood: When you install laminate over hardwood, you'll know it—and so will other people, like potential homebuyers. Despite the aesthetics, the texture and feel will reveal that it's not the real thing.

It's Sustainable and Eco-Friendly

Some people feel hardwood floors aren't environmentally friendly, but we disagree. In North America, forest management is sustainable; Chisholm Lumber, one of our lumber suppliers, has been harvesting the same land since 1857. Our commitment to local production also helps keep our ecological footprint to a minimum. In contrast, the environmental impact caused by shipping things from overseas is tremendous. Bamboo, for example, has a reputation for being environmentally friendly: it's a grass that grows quickly, which makes it a renewable resource. However, bamboo flooring is typically shipped from China, and much of the bamboo is grown on land that was deforested to make room—something that has a significant impact even before herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers are added to the equation.

You Can Breathe Easy

Old carpet "can be pretty gross," observed Greg Gaylord, Sales Manager at Gaylord Hardwood Flooring, after years of experience ripping up old flooring. Of your flooring options, carpets are the worst for hiding dust, dirt and germs; you can scrub and vacuum the most visible top layer, but once that dirt has sunk in—particularly messy wet spills—you're stuck with it. As a result, carpet has the shortest lifespan of all flooring types; the National Association of Home Builders estimates just 8-10 years. For people with allergies, hardwood is one of the best options. Other flooring types, like tile and vinyl, are also good options but require adhesives which may themselves contain allergens.

It's Versatile and Resilient

As long as you wipe up any wet spills right away and give it an occasional dusting, it doesn't take much maintenance to keep hardwood floors looking great. Our 10-coat titanium finish is under warranty for 40 years—longer than the lifespan of many other flooring types. Wood is a natural product and it is susceptible to scratches and dents from regular use. Choosing the best hardness, colour and finish for your needs, however, reduces the risk of damage and helps minimize marks.

When wood isn't the best choice

While wood can adapt to life at the cottage and seasonal humidity, we know it isn't the best choice for every location. “In any room where there might be moisture or water, like an entry hall or the bathroom, wood isn’t the best product to use,” said Greg Gaylord, Sales Manager at Gaylord Hardwood Flooring. "There’s too much risk of moisture damage." Wood doesn't handle moisture very well, and leaving it exposed can lead to a variety of problems—which may or may not be repairable. Alternatives like tile and linoleum are common choices because they’re easier to clean before water or spills absorb into anything. For a hands-on introduction to our hardwood products, visit our showroom or contact us. We'll be happy to discuss your particular needs and how we can help you create the vision you have for your home.
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Different cuts of oak for flooring

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Plain Sawn 

Plainsong Flooring

Plain sawn is the most commonly used method of sawing lumber for a number of reasons.  It provides relatively good yield with little waste and a larger percentage of clear, sapwood pieces free of knots.  The goal of sawing lumber this way is to avoid knots.  The sawyer turns the log and cut the board from the clearest edge.  This is typically done by sawing around the outer portion of the log trying to avoid the heartwood in the center.  The clear boards on the outer portion of the log are known as the “sapwood” and are traditionally more valuable than the dark “heartwood” pieces in the center.  This method will produce wider boards than quarter sawn but not as wide as live sawn.

The grain is very open and runs across the width of board between a 0-35 degree angle.  Since wood expands and contracts in the direction of the grain, the plain sawn moves across the width of the board making it the least stable method of sawing lumber.  This is why we only offer solid plain sawn flooring up to 4” wide.  Plain sawn is what we typically associate to a traditional red oak hardwood floor.

Quarter & Rift Sawn 

Quartersawn Oak Flooring

Quarter and rift sawn is far less common than plain sawn, especially in hardwood flooring.  It is not unusual to see quarter sawn used for antique furniture because of its stability and unique grain patterns.  The purpose of sawing quarter sawn lumber is to create a board that has a grain pattern that runs vertically.  This is achieved by sawing the log into four pieces down the center and flipping the remaining pieces back and forth to cut the boards so the growth rings run perpendicular to the width of the board.  This is the most dimensionally stable method of sawing lumber.  The shrinkage and expansion is not across the width of the board but rather in the height, which across a ¾” piece of flooring is very minimal.  The grain is extremely unique.  It is wavy and tight and not open and busy like a plain sawn piece.

Quartersawn Oak Flooring

The medullary rays coming from the centre of the long are exposed and really dance across the width of the board.  This unique feature is further accentuated in a distressed finish.  There is much more waste in quarter sawn, and because of the process the boards can’t be quite as wide.  However, we have done quarter sawn flooring in boards up to 8”; it just requires a very large log.  When we sell quarter sawn flooring it is typically around 75% quarter sawn and 25% rift sawn.  We can do either strictly quarter sawn or strictly rift sawn, but at a higher price.

Rift Sawn Oak

Rift sawn is very similar to quarter sawn but has a very minimalistic straight grain.  The growth rings on the board run at a 45 degree angle and the medullary rays are not visible.  Because of its simplicity, rift sawn flooring tends to provide a very modern look.  Whereas, plain sawn and quarter sawn provide a more classic, traditional look. The rift sawn boards are the remaining cuts from the quarter sawn process.  If you look at the cross section of the log, the two pieces to the center of the log are quarter sawn, and the remaining pieces are rift sawn.  It is very difficult to obtain very wide rift sawn boards and the widest we typically make it is 3-1/4”.

Live Sawn 

Live sawn Wide Plank Oak Flooring

Live sawn is a very unique cut of wood which combines the grains found in plain sawn, quarter sawn, and rift sawn.  This is an old method of sawing lumber used by olde world European Craftsman.  To make live sawn, the sawyer slices the log directly through.

 

 

 

This method does not try to avoid any knots or the heartwood pieces.  It provides a very rustic look with a lot of knots and other unique character.  The grain pattern typically ranges from quarter sawn on the outside of the log to plain sawn in the center.  This method of sawing provides the least amount of waste because the entire log is utilized.  It also allows us to cut very wide boards. Since a high percentage of the board is quarter sawn, it is very stable, which allows us to make it in boards up to 11.5” wide in solid hardwood flooring.  Because of its rustic character and stability, live sawn is the ideal hardwood floor for a cottage or a summer home.  Quite often, when clients are trying to achieve a very rustic look they will use several different board widths to emulate the old fashioned floors where every board in the tree was used.  When finishing the live sawn, we typically use a distressed or a two pass finish because these finishes really bring out the character in the wood and add to the olde world charm.

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