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Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Posted by boxers (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 31, 06 at 13:33

I've contributed to this forum for well over one year. I used to be a district manager for Armstrong Wood Products. We made and distributed Bruce, Hartco and Robbins. I see the same questions over and over again. What brand is best? is my favorite. You all need to realize that no one makes 100% of their own products these days. Mohawk doesn't own a sawmill, they buy wood from many sources. Bruce imports some and so do most other brands. Engineered wood comes as single plank or strips or as a 'plank' with 3 or 4 rows of 'wood' shown. In other words there are multiple varietys of 'engineered'. Wear layer is not that important. It would take a lot of 'walking' to walk thru the finish down to the wood. Prefinished wood can be recoated and won't need to be resanded. Solid isn't neccessarily better than engineered just because its thicker. Many of you seem to worry excessively about scratching, dogs etc. No one warrants against scratching etc. Your happiness will be based on finding a product that has some graining and character to help mask a problem. Laminate floors can not be refinished in any way. Laminate have a picture of wood and are not the same as engineered floors. If buying hardwood or carpet were as easy as saying buying x is the best we wouldn't be discussing all this. Education is hard but its possible to educate yourself. Best thing is to see a product installed and go with something you like. Aluminum oxide finishes are far more durable than site finished floors. This fact is from testing those products in a lab not from marketing BS. I wish I had some simple site for you to go and get your questions answered. Its a slow process I understand, but because someone posts a warning about some brand being good or bad means very little as each brand has multiple variations of the same product so it means little unless you have excactly the same. Everything has tradeoffs. What you are willing to accept may be different from the next person. I hope this helps somewhat.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hi Boxers, I have a question for you re: engineered floors. I have a stained maple engineered floor. I chose maple over cherry because the Janta(?) hardness rating is better for maple than cherry. I know it's not a manufacturing issue per se and that the factory will not warrant scratching, but it seems like the floor I have is VERY easy to make indentations in-- something that is not easily repaired w/rescreening. Is the hardness rating of the species not relevant when dealing w/engineered hardwoods? Is it the softer substrate in engineered that makes it so easy to dent? I'm definitely not hard on my floors. If I have crumbs under the rug in my kitchen, it indents the floor! What are your thoughts about this?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

The Janka test gives a relative hardness, but like my other comments too many people think the higher number is better. I was told by our technical people that the hardness is the same on engineered vs a solid. Engineered can have 3 5 or even 7 plys. I was told that this is due to variations of different species for stability, but the construction of the plys did not affect the 'hardness' of the wear layer. Part of what you are seeing is due to the clearness of maple. When you have a 'clean' smooth surface your eye will pick up small indentations in the wood. You can add another layer of finish by recoating but it won't make it 'harder'. A flooring guy can sometimes 'steam' a dent to raise it but I wouldn't attempt it as a diy project.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Thank you for your help--I still wonder if solid maple would hold up better, but your answer is helpful. I DO love the floor, and I am getting used to the dings. :)
And thank you for correcting me (janka, janka janka...)


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hi Boxer, I found your discussion above very interesting. However, your response to catluvr generated a question with regard to useing engineered hardwood in a kitchen. I have read in this forum about glueing the grove during installation to help stop water damage. You mentioned recoating the floor and I was wondering if this was done immediately after installation if it would also help prevent water from getting into the seams and damaging the wood?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I think the idea of kitchen flooring and using hardwood is often discussed here. I have solid hardwood in my kitchen and twice this week I've dropped a quart of water on it with no damage. You will get expansion and contraction on all products solid or engineered, though perhaps less with engineered. Some micro bevels are so small that I don't think it would matter. If you clean the spill up right away its going to be fine. If your dishwaher leaks you have an insurance claim no matter what you used. To answer your question yes, you can recoat a floor immediately after installation. I've had people do that if they wanted a matte finish and the product only came with satin. Personally I wouldn't do it solely to worry about water penetration. I would suggest it a few yrs down the road if you start to see small scratches etc. My floor has sq edges but you can also find factory finished with square ends and square edges. The mico bevel is there to avoid the problems associated with uneven subfloors and to avoid 'overwood.'


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Good post, boxers. I think that the biggest issue you addressed is the "one size fits all" idea that so many of us seem to have. It's hard to come to grips with the idea that for my friend, with two tough little boys with 14 trucks each, and one St.Bernard, maybe the high quality laminate will serve best, and that for me, with one teen at home, three people removing shoes for most home time, and only two under-20-lb dogs, that an engineered hardwood will probably hold up very well for many years.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

thank you Redbazel. I just got slammed for being sarcastic in the 'Will buying online void my warranty. My normal sarcasm gets in the way. Your observations are correct and in everything dealing with flooring there is a tradeoff. Read these posts for a while and you get the idea. Someone buys a product because its rated harder but it shows every dent. There is a good compromise but you have to know all the options.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Boxer, I read all of that and I see both sides. That lady was an exception to the rule and was gathering her information the way I like to see it done. Which is do not take advantage of the local people by traipsing in and out with various samples and then buying it online. I don't like that one bit either. She was not doing that.

Stick around. Whether you know it or not your candid experienced advice is appreciated, I for one appreciate it.

Have a great day.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Thanks Boxers, What is your thoughts on the very thin engineered wood, like Kahrs Linnea and BR111razor thin veneers. i understand you cannot sand them but you can screen them. How do they wear and how long will they last?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

funny you asked the question. Tonite I'm sorting out a lot of technical info I aquired over the year. In normal use you would never walk thru an aluminum oxide finish to the wood veneer. When people discuss wear in hardwood its associated with 'a loss of gloss'. In carpet its associated with matting and crushing. I saw a hardwood such as Kahrs in an office setting where they used castered chairs with no chair pads. In that setting it wore thru in a few yrs. In general the trick is to recoat when you see a noticeable loss of gloss, but before you are down to bare woods. I can't give you a # of yrs, but it would take 20-30 yrs in normal use to walk thru the finish, and thats why you see such long finish warrantys. Problem is people think the floor or carpet will look good for the life of the warranty, and thats not what the mfctr is warrantying against. If you have an entry way and a bunch of kids and dogs that track in dirt and grit, you could wear away the entry finish in a few yrs, but if you properly protect traffic lanes with area rugs etc. it will help prolong the good looks.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Thank you again. With the thin 1/16 veneer it could be recoated when it looses its shine. Rugs and traffic savers would be a good idea. How do you feel about a thin product that is real nice looking but cannot be resanded to remove future marks. The layering process of the br11 claims to make american cherry as hard as red oak, so that has a nice appeal. But I am hesitant because it is so thin, not even the 1/8 wear layer of the Kahrs regular collection of the Casanova or triangalo? collection bruce


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Boxers----Please advise me if you could!! We are builing MY DREAM house after 5 years of planning, I thought I had decided on everything, raw birch flooring through out the main floor, than I ran into The Palo Duro Collection (ENGINEERED)in the Mesa Verde Walnut and I want to change! Our house is very rustic, I want that too show through everything! Also, I was thinking of putting wood floor in my childrens bedrooms which will be downstairs (walk out basement) any suggestions on types, etc.???


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

When installing an engineered wood floor which method do you recomend for installing it, floating or glue down? I've heard you get sqeaks when floating, thanks for your reply.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

not every engineered floor can be floated. At Bruce many engineered products were glue or staple down only. I've seen squeaking floors in solid nail down. Most floating floors will tend to have a slightly hollow sound, but not as clicky as laminate.
In regards to BR111 american cherry. I know of know process other than acrylic impregnation that will increase the hardness. The veneer is the species so you can't make it harder. The only time you will ever sand, is to totally change the color or for extremely deep gouges. If that were to happen just do a board replacement, but you probably will never 'sand' this floor.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I am lokking at 1/2" EW from Lauzon and Mercier. Both look more impressive, more sturdy than the Bruce, Mohawk, Shaw lines. Lauzon is 5-plie, Mercier loooks like 7-plie (although I cannot get Mercier to confirm this).

Lauzon uses Douglas Fir for the non-wear layer plies. Both products have an 1/8" wear layer.

Is DF with it's 660 janka rating good enough for the non-wear layers?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

the two products you mention are both good lines. Lauzon is quite expensive, and Mercier my distributor sold. I was told by my technical people that the 3 of plies is dependent on the species and the stability of the species, but has little or nothing to do with the product itself. The wood used in the 'plys' is a function of the overall stability. Bruce also makes Robbins. There was a time that Robbins advertised they used hardwood in the construction of their engineered. I was told that was marketing. Carpet One and Karastan promote the backing of their carpet. I was told it was all marketing. I'm not picking on you, but to rule out major lines of wood cause they don't appear as 'sturdy' is a very subjective criteria. Most mfctrs don't give specs on wear layer, construction material of plys etc. Buy what you like. Almost all engineered have a structural warranty on the construction aspects. If it fails its covered. If it fails because of moisture, or poor maintenance, any of the products would have suffered the same fate (ie: a flood)


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Thanks boxers.

Today I started looking at Andersons line of 1/2" EW's.

Any opinion on them, and in general, if I buy from FastFloors.com, do you see any issues dealing over the internet, rather than a local distributor (I will install this myself since)?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Anderson is a mainstream manufacturer who has a lot of rustic and character type wood. Its a popular brand. I haven't heard a lot of negative about it. I see their displays everywhere. Internet shopping has been adressed multiple times. The problem is if you have a claim mills require the selling retailer to inspect the floor. If Fastfloors has a policy regarding that you should clarify. Lots of time the internet company will buy from the local distributor. Like anything if in doubt don't install it. Once its down its way harder to get things done.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

boxers - thanks for your expertise here.
I am thinking of using an exotic engineered floor. It will be made to order, using 3.5mm zebrawood in a 3/4" thick floor. We're leaning towards engineered rather than solid because we live on a lagoon, and I think engineered might help prevent cupping from moisture, and be more stable. Anything special I should be looking for? I found a source on the internet, which seems to be a respectable company. But since I'm not buying a brand name, and I've never bought an engineered floor, what issues should I be concerned about? Should I just get a sample, show it to my great floor installer, and let him decide if it is a good product? Can he tell by just looking at a sample, or are there more specifics he needs to know about the manufacturing process?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I can't imagine a 'made to order floor". A multitude of questions would come to mind. How is it dried? Moisture content, how is it sawed, straight line ripped. Sliced veneer, rotary peeled veneer? How is it finished? How many plies? Stability? Flooring imho is not something you can just assemble. Major companies can spend years developing a product line and even with testing can have major problems down the line. Ask a retailer how many lines they have carried that their installers hated so much or they had so many claims they gave up on the product line. Sounds like you have your heart set on something exotic but I assure you even when buying a major brand you can have problems but buying something from an unknown I think is far riskier than what the avg homeowner would want to get involved with. I'm happy to hear from others, but I'm coming from working from major mills and know how much research and development time goes into new products.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hi Boxers,

Thanks for all the advice. Looking to put cherry flooring in my kitchen. What are the differences between American Cherry and Barzilian Cherry?

Thanks!!


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Brazillian cherry is about 82% harder than oak while american cherry is very soft. People love the look cause lots of people have cherry cabinets, but they are very easy to dent. Look at Hartco with Patter Plus with acrylic impregnation. They have a cherry and its way harder than normal as its designed for commercial application and uses a higher concentration of aluminum oxide in the finish.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

We had the Hartco Pattern Plus in our previous house. It was great. I was impressed with the acrylic impregnation. The thing that convinced me to buy PP was when I went to a flooring place to see it & they had a 3 ft section installed by the front door. It had been down 3 years & had all kinds of shoes walk over it. The day I went they were sweeping it with a broom & it still looked great. I knew we wouldn't be as hard on our floor as that one had been used.Having color injected all the way through helps make scratches less noticeable.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hello Boxers,
I have a Hartco-Exotic Treasures-Natural Cherry floor that was installed a week before Christmas. It is in a new family room/dining area that has not gotten much use yet, but it is denting and we are getting deep scratches. The denting is from my dining room chairs that have protectors on them and have no effect on my 80 year old oak floors. The scratches are coming from my 28lb dog just walking across the floor. I recently had my staircase refinished and the dog can run up and down them with no scratching. Are engineered floors truly as durable as on site finished flooring? I can put a deep scratch in the Hartco floor by merely running my fingernail across it. The flooring company where I purchased the floor has a no questions asked replacement policy for 120 days. Can you recommend a Hartco floor that would be suitable for a family room/dining area that would minimize dents and scratches. Would you recommend the Valenza collection over what I previously selected-I was looking at the Jatoba Natural(Brazilian Cherry)for its look and Janka rating. Thanks for any advice you have to offer.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Check out feedback of that floor.Have there been any issues with it?
I am having real issues with getting the Hartco Valenza Kempas solid installed. This is our 2nd attempt with the 2nd shipment of wood & 2nd set of installers. Seems there is milling issue & it doesn't line up evenly. The Hartco rep was out Monday & I have been working with Armstrong Headquarters to resolve the issue. It has been 2 months trying to get 1100 sq ft installed.

On the other hand... we did have Hartco Pattern Plus previously in a house & loved it. The color goes all the way through & it was a durable product. I am hoping this issue with the Kempas is a fluke. It is a VERY hard wood according to the installers & looks gorgeous but is a buzzard to get installed.

If we switch flooring we are looking at the UA Santos Mahogany engineered floor. We have been told by several flooring people that it is a good product & it looks similar to the coloring of the Kempas or some Brazilian cherry samples I've seen.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Thanks laplanter. Maybe I will check out the oak Pattern Plus. I can't switch to another mfgr because my guarantee is with the flooring store and that is what they carry. Pattern Plus does have a Cherry but it is American Cherry so I would not want to make the same mistake twice even if does have a better finish. I guess my thought is that the Brazilian cherry from the Valenza collection would be stronger. My household consists of myself,husband and 13 yr old daughter; not a lot of traffic or abuse on the floor. At this point in time, I wish I had just got regular hardwood flooring with all of the problems I have has so far with this product. Because it had a 25 yr guarantee, I thought it would be pretty durable. The flooring sales people told me nothing about Janka ratings, or gave me any advice about American Cherry. Thanks for the info about Pattern Plus


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I am a big fan of sanded on site. I have had prefinished in two previous homes and did not care for it as much as the smooth on site finish. Stuff gets caught in the kissed edges, microbevels or whatever you want to call it. Also, as someone else already pointed out, the aluminum oxide finish does no prevent scratches or denting. All wood floors, whether they be sanded on site or prefinished, will dent and scratch.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

exotic trasures if I remember is the plank style longstrip. Dining room chairs can dent it but it has nothing to do with site vs prefinished. As far as Valenza is concerned, when I was with Hartco it had just been introduced but it was very well milled. What specifically is the issue?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Im looking at putting hardwood floors in my house. Im not sure what type to get (Engineered or Laminate). Most of my furniture is made from oak. Do I try and match it or do I get something contrasting? Plus I have two small children and two medium size dogs.

Would you recommend Engineered or Laminate?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Boxers: I saw my flooring guy today and he said he talked to the factory about my floors. While they said (and I knew) they won't warrant against dents and scratches (they WILL NOT warranty the product if there are pets in the house, period), they admitted that engineered hardwoods are SOFTER than solid hardwoods and that's because of the substrate of the material underneath, and that they will dent much more easily than solid hardwood. So, there's my answer--I probably should have gotten solid (however, I might not have found a finish that I liked).


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I'm not sure I agree with the answer given. In many states such as California engineered are the predominant flooring used. Any state that uses slab construction also uses engineered. The janka rating should be the same wether engineered or solid so one shouldn't dent more easily than the other. Since there are varying construction styles within the 'term' engineered I don't think a pat answer works for each case. Like you said there are tradeoffs so the finish benefit might outweigh the construction aspect.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hello Boxers - I've just come across this thread and I want to thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us in such a balanced way. I've learned a lot from your postings and hope you'll continue to check in on this thread. :-)

We're building on acreage and have two big dogs (over 100 lbs each), but we're determined to have wood flooring throughout most of the Main Level (including the kitchen) because we think it's beautiful and warm. Sounds like a rustic finish would be best for us so the inevitable scratches won't be as apparent. If I've understood correctly, an engineered wood with an aluminum oxide finish would probably work best for us. Any other hints on what to look for or what to stay away from?

One other concern I've got is fading from the sun. In our last house we had Bruce in a "Gunstock" color (not sure exactly which line), and when we moved our possessions out, you could clearly see where every area rug had been. The only advice I've gotten is that dark colors fade more. Any other suggestions for minimizing sun fading?

May I ask what type of wood flooring you selected for your own kitchen?

Again, thank you!


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Boxers...thanks for all your advice.

I am trying to decide on solid oak flooring. One brand I am considering has less space between the boards, (one the sample board at least)in fact the joint is almost completely smooth. But the brand I like best, (better color and character) has a slight space between boards. I am wondering if I will regret getting it because of cleaning and dirt getting down into the space. Is this anything I need to be concerned about?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

are we talking factory finished solid or unfinished? I wouldn't base a buying decision on the sample. The tightness of the end product is a result of the installation and the milling of the product. In unfinished its totally irrelevant as your going to have the floor filled before finishing. In any case you should anticipate expansion and contraction as a normal event with hardwood so even the tightest fit may expand during the heating or cooling season.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I think they are talking about beveled edges.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

This is a factory finished hardwood. How does that effect it? Thanks for helping.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

is the top of the boards square edge? What the other poster was referring to is that lots of factory finished floors have slightly beveled edges. If its a square edged product that has a small gap I still wouldn't worry about it. At Bruce our samples came right out of the box and often showed small gaps etc. that wouldn't be evident when installed.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Wow! What a wealth of information on this post!

Going back to the question about fading: is this a given? Or will an aluminum oxide finish help prevent fading?

Thanks for the info!


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

i'm not sure if my last message was posted. if so, please disregard this one as it is a duplicate.

boxer - i wished i came across this forum during my research. i spent about 4 months researching wood floors and species. early may i finally went with BR-111 American Cherry engineered hardwood for installation at both of my homes. although i love the color of the american cherry i was hesitant to purchase them at first because of the janka hardness rating. the salesperson told me not to worry about the rating because the difference between american cherry and red oak is minute. she said in the scheme of things, 950 rating (for the american cherry) is still a hard wood.

i came across some websites this morning that said that american cherry is not recommeneded for flooring. it is typically used for furniture, cabinetry and borders/accents. this has me worried as i just spent a lot of money on having the american cherry installed in two homes.

i'd like to tap into your expertise:

1. is it true that 950 is still a good rating for hardness? i have an upright piano and a 60" big screen tv. they both are on caster wheels and have felt cups under them. will their weight leave indentation marks on the floors?

2. like brazilian cherry, american cherry is also photosenstive. i know brazilian cherry is hard, but i didn't like the VERY reddish, burgundy it changed to. i was also told by the sales person that the american cherry will change colors, but not to the colors of the brazilian cherry. the american cherry iwll be more brownish, red. from your years of experience, your thoughts on this salesperson's statement?

3. other than area rugs, do you have any recommendations/suggestions/feedback on what proactive steps i can take to help extend the floors' life?

4. your personal opinions/thoughts on american cherry. would you recommend it to your family and friends?

in one house it is installed in: piano room, master bedroom, office and family room.

in the other house it is installed in: living room, dining room, foyer and stairs.

thanks much!
jenne


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Aluminum oxide will not help with fading but is quite durable, as a finish. Some brands like Lauzon claim a fade resistant uv protection, but I don't know of any others that make that claim. Wood changing pigment is natural. To what degree or shade is harder to predict. Perhaps a distributor salesperson or flooring guy may be a better expert on that. Regarding the Janka test: I think the fact that your tv and piano have a wide footprint the psi on each 'leg' isn't as great as a lady in high heel shoes. Its harder to predict the 'dentability' of a wood. American Cherry is very popular as cabinets but less successful as flooring. At Hartco we always sold our acrylic impregnated Pattern Plus since it increased the janka hardness by 2 1/2 times. I would be careful with it but overly paranoid. Heartwood pine has about the same Janka hardness and people have used that for many years. If this is prefinished even if you got a dented or gouged board its very easy to replace. The best thing to do proactive is to make sure there are walk off mats or area rugs at entry ways. #1 problem with flooring is floor protection on legs and feet of chairs. #2 is maintenance. A microfiber swiffer is what I'd recommend with no water used. I think I wrote this thread some time ago out of frustration. If you read a current thread from the lady who had santos mahogony and her cleaning lady used orange glo to clean and it left a film. The next poster suggested murphys oil soap. The poster after that was a floor guy who said if they used all of the above they would totally have to resand their floors. The advice given by others, while popular, or not always the best. Trust your floor guy or get advice from a specialty store that deals with wood, ceramic or whatever. Hope this helps.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Thanks for the response...it does helps, espeically the comment on the piano and tv's footprint. i would agree with you on this, that the "weight" is distributed between the 4 legs. it makes sense. thanks!

I have felt pads under the feet of everything on the floors (tables, tv, chairs, etc). No one wears shoes in the house...and i make it a point my guests take off their shoes too. I used the dry wipes (swiffers) and Bruce hardwood spray. I do this about every 2 weeks...in between I just sweep.

I really like the color of the American Cherry, and it looks very natural and nice. I'm just worried about its quality and hardness...

I purchased pre-finished engineered hardwood. It has aluminum oxide. Here is the tech specs:

Thickness: 0.313 Inch (7 MM)
Width: 3 Inch (76 MM)
Construction: Engineered
Design: Plank
Finish: Aluminum Oxide
Species: American Cherry a.k.a. Cherry
Janka Rating: 950 psi


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Boxers, I checked today and the floor I looked at was beveled...the sales person said that all prefinished hardwoods were beveled. Is that right? Should I look for one that is square?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

micro beveled are the norm on prefinished. When you install factory finished floors if there is any irregularity in the subfloor on edge of the wood might stick up a little. This is called overwood. If you have all sq edged you have something pretty obvious, but with a small bevel this will help alleviate that problem. I don't mind the micro bevel as it helps make each board stand out more. From a marketing standpoint the bevel helps keep any grit away from the finish of the floor. I don't think there is any significant maintenance issues due to the bevel. Yes there are square edged products around. Bruce made a lot, but they are rarer.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hi Boxers,
Other than Kahrs, can you recommend any other brands that have 5" plank, engineered, click together, floating oak floors? Will be installed over concrete subfloor.
Thanks!


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

my experience was mostly with the brands I've sold. A good distributor rep who handles multiple lines or dealers that sell varied lines would be better to ask or give advice.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hi Boxers,
Are you familiar with the company UA floors? I am looking at a Grecian line, Santos Mahogany engineered floor in 5" planks. A flooring friend of mine says she is not familiar with it and thinks it might be seconds. I found their website at www.uafloors.com and it sounds pretty good. I'd love your opinion on them and the possibility of it being seconds.
Thanks,
Donna


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hi Boxer-I just found these postings regarding hardwood flooring and I'm thrilled to find some advice. We're about to purchase 600sq.ft of flooring and can't decide on colour and wood type. We saw a hickory at one place that looked exactly right-upon investigation on the web-the look appears to vary in colour quite abit. We need a colour that is darker then a pine or very light floor but lighter then gunstock or medium tones. We want something which doesn't have a red tone or even a yellow. Want something more brown in the grains. We are in Canada so your company lines will be different but I'm sure there is a shade that is universal. Do you have an opinion on wood types-for instance oak is best or ash is good or stay away from hickory? That type of thing. I keep bringing home the same colour every time I go to the store and get a sample-always a shade or two too dark! I love the look obviously of the medium tones but with a dog, cat and 4 preschoolers I care for daily-the less the floor shows scratches or dust the better. I know this is long and I apologize but could really use the help! Joner


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

My distributor in the states is Canadian Based--HFD Goodfellow. Depending where you are in Canada it should easy to find a specialty wood retailer who sells a variety of lines of wood. My word of caution is being overly concerned with getting the right 'tone' of wood is very tricky when dealing with a natural product. You can have a lot of color variation within the same tree or same species. We used to say it was god made vs man made so colors will vary. If you worry too much about getting just the right shade based on the sample, you most likely will be dissapointed when you get the actual wood. Wood will lighten or darken sometimes substanitally so the sample could be years old etc. We used to buy tons of Canadian maple because it was so clear grained and not as 'yellow' as american maple. Try Homerwood or Anderson as they sold a lot of hickory. Good luck,.


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Acrylic stabilization process

Can you possibly direct me to a site that explains in some detail about the stabilization processes of wood with acrylics? I want to make my own stabilized wood - small pen and bowl blanks - and want to learn how the process is performed. I have some details but want to learn more about this amazing process. Most in the know keep everything a big secret and will not discuss any details. If you can help me I would definitely appreciate the assistance. Thanks Derf (Fred spelled backwards)


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I saw it done at Hartco but not clear exactly the technique. I'm thinking your thinking of acrylic impregnation. It substitutes the water filled cell in wood with acrylic making it much harder than normal. At Hartco what I recal is the wood was dipped in a chamber. Not sure how the process is done and yes it probably is a trade secret. I know that Hartco was one of the only companies making commercial hardwood using that technique so I know its quite rare.


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RE: UA floors

Regarding UA floors. It looks they are one of a multitude of asian hardwood plants. No idea. Some imported wood is great and others so so. Impossible to critique. Interesting that their US office is in Lancaster--same as Armstrong. If you are dilligent you may compare samples to new lines in Bruce Hartco or Robbins and see if there is a crossover. I don't know of any other line that would headquarter in Lancaster.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hi Boxer - Thanks for all of the above advice. I am leaning toward a black walnut floor, but i am of course worried about the janka rating. I am considering the lauzon brand. My question is - do you think the titanium finish will increase the hardness? And do you have any feedback/info on these titanium finishes.
thanks,
tom


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hi Boxer--I would also very much appreciate all information concerning Titanium prefinished flooring. I am assuming it only comes in the prefinished wood type. How does it compare to the hardness of the Aluminum Oxide Finish? I would like to rip up the hard to keep carpet in my house and install some type of wood flooring. We have two grandchildren AND two large granddogs who visit often and we need flooring that has the BEST chance of standing up to the dogs nails. We realize that no flooring will be perfect to this type of wear and tear but we do want the best choice and the one that demands the least upkeep that is available to us now.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I've had Hartco Pattern Plus (red oak, ginger (?) finish) for about 8 years now in high traffic areas (main hallway & kitchen) plus DH's office. Absolutely wonderful and virtually bulletproof. Smooth and glossy (not shiny) and I love the variations in coloration througout.

My GC was going to install the Wilsonart laminate I had decided on, but convinced me (since I was leary of wood due to the finish/fading/gouging factors--rustic living in the Santa Cruz Mtns and all) to go with Hartco PP, esp. since the cost wasn't that much more for the areas we were doing ($4K vs. $5K), and that the investment was worth it. Everyone who visits still oohs and ahhs over my floors, and maintenance is really easy (just stay away from the usual wood floor cleaning products; follow Hartco instructions).

GC told me that the Hartco's process involves heat/high pressure to force the acrylic stain mixture into the wood. Also, that the engineered layers are of the same oak, so expansion/contraction would be consistent. Don't know if he was as knowledgeable as he seemed, but I'm very happy with the floors.

I'm now embarking on a Kitchen remodel, and the one thing that is staying is the Hartco floors, which to some degree influences the layout, with a tiny bit of flexibility. I have 7 extra planks, so any "patching" should be doable with some finesse. I'll probably have the same GC out again to do the work.

BTW: I have had no other experience with wood floors in any home I've had, so I think my GC hit the jackpot with this one.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Regarding your question on fading... I just installed Mirage engineered Maple with a Cashmere finish. I also had the same problem with fading on my previous floor so I chose Mirage because it was the only floor I found with UV protection. I also had the UV window film installed on all of my windows to protect the floor further. It was expensive, but worth the cost.
Donna


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Thanks for the great info. I'm considering an engineered hardword on all my 2nd floor except bathroom.
Do you have any info or opinion with this company below?
http://www.urbanfloor.com


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I can almost guarantee that this company makes nothing. They probably contract with an outside company to mfctr their products but I have never heard of any of their products. Nothing on their website sounds very unique. Did you find something that you love from them? Every company is outsourcing products these days, but at least there is a company behind the warranty. I'm not saying anything is wrong with these products, they are like hundreds of other sources you could be buying hardwood from.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hi Boxers and everyone else who has asked/answered--
I looked at a Mannington Chesapeake Hickory from the American Rustics collection at a showroom and I really liked it for the kitchen. Do any of you have any experience with this floor? Boxers, any more info that this naive buyer should have before committing?

I have learned so much from this thread -- many thanks to all of you!


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I think this thread is running way too long. Mannington is a major player and has a great reputation for customer service. If you like it, I'd get it. Its backed by a good company. Too many people here get all hung up on minute differecnes, so if you see a product made by a major mfctr, you like it and trust the dealer I'd go for it. There are so many no name products out there, at least going with a big company gives you some recourse if things go south.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

bump


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I got my Mannington engineered hardwood floor in the summer of 2004 and we did a glue-down install. I still love my floor and it was a great buy for us at the time. But I see a lot of wonderful floors out there and in friend's houses, that would also be good choices. My son is now working laying laminate and already has some strong opinions on what is good and bad about various laminate floors. But I'm still satisfied that wood was the right choice for us.
I think this thread is a great one and I'm glad Boxers started it almost one year ago. In fact, I was surprised to see it still going strong. But flooring is expensive and it can make or break the look of your house. Good, solid input from someone with real experience is invaluable.

Red


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I am currently looking at redoing our kitchen. We are wanting to match the floor with the rest of the house. That would mean putting down 1 1/2" wide oak strips, but I have been unable to find these anywhere. Does anyone have any suggestions? I live in Terre Haute, IN, and have called all homestores, lumberyards, etc.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Try a hardwood installer that does gym floors


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I have a few questions about hardwood flooring that I hope some of you may be able to answer. We will have prefinished, solid hardwood flooring on the 2nd floor of our house. It's custom so we can put in whatever we want. We can go for Brazilian cherry (Jatoba), handscraped maple, kempas or similar. We plan to buy from Build Direct which seems to have good products at affordable prices.

Q1: Due to hardness, is Brazilian cherry much harder/more expensive to install than the other?
Q2: Brazilian cherry is supposed to be quite photosensitive. The kitchen and d/r face south. Is it likely that in 5? years one part of the floor will look significantly different from the rest even if it has some aluminum oxide finish?
I guess I am asking which you'd choose.

We are looking at about 1450-1500 sq.ft.

Thanks for reading

Here is a link that might be useful: Brazilian or kempas or....


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

greg - can't answer your first question, but it does split a lot during installation and it's harder to sand. But as far as the 2d - that BC is going to get dark wherever it is. It doesn't keep getting darker and darker until it's a black hole however. It gets as dark as it's going to get and that's it.

Whatever you are looking at in terms of samples is probably what your floor is going to look like. The only time it is going to be light is when it is freshly finished. Mine is in front of a south facing window and it darkened within a few weeks. After that any further color shift was not particularly noticable.

The color of the kempas is in the same vein, although both BC and kempas can have significant variations. BC is very similar to mohagany in color. Although you didn't ask, I'll just mention that these darker floors, while they look rich and beautiful initially, will show dirt and dust quite easily. In that sense they are similar to a very light floor like maple. If it's in a high traffic area, I would not use a glossy finish and I would go for the wood with the most character marks.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Installation shouldn't be anymore then installing Oak. If it is, someone is blowing smoke.

All wood is photosensitive. BC is on the extreme side of the scale. It will darken quite a bit.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

rosesinny & floorguy,
Thanks for your helpful information. More and more, it seems we'll go for hand-scraped kempas or similar, tending toward a medium colour.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Thanks for all this great info.

I have a question about steaming out indentations. Is it possible to do with a floor that has three coats of Swedish Finish? And how much is it, generally?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Boxers, Great post, thanks for doing that.

If you re-coat a pre-finished floor right away when it's new -- for change of sheen or whatever -- are you saying you don't have to sand it at all? Not even rough it up a little with a vibrating sander or with some sort of chemical?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

you use a chemical to abrate the top surface. Its called a screen and recoat and yes you wouldn't ever really ever have to sand it unless you are changing color or you have some extremely deep gouges. I'm fairly certain that you can recoat a site finished floor as well, but I wrote this post to address the constant question regarding the thickness of the wear layer and the inability or ability to resand.
I'd suggest starting a new thread but this keeps getting resurfaced. Appreciate your compliment.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Boxers, thanks. (I'm sure it keeps resurfacing because it's important and people really appreciate what you've shared.)

You probably don't want to hear this question, but here goes anyway: What do you suggest to keep the chairs from scratching the surface? We just had our 11 year old prefinished engineered Bruce red oak floors professionally distressed. They were already in bad shape, gouged past the veneer in several places. The distressing looks fabulous, and we don't want to mess up again. The sticky felt pads, stuck onto the plastic floor glides, seem to "slide" off the glide. What do you recommend, other than putting thick socks on the feet of all our chairs? (which by the way have Queen Anne legs and pad feet, so it is not a straight shot up into the leg.)

Don't know if you have any hands-on experience with this, but any tips would be helpful.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Okay. I know that I want a solid hickory prefinished. The local guy is raving about the Mohawk Scotchgard finish. It costs more, of course. So is this finish really that much better to spend the extra $2/sf for otherwise the same wood floor? Anyone?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Does he sell carpet treated with aluminum oxide? I allways thought scotchgaurd was a carpet coating. Look into Owens hickory. Hickory is an unstable wood, and who needs the gaps. very thick wear layer for an engineered.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I've always used the felt glides that get hammered on to the legs of your chairs. Look around you should be able to find them. They will stay on longer than the glue on kind. Scotchgaurd has started to market to hard surface as its a name consumers know. I see absolutely no benefit to flooring. Whens the last time you heard of a floor being 'stained' other than water damage? If you leave a spill you have a problem no matter what kind of treatment you put on it. I don't know what they claim, but the finish is pretty durable and I don't see what scotchgaurd would do to enhance anything.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Some things to think about when purchasing engineered flooring. The thickness of the face veneer is directly related to the quality. It can run from 1/12" to 1/4", 1/4" being best. Flat cut looks better than rotary cut. A high gloss will show scratches more than a semi gloss finish. I was going to say how to "screen" and refinish a floor but then, naaaaa.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I don't think Mohawk makes a solid wood floor. I think it is all engineered, and a floating click glues design.

Things change so fast in this industry, I could be wrong.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

boxers: thanks so much for all of your great info...

we are having red oak put down throughout our house renovation...our floor guy is planning on 2 coats of oil based finish throughout the house, with 3 coats in the kitchen - how does this sound to you? thanks


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

How about some VERY basics. What are the top things to look for when selecting oak? We go to the store an see a million variations ranging in price from $5 sq ft to $10. There are name brands (Bruce, Cloumbia etc) and then those 'specials' with no recognizable name (at least to us) The specials are always cheaper. The salesperson did not seam to care what we chose explaining they are all about the same. So again, what are the top things to look for when selecting an oak finished floor?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Wow, sorry to see this thread ended early this year. I learned a lot reading it. If anyone checks back in: We are moving to a new house and will put in wood floors on the main level. I have Brazilian Walnut in my house now (which we love - look gorgeous after 4 years), but our new house has a more casual, woodsy, feel. I am considering prefinished Hickory - either "character" or " handscraped". It is 2400 square feet, including a very open family room dining room area. Has anyone experience with hickory? What would be a reasonable price to pay for installed prefinished?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Bump


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Boxers,

I have a different question for you. It seems everybody is asking about engineered floors, but I've actually already purchased a thin solid wood and I'm already a little skeptical. I posted this on it's own, but I thought maybe it should go here.

I don't think you signed up for this much work, but if you're still around, I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Here's my post:

I am installing Timberland solid wood 5/16" tavern grade Cherry Maple in my condo this weekend. I've been told that it will be OK to glue directly to the slab. I got the 2 1/4" x 5/16" solid wood. It's acclimating right now and the wood looks great. Most board seem to have inconsistent color, but laying it out, it looks great.

For the price I am very happy right now, but mildly concerned as far as how it will install and hold up.

I am having it installed by a legit sub for $1/square (I will provide the glue). I've seen the guy's work several times and I trust him. I understand he'll need a higher end glue, but he's trying to find some cheap (leftover from another job).

Very interested to hear any suggestions. Are there any red-flags I should look for? Will it be OK without a vapor barrier?

Thanks in advance!


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

$1 a foot!!! Woo Hoo!!!

I see a cupped floor in your future!! Has anyone mentioned a properly applied moisture barrier membrane to you??? It is basically mandatory under a solid over concrete.

Are you serious... $1 a foot?

I hope this isn't the "you get what you pay for" syndrome!
I have not installed a gluedown wood for $1 a foot... Ever.
It was $1.25 a foot back in the early 70's


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

OK,

It's been a few days. I've been doing my homework, but still hearing different things.

Floorguy, Yes, I know $1 a square is ridiculously cheap. Let's just say I used the term "legit" sub loosely. I would classify the guy as "labor," so I wasn't expecting any real warranty on the work... hey there's no warranty on the wood, so I'm going to eat it if the floors cup. I understand that. If I go to a legit flooring co., they're gonna blame it on the wood anyway, right? But, I've seen this guy's work several times and I really do trust him.

By the way, things didn't work out with the sub. His boss caught wind of it and nixed it - quoted me $2.50...It's a long story, but he really was going to do it for $1.00 - keep in mind, I was at least buying the glue, so that works out to $1.60-$1.80 anyway.

Either way, I'm doing these myself now.

So, I did the moisture test by duct-taping plastic down and found no condensation. The slab appears to be in good shape - dry and flat. Wood has been inside now for 4 days. Humidity has been pretty average for my area.

Floorguy - As of right now I'm not planning on using MVP or any vapor barrier...I am going to use Bostik's BST.

Floorguy, if you really feel that strongly that a vapor barrier is absolutely necessary, then I'll give it more thought, but most of the people that I've spoken with said if I don't have a moisture problem, then they would not use it. Isn't bostik's pretty good as a moisture barrier in itself?

Interested to hear what you have to say.

Thanks


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I'm bumping this one to the top so that boxer's good post can be seen again, and so I can find out if jridgeway installed his floor and how it came out.

The owner of the wood flooring store where we bought many of our supplies told us that the Mannington glue forms it's own moisture barrier. Our friend who installs told us the same and also suggested the Bostick's. We ended up using some of each over the course of our (almost) whole house install over slab. That was 2004 and the floor still looks and feels wonderful. We had a good moisture test in all areas before install.

Red


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

The adhesive might have some moisture barrier properties in a thick build on the concrete, like MVP does. But your using a notched trowel. The notches scrape the cement with a fine smear, and then leaves ridges. Your not building the consistent mil thickness for the adhesive to be an effective moisture barrier.

Before MVP, Bostiks suggested to coat with BEST and let it slump and cure. BEST slumps just like MVP does, it doesn't hold its trowel ridges. Then aftyer cure, to use Best to glue the wood down. This builds a mil thickness just like MVP.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I didn't see this till today so sorry. Bruce developed using a thinner solid hardwood with Natural Reflections. I know they changed the name since I've been there and there have copycat solid thinner flooring. Timberland is usually Bruce's cabin or tavern grade brand. Most of it has shading issues not related to wear or durability. While there is no warranty, we used to warrant that it was installable wood but you may have to cull bad boards etc. We generally recommended a urethane mastic which is made by Bostiks so floorbuy is correct.
Thanks Redbezel for your compliment. It may be better to copy and repost this cause after 85plus responses its harder to scan down to see any new questions.

So much has changed in hardwood since I posted this and then left the industry. So many companies have gone to imported woods, its very hard now to even get information let alone compare different brands. There is still something to be said by buying from a name brand as it least the comany will back the product. Warranty issues are very different than performance issues which no one warrants against. Complaints on this forum dealing with denting, scratching, dogs, water continue to lead so a certain amount of forewarning is necessary. My advice still stands on those issues.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

boxers,

What are the most interesting new products you've seen in the past couple of years?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

For a cement floor that is in a townhouse that was built on preserved wetlands, would you go with a thinner solid wood, an engineered wood (what wear level?) or a thick 1/2" laminate? The floor with be in a home office with heavy furniture on top and heavy file cabinets and a few little dogs that live with me in my office (I am in my office so much since there is where my computer is) and many visitors.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Laminate is going to be the best surface of the choices given, for the busy environment you say it is going to be. Bad thing is, laminate doesn't like real heavy stuff(psi) sitting opposite from each other across the installation.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Thank you Floorguy for letting me know. We are so lucky to have you on this forum. I wish you lived in North Jersey to help me with my floor and I would hire you to do my downstairs. I am now thinking of putting the wood or laminate also in my family room that really connects to my living room/dining room office but is blocked by putty file cabinets.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hello,
I had the Robbins Huntington Plank by Armstrong in my last home and I absolutely loved it!
I purchased approx 1000 foot of Huntington for my new home in November. Immediately I noticed it didn't look right, there was what I now know as extreme over wood, the dealer I purchased the flooring from turned in a claim with Armstrong and for the longest time Armstrong only wanted to sand the floor down as they found much less of the floor was affected than what I believed to be so. After the dealer fighting on my behalf for months Armstrong relented and allowed for a complete replacement. You could see when the boards were loose, placed and laying on a table/countertop that once the boards fit together the milling was off.
When the dealer scheduled and came to remove and replace the wood, it came to installing the new floor and I was still not happy, the floor remained troublesome. The distributor/manufaturer allowed my dealer to pick up double the amount of flooring needed and the dealers technician is hand selecting the better boards and installing them piece by piece. I still wouldn't say I'm happy with the floor!! It's just not perfectly flat like I remember my previous floor being! The dealer and distributor representitives have said the floor is as close to perfect as it gets and that it is well within industry standards for overwood tolerences. That inspections are supposed to be done from a standing position? Can you please give me the exact specifications on the industry standard for overwood on the Armstrong/Robbins Huntington plank? As the dealer is going to want me to pay my balance and I want to make sure the floor is manufacturered and installed correctly before doing so. I've read where different flooring products have different specifications on overwood tolerence. Please let me know what Robbins/Armstrongs are for the Huntington Plank. Thank You in advance for your speedy reply!


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

The tolerance for over wood is set by the mill, unless they are a NOFMA certified mill.

Armstrong/Bruce/Hartco/Robbins, are all the same flooring. They have there own set of standards, they mill to, compared to the quality manufacturers.

.012 is what most mills spec overwood to be.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

What a very informative and interesting topic. We will be installing hardwood floors in our retirement home next spring so I've just started gathering information. The new flooring will be in the dining room, two hallways, foyer, great room and hopefully the kitchen/breakfast nook.

Boxers, just curious what brand/type/color hardwoods you installed in your kitchen? Trying to convince hubby...I want hardwoods, he wants tile, LOL.

Dee


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I had to use unfinished since I was blending the kitchen with the existing hardwood. Blending prefinished would be more difficult. There have been some changes since I first wrote that article. So much hardwood is imported its very hard to get any kind of idea what the finish, wearlayer, and general info is hard to get. Everyone is importing some wood so even the 'name' brands don't mean all that much like even a few yrs back.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Thanks "Boxers" -- I have read all your threads and have few questions:
1. Does 'engineered' mean 'prefinished'? I thought prefinished was solid hardwood throughout with a finish (aluminum oxide?) applied at factory, and engineered merely a veneer of hardwood atop 'other stuff'.
2. Is Luan a dependable substance for subfloor over exising plywood?
3. In prefinished, is there less chance of buckling, cupping, cracking with the 3/4" thickness over the 3/8".

We are awaiting TOTAL replacement of Bellawood Braz.Chestnut 6 mos. old, due to buckling, cracking, and cupping-- but is the fault in installation or perhaps in inadequate drying/milling time. If we replace w/ same, are the chances equal for a second disaster. (installer/retailer replacing at their cost entirely)
Thanks much-


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

you can get engineered in unfinished or factory finished. Prefinished can be either a solid or engineered. Why would you use luan over plywood? Is it a nail or glue down floor? Are you floating it? Engineered is usually more stable than a solid so I'd expect less movement. Buckling or cupping is a moisture issue mostly or lack of acclimation normally. Its usually not wood related but indicates a problem in the environment. There shouldn't be more than 4% difference in moisture between the wood your installing and the subfloor.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

What wood floors have the fewest grains? Is it a no-no to stain maple flooring?
Thanks


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I have natural oak hardwood floors on the entire main floor of my home - except the kitchen. They were finished on-site, likely 20 - 25 years ago, and haven't lost their gleam despite heavy traffic and water spills.
I adore them.

I want to put hardwood floors in my kitchen, (I don't care about matching with the rest of the home) however I'm having a hard time deciding whether to go with solid unfinished or solid prefinished.

Everyone says you can't seal prefinished hardwood with urethane/varithane, or that it would invalidate the warranty.
Is that true with all prefinished solid hardwood?

The quotes I've been getting for installing unfinished hardwoods in my 14.25' x 8.25' kitchen have been astounding, some as high as $2500 after taxes (here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). Not something I can afford.

Meanwhile, I can pick up the prerequsite amount of prefinished flooring, rent a nailer, and install it myself for 1/4 of the cost. But if I can't seal the seams, it's no good in a kitchen.

Advice, experiences, anyone?


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

4 years ago, we installed an "engineered" unfinished wood floor. The Solid wood is 5/8" on top of a core that is made from 9 layers of faster-growing plantation grown Birch. The floor was made by Owens (now out of business) but we are having a new area done (bedrooms) and going with Shamrock. A link is attached.
Our floor is red oak, though other woods are available. We went with 3" and other widths are available.
I wanted a "rugged" look and love the wider widths but could not afford the higher price. Our floor is hand scraped on site, stained and urethaned on site.
I LOVE my floors. These replaced shiny 1/8" veneer word floors that went to pot very quickly, as far as finish goes.
With these floors, when you get a scrape or ding, I grab my black marker or furniture pen and it only adds to the charactrer of the floor. I will try to upload some photos. My house is ecclectic. Silk couch, leather and stud chairs, balck laquer piano, tapestry, scraped up floors!
Just 3 weeks ago, our interior hot water heater decided to unload nearly all of its contents. A portion of the floor was under water for an hour. It was cleaned up as soon as discovered and the drying out fans placed on it within 12 hours. Not one single board popped, cupped, nor did the finish get damaged. Even the salesman from the store I origianly purchased from came out to check for damage for insurance.
The carpet did not fare so well and we are now going into those rooms with this wood.
If you have slab, I cant think of a better product if you have good installers who do a great job with the floor leveling compound and glue down. My folks have solid hardwood on pier & beam as we did in a former house and the subfloor is always going to have creaks in it. Especailly when you are trying to tip toe.
The shamrock also comes prefinished.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shamrock Flooring


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Photos of finish on site 5/8" red oak veneer engineered wood floor.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Thinking that you can put a coat of urethane on any flooring and create an 'impervious' moisture barrier is simply wrong. Any flooring, unfinished or prefinished will have movement and cracks will appear between boards. Unless you have a 'flood' small spills etc won't affect wood flooring. The advantage is that if you had a problem with prefinished you could simply replace the affected boards without resanding the entire room.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Hello...is this thread still active??

I've read some of it but it's quite overwhelming. Our home is on a slab...we live in the south, cajun country, where it's humid. I want to replace the carpet in our family room and hall with wood flooring.

It's confusing. One of my neighbors (home on slab) has wood floors that she says were site finished 25 years ago. Another friend says that's not a good option, that we should go with engineered wood. Or prefinished solid wood.

I don't want a dark floor.
I don't want a glossy floor.
I don't want laminate. Husband put that in our master bdrm 4 years ago and I don't like it...it's like walking on plastic.

No pets now but will get a cat next year...still mourning our 16 yr. old cat that we had to put to sleep 2 months ago. Our children are grown but grandgirls visit sometimes.

Any suggestions? Thanks for any advice.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Here you go. Quite a few ways to go but for affordability, performance, and simplicity..go with an engineered real hardwood. Have it glued down. Have it professionally installed by the store and testing for slab moisture, acclimating the wood, and explaining how to enforce the inside humidity levels so the wood performs properly. It really will not be difficult. Budget 12 bucks a foot or so. It could be less and dont waiver from having it professionally done. Prefinished engineered wood. Tell them you dont want junk. Good Luck


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

I hope engineered will give me that wood feel and look. I don't want bevels. They look nice but cleaning them seems to be a pain. No getting down on hands and knees to clean the crevices...that ship has sailed. And I will absolutely have it professionally installed.

Thanks for responding.


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RE: Advice from a hardwood rep for those shopping

Any one know anything about Bruce/Armstrong American Treasures HICKORY???


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