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CHOOSING YOUR FLOORING

choosing your flooringWe find several excellent products to cover our floors on the market. To make a wise choice, consider where the flooring will be installed.

And then, we must choose the style and color to compose our decor while respecting our budget. Not always easy, especially when we know that our choices will have to be sustainable for a few years.

In this article, I will talk about hardwood, engineered wood, and bamboo.It is recommended to consider the following before selecting floor coverings:

  • Will the product be placed in a place where there is a lot of traffic?
  • Is this place wet?
  • Should the floor be used as an acoustic screen?
  • To what extent should the flooring be slip-resistant?
  • Is the product easy to clean and maintain, and how long are you willing to spend on these tasks?
  • Does a family member have allergies or asthma? Usually, the harder the surface, the better the flooring is.
  • Is the product sustainable?
  • What does the warranty cover?
  • Are the materials and the installation expensive?
  • Will the new liner be suitable for the flooring support (“subfloor”) in place? Does this support have to be prepared or repaired?

 

Hardwood

Essential in interior design, hardwood is the number one choice for Quebecers and therefore remains a safe bet for the return on investment for our homes.

There are several types of wood for all tastes and several grades, depending on the budget. But beware, hardwood is to be avoided in damp and cold places or on concrete floors, because moisture creates an expansion of wood that can result in a curved floor.

On the trend side, the demand is for the finer finishes. We like the look more rustic and natural in opposition to the more “uniform” or “plastic” aspect that reminds us of the appearance of floating floors.

In a greener era, consumers want the real thing. Real materials with the imperfections they contain (which was for a while shunned by consumers). In short, we are looking for more authenticity.

The grade

Regarding grades, even if they have the same name from one manufacturer to another, this does not mean that the description and appearance are too. The grade is used to sort the boards according to color variations and knots that reflect the age of the tree and its history.

The dimension

Manufacturers generally offer slats of width ranging from 2 ¼ inches to 7 inches. The wider it is, the more expensive it is. You also need to know the length of the slats. The higher the percentage per box of long slats, the better it is once installed on the floor, but the price will be affected!

The color

The color and graininess of the hardwood vary depending on the species, but the desired shade can also be obtained with the floor stains. For a different look, you can sand and dye the floor and then apply a varnish. To do this, it is better to use a company specialized in this area to avoid costly gaffes.

When it comes to replacing the floor, for durability, consumers are more likely to opt for factory-made models. The colors proposed by the manufacturers are dictated by the trends of the hour. We will remember with a touch of nostalgia the 90s Burgundy floors that have left their place cognac floors or pigmented orange and then be stole the show by the dark brown floors or “chocolate”. This trend is still in vogue, but we see appear more gray shades such as gray-brown and bleached woods that make a comeback in the market. The hues are becoming clearer.

Varnishes

The strong demand for environmentally friendly products has generated efforts by manufacturers to develop products without VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Water-based varnishes are commonly used and their performance is optimal. The consumer has the choice as to the level of luster. High gloss finishes have lost their popularity, giving way to more silky or matte finishes. You should know that the higher the percentage of luster, the more the floor shines and reflects the light. On the other hand, small scratches due to traffic will appear more over time.

At Preverco, there are 3 levels of chandeliers:

  • Semi-gloss (45 degrees)
  • Satin (30 degrees)
  • Mat (10 degrees)

As an alternative to varnishes, the oil is used. 100% vegetal and more natural look, we love its green side. Although the trend in flooring is too high gloss coatings, for wood, the trend is towards increasingly matte finishes.

At Tapis St-Sauveur, we sell gnarled wood with a matte finish. “Laurentian customers appreciate the more rustic floor,” says Manon Bolduc, owner of Tapis St-Sauveur.

The price

For traditional species (oak, maple, cherry, cherry, walnut, etc.), the price can be between $ 4 and $ 7 per square foot, depending on the grade.

As for exotic species (Jatoba, Brazilian cherry, Koubari, etc.), we must expect to pay between $ 7 and $ 10 per square foot, depending on the species and grade.

We must pay attention to inexpensive exotic woods, they may seem interesting, but you should know that a wood that has grown in a very humid environment can react poorly to transport conditions and our winter climate. Result: a wood that grows too much and changes color. It can sometimes even appear, after a while, black spots. Transport conditions and ways of tempering wood should be done according to the rules of the art. Ask about the supplier before making the decision to buy exotic wood.

Engineered wood

Engineered wood is composed of hardwood surface that is united with several layers of wood (plywood) for better stability. This product represents an alternative for more humid areas and for direct laying on concrete (basements or condominium buildings).

As it is real wood, we can find all the classic species, on a base ready to stick, nail or click. According to Marie-Ève Gaudet-Péloquin, sales consultant at Décor Tapis Emard, this product has an ecological advantage because “we use a thinner layer of hardwood that will be affixed to a Russian plywood; then less hardwood is used. ”

The price: $ 6 to $ 9 per square foot, depending on grade.

Bamboo

An alternative ecological solution to hardwood, bamboo has made a strong entry into the market in recent years. A mature bamboo floor has a lot of advantages over hardwood. It is stronger (up to 85% harder than a maple board) and is more resistant to insects, mold, and fire. Like engineered wood, it can be installed directly on concrete.

We love it for its elegance that can amalgamate with all styles of decor!

But how is bamboo more environmentally friendly? Of all the plants, bamboo is the best in terms of growth. Its biomass increases by 10 to 30% per year and reaches maturity in 5 years (instead of 50 for a tree of our forests).

However, it is important to know that bamboo coatings on the market are not all quality. The growing popularity of this plant has led to abuse in the exploitation process of this natural resource, which is why there are different prices and different qualities. When shopping for your floor, here are the questions to ask to ensure optimal quality and ecological authenticity:

  • Is the product FSC certified (Forest Stewardship Council) for the production and cutting of plants?
  • Is the product certified to California standards for rolling processes?
  • What kind of glue is used?
  • Is there formaldehyde present?

The FSC Seal certifies that about 50 criteria have been met. Among them, the maintenance of biodiversity. The advantage for the consumer is that it ensures the durability of the product. For example, according to these standards, bamboo must not be cut for at least five years and must come from a well-managed bamboo plantation that did not require any pesticide irrigation, and of which only 20% of the plantation is harvested annually. This seal ensures a higher density and therefore a better durability of the finished product. Only the Plyboo brand has obtained this certification.

The price

You should expect to pay between $ 5.50 and $ 5.95 per square foot for a bamboo floor. The market is flooded with cheap bamboo and poor quality because cut too early. Result for the consumer: a floor that scratches easily and is less resistant to wear.

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