The Case for Hardwood Flooring

There are several myths that might discourage people from investing in hardwood flooring, namely, the fear that it might be expensive or impractical. However, developments in hardwood flooring have created numerous strategies to reduce cost and increase practicality in ways that will not only enhance the beauty of your home, but also adapt to your particular lifestyle. 

The Mutunga Family receiving the keys to their new home with hardwood floors: Wire-brushed White Oak – 5″ engineered hardwood with Grey Creek finish. 

In today’s feature “The Case for Hardwood Flooring,” we have consulted Dillon DeRoche from Lidia Contract flooring for his expertise and advice on incorporating this stunning product into your home plan. 

Myth 1: The cost is prohibitive

An initial concern that might feel prohibitive to some home buyers is the cost. However, hardwood flooring needs to be seen as an investment because if properly taken care of, it can last sixty to a hundred years before needing to be refinished and raises the resale value of your home. More affordable products now exist that can better meet a client’s price point. For example, an entry level hardwood flooring option would be a wire-brush oak with a five inch wide plank whereby a customer could experiment with stains for a more unique look. 

Myth 2: It can too easily be destroyed

When considering hardwood flooring options, there are certainly some products that may be more delicate, and yet the presence of pets and children doesn’t eliminate hardwood flooring as an option. In these circumstances Dillon recommends choosing lighter wood tones because scratches are more easily disguised than in dark wood tones. A wire-brushed white oak, for example, is an easier option to maintain because it disguises imperfection. He also explains that there are certain finishes that can enhance durability such as a ceramic bead stain to provide a further layer of protection and choosing a wire brush finish over a satin finish to provide more camouflage for wear and tear. 

In terms of type of product, it is a good idea to choose wood that is local; in other words something that naturally works with the outdoor climate of your home. Maple, hickory, walnut or oak are good local options and are available in engineered or natural solid hardwood. Should someone want to have something more original, Dillion recommends playing instead with exotic staining options. 

Cost and upkeep is often a determiner in deciding between engineered hardwood and natural solid hardwood; however, both options are plausible. Engineered hardwood is manufactured by laminating many layers of wood plies together and the hardwood veneer is the final top layer that is between 3mm and 5mm thick. This option generally needs to be resealed and re-stained every ten years. Alternatively the natural solid hardwood typically lasts sixty to one hundred years of wear and tear. Common belief is that natural solid hardwood can not be refinished, but while the process is more complicated than engineered hardwood, sanding, resealing and restaining is still always possible. 

If perhaps, you might anticipate certain areas of the floor risking particular damage, another safe-proof option is to choose “select” hardwood flooring options which have fewer variations. This means that if only certain sections of the flooring need to be replaced, the new sections will more likely match. 

Regardless of the choice of hardwood, careful control of humidity in the home is essential. According to Dillon “wood floors should be kept at a minimum 30% relative humidity and [while] each species has more granular specifications…30% minimum is a good starting rule of thumb.” When the wood is installed, the humidity and temperature of the space as well as the relative humidity of the wood are measured to ensure a suitable climate for the hardwood flooring. It is important to note that regardless of how uniform the product is, the floor will deteriorate if there is a high degree of humidity variation in the home and the floor is left to dry out too much. 

Myth 3: It’s propensity to water damage makes cleaning impossible

Wood is certainly an absorbent material, but it is not impossible to clean. Akin to today’s trend to move away from abrasive and toxic chemical cleaners, wood flooring also responds well to more organic products. The most suitable cleaning option however, is rather simple: vinegar and water with some essential oil to add fragrance and tamper out the vinegar smell. Other alternatives include a general purpose cleaner (like lysol or dawn) or dish soap – though this does tend to leave a bit of an oil layer on the finish. 

In terms of avoiding water damage, current trends often outfit the whole main floor in hardwood  from front door to patio door. However, if customers have chosen a high gloss smooth finish for their flooring, it is recommended that tender spots such as the front entryway and certainly the bathrooms are outfitted in tile. Master bedrooms and walk-in closets and corridors/hallways, are chic places to feature hardwood flooring. Additionally, a current trend is to use hardwood on stairs but this should be used with caution as it can be slippery and may be hazardous to occupants who are more fragile (children, elderly etc). 

Myth 4: It is not eco-friendly

In Canada, it is quite easy to find eco and sustainable options for flooring given that hardwood is a native product. It is also quite easy to track where the wood is being produced and which mills the distributor is sourcing their product from. For example a mill in Quebec called Beaufranc has a practice of replanting and providing a product that has zero carbon impact. While this practice comes with a price tag, there are certainly strategies to make this option affordable. 

Myth 4: The hardwood flooring I chose will go out of style

Choosing something that is timeless is certainly wise when selecting hardwood options. For example, between 1993-1998 a blond hardwood with a kind of orangey tone was quite popular but has since fallen out of vogue. Lidia Contract Flooring would be happy to suggest options that cater to your lifestyle but that also will stand the test of time. Dillon offers, for example, the current trend of Scandinavian style hardwood with tones between blonde and brown that have low variation from plank to plank as a practical option that is slated to be timeless.  

Myth 5: It might not match my house

Flooring isn’t matched to the aesthetic of your interior; it is typically the reverse. Things such as curtains, furniture and light fixtures are more easily replaced and so planning from the floor up is a good general rule. One great suggestion to improve the overall look of your flooring is to use flush mount vent covers in lieu of plastic vent covers. According to Dillon this prevents the end result from looking tacky but may be something that is overlooked when outfitting your home. 

All in all, to create the look that you as the client and partner in this housing project are wanting, Dillon recommends bringing in a pinterest board photo collection of curated choices as well as photos of the space and/or floor plan to see if the product will actually work in the space being designed. This also helps the company narrow the options from 10,000 to around 15 to cater to what you have in your mind’s eye. 

Myth 6: The process is complicated

The actual process of installing the hardwood is fully overseen by Lidia Contract Flooring and Troiwest builders. Once you have your curated photos ready, the process of installation is easy. As mentioned above, the humidity and temperature of the room and product are measured, and the company checks that the sub floor does not have too much moisture. The material is then ordered and installed perpendicular to the floor joist. The planks are laid left to right or front to back, but more complicated designs such as Herringbone, or chevron (with “V” shapes through the room) are available for higher price points. 

Developments in  Hardwood flooring have increasingly made wood flooring affordable and it is a valuable and natural choice of product to invest in for your Canadian home. The hardwood can be maintained easily with proper monitoring of humidity, protected with wire-brush or ceramic bead finishes, and selected lighter tones can hide scratches and general wear easily. Additionally the hardwood adds warmth and comfortable Canadian feel to your dream home. The experts at Lidia Contract Flooring will ensure that you select the look that you are desiring, and will ensure that the installation process goes smoothly. Finally remember that the hardwood can always be refinished should the need arise.

We hope that you will consider installing hardwood flooring into your beautiful Canadian home. For more information, please contact LCF Flooring Ltd:

LCF Flooring Ltd.

“Come home to quality”

10512 178 ST NW

Edmonton AB.


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Image: Mutunga Family – Beni 2B model hardwood flooring.

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