Thursday, Sep 27, 2012

Hardwood beauty begins with sub-floor
By TIM GARDNER, The Winnipeg Sun

Homeowners who have always longed for hardwood floors in their homes will be glad to know such flooring can be installed in almost any house.

Bill Eva, owner of Headingley's Canoak Flooring Ltd., Wylie Knight, general manager of Winnipeg's Bill Knight Flooring & Carpets Ltd. and Ed Johner, manager of the Winnipeg Windsor Plywood store on Century Street, all say that, in the vast majority of cases, hardwood flooring can be installed in almost any home, even in a house that hasn't had hardwood flooring installed in it before.

All a room needs before a solid-plank hardwood floor can be nailed down is a proper sub-floor, Knight says.

"The sub-floor has to be of a minimum-required thickness and strength as laid out by the National Wood Flooring Association guidelines," Knight says. "And that would be 5/8-inch or thicker plywood or 23/32-inch underlayment-grade oriented strand board (OSB). Those figures would specifically be for solid hardwood flooring, 3/4-inch thick, either for raw or pre-finished product."

And certainly anyone who wants to install hardwood flooring in their home would be making a great flooring choice, Eva says.

"It's a great type of flooring to have," Eva says. "It's easy to maintain, it lasts for the lifetime of a house, it's beautiful, it's very friendly towards people with allergies because it doesn't trap allergens (like carpets) and it adds value to a house. It's generally thought that houses sell faster and for more money when they have hardwood floors."

When a person goes shopping for hardwood flooring, the most important thing that person should do is just to shop around, Johner says.

"You should educate yourself, because there are so many grades. People will phone up and ask me, 'How much is an oak floor?' Well, that's like phoning up and asking me, 'How much is an automobile?' It really is. Because there are so many different types of hardwood flooring, and they have to be seen."

In terms of what's the best type of solid-plank hardwood flooring to buy, Johner says people can get into exotic imported woods like purple heart and teak, but red oak and maple flooring are currently the most popular types being sold at his store. Both types of hardwood are native to Manitoba and are therefore relatively inexpensive, both are already used as wood trim in many Manitoba homes and thus would match well with much existing decor and both are very hard.

Hardwood beauty begins with sub-floor
White oak and solid-plank
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