Thursday, Sep 27, 2012

Hard to knock wood's allure
By KYRA HOGGAN, Calgary Sun Homes

There's a reason the beaver is our national animal -- the Canadian fascination with wood continues, particularly as material for our homes.

Carlos Soares, owner of Divine Hardwood, says hardwood floors are less a trend than an awakening as people begin to appreciate the merit of the product.

"People are more educated about things like allergens and dust collecting in carpets," he says.

"There's also a whole new range of choice in colour and style than what we've seen before, so there's wood flooring to appeal to any taste," says Soares.

A particular favourite today, he says, is hardwood inlay -- custom-designed personal accents to integrate into your hardwood floor.

"It can be an abstract design, a geometric piece, a medallion, a compass -- even a picture that says something about the homeowner, whether it focuses on golfing, fishing, maybe a favourite animal or bird," he says.

"There are lots of different designs you can put into a hardwood floor."

He says people tend to use inlay work in areas they want to draw focus, such as grand entryway, a fireplace or a cigar room.

"Borders are very popular as well, just to add that finishing personal touch," he says.

Some people prefer to accent the inlay with different colours of stain, but he doesn't recommend doing so because you'll lose the design the first time you sand and refinish the floor.

"We prefer to use different-coloured woods, or granite, for a lasting piece," he says.

"Then, no matter how many times you refinish the floor, the colour stays true."

"He says the more intricate designs are created through a computer template, facilitating outstanding precision in both cuts and quality, but even modern technology can't force art.

"You'll want to budget extra time and extra money for this kind of work," he says.

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