Real wood coalition part 10

Following is the tenth edition of Real Wood Coalition’s editorial coverage, which can also be seen in the July 12/19 print edition of FCNews.

These features include educational insights, new and staple hardwood products, and a spotlight with one of the coalition members. A new edition of RWC coverage will be available in every print issue of FCNews throughout the year.


Having the right tools is essential for a professional hardwood floor installation

hardwoodThe hardwood flooring industry in the US is valued at about $4 billion at the retail level. So it may come as a surprise to some to learn that more than $500 million is spent every year repairing faulty floors. Since hardwood accounts for about 10% of floor installations, that’s probably about $50 million lost to hardwood floor defects.

Given these dazzling statistics, it is in the installer’s best interest to take precautions on any job to minimize the risk of failure. To protect yourself from liability and callbacks, installers need the right tools to measure moisture – the most common culprit in most floor failures.

So make sure that the subfloor has been tested for moisture before starting the installation. If you are installing over a concrete subfloor, make sure you have ASTM standard documentation showing that the concrete has been tested for proper moisture conditions. You may be able to get this from the main contractor, or you may have to do the tests yourself and document the results. Make sure that the moisture test system you use is fully compliant with ASTM F2170, so if after your installation there is a failure due to excess moisture from the subfloor, you can prove that the problem is not with your work. If you are installing over a wood subfloor, the situation requires the same documentation to protect you from liability related to moisture-related flooring problems.

Then use a pin or pin wood moisture meter to ensure that your flooring system materials are properly stored and acclimated before beginning installation. Both types are accurate when used correctly, but pinless meters have some significant advantages: they are non-destructive and are often faster and easier to use. There is no wasted time pushing the pins into the wood, and because they use an electromagnetic field to measure moisture, they can measure a much wider area.

Other essential tools to bring to the construction site are: spacers, spirit level, tape measure, handsaw, power saw, carpenter’s square, rubber mallet, tapping block, nail set and nailers (if solid floors are fixed directly to the subfloor), recommended glue and trowel, wood filler/putty, sander and a shop vacuum.


Hardwood home on Main St.

hardwoodThe same properties that make hardwood floors an ideal choice for residential environments (aesthetics, durability, ease of maintenance, etc.) also make them suitable for light commercial applications.

That premise was demonstrated through a recent installation facilitated by Foulk’s Flooring America, Meadville, Pa. Owner Mike Foulk, along with his team, specified, sold and completed a 700 square foot hardwood installation for a local doctor’s office. “[The customer] definitely wanted hardwoods,” Foulkvert told FCNews. “He was more interested in the barn-like, rustic type, but he also wanted something smooth that would hold up and be easy to clean.”

The client opted for a weathered oak look with a gray stain. The selected visual is a departure from what a patient might normally encounter in a medical area, ie commercial slab tile or rubber flooring. With typical office spaces usually in standard, muted tones such as blue, gray or even white, the warm, rustic-looking hardwood was chosen to give a warmer, more homely essence to the commercial space. Many designers agree that choosing a particular flooring material can put patients at ease or even contribute to an environment that promotes healing.

A more attractive appearance on the floor was not the only reason why the customer chose hardwood. The client also wanted a floor that can withstand foot traffic. Real wood, according to Foulk, fitted the picture nicely. Not only is it perfectly suited to the setting and customer needs, but it also adds value to the space. All of these benefits are selling points that the RSA or designer can use when specifying a wood floor for light commercial projects.

Another factor that comes into play when specifying hardwood floors is, of course, the trade-in option. Not only was the customer happy with his choice, but the retailer also benefited from a profit margin of 40% on sales, according to Foulk.

While commercial applications account for less than 15% of all hardwood floors sold in the US, suppliers say it’s still a substantial market for retailers looking to expand into other end-use segments. “In the commercial contract segment, we are experiencing a very high demand for products for specification,” said Jodie Doyle, vice president, US sales and marketing, Indusparquet. “The pipeline was a bit slow in the first half, but we expect robust activity for the second half and into 2022.”


Hydropel from AHF Products

hardwoodOfficially launched on Surfaces 2019, Hydropel is a 100% waterproof parquet floor infused with proprietary technology to resist water ingress for up to 36 hours. The product is made from ultra-high density fiberboard and is designed to provide higher density than typical plywood or HD fiberboard cores. This helps protect against daily spills, wet mopping or even pet accidents by absorbing into the wood. “It’s real hardwood from top to bottom,” says Wendy Booker, VP, marketing.


Brazilian oak, chestnut

Brazilian cherry and Tigerwood remain hot-sellers, but Indusparquet is also attracting interest with varieties such as Tauri and Sucupira. Tauri (Brazilian Oak) is reminiscent of North American Red Oak with its brown to medium tones, while Sucupira (Brazilian Chestnut) ranges from brown-red to brown tones.

Mercier is not resting on his laurels

From the early innovations in pre-finished hardwoods of the 1980s to the development of advanced coatings and product construction in recent years, Mercier has used a winning formula for longevity – a relentless pursuit of constant improvement.

“We have consistently innovated for ten years,” says Marielle Mercier, co-owner. “Since our very beginnings, we have made a mark on the market with our innovations that have systematically become industry standards – starting with the development of turnkey hardwood floors.”

Mercier said it owes much of its success to pioneering efforts in the development of prefinished hardwood floors. “The willingness to eliminate the inconveniences associated with painting floors after they were installed quickly turned into a true culture of innovation that has propelled the company for over 40 years,” said Richard Mercier, co-owner. “We have introduced non-toxic aluminum oxide and vegetable oil into our finishes. Mercier also pioneered the successful application of layers of stain that still reveal the beauty of the underlying wood, which is evident in our Elements and Naked collections.”

Mercier management also attributed continued success to an experienced and dedicated workforce, including factory workers, raw material purchasers, product development teams, and sales and marketing personnel.

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