Courtesy from Phil Taneda of Koeda Hardwood Floors of Kelowna
Selecting the right hardwood floor is sometimes a battle between color and performance. Quite often we do not give enough consideration towards how you need your floor to perform for example in a powder room or laundry room tile or lino seems to make the most sense but in the open floor plan which is the majority of today's home design,breaking up the flow of color can be a conundrum.
For the most part hardwood placed in a small powder room on the main floor seems to be the popular choice. Also another performance consideration is the family pet or young children with heavy traffic use. To counter effect the inevitable we often add distressing to the floor prior to stain and finish giving the floor character along with our wide plank and random width.
Humidity levels also play a key factor when selecting flooring. Having a controlled humidity level is important in the Okanagan and solid hardwood should not be placed below grade and only certain species are suitable for radiant heated floors.
Most consumers are unaware that there is a transformation in attitude taking place with the manufacturers in that green certification and registered wood acquisition is becoming more and more main stream. Such certifications are FSC standing for Forest Stewardship Council or certifications that require an audited chain of custody certificate. These wood products are managed with consideration to sustainability and fair trade practices. There are finishes that have been available for many decades in Europe used on toys and furniture alike that are very environmentally friendly such as our Osmo hardwax oil. These oils are derived from a plant base and have been used in commercial applications such as airports and train terminals. The oil finishes are more flexible as opposed to a standard al/ox polyurethane finish which is hard and brittle. Oils penetrate the surface of the wood as opposed to placing a plastic film over the surface. The advantage of oil is the grain of the wood becomes more prevalent and a deeper more natural look is achieved. The oils are considered environmentally friendly by using a sustainable plant as a base and the VOC content is almost 100% free.
VOC 's are volatile organic compounds these are the nasties that off gas and are placed in a finish to make it flow onto the surface smoothly and decrease the drying time. Green products are available if we choose to use them and in searching for the products we found ourselves looking towards the European market place. Some 3 short years ago no one in North America had heard of an oiled floor. Now after attending the Surfaces Flooring Show almost all manufacturers have some form or another of these products to offer.
Koeda Forest Products have been manufacturing custom wide plank random width hardwood floors for the past 3 years using environmentally friendly finishes right here in Kelowna and a portfolio can be viewed at www.koedawood.com