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Test The Finish - It's What You're Walking On

All hardwood floor finishes are the same aren’t they? The only difference is the gloss, right? Wrong! Not all hardwood floor finishes are created equally. Our finish has 10 coats of polyurethane with titanium oxide and has a 40-year warranty. It also contains 0% VOC which means it doesn’t off gas harmful fumes. What is in the big box store/made in China mystery finish? Who knows? The fact that our finish is 0% VOC is very important. You really don’t want harmful chemicals being emitted into your home. This is especially important in new construction because the homes are built so well and sealed so tightly.

A lot of flooring coming in from China contains urea-formaldehyde which can cause everything from asthma to cancer. Remember the urea-formaldehyde insulation that was banned in the 1980’s? If it isn’t safe enough to be in our walls, why is it safe enough to be on our floors? China has very few regulations on what a floor finish can contain and very little testing is done on flooring being imported from China. There is no real testing you can do at home to find out what chemicals are in the finish but you can test the durability at home. The first test you can do is in a microwave. I have done this many times but don’t really recommend it. Most hardwood flooring manufacturers advertise they have some form of hardener in the finish like aluminum oxide or titanium oxide. If you put a piece of flooring with a finish containing either of these in a microwave, it will spark. We have found that a large percentage of hardwood flooring from box stores advertising “aluminum oxide finish” doesn’t actually contain aluminum oxide. This means the finish has only polyurethane which results in very little durability. Not to mention the false advertising they are getting away with each and every day. The next test is done with sandpaper and is something we highly recommend to test the finishes durability. It is quite simple; use 120 grit sandpaper and sand the surface of the flooring. Cheap, Chinese finishes will typically wear through with just a few swipes. A quality finish will take quite a few swipes to wear through, and an awesome finish will be nearly impossible to wear through no matter how much effort you put into it. The finish is what you are walking on so a durable finish is extremely important. The value you get from a quality finish far exceeds the low initial price of a cheap Chinese finish. A quality floor finish should last a lifetime without ever requiring a refinish. Some Chinese made finishes will last less than 5 years. The cost to refinish a hardwood floor is roughly $3 per square foot and the hassle of moving all of your furniture is enormous. But the box says there is a 25-year warranty? Most flooring boxes do promote something to that effect. But a warranty is only as good as the company that stands behind it. Recently, an Ontario hardwood flooring manufacturer offering a 50-year warranty went out of business. This was no accident, that company re-opened under a similar name, selling similar products and offering the same warranty. What good is a 50-year warranty when the company standing behind it will only plans on being in business for 5 years? Good luck ever receiving any settlement from a manufacturer in China. Being on the other side of the world makes it very easy to deny warranty claims and you the consumer has no retribution. Do you think the box store is going to send someone to look at your defective floor and compensate you for it? Not likely. No matter where you are buying your hardwood flooring, it is a big investment and has a huge impact on your home’s value and presentation. You want to be sure you are buying a product that will last and from a company who will stand behind it.

1 comment

By Daryl Hanson, on

Very nice article informative content thanks we liked it.

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