Bringing out the best in hardwood floors

I think one of the biggest disappointments in home design is wood.

Wood floors or furniture cost a premium price for an item that is prone to scratches, denting and shrinking. This product will fade and discolour and stain at the drop of a hat and it is so high maintenance! Controlled humidity and UV rays, heat and cold all cause this fickle product to change and morph into something we never intended to buy. Purchase something made with an exotic species (not grown in North America) and you will find the colour changes drastic and the product is prone to splitting.

So why oh why do we love wood so much?

What is it about this fickle product that makes us drool at its sight? Is it the metallic luster of a well-oiled piece of lumber or do we feel close to nature when we have it in our homes? The sight of a freshly washed wood floor thrills me like no vacuumed carpet ever could and I love the colours and personality that natural wood gives, despite its flaws. Kind of like me….colourful personality with a few dents and dings!

The two biggest questions are ‘Will my dog scratch my floor’ and ‘Can I refinish this floor’. Both questions are a resounding yes!

Teacup Chihuahua or giant Great Dane, both these mutts will put a workout on your floor unless you make them wear booties all day. The finishes used on hardwood (floors and furniture alike) are brittle and dry to a hard polish which are easy to break through and traditional refinishing involved sanding and re-surfacing. But we have just received a line of oiled hardwood called Woodline Parquetry which is completely fantastic.

Wide format boards in colours from Smoked Oak to natural Walnut have a UV cured linseed oil coating that is massaged into the grain of the wood.

This results in a low luster finish that is absorbed, not coated on top. For those of you wanting natural products in your home, this may just be the answer.

Yes your dog will scratch it and yes you can ‘re-finish’ it with just regular maintenance. The cleaner that is provided with the product contains the same oils as the finish which restores the luster every time you wash. I was just witness to an eye popping demonstration where sandpaper was taken to the floor then a minute later a miracle oil was applied completely taking the scratches away.

No buffing, no sanding, no sticky goopy finish filling your home with chemicals. You have control over your floor’s finish for the rest of its life and you can repair minor scratches and scuffs with a simple wipe of oil. Natural and easy is the new name in hardwood; I think the traditional finish of hardwood may be a thing of the past.

Clients are wanting a choice when it comes to the air quality in their homes and manufacturers are responding with innovative ways to produce low VOC products.

The irony is, hardwood floors used to be oil finished and became far too much maintenance which led to varathane finishes. Hardwood has come full circle and it is very good news for your home.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.

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