Dealing with Remodelers page 28
Bumps in Bamboo page 35
A Day in the Life page 43
Preﬁnished Wood Flooring
You’re standing on it.
For consistent, high-quality results, choose 3M™ Regalite™
Floor Sanding Abrasives. Our premium products start sharp
and stay sharp, for a smooth finish with less effort. So they
help keep you in good standing.
3M and Regalite are trademarks of 3M. © 2011, 3M. All rights reserved.
DuraSeal® now offers a one-component water-based
polyurethane as a high performance alternative to its
existing oil-based ﬁnish. This innovative product applies
just as easily as DuraSeal oil-based Polyurethane and
retains a traditional look. Clean-up is simpliﬁed using
warm water, instead of mineral spirits associated with
For more information, call 1-800-364-1359
or visit www.duraseal.com for your
Pa le i
A Day in the Life:
By Doug Dalsing
Hardwood Floors spends the day
in Bergen County, N.J., with contractors Gary and Lisa Horvath.
Live and Learn
By David Martorano
Are your customers thrilled or disillusioned?
By D. Jeffrey Craven
Tips on crafting better contracts.
By Phillip M. Perry
Why leasing could be good for your company.
On the Cover:
Prefinished engineered maple flooring.
Photo by Gregory Johnston.
By Scott Avery
Form a better relationship with your remodeler.
October|November 2011 Q Hardwood Floors 5
On the Job
Ask the Expert
Q&As on contractor responsibility, mixing finish types and slab moisture.
In Every Issue
From the Field
By Dr. Melinda J. Burn
Adhesive types in engineered wood flooring.
By Bob Middleton
Is it the flooring or the contractor that is defective?
By Mike Harde
Everything you’ve ever wanted to
know about checking.
Special Advertising Section:
2011 Website Guide
At www.hardwoodfloorsmag.com, read
INSPECTOR and GREEN
BLOGS; see what everyone’s talking about on the
FORUM; and check out
the Web-only content from
6 Hardwood Floors Q October|November 2011
› Watch a video of Gary Horvath giving details on lumber his Real Antique
Wood Mill reclaimed from a barn in Hunterdon County, N.J.
› See more photos from our day with Gary Horvath and his wife, Lisa.
Join the conversation in the HF Forum:
>> From “jonjon” in the thread “Finishing rough sawn reclaimed barn wood”
“The client wants a reclaimed floor with a surface that has the patina and
wear you might see on a 100 year old barn ... This stuff is very rustic ...
What finish system will I use to accentuate this old look and protect the
The magazine of the National Wood Flooring Association
Rick Holden | Chairman
Michael Martin | CEO
111 Chesterfield Industrial Blvd. • Chesterfield, MO 63005
800/422-4556 • 636/519-9663 • Fax: 636/519-9664
[email protected] • www.nwfa.org
Editorial Advisory Committee
Robert McNamara, Chair | Bostik Inc.
Jim Schumacher, Board Liaison | 3M
Joe Boone Jr. | Wood Floors Online Inc.
Howard Brickman | Brickman Consulting
Rose Mary Cummings | Maxwell Hardwood Flooring
Galen Fitzel | 3M
Chuck Garvey | Bona US
Avi Hadad | Avi’s Hardwood Flooring
Sprigg Lynn | Universal Floors Inc.
Charles Peterson | CP Wood Floors
Jim Powers | Saroyan Lumber Company
John Shepard | Carpet One Floor & Home
Genia Smith | Accent Hardwood Flooring Inc.
Tricia Thompson | Enmar Hardwood Flooring Inc.
Scott Avery | Modern Tech Floors LLC
Elizabeth Baldwin | Metropolitan Floors
Howard Brickman | Brickman Consulting
Craig DeWitt | RLC Engineering LLC
Wayne Lee | Cardinal Hardwood & Tile
Cort Dunlap | Hardwood Inspections
David Harrison | Custom Wholesale Floors Inc.
Roy Reichow | National Wood Floor Consultants Inc.
Kim M. Wahlgren | Editor
Doug Dalsing | Associate Editor
Scott Maurer | Art Director
Marjorie Schultz | Electronic Production Manager
Scott Packel | Production Assistant
ATHLETIC BUSINESS PUBLICATIONS INC.
Gretchen Kelsey Brown | CEO
Peter Brown | President
Kara Clark | Controller/Circulation Director
Sharon Siewert | Administration Director/Accountant
Sadye Ring | Graphic Designer
Jodi Chamberlain | Sales Coordinator
Lisa Popke | Audience Development Coordinator
Alex Malyutin | Web Programmer
Susan Bickler, Erika Reise | Online Producers
Shawn Gahagan | Group Publisher
Kendra Bjorklund | Account Executive
Editorial and Advertising Offices
Athletic Business Publications Inc. |4130 Lien Road • Madison, WI 53704
608/249-0186 • 800/722-8764 • Fax: 608/249-1153
[email protected] | www.hardwoodfloorsmag.com
CHANGE OF ADDRESS: In order to ensure uninterrupted delivery of Hardwood Floors, notice of change should be made
at least five weeks in advance. Direct all subscription mail to Hardwood Floors, P.O. Box 47705, Plymouth, MN 55447, call
800/869-6882 or fax 866/658-6156. For faster service, visit us online at www.nwfa.org/member/mag.aspx. Single-copy price is
$8. Subscription price is $40 for seven issues in the U.S.A. and Canada. International subscriptions (via
airmail) are $65. Hardwood Floors is published bi-monthly, plus the annual industry resource book, and
distributed without charge to those active in the wood flooring industry. POSTMASTER: Send address
changes to Hardwood Floors, P.O. Box 47705, Plymouth, MN 55447.
Publication Mail Agreement #40049791. Canadian mail distribution information: International Mail
Express, Station A, P.O. Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5. Printed in the U.S.A. © 2011 Athletic Business
Publications Inc. and National Wood Flooring Association. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (ISSN 0897-022X) Periodicals Postage Paid at Madison, Wisconsin,
and at additional mailing offices.
8 Hardwood Floors Q October|November 2011
By Rick Holden
xciting changes are in store for the NWFA’s 2012 Wood
Flooring Expo to be held April 10-13 in Orlando, Fla. Our Convention Committee has been reviewing every aspect of our
show to make it a more valuable show experience for exhibitors
and attendees alike.
If it’s education you want, you’ll be impressed by the new focus
on industry-speciﬁc tracks designed to meet different business
needs: technical, management,
We’ve selected topics
based on feedback
from attendee surveys,
and we are working to
secure industry expert speakers.
You’ll see fresh faces you may not have seen before, as well as a
return to our celebrity keynote speaker format.
We also will be inviting designers and architects to attend.
We’ve developed four continuing education units (CEUs) that
will help these groups with their yearly certiﬁcation and license
renewal requirements. We also will invite them to attend the trade
show and the Wood Floor of the Year Awards Luncheon, where we
can really show them the beneﬁts and craftsmanship that wood
On the trade show ﬂoor, we’re adding 100 more booths than last
year in an effort to bring more innovative products and services to
the Expo. We’ll also have continuous demonstrations going on in
our Demo Theater to highlight new techniques and technologies.
And during the ﬁnal two hours of the trade show, we’ll have a
happy hour reception with food, drinks, and lots of rafﬂe prizes.
Finally, we’re developing two programs that can make your trip
to the show more proﬁtable than ever before. The ﬁrst will offer
incentives to help cover the cost of your stay at the Gaylord, and
the second will offer discounts from many of the exhibitors at the
show that are available only to attendees. Look for information
about both programs soon.
The time is right for you to renew your focus, renew your outlook, and renew your business. Make plans today to attend and
“Renew Your World” with the NWFA. You can ﬁnd out more at
the new Wood Flooring Expo website: www.nwfaexpo.org. ■
GIVE US YOUR BEST.
AND WE’LL GIVE YOU OURS!
That’s right! At Mullican Flooring, we want to see the best you
have to show. And so we’re inviting Retailers, Contractors and Consumers
to send us photos of their very best Mullican Flooring installations.
We’ll post your photos on our Facebook site and invite people to vote for their favorites.
Winners will receive Cash Prizes for their efforts. Along with our deepest
appreciation for the confidence and trust you put into every Mullican Floor.
news and information from the national wood flooring association | www.nwfa.org
From Ideas to Reality
By Michael Martin
s the new CEO of NWFA, over the last few months I’ve had every idea imaginable shared
with me regarding what the organization should do in the future. And as I’ve made myself
at home, many of these suggestions have now made their way onto committee and board
agendas, been turned into session topics for the 2012 NWFA Wood Flooring Expo, and are on the
slate of new products or services NWFA can provide.
While you might not see all of those changes overnight, rest assured, they are coming. And while
some change takes time to go through proper channels, allowing for as much member input as possible, NWFA has moved forward in many areas in just the last few months.
Coming soon, you’ll see a new NWFA/NOFMA standard for preﬁnished ﬂooring. This new standard will complement the existing NWFA/NOFMA standard for unﬁnished ﬂooring programs.
The NWFA Responsible Procurement Program (RPP) has been over
overhauled to make entry into the program more readily achievable.
Partnering with the Scientiﬁc Certiﬁcation Systems (SCS) and
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and with funding made
possible through a grant from the Rainforest Alliance, NWFA
will administer this veriﬁcation program for those manufac-turers who intend to grow their commitment to manufacturing
with trees from renewing forests. Watch for the new logo
from participating manufacturers like Anderson, Mannington, Mullican, Shaw, Sheoga, Smith, and W•D.
It’s exciting to see new manufacturers come into the RPP
program, and the list will grow as we take action this fall to promote the beneﬁts
of being known as a responsible manufacturer—programs like these can raise the
recognition of the entire wood ﬂooring industry and create demand by making the architecture and
USGBC communities aware of our commitment to sustainability in a real, measurable way, as opposed to a greenwashing approach with no backup to “green” claims.
As you read in Chairman Rick Holden’s column on page 8, plans for the 2012 Wood Flooring Expo
are well underway, and I have to tell you the changes are exciting to watch. With more
than 20 committee members involved in its rejuvenation, our Orlando Expo is going to
be the one meeting you simply can’t miss in 2012. Take a look
at the new website at www.nwfaexpo.org.
Also coming soon … the 2012 school schedule, new
protocols for managing school events, new website enhancements, and an open house here in St. Louis. We’re inviting
our education partners, local distributors, their customers, and all the installers we can ﬁnd to come
and learn about our education opportunities on Nov. 9-10. Come to think of it, if you’re reading this
in a different part of the country, why don’t you come, too? We’d love to welcome you to your home
away from home—the NWFA. ■
Over the last few
months I’ve had
shared with me.
12 Hardwood Floors Q October|November 2011
Saloon Series / Color: Saddle
engineered ﬂooring designed to be environmentally conservative
Hickory Hand-Scraped Plank Flooring
3/8” Thick / 5” Width
5-Ply Birch Core
5-Layer, Extreme Wear Aluminum Oxide Finish
Memphis, TN 38186
>>education and training
news and information from the national wood flooring association | www.nwfa.org
RECENT SCHOOLS & INSTRUCTORS
INSTALLATION, SAND & FINISH >> Sept. 13-16 in St. Louis
NWFA’s Director of Technical Training Frank Kroupa led the instruction, along
with these volunteer instructors: Galen Fitzel (3M), Bob Sponamore (All Type
Hardwood Flooring), Josh Neuberger (Basic Coatings), Dave Erickson (Bona
US), A.J. Winstead (Clarke American Sanders), William Costello (Dura Seal),
Roger Barker (Fortifiber Building Systems Group), Cort Dunlap (Hardwood
Inspections), Robert Humphreys (Majestic Wood Floors Inc.), Mike Kearns
(Primatech Inc.), Mark Long (Real Wood Floors), Mike Sundell (R & D Coatings
Inc.), Maren Feindler (Sika Corporation), Todd McDonald (W•D Flooring).
WOOD FLOOR INSTALLATION >> Aug. 2-4 in Las Vegas
Kroupa led instruction, along with volunteer instructor Jesus Vargas (Storm
Demolition), who served as the school’s Spanish translator.
Dubliner Chris Kacik does residential and commercial
flooring as operator of Green Oak Hardwood Floors, and
he attended the NWFA’s Installation, Sand & Finish school
held Aug. 3-5 in New York City.
hris Kacik is thankful to have attended the
NWFA’s ﬁnal New York City school this year
(he traveled all the way from Ireland). Kacik
became NWFACP-certiﬁed for Installation and
Sand & Finish, which he plans to use to improve
his marketing, and he is grateful for an unlikely
educational opportunity the school afforded him:
INSTALLATION, SAND & FINISH >> Aug. 3-5 in New York City
Contractor Daniel Boone led instruction, along with the following volunteer
instructors: Jim Schumacher (3M), Kathleen Freeman (Absolute Coatings
Inc.), Gary Horvath (ATC Hardwood Flooring Inc.), Tony Ziola (Basic Coatings), Martin Ceballos (Bona US), Howard Brickman (Brickman Consulting),
Mike Farrell (Clarke American Sanders), Paul Laurenzi (Delmhorst Instrument Co.), Steve Bewsher (Dura Seal), Roger Barker (Fortifiber Building
Systems Group), Steven Tolli (S/L Certified Inspection Service), Eric Butler
(Sungold Abrasives), Peter West (West Flooring & Design Inc.).
NWFA 2011-12 TECHNICAL SCHOOL SCHEDULE
For more information: 800/422-4556 (U.S. and Canada)
[email protected] | www.nwfa.org
Oct. 26-28, 2011 ......................Subfloor Preparation and Solid Glue Down (Las Vegas)
Nov. 2-4, 2011 .........................Factory Finish Installation (Las Vegas)
Nov. 9-11, 2011 .......................Subfloor Preparation and Solid Glue Down (St. Louis)
Jan. 18-20, 2012 .....................Installation, Sand and Finish (Las Vegas)
Feb. 22-24, 2012......................Advanced Installation School (St. Louis)
March 13-16, 2012 ..................Wood Flooring Basics (Las Vegas)
“I consider myself an advanced
contractor, but I still learned a lot.
I even got the chance to screw up
a ﬂoor on purpose just to see what
would happen—you don’t get that
opportunity on the job site.”
March 28-30, 2012 ..................Installation, Sand and Finish (St. Louis)
April 25-27, 2012.....................Advanced Installation School (Las Vegas)
May 16-18, 2012 .....................Subfloor Preparation/Solid and Prefinished Installation (St. Louis)
May 21-23, 2012 .....................Jigs/Medallion Workshop (St. Louis)
June 13-15, 2012 ....................Installation, Sand and Finish (St. Louis)
Sept. 11-14, 2012 ....................Wood Flooring Basics (St. Louis)
Sept. 26-28, 2012 ....................Installation, Sand and Finish (Las Vegas)
Oct. 9-13, 2012 ........................Expert Installation (St. Louis)
Oct. 15-17, 2012 ......................Expert Sand and Finish (St. Louis)
Nov. 7-9, 2012 .........................Subfloor Preparation/Solid and Prefinished Installation (Las Vegas)
14 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
WOOD ■ works
i n si g h t s a nd in fo r m a tio n o n th e h a r d w o o d flo o r in g in d u s t ry
Flooring for the Stars
Who (or what) is the real star of this TV show?
or most people, the draw of ABC’s smash reality hit
“Dancing With the Stars” is the goofy celebrities, outlandish costumes and, for better or worse, the dancing. Undoubtedly, though, wood flooring professionals are sneaking a peak at that gleaming dance floor. In the midst of
the show’s 13th season, Junckers Hardwood Inc. is enjoying
having its wood flooring on display yet again for millions
on network television twice a week
(Monday and Tuesday, 8/7 Central).
In the spotlight is the company’s
DanceFlex system, which comprises
With Junckers Hardwood Inc. flooring underfoot, actor Ralph
⁄8-inch solid beech flooring floated
Macchio and professional dancer Karina Smirnoff dance the
over ½-inch-thick DanceFlex Dance
quickstep (left) and paso doble (above).
Foam. In order to achieve adequate
flexibility in the floor strips, Junckers stabilizes the press-dried prefinished strips by joining
them into 5-inch-by-12-feet planks using a double-dovetail. Then the planks are given a tongue
and groove on all four sides and a specially milled clip slot underneath. “The clips are the real
magic with this system, as they allow for each plank to flex independently on top of the foam,”
says John Safarik, sales manager at Junckers. “At the start of a season, we’ll generally add about
10 to 15 percent of new wood to replace some damaged pieces, but the bulk of the floor from
the previous season goes right back in. There are some planks from season one that can still
be seen this season,” Safarik adds. So how did Junckers first win this coveted job before the
show’s debut in 2005? Turns out the dancers asked for it. “Once the pro dancers were selected,
they recommended to ABC that they use our system,” Safarik notes.—D.D.
Name That Species
Forest Products Lab takes the guessing out of wood ID
ood flooring contractors have many lifelines out in the field: NWFA technical support, manufacturer and distributor reps, and this magazine, just to name a few.
Another worth pointing out is the Forest Products
Laboratory in Madison, Wis. (www.fpl.fs.fed.us).
The lab, which is part of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, has the largest xylarium—or wood
library—in the world, and if its expert botanists cannot identify a species by looking at it, they have a
multitude of scientific approaches to ID wood. The
service is free; last year they identified about 1,300
samples. So the next time you find yourself asking,
... at his disposal for research
“What species is this?” turn to the experts at the
Botanist Alex Wiedenhoeft has over
and ID purposes.
Forest Products Laboratory.—D.D.
100,000 wood samples ...
October|November 2011 ■ Hardwood Floors 17
Forest Products Laboratory
WOOD ■ works
dds are most people with office jobs don’t understand
how difficult wood flooring work really is. Cristina Ortega,
executive sales support at Downers Grove, Ill.-based Apex Wood
Floors, admits that’s how she felt a few months ago before she
volunteered with four other Apex employees to install wood flooring in three rooms at a nearby group home operated by nonprofit
Services Inc. With
The crew included (back row) John Lessick, Tom
Farquhar, Phil Dedic, (front row) Cameron Lessick,
donated by Mullican Flooring, and Jennifer Le Gros, Cristina Ortega and Trinity Services’
trim and thresholds
donated by John Lessick, Apex’s president, the volunteers removed lots
The group home’s living room, before and after. of carpet and installed 765 square feet in about nine hours on Aug.
27. “I had never used a nail gun, racked out a floor, or installed a floor
before that day, so I guess I can put that on my résumé,” Ortega says.
“I had never done carpet removal before, either, so that was a little
interesting. It’s really not a pretty job!” And, turns out, the Apex crew is
all the better for their charity. “Used to be, the crew guys would come
back to the office all sticky and sweaty and I’d be, like, ‘Eew, why are
you so sticky and sweaty?’” Ortega says. “But now I know it’s because
this is hard work!”—D.D.
VINTAGE ■ moments
Ideal for Education
studious young boy sits at a desk, dutifully taking
notes and minding his timepiece; underfoot dust
particulates sit locked in a petroleum-based liquid so as to
not waft upward when disturbed, thus keeping the indoorr
environment pleasant and ideal for learning. After all, it’s
well known that “The constant shuffling of feet in the
schoolroom, and the more violent exercise in the gymnasium, stir up dust and circulate it in dangerous quantities.” Superfluous as this is, it is exactly what is described
in this ad for Standard Oil Company’s Standard Floor
Dressing product from the May 1912 issue of American
Educator. A free pamphlet, a full-room demonstration
and a guarantee that “vegetable and animal germs cannot find subsistence in it” were all part of the product
18 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
Photos courtesy Apex Wood Floors
Charity work brings ofﬁce staff to the job site
WOOD ■ works
Green ■ speak
Your guide to green vocabulary
Wood from the pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis).
once a waste
were grown only
for their latex and
when they no longer actively produced it, the trees
were burnt and new forests were planted. However,
the wood industry developed a market for rubberwood furniture and other products, and now the trees
produce useful rubber sap until age 25-30, at which
point they are literally “tapped out.” They are then cut
and provide a valuable timber with multiple uses.
Elizabeth Baldwin is environmental compliance
ofﬁcer at Metropolitan Hardwood Floors; this was
adapted from her HF Green Blog at www.hardwoodﬂoorsmag.com/blogs.
HARDWOOD FLOORING ■ mini-quiz
1. Match the common species name with its
a. Dipteryx odorata 1. Australian cypress
b. Tectona grandis 2. Brazilian teak/cumaru
c. Callitrus glauca 3. White oak
d. Quercus alba
5. The following hygrometer shows a reading
from a home in winter. If the temperature on the
thermostat is turned down but the moisture in
the air remains constant, will the relative humidity (RH) in the home go up or down?
2. True or False? Bamboo does not shrink and
swell along its length.
3. The area of a typical edger pad that actually
comes in contact with the floor is about the size
of a ...
d. dollar coin
4. An active powderpost beetle infestation will
have a powdery substance called _______
around the little creature’s holes.
1. a) 2 b) 4 c) 1 d) 3 2. False 3. b 4. frass 5. up
October|November 2011 ■ Hardwood Floors 19
Lost in a
Get back on track
Come visit us at SURFACES 2012
*ANUARY¬¬n¬¬¬s¬Booth # B3855
a t t h e M a n d a l a y B a y C o n v e n t i o n C e n t e r i n L a s Ve g a s , N V
Live and Learn
Are your customers thrilled or disillusioned?
By David Martorano
ike a kid at Christmas they walk in your store,
wide-eyed and excited to select a new hardwood
floor. Perhaps they want oak, or maybe it’s maple,
or it could be an exotic to match their kitchen table. The
selection was quick, the floor is installed … but now
something is wrong!
Unfortunately, this is something we all have experi-
Flickr | Swamibu
ots of people think the
“pursuit of happiness” is a
linear process, so they live in
a state of expectancy, or hope
of happiness arriving … some
day. They need to realize that
happiness is a state of being; it
is a conscious choice. Here are
three strategies you can employ:
1) Recognize that happiness is available now. One
way to increase this awareness is to set aside a few minutes
during the day to focus completely on the present moment.
Relax and become conscious of your breathing. Practice
smiling without feeling the need to justify it.
2) Choose to think positive thoughts. Begin by making a
list of at least five affirmations in the present tense (such as “I
am enthusiastic about my job,” rather than, “I will be enthusiastic about my job.”) Read your list aloud to yourself. The
idea is to become conscious of all the attributes you have.
3) Harness the power of the moment to choose happiness. This is not a process of denying the existence of stress.
But often people find it easier to see negative aspects of life
than to accept the positive forces surrounding them.
Marti MacGibbon is a motivational speaker, standup comic,
and author of “Never Give in to Fear,” available on Amazon.
com and at www.nevergiveintofear.com.
enced—or will—over the course of our wood flooring
careers: customers selecting a hardwood floor that just
does not mesh with their lifestyle. They come to us with
a predetermined idea of what they want to be walking on for the next 15 to 20 years or more. With all the
information available via the Internet, it sure seems they
have deemed themselves “the flooring professional.”
They know what they
want and know this
is the floor for them.
Even the best of efforts
to sway a customer to a
more suitable floor can
fall on deaf ears. Let’s
look at some typical
Even the best of
efforts to sway
a customer to a
floor can fall on
“What a horrible mistake. I don’t know if it
has to do with the grade
or the manufacturer, but everything dents or scratches
my floor. My baby’s high chair left a nasty dent. My husband and I are sick over this. How come you didn’t tell
me this floor would end up looking like this?”
Here is a typical scenario where the customers came
to the showroom with their personal interior designer.
There are two problems here. First, the designer asked
for a “cabin grade” floor in order to achieve a more
rustic look. There was no telling her that cabin grade really meant inexpensive builder-grade hardwood. In her
mind, it meant rustic. Second, the customers were on a
very fixed budget, with not much left for the flooring
selection. Seems they had a bit of money going to the
designer and not to the flooring, where it would have
been better spent. The designer made the selection for
the customers based on color, not quality, and without a thought of the clients’ lifestyle. The unfortunate
outcome: customers left dealing with a floor that is not
good enough for the demands of their family.
October|November 2011 Q Hardwood Floors 21
Your Business | Live and Learn
Customers have a hard time understanding that this
strong, durable, natural product we call hardwood can—
and will—ding and dent. Since it comes from those
giant trees, the floor must be indestructible. We all know
some floors are harder than others and some finishes
are more scratch-resistant, and we really need to find
out the needs and expectations of consumers in order to
provide them with the best possible flooring solutions.
“My floor is showing a lot of smudges and marks.”
This is a characteristic of the high-gloss, tight-grained,
piano-finish floor the customer requested. Yes, it is beautiful and shiny, but, like a beautiful and shiny black Cadillac, it’s going to show every little smudge, ding and dent.
The dreaded wet mop
is to hardwood as
“We purchased a 7-inch-wide plank floor. It is showing
gaps—I can put a quarter in between the spaces.”
A solid nailed-down, wide-plank floor is going to gap.
It is a common characteristic and will for sure expand
and contract with the change in seasons and changes in
the climate of the home. The wider the plank, the more
gapping should be expected. Customers, of course, need
to have this explained to them ahead of time.
22 Hardwood Floors Q October|November 2011
Do they have pets?
Listen to what your
customers are asking for.
Flickr | Daniel Kulinski
“I moved my couch today, one year after you installed
my Brazilian cherry floor, and now there is a discoloration to my floor—a giant light spot where the couch was.”
This is a very common issue, particularly with exotic
hardwood flooring. Over time the hardwood will go
through a period of oxidation. The more it is exposed
to light, typically the darker the floor will get (there are
a small number of exotics that will lighten with light
exposure). This process will go on for six months to a
year. More than likely, over time the lighter color will
catch up to the darker areas. You will have an unhappy
customer for a period of time until it does begin to
darken. The floor may never fully catch up to the rest of
the floor, but it definitely will darken.
“My new floor’s finish is very dull; I don’t know why. I
wet-mop it all the time and it just keeps getting worse.”
The dreaded wet mop is to hardwood as kryptonite
is to Superman! It will for sure damage the floor and
the finish. Please make sure after you take the time
to sell a beautiful, new hardwood floor that you send
your customers away with the proper care and maintenance instructions. Most manufacturer websites have
this information readily available. Print it out and give
the instructions to your customers. The care instructions
may or may not be in each individual carton, and if an
installer is hired to put the floor down, do not assume
they will give the homeowners a copy of what is in the
cartons. Do not rely on the customers to get this information once they leave you. Give it to them at the time
of the sale. It will help in saving you callbacks and will
aid in the satisfaction of your customers.
These are just a few examples of what I’ve come
across after being in the business for over 20 years.
Most of these scenarios are easily prevented at the point
of sale. Make sure to ask the proper questions of your
customers. Take note of how many people live in the
house. What are their ages? Do they have pets? Listen to
what your customers are asking for. Then it is your turn,
and your responsibility, to take the information you are
given, ask the proper questions and make an educated
decision as to which hardwood floor will satisfy your
customers. It does not take much to make your customers happy; a little work and probing up front will save
you some giant headaches later.
Live and learn from the mistakes of others, and be
smart and informative with your customers. The idea is
to keep them smiling for the next 20 years or more! Q
David Martorano is marketing & products manager at
Bensalem, Pa.-based Keystone Floor Products.
Your Business | Legal Brief
Keep in mind these points when drafting a contract
By D. Jeffrey Craven
nfortunately, most contractors
pay little attention to their contracts. In fact, they often never
read a contract and assume protections exist that are not in the document. Only after having been burned
on a job by a poorly drafted contract
do they come to their lawyer, invariably asking for the same thing: “Make
me an ironclad contract.” Unfortunately, no such thing exists.
While there are form contracts,
usually even a form contract has
blanks. This is because contracts are
like snowflakes, and there are always
variables. As a contractor, then, what
should your contract have to provide
you reasonable protection?
1. Be Specific. Many of the problems
on jobs result from poor communication, starting with the written agreement. While a contract doesn’t always
have to be a novel, it helps to clearly
define expectations. If your price is
dependent on availability of particular
materials, spell that out. Conversely,
if you want the right to substitute “or
equal” items, let the customer know
that up front, and if you are going
to substitute, where possible, get the
customer to agree to your substitution in advance. Provide the known
specifications, materials selections
and so forth up front. If you want
the customer to obtain any required
permits, state that in the contract.
2. Get it in Writing. Homeowners, in
particular, are notorious for changing their minds in the middle of jobs.
While it might seem like a small thing
to the homeowner to change out
one wood floor finish for another,
particularly if both are in stock and
similarly priced, you should still get
the customer to sign off on a written
change. Sometimes customers “forget”
what they tell you in the field, , and
you don’t want to be responsible for
their faulty memory.
3. Payment Milestones. In some
instances you can get paid entirely up
BUSINESS Q & A BY JIM BLASINGAME
Why would a sole proprietor choose to use a federal tax ID
number in his business instead of his SSN?
A sole proprietor should use an Employee Identification Number (EIN), or
Federal ID number, as a way in which to build a business credit profile in
order to qualify for credit without relying entirely on the owner’s credit history and
Jim Blasingame is the creator and award-winning host of the nationally syndicated
radio/Internet talk show, “The Small Business Advocate,” and author of Small Business
is Like a Bunch of Bananas and Three Minutes to Success. Find Jim’s show and more
at www.SmallBusinessdvocate.com, plus instant answers to your questions at his small
business knowledgebase, www.AskJim.biz.
front. Usually, though, you will only
receive a partial payment up front
and the balance later. Avoid fronting
the materials expense for a customer,
particularly if the materials used are
special order items. If you then require payments at certain milestones,
whether by date (every 30 days) or
by event (upon delivery of materials,
installation and finishing), put those
milestones down and tell the customer that you can stop work if you
aren’t paid at any milestone.
4. Lien Rights. Liens are a subject
unto themselves. Make sure your
customer knows that you have the
right to secure payment by placing
a lien on their property. (For a more
complete overview on liens, see “Lien
Lingo” from the June/July 2011 issue.)
5. Timing. Timing is often an issue,
particularly where the work being done interferes with use of the
property or is otherwise inconvenient
to the owner. It’s a good idea to give
a range of dates for project completion—if you finish early, you’re the
hero!—but if the customer insists on
having a specific completion date,
make sure you spell out the things
that will cause that date to be exceeded, particularly where such things are
out of your control. If there is lead
time, make sure the customer knows
that their delay in selecting material
will result in delaying completion.
6. Warranties and Liability Limitations. Your contract should spell out
what warranties you will and will not
provide. Don’t assume that because
October|November 2011 ■ Hardwood Floors 23
Your Business | Legal Brief
One Moisture Meter can do it al
RH and Temp
erss a wide selection
floor - subfloor - concrete- air
Pinless dual-depth 3/4” and 1/4”
Great for multi-layered materials
In-depth concrete moisture
EMC Datalogger BL2:
The BL2 Memochip can tell you,
if a floor is acclimated and in a
For more info go to
Any questions? Contact
Lignomat at 1-800-227-2105
PO Box 30145, www.lignomat.com
Portland, OR 97294 E-Mail: [email protected]
24 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
you have stated a warranty that the
customer has none. You also want to
make sure that you limit the scope
of your liability. If you do not want
to be responsible for accidental damage to a customer’s property, tell the
customer in writing.
7. Source of Payments. Sometimes
the customer will delay payment
simply because they do not have
all the money available at the time
your payment is due. Often the
customer lacks the funds to pay
and may be relying on lending or
insurance funds to pay you. Where
possible, you should verify the approval of your work and the amount
of financing prior to starting. You
may also want to have the lender or
insurer agree to make payments to
you directly, rather than to your customer, to ensure timely receipt and
full payment. However, the contract
should expressly provide that while
you may accept payment from such
other sources, the customer remains
fully liable to you for the total contract amount.
8. Interest. If you do not charge
interest for delayed payment, invariably you will get a customer who
will delay as long as possible. When
this happens, you are essentially
loaning them the value of your
unpaid contract. If your customer is
going to make you a lender, your
customer should pay interest on that
loan. So, have a clause that provides
a high rate of interest on any unpaid
amount that is due. That interest
should be the higher of the maximum amount allowed by law in the
state where the work is performed,
or a rate above a typical high credit
card rate, since you likely would
prefer the homeowner borrow from
another source and pay you immediately.
9. What Law and What Court.
Except when exercising your lien
rights, you may want all disputes
heard in your location rather than
your customer’s. If you are in a different state, you may want the court
to rule based upon the laws in your
state. Perhaps you prefer disputes
to be settled out of court, either by
settlement before a mediator or by
private arbitration. Put this into your
10. Included and Excluded Items.
Often there will be a back-andforth exchange of communications,
both before and after the contract.
You want to define which of those
communications will be included
in the contract, and to exclude all
other communication, whether
verbal or in writing. If the work is
for a contractor who is providing
the contract and you want certain
terms to protect you, provide a
written proposal that includes your
protections, and then make sure
the contract expressly includes the
proposal. Where you have a proposal, a set of plans, a contract, and
a specification sheet, make sure that
the contract spells out the order of
priority between them.
While this is not an exhaustive list
of all considerations for a contract,
addressing these ten items will go
a long way in eliminating common
issues and disputes, and they will
provide some protection when you
do have problems with your customer. ■
D. Jeffrey Craven, Esq., is a former
judge pro tempore and a principal
of Phoenix-based Smith & Craven,
P.L.L.C., a law ﬁrm whose primary
practice focus is businesses and the
construction industry. He can be
reached at (480) 222-2225 or by
visiting www.smithcraven.com. This
article is for general information
only and not to be construed as legal
advice or the basis for formation of an
attorney-client relationship between
the reader and the author.
Your Business | Money
Get More With Lease
While credit remains tight, companies look to leasing
By Phillip M. Perry
quipment leasing can be an efficient way to lend diversity to your wood flooring business’s
financial structure. That’s true whether your business is a start-up, a rapidly growing juggernaut, or an established player, and almost anything you need, from a computer network to a
sanding machine to a fleet of vans, can be leased.
“Having an additional source of capital can help a lot in these times when banks are more restrictive and cautious in their lending,” says Mary A. Redmond, a Kansas City, Mo.-based equipment
leasing consultant. “Depending on a single place for borrowing can stifle your growth.”
Equipment leasing can also bring a certain measure of control over your company purse strings.
“In an uncertain economy, leasing can help preserve capital by providing 100 percent financing,”
says William G. Sutton, president of the Washington-based Equipment Leasing and Finance Association. “It also helps manage cash flow since your future payments are specified.”
Additionally, adds Sutton, leasing terms can be customized for the needs of individual lessees.
“For example, you can structure a lease to reflect seasonal fluctuations in your business so that you
make your payments during those months when more of your revenues are coming in.”
Loans are often declined out of a need to comply with regulations, notes John C. Deane, CEO of
The Alta Group in Reno, Nev. “Banks tell me they are eager or desperate to lend money because
they have a lot of deposits and not a lot of loans. But they also have regulators setting quality criteria that the banks have to meet.”
Sometimes when banks refuse to lend money, leasing companies will fill the gap because they
look upon the leased equipment as collateral. And leasing firms that are tied closely to equipment
suppliers have a vested interest in getting a deal done.
“Leasing programs organized around equipment vendors are intended to facilitate the sale of
equipment,” points out Deane. “They tend to be much more focused on getting transactions done
rather than on declining them, which can often happen with traditional loans in a tough market.”
Such deals, sometimes referred to as vendor sales aid programs, are either not tied to banks or
October|November 2011 Q Hardwood Floors 25
Your Business | Money
are connected in such a way that the lender can be more
flexible in putting together a transaction.
There’s another reason why a leasing company may be
more open to your business than a bank: The market for
leased equipment has been soft as a result of the recent
recession. The hesitation by companies to expand in an
uncertain economy has led to a lot of unused capacity,
putting downward pressure on rates.
“Equipment acquisitions in the business sector are
anemic almost across the board,” says Deane. “As a result
leasing companies are eager to talk. And the rates and
the terms can be pretty competitive.”
Once interest rates start moving higher, of course, the
game will change. Equipment leasing companies typically
report an upturn in business every time interest rates rise,
and that can reduce the pressure to cut a deal.
are eager to talk.
And the rates
and the terms can be
While almost any aspect of the lease is negotiable, too
often small business owners just scan the contracts and
sign without trying to get better deals. “While it’s been
harder to get approved for a lease than it was before the
Great Recession, once the leasing companies decide you
are credit-worthy, they are often very open to negotiate
the contract,” Redmond says.
“You need to be an informed consumer,” says Redmond. “Be sure to review not just the master lease but all
of the paperwork necessary to finance the transaction.”
There are usually additional documents that change and
override the master lease. They will be referred to in the
master lease by titles as the “acceptance certificate” and
the “equipment schedule” and the “stipulated loss value
table.” Reviewing these documents can help avoid costly
misunderstandings down the road.
Eager as they are to strike a deal, leasing companies need
to cover their own bases before they will sign the bottom
line. “People think leasing companies will lease to a business that can’t get a loan at a bank,” says Redmond. “That
26 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
is not always the case.” Lessors need to protect their
profits as much as companies in any other industry, and
will look closely at the financials of any customer wishing
to sign an equipment lease.
Lease structures should reflect the useful rather than the
depreciable life of equipment. This is particularly important for equipment with a short useful life. (Technology is
often of this nature.) Say, for example, you acquire some
equipment with leasing terms of four or five years, but
the equipment’s useful life is only three years. You can
end up being “upside down” in your lease, just as many
homeowners today are upside down with their own
mortgages. In other words, you owe more on the lease
than the equipment is worth.
Your situation can become worse when you need to
upgrade your equipment and end up adding the balance
of your old lease onto a new lease. It’s easy to dig yourself into a pit that way. “Once you get into that cycle, you
may never get out,” says Redmond. “The only solution
is to bite the bullet and pay off what you owe when the
Maybe leasing firms are eager for customers, but check
out any provider before signing the bottom line. For starters you want a company that is financially strong. The
good news is that the equipment leasing industry came
through the economic troubles in much better shape than
other forms of lending. “On balance, the industry has
done much better than the mortgage industry on repayments. So most vendors with sales aid programs have not
had significant problems,” says Deane. (There are exceptions, such as those companies serving the construction
Furthermore, a good company does not guarantee a
lease approval. “The best advice I can suggest is make
sure you understand the terms and conditions of your
contract,” says Deane. “What are the costs? What are your
responsibilities? Then it’s not a bad idea to compare and
contrast a couple alternatives.”
Taking the time to do some homework can pay off
in lower leasing costs and a better bottom line. And the
benefits of a great leasing deal extend beyond the dollars
and cents value of a correctly structured contract. “A good
leasing company will understand your market and your
equipment needs,” says Sutton. “Unlike a bank, a leasing
company can be a valued consultant throughout the life
cycle of your equipment.” ■
New York-based freelance writer Phillip M. Perry is a
frequent contributor to Hardwood Floors.
Your Business | Management
Form the perfect relationship with your remodeler
By Scott Avery
ardwood flooring contractors and retailers have seen a dramatic shift from the business model
of a few years ago. In the past, new construction dominated the market and oftentimes it
seemed contractors almost forgot the remodeling market. Today, though, it’s the opposite: Now
that the new construction market has softened, demand for residential remodeling has increased. This
change has led to builders becoming remodelers, and flooring businesses that relied on new construction may want to take note.
Our company has been working strongly in the remodeling community for the past six years, and it
can be the source for either a steady revenue stream, or it can lead to a lot of lost time and profit. Here
are some things we’ve learned about working with remodelers:
1) Payment is No. 1
Some wood floor contractors forget that a contracting business is actually a business and not a hobby
that pays wages or a salary. Priority No. 1 in any remodeler/specialty trade relationship is money, and
you need to get paid on time. Businesses do not run on smiles and funny jokes; they run on cash flow,
and if you let that get off track, then the problems trickle downhill. My children are always hungry,
they get clothes dirty and they need a bath every now and then, along with a bed. The stammering
excuses of a remodeler who is unable to
pay on time once quality work is completed do not pay for my family to live well.
If you are witnessing a repeated pattern
of payment issues with a remodeler, then
I strongly encourage you to dump the
relationship. Businesses are only as strong
as the leader, and failure to pay is a sign of
a struggling business.
2) Earn Respect
In the trades, your primary goal in any
great working relationship should be to
establish respect for your knowledge.
But, you have to earn respect instead of
just constantly bragging about your skills.
“Perfect” is a subjective measurement,
but being consistent in quality and being solution-based are traits for a flooring
contractor to aspire toward. I’ve found that
most remodelers appreciate flooring contractors on a project who are able to keep
track of all the details specific to their trade
28 Hardwood Floors October|November 2011
We’ve Got You
C o v e r e d
You want to offer your customers
the latest fashion. Elegance has it.
With over 15 solid and 20
engineered varieties that are
constantly being updated, you
can offer the best in selection and
value. The right product...at the
We stock deep in our two U.S.
warehouses, ready to ship same or
next day. Our dedicated customer
service team works closely with you,
providing personalized attention to
your orders. We make sure you can
get the sale...and keep it.
Elegance products are a perfect fit
for today’s Green consumer. FSC
and ISO Certification, along with
membership in GFTN give your
customers peace of mind. Elegance
is Lacey Act, Carb and Prop 65
compliant, so you can sell with
Lacey Act Compliant
w w w. e l e g a n c e w o o d f l o o r i n g . c o m
Corporate Office & West Coast Distribution Center
7351 McGuire Ave, Fontana CA 92336 909-980-5066
East Coast Distribution Center
7055 Caindale Drive, Greensboro, NC 272409
Exotic Wood Flooring
Your Business | Management
and keep the project humming along. So, if you like the
general contractor and you want to impress him, then make
sure that you and the tile setter are clear on the transitions
and go ahead and make them while you’re on the job site.
That extra foresight will pay dividends in keeping a smooth
3) Ask Around
The other trade contractors on a remodeling project can
make this work fun, and they can also turn into a great
network of referral partners. In particular, if it is my first time
working for a general contractor, I like to tap the brains of
the other subs on the job to find out his job site management habits and overall trustworthiness. One big red flag to
watch out for is a lot of turnover in the specialty trades that
work for that remodeler—it likely means there are problems
with the remodeler. It also means that the team of trades
could have trouble getting into a flow of working together.
4) Juggle Efficiently
Time efficiency is the real key to ensuring profitability
when working on remodeling projects. Scheduling problems manifest more frequently in remodeling work than in
30 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
new construction because it is impossible to know what
is underneath floors and behind walls before you begin
tearing things apart. It is important to align with an experienced remodeler, because he will be able to foresee
problems earlier in a project and will give you more notice
of roadblocks so you can balance your workload more
easily. Constantly juggling your workload with less than two
weeks’ notice can wreak havoc on your stress levels and
severely affect your ability to manage projects and keep
sales on track.
It appears that due to the struggling economy and the
housing lending restrictions we’re experiencing right now,
remodeling will continue to dominate demand for the
trades. If you choose to grow your business in this direction, then my best suggestion is that you focus on quality
working relationships that make you money. Your time is
valuable, and choosing to work with remodelers of character today will bring rewards tomorrow. ■
Scott Avery is owner/operator at Modern Tech Floors in
Portland, Ore. He is also one of Hardwood Floors’ Contractor bloggers; ﬁnd his blog at www.hardwoodﬂoorsmag.
On the Job
Ask the Expert
Who’s at Fault, Coating, More
A solid prefinished oak floor I
installed ended up cupping, and
the inspector blamed the moisture problems on some raised
flowerbeds against the foundation. But how can I be responsible for the landscaping? Is this
really my problem?
against what should be “normal” for
that job site and that geographic area.
Unfortunately, I think many wood
floor contractors are still unfamiliar
with moisture meters and hygrometers, but the more you use them
correctly and understand what they’re
telling you, the better chance you
have of avoiding problems like this
Frank Kroupa, senior director of
technical education at the NWFA,
Mixing Oil & Water?
Lots of contractors don’t understand
the complexity of our obligations as
wood flooring installers. I would estimate that 90 percent of our problems
with wood floors are because of moisture. It can come from many different
places, and not all of them are obvious. Before we even bring the wood
to a job site, we are supposed to
examine many things on the outside
of the house. For example, we need
to check that the gutters are working,
check that the ground slopes away
from the house, check any window
wells and check that sprinklers aren’t
pointed at the foundation, to name
just a few.
Most of the time any red flags have
to be addressed before you proceed.
For instance, if the rain gutter is pouring out water right into the foundation, the homeowner (or builder)
is supposed to get that fixed before
you start the job. If the house backs
up right against the side of a mountain, that’s another red flag. Does this
mean you can’t put in a wood floor?
Of course not, but it does mean you
need to take very careful moisture
readings in those areas to see if there
is a problem.
When checking the moisture readings, you’ll need to compare them
Is it OK if I coat over a waterborne sealer with poly?
Steve Crawford, director of sales &
marketing at Upper Saddle River, N.J.based Dura Seal, answers:
A lot of people think you can’t
put oil-based poly over waterbased poly, or can’t put water over
oil-based sealer. Much of that idea
comes from when the industry first
started formulating water-based
finish in the ’70s and ’80s, and they
weren’t very good—the resin particles were huge and could bridge the
abrasion you put into the previous
coat instead of adhering to it. Today’s waterborne finishes have much
smaller particle sizes, with tenacious
To use different types of finishes on
the same floor, first, refer to the label
directions. For the most part, if the
previous coat is clean, dull and dry,
the finish will stick to it. Most coatings
in our industry require a mechanical
bond and, if you create it, generally
oil-based finish will stick to waterbased finish, and vice versa (when
you are talking about traditional polyurethane types of finishes).
When doing this, systems are very
important. Typically manufacturers
will formulate their finishes to be
TRICK OF THE TRADE
Stop Bonking Your Head
ere’s an addition to your sanding equipment that can make
your life easier for a small amount of
money. Buy a couple of S-hooks at
your local hardware store and use
them to raise those hanging (usually chain) dining room light fixtures
you’re always trying to dodge or
“bonking” your head on when you
Thanks to Doug Klewin at Thorp,
Wash.-based Halal Hardwoods for his
tip. Do you have a Trick of the Trade?
Send it to [email protected]
October|November 2011 ■ Hardwood Floors 31
On the Job | Ask the Expert
compatible, even between different
finish types. Too often a contractor
will have one manufacturer’s stain,
another’s sealer that they got a deal
on and yet another’s topcoat because
that’s what their granddad used. If you
get a callback in that situation, who
do you call? You’ve probably bought
that job. So, read the directions, use
products as a system from the same
manufacturer and make sure the
previous coat is clean, dry and dull.
If you’ve got that covered, you’re prepared to get paid and have a satisfied
Slabs & Moisture
Do I always need to use a moisture retarder when working on
Jeff Meltzer, owner of Universal
Hardwood in Los Angeles and an
NWFACP-certified flooring inspector,
As the owner of a material supply
establishment and inspector, many of
the problems I see deal with gluedown installations on concrete. According to the NWFA guidelines, the
installer is responsible for job-site conditions. Installers should always test
the concrete for moisture using one
of several approved testing methods:
a calcium chloride test, an RH test, or
a calcium carbide (CM) test, which is
acceptable but used mostly in Europe.
The results of those tests give
you the answer to your question. If
testing with calcium chloride reveals
moisture levels over 3 lbs. (what is
referred to as the Moisture Vapor
Emission Rate, or MVER), an RH test
reveals levels over 75%, or a CM test
has levels over 2.5%, you will need to
use some type of moisture retarder.
There are many options, among them
various underlayments, all-in-one
adhesives that include a moisture
membrane, two-part epoxies, and
moisture barriers that roll on and
penetrate the concrete.
Typically, underlayments have different perm ratings, which gives you
an idea of how much moisture they
allow through them, and products
that are spread or rolled onto the
slab offer protection up to various
pounds of moisture—for example, a
product will say something like “warranted for up to 18 lbs.”
Check with the flooring manufacturer (and, if applicable, the adhesive manufacturer) for what they
recommend. Every installation has
its own particular needs, and the
correct selection of moisture mitigation is critical for an installation’s
Measuring moisture IN the wood, not ON the wood
10 Times Faster
Lowest Cost per Test
Simplest to Use
Easiest to Comply
with ASTM F2170
1-800-207-2478 | www.RapidRH.com
32 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
More accurate* & over 10 times faster than pin-type meters
Quick & easy deep measurements without the damage
Designed to give stable & repeatable readings
Providing fast and accurate moisture measurements, Wagner
Meters’ CLEARLY$'9$1&(' moisture meters have been the
preferred choice of professionals for over 25 years.
1-800-505-1283 | www.WagnerMeters.com
*Accuracy proven by multiple independent university studies.
On the Job | From the Field
Educate consumers about adhesives in engineered flooring
By Dr. Melinda J. Burn
t has long been acknowledged
that formaldehyde can be released
from adhesives used in composite
wood products, such as engineered
wood flooring. However, the designation in June 2011 of formaldehyde as
a known human carcinogen by the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has taken the
focus on this issue to a much higher
Formaldehyde has had a “sto-
ried” past. For example, in 2004 the
International Agency for Research on
Cancer classified it as carcinogenic
to humans. This year, the DHHS 12th
Report on Carcinogens concluded that
there is now “sufficient evidence from
studies in humans to show that individuals with higher measures of exposure to formaldehyde are at increased
risk for certain types of rare cancers
...” Not surprisingly, these findings
have had, and will continue to have,
TALES FROM THE FRONT
Not your average footprint in the finish
Michael Flippo | Dreamstime.com
ack in the early ’90s, Mike Chmielewski of Atco,
N.J.-based Traditional Floor Co. got a call for an
emergency touchup/repair on one of the Philadelphia
76ers basketball sideline court panels at the (nowdemolished) Spectrum. He went out early the next
morning because it had to be finished for an 11 a.m.
shoot-around by the visiting L.A. Clippers. The waterborne finish was almost dry,
so he decided to place four chairs around the corner panel, and then went outside to get some caution tape from his van. When he came back inside the arena,
two L.A. players were sitting in the chairs putting their sneakers on (about a size
18). “When they saw me coming, one of them suddenly realized why the chairs
were there and saw his footprint in the finish. He stood up (he was approximately
6’10” and 285 pounds) and asked me if he messed up my job. I looked up at him
in disbelief and said, ‘Nah, I have to apply another coat anyway’ ... although I was
not planning to.”
If you have a true (and printable) story to share, e-mail it with your name and phone
number to [email protected]
supporters and detractors. Complicating the debate is the natural presence
of formaldehyde in wood.
While the scientific debate over
the report’s conclusions will likely
continue, one thing is not debatable.
Consumer awareness will continue
to build in the marketplace about the
cancer concerns with formaldehyde.
Media coverage of the Report on
Carcinogens was far-reaching. The
New York Times, for example, made
reference to the health implications
for workers in plants where composite wood products are produced with
formaldehyde-emitting adhesives. The
Times coverage also referenced the
impact on consumers from exposure
to formaldehyde from these products.
Education is Critical
It is imperative that engineered wood
flooring manufacturers and the entire
supplier chain educate workers and
the public about the adhesive systems
At one end of the spectrum are
urea formaldehyde, or UF, adhesives.
These have been the most widely
used adhesive systems, likely because
they perform well and have the lowest cost. However, they add the most
formaldehyde to finished products
and also emit the highest level of
Phenol formaldehyde, or PF adhesives, are in the middle of the spectrum. Not as widely used, they also
October|November 2011 ■ Hardwood Floors 33
On the Job | From the Field
contain formaldehyde but are lower-emitting than UF resins.
At the other end of the spectrum are No Added Formaldehyde, or NAF, adhesives, which do not release any
formaldehyde into the environment. Several NAF adhesive
systems are available, including soy-based adhesives, polyvinyl acetate, and isocyanate-based products; soy-based
adhesives represent the newest technology.
The traditional case against switching to an NAF adhesive system is cost; it is estimated that NAF adhesives increase the cost of manufacturing engineered wood flooring
by no more than 5 percent, likely less. Wood flooring with
NAF adhesives is becoming readily available.
In July 2010, President Obama signed the Formaldehyde
Standards for Composite Wood Products, establishing
limits for formaldehyde emissions in a number of products,
including engineered wood flooring. The law was based
on the standards of the California Air Resources Board
(CARB). Given its status as a pacesetter in environmental
regulation, California could tighten its laws further. If so,
will the EPA then set even more stringent emissions limits
for formaldehyde nationally? Time will tell.
Seize the Opportunity
A window of opportunity exists to proactively raise awareness of the adhesive options available for engineered wood
flooring. Consumers may request NAF adhesive systems the
next time they make a wood flooring purchase; in order for
them to make meaningful choices, it is necessary to ensure
they clearly understand the range of adhesive options. ■
Dr. Melinda Burn is global director–building products at
Ashland Hercules Water Technologies, makers of Soyad Adhesives. She can be reached at [email protected]
WHAT’S WRONG ?
Due to high subfloor moisture from the slab, the 5⁄16-by-11⁄2inch fingers in the middle layer of this engineered floor are
cupping. Their edges create the ridges you see. (Courtesy of
Matt Skowron/The Floor Detective)
34 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
On the Job | Troubleshooting
Are these bumps from defective flooring?
by Bob Middleton
Recently, a frustrated customer who was distraught with
her bamboo floor installation reached me for technical
support. In tears, she said, “There are tiny bumps and
bruises all over my brand-new bamboo floor!”
The home had 5⁄8 - by-3 3⁄4-inch carbonized strand (or woven) bamboo pneumatically stapled with 15.5-ga wire staples over a single layer of brand-name OSB. The subfloor,
which was over a crawl
space, was nailed over
a joist span of 20 inches
o.c., and a white silicone
vapor retarder was used
over the entire subfloor.
the installation, the
homeowner asked the
installers if those little
bumps would eventually
go away. They told her,
“Sure, unless your flooring is defective.”
the installers if
those little bumps
gauge. Because the size of the dimpling found just above
the nail is directly related to the fastener gauge, nail gun
manufacturers have developed specialized nailing machines to accommodate thinner-gauge fasteners, thereby
minimizing or reducing dimpling.
While the traditional 16-ga cleat-type nailers and 15-ga
½-inch crown staples have their place, using them is usually the No. 1 cause of surface dimpling in bamboo flooring and other denser wood species. When using nails with
strand bamboo, the thinner 18-ga cleat nailing machines
are more appropriate. The 15-ga ½-inch crown staple
machines—pneumatic or manual—are not generally recommended because the drive-bar action that delivers the
staple mimics a wood chisel, often snapping or fracturing
the bamboo tongues as it seats the staple.
How to Fix the Floor
In addition to the problem of aesthetics, over time surface
dimpling in prefinished materials can lead to edge-splitting,
chipping and finish spidering. Resanding the floor may remove most of the dimples but would also void the manufacturer’s finish warranty and remove an excessive amount
of the surface. Sadly, a total replacement of the floor may
be necessary in the worst cases, such as this one.
The manufacturer’s guidelines for fastening strand bamboo were not followed, but
the most glaring issue was
an unfortunate combination
of poorly educated installers and a challenging floor.
The glue ratio or the amount
of glue used in the bonding
process of woven bamboo fibers not only accounts for its
added weight but also greater
board density and, therefore, potential nailing difficulty.
Among the most common installation-related causes for
surface dimpling in strand bamboo and other types of
dense flooring are: poorly seated nailing machines, using
incorrect nailers, or using incorrect fastener thickness or
In the Future
Product education is key to successful installations. Most
manufacturers are more than willing to assist with product
knowledge—some supply written instructions in each box
and also post them on their website. Installers should do
their homework before installing unfamiliar products. If
these installers had, they would have found recommendations to minimize dimpling, like choosing the appropriate
nailer, adapter and fastener, or even options to glue the
floor down. As a paid professional, you benefit by making
it your business to understand the nuances of unfamiliar
products ... before you commit to the installation. ■
Bob Middleton is technical and installation manager for
Lumber Liquidators and is an NWFACP, CFI, and NALFA
October|November 2011 Q Hardwood Floors 35
On the Job | Techniques
Checks: What are the Facts?
Understand what causes checking in solid wood floors
By Mike Harde
he age-old misconception is that there are many conditions that can cause wood to check.
The fact is that there is primarily only one. Checking in solid wood flooring has been and
continues to be a prominent claims concern that all-too-often eludes proper identification,
evaluation and resolution. Most folks involved with the wood flooring industry understand that
checking is a condition related to moisture content changes in wood that results from drying stresses. Commonly misunderstood, however, is the fact that these stresses cannot and do not originate
in wood installed within the normal environmental ranges of interior living spaces.
The Importance of Definitions
In order to properly identify checking in wood flooring, its definitions must first be understood.
The following definitions were taken from the USDA Forest Products Laboratory’s General Technical Report FPL-AH-188, Dry Kiln Operators Manual, Chapter 8-Drying Defects:
• Surface Checks are failures that usually occur in the wood rays on the flat-sawn faces of
boards. They occur because drying stresses exceed the tensile strength of the wood perpendicular to the grain, and they are caused by tension stresses that develop in the outer part, or shell, of
boards as they dry. Surface checks can also occur close to a knot, by gum pockets and mineral
streaks, and in bacterially infected wood, as such wood is weaker than “normal wood.”
• End Checks, like surface checks, usually occur
in the wood rays but on end-grain surfaces. They
also occur during the early stages of drying. End
checks occur because moisture moves much faster
in the longitudinal direction (along the board’s
length) than in either transverse direction. Therefore, the ends of boards dry faster and shrink (or try
to shrink) sooner than the rest of the lumber; the
end result is that stresses develop at the ends.
Hypotheses Through the Years
Various causes have been (and continue to be)
offered about why checks develop in wood flooring after installation. The following examples of
commonly touted hypotheses for checking in postinstallation environments provide useful insight on
where we as an industry have traditionally focused:
The wood checked because …
• it was installed in an uncontrolled environment
outside of the 35%-55% industry-accepted relative
humidity (RH) range
• it was installed within acceptable moisture con36 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
An ordinary piece of wood
doesn’t stand a chance with these guys.
Years of training and experience mean that nothing but
the ﬁnest boards make it past our employees. That’s why
every board in every Mirage box has the same exceptional
quality. It’s the dedication to our craft that keeps you
voting Mirage #1 in quality year after year.
MIR AGE PREFINISHED HARDWOOD FLOORS
On the Job | Techniques
tent (MC) range but dried excessively during the winter
months (during seasonal periods of low RH)
• it gained moisture during the summer and swelled
excessively, causing checks
• it wasn’t acclimated properly before installation (either too wet, or too dry).
Yet, as mentioned in the definitions above, the fact is
that face-checking and end-checking develop as the result
of drying the lumber too fast.
Looking at the Science
Numerous scientific research documents draw similar
conclusions as to why and when checks develop in
wood. The following excerpt taken from the USDA Forest
Products Laboratory’s General Technical Report FPLGTR-118 Drying Hardwood Lumber, Chapter 9-Drying
“It is virtually impossible for lumber to check at lower
MC levels (under 40% MC); the only exception is if the
lumber is subjected to unusually extreme drying conditions. At lower MC levels, the shrinkage of the core exerts
compression on the shell, so sufficiently large tension
forces to create checking cannot develop. Surface checks
may open at lower MC levels. However, the checks are
not being created at low MC—they are already there and
are merely re-opening.”
Therefore, end-use environments are not responsible for
checks existing in hardwood used as flooring materials.
Although variations in RH and temperature do influence MC and expansion and shrinkage of wood flooring
and the size of the check opening, they are not extreme
enough to cause the formation of checks in a piece of
wood that is otherwise free of drying defects. Once wood
dries below the MC saturation point of 28%-29%, it never
again reaches a MC exceeding this value; in other words,
the 40% MC mentioned in the previous excerpt is unattainable.
Checks in the Installed Floor
Wood science has long identified checking as a drying
defect; but it is also important to understand the mechanics behind its visible (and invisible) presence within the
installed floor system.
The initial defect(s):
• Checks usually occur early in the process of drying lumber, usually above 40% MC, before being cut into flooring.
• Checks develop because the lumber surfaces get too
dry too quickly (in comparison to the board’s core), and
then excessive stresses develop as a result of RH that is
Checking Tendency of Various Woods
Maple, red, silver
Maple, sugar, bigleaf
Information from USDA technical Report, FPL-GTR-117
38 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
On the Job | Techniques
Images of Drying Checks
hecking can manifest itself in various ways in different pieces of wood flooring. Below are some examples of problems that are
all referred to as “checks” or “checking.”
Several checks are visible on the face of this prefinished floor.
An end check is evident in this piece of prefinished wood
What appears as a thin crack in this board is a check.
Checks can also radiate from knots.
Checking at the ends to various degrees can be seen in both
of these pieces of unfinished wood flooring.
Checks that were barely visible when this flooring was culled
from a manufacturing line became readily apparent when the
flooring was exposed to low humidity.
October|November 2011 ■ Hardwood Floors 39
On the Job | Techniques
Will checks remain open?
• Most checks, particularly those in hardwoods, close
(but do not heal) in the later stages of drying. This occurs
when the stresses reverse and the shell changes from tension to compression.
• For this reason, checks that close may be missed during quality control inspections during manufacturing.
Will closed checks reopen?
• Checks that are present but invisible will quite likely
open to some extent during use because of normal fluctuations in RH that alternately shrink and swell the surfaces.
• Typical floor system stresses on individual and groups
of boards can also prompt closed checks to open.
• With regard to hardwood flooring, there is little in
the form of scientific evidence that supports checks be-
ing created by post-manufacturing interior environments.
On-site, flooring will not be subjected to moisture content drops sufficient to create checking. In addition, the
flooring’s surface will be nearly twice as strong when dry
(compared to wet lumber’s strength), so forces required to
check the wood would have to be twice as high.
• Variations in flexibility and brittleness in finishes
impact the visibility of checks that open due to typical
system stresses. Flexible finish coatings are more likely to
expand and bridge the gaps, whereas more brittle finishes
(especially if thin) fracture and make voids more obvious
in both direct and reflective lighting conditions.
Education provides the opportunity for change. A general
Checks Can Be Invisible
s shown in the Australian cypress example below, visible checks are not difficult to identify. However, not discernible
to the naked eye are invisible checks. When the board is cross-sectioned into slices, the invisible check becomes
apparent, as the slice fractures into two pieces at that point (or points) of compromise. The identification of checks when
viewing individual boards during pre-installation inspection is limited to what the viewer can see. Unless boards are
removed and sliced, invisible checks will not be found until they open on their own. When viewing flooring boards, it is not
possible to state “There are no checks.” An accurate assessment would be “No checks are evident.”
Slicing exposes an otherwise inconspicuous check
(note the fracture point).
40 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
Under magnification, the check appears as
little more than a color variation in the wood.
On the Job | Techniques
understanding of how and when checking develops in
solid hardwood flooring is crucial if efforts to reduce the
number of end-use claims are to be realized. Can checking defects be eliminated entirely during drying? No process is without flaw. The ability to dry and bring to market
wood that is substantially free of checking does exist, but
is the entire wood flooring industry likely to manufacture
to such standards? From a practical perspective, no, probably not. However, individually, some drying operations
within the industry do very well.
Supply and demand, the increase in foreign manufacture, the functional limits of the equipment used in
manufacture, and fluctuating economic trends each limit
the degree of quality control that can be expected prior to
shipment of hardwood flooring. Our industry has determined that price and availability will be the primary criteria
used in defining a products value. We have passively educated the consumer to a similar level of understanding. It is
only when claims result and the potential of lost profitability is imminent that we are reminded of the importance of
consistency, quality, and due diligence in defining product
appearance and performance expectations to the consumer. When claims transpire, all too frequently consum-
Contract Preﬁnishing Services
with the Most Extensive and Flexible
Line in the Industry
ers (and their living environment) are burdened with the
blame, even though the checks were not caused by the
consumer or by improper control of their environment
Grading standards are seldom utilized at any level in the
marketing and sale of wood flooring, even though oftentimes the potential for checking is specifically qualified
and quantified in these standards. Their placement on
samples and within product literature would present an
educational opportunity for sales staff at all levels. In addition, it would actively or passively provide the consumer
with a means to acquire this valuable knowledge.
Consumers that have obtained product-specific information are less likely to voice complaints about the potential
for previously disclosed and occasional defects in the
finished floor. After all, wood is an imperfect and natural
product. Color, grain, character, and performance variability combine to create and define each wood floor’s unique
and distinctive look.
Consideration should be given to the fact that drying de-
The Appearance of “Exotic Hardwood”
While Utilizing Sustainable Timbers
and Lower Cost Species
• Preﬁnish solids, engineered, handscraped
and distressed / reclaimed
• More environmentally friendly
• Work with large, small and hard
to run projects
• Equal beneﬁts and beauty at a lower cost
• Allows you to “value add” to lower cost species
• Improved technical features and durability
• Match your color, ﬁnish, build,
gloss and taber
transforms to a rich
• Inspect 100% of ﬂooring,
start to ﬁnish
• High Abrasion (AO), Natural Oil
TO LEARN MORE: Contact Jeff Beach or George Palmer. 336.349.1994
www.preﬁnishﬂoors.com / www.ecograin.net
October|November 2011 ■ Hardwood Floors 41
On the Job | Techniques
fects occur, and that eliminating their existence cannot
be expected nor guaranteed. In most good-quality and
excellent-quality flooring mills, a very small percentage of boards will continue to be manufactured with a
small level of drying defects (both visible and invisible)
and will be installed. Manufacturers’ grading standards
provide invaluable product-specific information that
defines which characters and defects will be allowed, as
well as their frequency. It is important that we make this
information common knowledge for everyone’s sake.
When checks in the solid wood floor are beyond the
manufactured stated limits, claims should be handled
swiftly and with clear understanding on the part of all
parties that the consumer was not the source for the
Michael B. Harde is president of the International Association of Wood Flooring Professionals (IAWFP) and owner
of Marlborough, N.H.-based Northeast Floor Covering Inspection and Consulting Services. Special thanks to Gene
Wengert, emeritus professor of wood processing, University
of Wisconsin-Madison, and president, The Wood Doctor’s
Rx LLC, for his review of this article.
Important Points about
Checks in Solid Flooring
• Checks are drying defects that occur during the lumber’s
• Checks do not originate in post-installation interior environments.
• In many instances, installers cannot and will not see closed
checks before the boards are installed.
• Closed checks, which are not visible prior to or immediately following installation, can lie in wait within the installed
floor, completely invisible to the eye, and may become evident
over time as the floor system is subjected to reasonable and
expected stresses, especially when the humidity is dropping
and causing the wood to shrink.
• Checks may be allowable (in some forms) as defined in
manufacturers’ grading standards specific to their products.
• Proactive sales and consumer education can significantly
reduce the potential for post-installation claims relating to
• If more emphasis is put on the quality of wood flooring
rather than just price and availability, materials will be created
to accommodate that.
42 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
By Doug Dalsing
t a table inside the Dunkin’ Donuts on South
Washington Avenue in Bergenfield, N.J., two
middle-aged adults sip coffee. They both have
sun-bleached blonde hair and tan skin. They have on
shorts and matching T-shirts. Both are rather short, yet
their booming voices fill the room as they call to the other
patrons. “Oh, there he is! Hey, Bob!” or “You’re moving a
little faster this morning!” They’re seated side-by-side. Between them, an unwrapped muffin lies on the table, and
periodically each one picks a little bit off to eat. They’re
telling stories, smiling and laughing.
It may come as a surprise that the two are married and
they work together every day. Gary and Lisa Horvath
started A.T.C. Hardwood Flooring Inc. in February 1992
(Gary remembers the year, and Lisa clarifies that it was in
February). Through the years, they’ve developed a keen
Gary Horvath, wearing his typical work uniform of
T-shirt, shorts and Asics volleyball knee pads, and wife
Gary and Lisa Horvath
A.T.C. Hardwood Flooring Inc.
October|November 2011 ■ Hardwood Floors 43
business management system, something akin to one boss
with two heads and eight limbs. Ahead of them lies a day
chock full of client meetings and wood floor work spread
throughout the dense metropolis that is Bergen County,
N.J., just across the Hudson River from New York City.
Also on the schedule is a visit to Real Antique Wood Mill,
the couple’s new reclaimed wood manufacturing company. That’s right: During a recession, the owners of a
Most work days, Lisa and Gary start off at Dunkin’ Donuts.
They usually share a small breakfast and sip coffee while they
converse and banter with the other regulars.
successful wood floor contracting company were so confident in the demand for antique reclaimed wood flooring that they opened their own manufacturing company.
They were kind enough to let Hardwood Floors tag along
for a day in August in order to see what makes them tick,
and it was immediately apparent that these two love their
work and each other.
loaded into the van. Gary takes a minute to situate things,
and he stuffs the shelves with old sheets, which he says
cuts down on the racket when he and Lisa are on the road.
Next he goes into the basement to round up a few
sundries. “When Hoboken Floors broke up [in November
2007], they made us kind of have to go to a lot of places”
for supplies, Gary explains. “It’s not like a one-stop shop
like it used to be. We sometimes go to four or five different distributors in one day. That’s how close they are
around here.” To date, it seems no company has been
able to entirely fill the void left by the large distributor’s
bankruptcy. “A lot of guys want you to just buy from
them, but in today’s market you just can’t do that. Different people have different things.” While Gary talks and
grabs supplies, two of his other employees, Cesar Nieto
and Manwell Barrera, arrive to help finish packing the
vans before heading out.
These days, Gary and Lisa have three full-time employees and two vans. DiMarco, Nieto and Barrera are young,
but Gary says they have that old-school work ethic he
cherishes. Often, Gary refers to days gone by when he
and Lisa employed 15 to 20 guys. “The economy was
good back then,” Gary says. “If I had bought some property in Hoboken, I wouldn’t be doing floors today. Then
the brownstone was $55,000 for all five floors, but today
you can’t even get a closet for $55,000!” He also used to
push himself a lot harder those days, “when I was crazy.”
“Seven days a week, we used to work 12 to 15 hours a
day. We would start a sanding job at 5 at night and work
until 10.” Then, Lisa joined the field crew after 9/11, when
the couple decided they basically wanted to be by each
other’s side 24 hours a day. Before that she had been
Gary and Lisa say goodbye to all their friends at the coffee
shop and drive to A.T.C.—that’s “A Touch of Class”—
headquarters: their two-story home in Bergenfield. It’s
the same home to which Lisa was brought home from
the hospital; the couple bought it from her parents seven
months after starting the business. Sitting on the front
stoop when they arrive is Foreman Pete DiMarco; he’ll
help Gary load up the work vans with all the supplies
they’ll need throughout the day. Gary hands DiMarco a list
and they go over the day’s itinerary, which Gary and Lisa
made last night. Even with a plan and a list, Gary advises
the itinerary is “always subject to change … without notice!” Buckets of finish, bundles of flooring and buffers get
44 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
Gary works on an installation job alongside Foreman Pete
‘It’s not like a one-stop shop like it used to be. We sometimes go
to four or five different distributors in one day.’
working in the A.T.C. showroom, which netted them a
Wood Floor of the Year award in 1999.
The first stop of the day takes the whole A.T.C. crew—
Gary, Lisa, DiMarco, Nieto and Barrera—south to Teaneck
for a buff and recoat job for a repeat customer. Traffic
about this time isn’t crazy, so the trip only takes 15 minutes. They completed a whole-house sand and finish job
at this same home eight years ago. “We’re gonna put a
Band-Aid on this one,” Gary says, meaning that it’s just a
recoat instead of a full sand-and-finish. Leading up to the
job, Gary attempted to lower the customer’s expectations
appropriately. Soon, the kitchen—measuring not more
than 20 by 10—comes alive as everyone begins bringing
in supplies and equipment.
With work in Teaneck started, Gary, Lisa and Nieto hit
the road to begin the day’s second job. After a 15-minute
trip west across the Hackensack River, they arrive in River
Edge. With the vans parked in front of the house, they
begin hauling in supplies for a 200-square-foot install,
sand and finish job with white oak. This is more repeat
business; six years ago they installed wood flooring in the
In the living room, the subfloor lies exposed and the acclimated wood floor bundles lie next to the wall. All three
begin preparing the job site. The air compressor is placed
in the adjacent hallway and the chop saw is stationed
just beyond the home’s front door. Next, their voices go
silent for the most part, and each takes to their own tasks,
moving about in careful synchronicity, grabbing boards,
racking, cutting, measuring and finally nailing. After a little
while, Nieto gets into a good groove, and Gary and Lisa
leave for the next stop in Paramus, about 20 minutes west.
By now it’s clear how Gary and Lisa run their business.
They bring their workers to a job site, set up, begin work,
and then they’ll take a smaller contingent—or just themselves—to begin work at the next stop. They’ll get that
job up and running, and by then the workers who stayed
behind at the first stop catch up with them. Then, Gary
and Lisa go off and begin preparing the next job site, or
maybe they’ll go do an estimate or stop in with a distributor. Inside the work van, Gary drives and Lisa navigates, or
Lisa will make phone calls, or take a phone call, or check
Gary uses the chop saw to cut end pieces.
in with DiMarco, or discuss schedule details with Gary.
They tell each other stories and laugh a lot.
“Lisa is my right-hand personal assistant,” Gary says
before rambling off a shortlist of her duties: “She helps
work with homeowners, she helps me keep the schedule
straight, and she’ll check things at the job sites. When
she’s not here it makes me a little hyper.”
Or, “a little maniac,” as Lisa puts it.
Lisa adds that she is also the company “go-fer.” “I know
their process, and I know what they need next,” she says.
On the job site, she’s often scurrying to grab supplies,
sweeping, or chopping boards, acting as the right-hand
assistant to all the workers, really. But when Gary and Lisa
are alone, her ultimate role is clear: She’s the even keel to
“Gary is ever-thinking. As soon as he opens his eyes,
he is thinking,” Lisa says. Even at 4 a.m., Lisa says her
husband’s mind is often dozens of hours ahead. “When
he starts, I can pull him back to be just in right now … It’s
pretty much how we live our life.”
After they arrive in Paramus, Gary and Lisa begin preparing for 850 square feet of finish application; last week
the crew sanded the floors here. This home belongs to a
Russian couple, and Gary and Lisa originally got the job
October|November 2011 ■ Hardwood Floors 45
through a referral from the homebuilder, who is also
Russian. Gary says it’s not uncommon for contractors to
work within the same ethnic or cultural circles—regardless whether they share ethnicity or culture with the
clients or were referred into the circle—but the trick to
building your business in this area is breaking into new
circles, and contractors do that via referrals. This is exactly how Gary and Lisa met the day’s first two clients; the
homeowner in Teaneck is Jewish, and the homeowner in
River Edge is Japanese. This is why they don’t advertise
After a little while, DiMarco and Barrera arrive in Paramus, and they begin the finish work, so Gary and Lisa
leave for a callback in Upper Saddle River, an affluent
neighborhood in northwest Bergen County.
The clients in Upper Saddle River have called Gary and
Lisa to remedy some bubbles that have appeared in the
oil-modified polyurethane finish of their recently installed
maple kitchen floor. For the past few days, Gary has
been on the phone with the finish manufacturer trying
to find a solution. The bubbles appeared in between the
boards and on the surface of the boards. Gary’s view of
the situation is a common one among contractors: He’s
convinced that finish manufacturers are discreetly tinkering with product recipes due to changing environmental
guidelines. While Gary doesn’t get a straight answer on
his hypothesis from the manufacturer, he’s told to wait a
month for all the bubbles to “come up” and then screen
and recoat the floor, so that’s what he tells the clients
Making a stop to check on some equipment repairs, Gary
pauses to share a laugh with Bob Sidoti (left) and Kevin
O’Leary, owner at KO Floor Supply.
he’ll do. With confidence, Lisa reassures them: “We’ll
make this disappear.”
Back in the van, Gary laments, “The code of silence in
the industry about a change in product is kind of tough
on our end. It would be nice if they sent out an update to
let us know the recipe changed a little bit, and what to do
to help offset potential problems.”
Lisa is socially adept as she interacts with clients—she’s
naturally friendly and seems to be comfortable around
anybody. Part of it comes from growing up in the city,
but another reason for her conviviality is her former line
of work: booking limos and handling customer service for
worldwide limo company Music Express. With that job,
Lisa would call on people like Mariah Carey, Dom DeLuise, Michael Bolton, Mexican actor Anthony Quinn and
Bernie Taupin—Elton John’s songwriter—every day. She
says those experiences have made her more than comfortable talking with clients, especially over the phone.
At this point, it’s clear Gary and Lisa are really hustling
today, both at the job sites and on the road. Whenever
Lisa hangs up the phone, it seems she’s back on it 10 seconds later receiving a call from a client or potential client;
they’re tying up a lot of loose ends today. “We’re treating
this kind of like a Friday,” Gary explains. Tomorrow, on
Tuesday, Gary and his crew workers will be attending an
Install, Sand & Finish school put on by the NWFA and
hosted at the New York City District Council of Carpenters headquarters. Gary will assist as an instructor, and his
crewmen will be students.
Lisa confers with Real Antique Wood Mill shop manager
Mike Ciosek about a custom kitchen table he’s making.
46 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
Gary and Lisa make a quick stop back in River Edge. Nieto’s installation work has been progressing smoothly, and
they take about 20 minutes helping him complete the installation. All three again go quiet and do their installation
ballet, racking, chopping, nailing and so on. When the job
is nearly complete, Gary and Lisa begin loading up the
van. After the wood floor school ends on Thursday, A.T.C.
Lisa joined the field crew after 9/11, when the couple decided
they basically wanted to be by each other’s side 24 hours a day.
will return to this home for the sand and finish work.
Next thing you know, Gary and Lisa—or LeeLee, as Gary
affectionately calls her—are back in the van, on their way
to make two distributor stops. Stop No. 1 is at KO Floor
Supply in Riverdale, where Gary checks with owner Kevin
O’Leary on some router and face-nailer repairs. Unfortunately, the tools were deemed beyond repair, so they
went “to the graveyard,” Gary says. Then it’s off to All
State Flooring Distributors in Fairfield, where they pick
up some sealer and natural oil finish they will use on an
upcoming reclaimed flooring job.
So far today, Gary and Lisa have hit nearly every corner of
Bergen County, but now they’re ready to stay in one place
for a little while. They’ve just arrived at the headquarters
of Real Antique Wood Mill in Irvington, a good 30-mile
clip south of their home in Bergenfield. On this spot Gary
and Lisa have thousands and thousands of square feet of
lot storage—and it’s already near full. There are all sorts
of reclaimed wood species, including pine, hemlock, oak,
chestnut, maple, Doug fir and wormy chestnut. From the
storage lot, the sound of woodworking fills the air.
Gary and Lisa first started doing reclaimed flooring
install jobs three years ago, with a local flooring manufacturer that would also sell the jobs. But Gary and Lisa
began thinking they were missing opportunities by not
expanding on the history behind the wood flooring they
were installing, so they decided to go it alone.
“People would always ask, ‘Are there photographs?
Where did the wood come from?’ They would say, ‘It
would be really nice having literature on my new flooring project, or my new beams.’” Then they began tearing
down buildings themselves; a home from 1746, several
19th century barns, an old jail, a school, churches and an
old psychiatric ward are just some of the buildings the
couple have recycled into reclaimed timber.
“Now we’re putting that building back into a floor and
creating new history,” Lisa says. “It’s in your floor and you
can talk about where it came from.” But their product offerings do not end at wood flooring; their mill also offers
hand-hewn beams, molding and trim, 20-foot mantels, tables, gazebos and arbors, and more. By the looks of their
warehouse, it seems they’ve left nothing behind at the
Gary shows off some of Real Antique Wood Mill’s stock—including pine, hemlock, oak, chestnut and other species—
most of which was taken from old barns.
demo sites, save maybe the foundation. It’s a veritable antique warehouse, with old barn doors, milking machines,
antique saws and many more odds and ends culled from
dilapidated buildings. The company’s slogan—which Lisa
created—is, “Where history repeats itself.”
“We’ve been slowly but surely gathering product and
inventory, and paperwork, on all these projects that we
have been taking down,” Gary says. “Our next real step is
to start the marketing process to get the word out there.”
October|November 2011 ■ Hardwood Floors 47
The trick to building your
business in this area is
breaking into new circles,
and contractors do that via
As part of their reclaimed product package, Gary and
Lisa will offer original historical documents, photos and
Inside the plant, Gary and Lisa check with Mike Ciosek,
the plant manager. Ciosek is making a run of flooring
while directing the other plant workers. There is a re-saw,
straight-line ripper, planer, shaper and molder. It’s a complete operation; Gary and Lisa are even testing their own
wood-drying kiln. It’s not perfect yet, but they’re determined to make this a successful operation. They believe
in the business so much that they’ve invested all of their
life savings in it. Talking about the new business gets
Gary excited; his voice gets higher and he talks a little
faster: “Good things are gonna happen. Why not us!?”
Toward the end of the workday, Gary and Lisa finally
decide they should grab some lunch at White Mana,
a famous burger joint in Hackensack. The phone has
been ringing off the hook, they’ve covered more than
100 miles on the road, and on their way to the diner
they hear from DiMarco that the crew has wrapped up
all the jobs it started today. They were even able to pick
up a 12-foot custom stair tread for Gary. In the van, Lisa
reviews today’s itinerary. Big Xs splatter the page, signifying all they accomplished.
While they share a platter of hamburger sliders (they
never seem to order individually), Gary and Lisa discuss
the key lessons they learned when they first started installing reclaimed flooring. “We had to persuade the customer
to let us design the layout,” Lisa says. “We would put
certain boards at a focal point the way we would want to
see them in our own house.”
“We hand-select the coolest boards for the optimal wow
factor,” Gary adds. “We’ve had contractors ask, ‘What side
do I install?’ You know, sometimes you have a rough kerf
mark of saw blades on one side and you have a clean bottom. They thought you would be putting the rough side
down, but I would tell them you want the rough side up!”
That attention to detail and willingness to help others
has culminated in a successful wood floor contracting
48 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
Real Antique Wood Mill now boasts its own on-site wooddrying kiln.
company for Gary and Lisa, and they hope they can do
the same with Real Antique Wood Mill. Ultimately, they
felt compelled to open the new business so they would
not have regrets later in life. “I don’t want to be 80 and
say, ‘You know, I wish I would have done that when we
were 40,’” Lisa says. They finish their burgers and then
head home to unload the vans and plan for the workdays
following the flooring school.
No matter whether they’re discussing business plans,
telling each other stories, sharing a muffin, or having a
mild disagreement on driving directions, Gary and Lisa are
always quick with a smile and a laugh, or some goofy activity (Gary recalls that they thumb wrestled on their first
date). In fact, they get along so well, some people don’t
think they’re married. “People think we are brother and
sister,” Lisa says. “I tell them we’re husband and wife, and
they’re like, ‘No way, you can’t get along like that all day
long!’” But, they do. For some people, working alongside
their spouse all day is unfathomable, but Gary and Lisa
wouldn’t have it any other way. ■
Editor’s note: Hurricane Irene knocked out power to
Gary and Lisa’s home near the end of August, so for a few
days they lived in their beach house on the Jersey Shore.
This meant they had to commute an hour to Bergenfield to
begin each workday. They were able to return to the home
in Upper Saddle River on the Friday before Labor Day
weekend. They padded the floor and then applied two coats
of water-based finish. “It came out beautiful,” Lisa says.
Watch a video for details about a barn Gary
and Lisa tore down in Hunterdon County, N.J.,
and see more photos from our day with them at
We Can Help.
Hardwood Floors offers tools so you
can do a better job on the job site
and managing your business. Are you
putting HF to work for you?
The HF Website
Check out the current digital issue, searchable article archives, current news, new
products, classifieds, an industry calendar and more at:
HF Online Resource Book
This essential guide to everything and everyone in the wood
flooring industry is updated daily all year long:
Ask for help from your peers at the HF Forum. At this online discussion forum,
you can post questions and get feedback from fellow wood flooring professionals
regarding installation, sanding & finishing, troubleshooting and more. Check it out at:
Read about real life in the industry at the HF Blogs, and post your own comments at:
What’s going on in the wood flooring industry? You need to know. Get the
latest news delivered to your inbox twice a week. Subscribe at:
Prefinished Wood Flooring
American Heart Pine Corporation
Appalachian Flooring Ltd.
Award Hardwood Floors LLP
Brazilian Direct Ltd.
Brenco Exotic Woods
Coswick Hardwoods Inc.
Czar Floors Inc.
DuChateau Floors/Royalton Floors
Eastern Flooring Inc.
dba Unique Wood Floors
Enito Flooring Pte. Ltd.
early every year, it seems customers are asking for just a little bit more prefinished
wood flooring rather than unfinished, according to Hardwood Floors’ annual State of
the Industry report published in our April/May issue. How long this will go on remains
to be seen, but the importance of prefinished within the industry is indisputible. This is why,
once again, we’ve assembled our annual Prefinished Wood Flooring Product Focus.
October|November 2011 Q Hardwood Floors 51
Prefinished Wood Flooring
TYPE OF FLOORING
Goodwin Heart Pine Co.
Gilbert Hardwood Industries (M)
Gentry Hardwood Floors
Frame Hardwoods Inc.
American Heart Pine Corporation | www.americanheartpine.com
Appalachian Flooring | www.appalachianflooring.com
Avant-Guard Inc. | www.silhouetteflooring.com
Silhouette Hardwood Flooring
Award Hardwood Floors | www.awardfloors.com
Award Hardwood Floors ECO-Strand
Bois Franc Mont Royal Inc. | www.montroyalhardwood.com
Bois Franc Mont Royal Inc.
Brazilian Direct Ltd. | www.brazilianhardwood.com
Classic Exotics Collection
Brenco Exotic Woods | www.brencollc.com
Byrne Wood Floors
Coswick Hardwood Inc. | www.coswick.com
CorkDirect | www.corkdirect.com
Czar Floors Inc. | www.czarfloors.com
DuChateau Floors | www.duchateaufloors.com
Eastern Flooring Inc. | www.uniquewoodfloor.com
Enito Flooring Pte. Ltd. | www.enitoflooring.com
Enito Coconut Palm Wood Prefinished Flooring
52 Hardwood Floors Q October|November 2011
Howell Hardwood Flooring
Innovaciones Decorativas SA CV
Jamie Beckwith Collection
Kahrs International Inc.
Antique and new heart pine available in warranted Natural, Brass and Copper finishes.
Comes with exclusive Evershine finish; made in Canada and the U.S.
Number of Plies
Boards are sealed on six sides with Contour-Guard technology; 35-year warranty.
Features WearMax Plus Advanced Ceramic Finish.
Features Nano Tech anti-scratch finish.
Available species: amendoim, rosewood, cherry, teak, walnut, kempas, more.
Company says it is U.S.’s only distributor for African celtis flooring.
Number of plies and wear-layer thickness dependent upon design requirements.
Also offers Uniblock flooring made from white oak, ash, American walnut.
12 patterns of cork flooring for commercial and residential use; built-in underlayment.
Species: Asian acacia walnut, Patagonian rosewood, angico, tiger mahogany, more.
Four colors: Espresso, Natural, Rustic and Oriental; wood is 100% recycled.
Pieces are micro-beveled to define pattern.
Available in range of rustic character grades and contemporary styles; no-VOC finish.
October|November 2011 Q Hardwood Floors 53
Prefinished Wood Flooring
TYPE OF FLOORING
Launstein Hardwood Floors
Karlson Hardwood Floors LLC
Frame Hardwoods Inc. | www.plankflooring.com
Chelsea Plank Flooring
Gentry Hardwood Floors | www.gentryfloors.com
Gilbert Hardwood Industries (M) Sdn. Bhd. | www.ghimalaysia.com
Gilbert Wooden Floors
Goodwin Heart Pine Co. | www.heartpine.com
Goodwin Precision Engineered
Graf Brothers Flooring Inc. | www.grafbro.com
Graf Brothers Solid & Grafhaus Engineered
HomerWood Premium Hardwood Flooring | www.homerwood.com
HomerWood Traditional Character Collection
Howell Hardwood Flooring | www.howellflooring.com
Howell Hardwood Flooring
Innovaciones Decorativas SA CV | www.inndeco.com
Tzalam (Caribbean Walnut)
Jamie Beckwith Collection | www.jamiebeckwithcollection.com
Kährs International Inc. | www.kahrs.com
Karlson Hardwood Floors LLC | www.karlsonhardwood.com
Karlson Hardwood Floors LLC
Launstein Hardwood Floors | www.launstein.com
“Saloon” from the Launstein Collection Series
LM Flooring | www.lmflooring.com
Margaritelli USA LLC | www.listonegiordano.com/usa
54 Hardwood Floors Q October|November 2011
Model Hardwood Inc.
North Wood Flooring LLC
Nova USA Wood
Engineered flooring has same average lengeth as solid flooring.
FSC-certified available upon request; 5⁄8-inch thickness for engineered flooring only.
Natural oil UV finish; available in American cherry, black walnut, hard maple, others.
Number of Plies
Species: ash, hickory, hard maple, cherry, red oak, white oak; 45 plank products.
Also offers FSC-certified products.
Custom options available with 2,500-foot order.
Baltic birch backing.
Line comprises 16 patterns with six stain choices.
Company made decision to stop purchasing threatened tropical species in 2009.
Additional widths: 10-15 inches; custom-milled domestic and exotic species.
Finished with Woca oil; certified for use with radiant heat; quartersawn.
16 species; Fumed White Oak finish, among many others.
October|November 2011 Q Hardwood Floors 55
Owens Flooring by Colonial Craft
Prefinished Wood Flooring
TYPE OF FLOORING
Old Master Products
Mercier Wood Flooring Inc. | www.mercierwoodflooring.com
Wood Flooring Collections
Mirage (Boa-Franc) | www.miragefloors.com
Mirage Classic and Mirage Engineered
Model Hardwood Inc. | www.pgmodel.com
PG-Model Hardwood Flooring
Mullican Flooring | www.mullicanflooring.com
Meridian Pointe and Castillian
North Wood Flooring LLC | www.northwoodflooring.net
North Wood Collection
Nova USA Wood Products LLC | www.novawoodusa.com
Old Master Products | www.thegarrisoncollection.com
The Garrison Collection
Oshkosh Designs | www.oshkoshdesigns.com
Oshkosh Designs Parquet
Owens Flooring by Colonial Craft | www.colonialcraft.com
Select Factory Finished Flooring
Regal Hardwoods Inc. | www.regalhardwoods.com
Olde Time Hickory Collection
Rehmeyer Precision Millwork Inc. | www.rehmeyerfloors.com
Shamrock Plank Flooring | www.shamrockplankflooring.com
Saloon Series from Shamrock Plank Flooring
Sheoga Hardwood Flooring & Paneling Inc. | www.sheogaflooring.com
Sheoga’s Graceful Collection
Signature Innovations LLC | www.signaturehardwoods.com
Victorian Collection French Oak
56 Hardwood Floors Q October|November 2011
Flooring & Paneling Inc.
Signature Innovations LLC
Somerset Hardwood Flooring
13 species; 17 colors; Greenguard-certified.
Additional widths: 35⁄16,4¼,5,6½; 5-inch-wide engineered flooring pictured, page 55.
Nine species; five finishes; 13 stains offered; products eligible for LEED points.
Finished with aluminum oxide; lifetime warranty if installed with Aqua Shield system.
Finished with aluminum oxide; species: red oak, white oak, hard maple, cherry, more.
Clear-grade flooring can be sold as southern chestnut or Brazilian chestnut.
Wider widths available upon request.
Custom hand-scraped, hand-beveled, hand-antiqued, hand-waxed.
Number of Plies
Additional width: 7 inches; aluminum oxide finish available.
Thickness dependent upon design.
Custom thicknesses, widths and legths available; 25-year residential warranty.
Aluminum oxide finish available; species: red oak, white oak, hickory, more.
Hand-scraped flooring in four designer colors: Houston, Saddle, Cigar, Buckskin.
October|November 2011 Q Hardwood Floors 57
Floors Inc. [GA]
Suntups Wooden Flooring
Prefinished Wood Flooring
TYPE OF FLOORING
Trout River Lumber
Sun Mountain Inc.
Somerset Hardwood Flooring | www.somersetfloors.com
Somerset Domestic Engineered Flooring
Southern Wood Floors | www.southernwoodfloors.com
Antique Reclaimed Heart Pine
SouthFloor | www.southfloor.com
Southern Heart Pine Wide Plank
Stile Pavimenti Legno SPA | www.stile.com
Stilart - Odessa
Sun Mountain Inc. | www.sunmountaindoor.com
Sun Mountain Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring
Suntups Wooden Flooring | www.suntups.co.za
Suntups Engi-Life Maple AB Grade
Ten Oaks | www.tenoaksflooring.com
Timeless Wood Floors Inc. [GA] | www.timelesswoodfloors.com
Heirloom Series Reclaimed Heart Pine
Trout River Lumber | www.troutriverlumber.com
Trout River Lumber
Turman Hardwood Flooring Inc. | www.turmanhardwoodflooring.com
UrbanFloor | www.urbanfloor.com
Villa Caprisi European Oak Calabria
Verona Hardwood | www.veronahardwood.com
Bella Esotica, Classico Indossato
Weitzer Parkett GmbH & CoKG | www.weitzer-parkett.com
Wellmade Performance Flooring | www.wellmadefloors.com
Wellmade Engineered Strand Woven Bamboo
58 Hardwood Floors Q October|November 2011
GmbH & CoKG
Offering sawn-face flooring in Color Plank, High Gloss, Character, Specialty collections.
Wider widths available on select species; custom made in the U.S.; direct sales.
Distributes flooring in container loads of 1,000 square meters or larger.
Hand-scraped; 7’ lengths; custom specification programs available.
Beveled and brushed.
Number of Plies
Wide plank and plank; natural oil and conventional finishes and colors.
Wide range of grades and finishes, including aluminum oxide; other species available.
Multiple-width flooring available.
Low-build aluminum oxide finish.
Available in three colors; smooth or hand-scraped; installations above or below grade.
Non-FSC-certified flooring also available.
10 color options and surface treatments; 30-year residential warranty.
October|November 2011 Q Hardwood Floors 59
At SURFACES, success
All your options,
at StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas.
in one convenient location.
Take advantage of two co-located industry events
to ﬁnd all the new products, trends and resources
you need to satisfy your customers and increase the
intensity of your success.
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!
www.Surfaces.com | www.StonExpo.com
Exhibits: January 24-26, 2012 | Education: January 23-26, 2012
Mandalay Bay Convention Center | Las Vegas, Nevada USA
Reg Code: A13
American Monument Association
Building Stone Institute
Canadian Stone Association
Elberton Granite Association
National Building Granite Quarries Association
Northwest Granite Manufacturers Association
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Business is increasingly moving to the Web.
These companies—all half-page or larger
advertisers in this issue—realize that, and they
have outﬁtted their websites to better serve
their clients, incorporating features like dealer
locators, large-format photo galleries and
mobile optimization, just to name a few.
P I Co
son Collectionn sayss its
we sititee prov
llery of ﬁne hard
g, as wel
as a conv
id lines on car
ti ns cann al
so be vie
PEI hass recen
on inee an
solutitions to its
site that provi
ce to con
m to mor
o thhe MAPE
w l Hard
ted its website to
ludde its new Toowns
on its fu
fulll line of unﬁnis
hed soolid aannd unﬁnis
r g. Use
r can view
ct ons. Custome
rs can al
also ﬁnd th
th a clilickk of
of a butttton
October|November 2011 ■ Hardwood Floors 61
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
y its we
website was sp
a y designed
atedd withh indus
ls in min
d With its
l ok and user-friend
tainns all the esse
o s. Als
A o, a new
sion of the
website iss now
m bile hand
ce , offe
rinng a si
li edd usaability
Mullican Flooringg unveiledd a nnew,
driven website in 2010 that
at res im
f r loc
ti products and also
ta nss val
valluable consumer educat
hardwood ﬂoors annd inte
n rior design concepts. The
site alloows visitors to select Mullican products baased
on color needs, ﬂooring ty
yp or sppeci
e es, or by
browsing all of the comp
n ’s 23 collec
N FA says its sit
si e is
is the “ultim
convenientt linkks to
i al ppubblic
ion,, degrree and
tii n prog
i s of
l ttoo NW
rs.. Withh th
vi itorss wil
w l ﬁnd th
need in one
Fl oring by Col
site and gavve itit an
a er forrmat
m to ﬁnd
n the photo
tion to annswe
wer the most difﬁcult questions
raised byy com
al and re
en ial customers.
It also prov
a y info
c ons and cust
o r-exclusive inventory
ilability for Plan
lankﬂoor Solidlyy Eng
E ineered Flooring
or Select Factoory Finnis
62 Hardwood Floors ■ October|November 2011
h ng &
re Finishing & Coa
b te is an
whoo are new
ne too the
ess.. ItIt feat
ress a vi
deo of PF
ng to end
end. In add
layss a sc
wing off iits
2 /7 from
m a secu
re porrtal too thee
nk Flooring, a
ti n fami
o edd com
made in the
o ers fu
lid and Environeer
erva ive) ﬂoorin
ocaate a dea
ler by zip
r ng & P
g ’s web
ebsite is comprehensive, cont
atiion onn the
nyy s many
ci s,, ven
ts and ﬂoo
soo ies. The sitititee also
h s the
pa yy’ss preﬁ
ni hedd annd unﬁ
ples andd bro
can be re
erss can loca
t the nea
tr buter off pro
m Sheoga, wh
i hass beenn
UrbanFloor’s new and improved website launched
in August 2011. It includes functions such as
24/7 Live Help via chat, a room calculator, an
updated dealer locator, large thumbnails for easier
navigation, and the company’s Floor Quick Finder,
which assists users in selecting a ﬂoor by shade,
texture and budget options. What’s more, the site is
Wagner Meters’ website provides a variety of
resources to help users ﬁnd accurate information
about lumber, woodworking and concrete
moisture measurement, including videos, training
information, articles, webinars by industry
professionals, and an online storefront. What’s
rs can follo
ers on Fa
Use inside or out. Over 450 CFM @ 120” waterlift.
[email protected] 23 amp. Use plastic bags. Rolls easily, Comes
apart. Transports easily. Remote control, over 40 sq ft
filter. Runs 2-3 machines. Hoses and adapters included.
The one that WORKS!
Learn about our
Power,, Performance, Price!
For dust collection systems to work efficiently,
they need to out draw the sander (minimum
400 cfm). Get the waste air outside. Have
nonclogging filters to get the best results.
Increased Sanding Dust Pickup
Over 1200 CFM, 220 ft hose
220 volts19 amps optional 110v
40 Gallon Capacity
Runs 3 machines
Call for a
Fast turn around or Exchange available
We manufacture in house all our rubber
products for belt and slotted drums and
do not out source like other companies.
Materials, and Price
orbital action &
Over 1000 sold
Machine Parts All Models!
Stair Schematics Online or Catalog
Clip on Sander Dolly
Dolly available for KT,
Hummel, Galaxy, & American
October|November 2011 Q Hardwood Floors 63
Industry News | Products
Amana Tool offers industrial-quality, carbide-tipped, solidcarbide and replacement-carbide cutting tools for the wood ﬂooring
industry. Its router bits are available for various stock thicknesses,
and the company offers rounded or straight bits with ball bearing
Kährs International offers the Artisan Collection, engineered
oak ﬂooring bearing dramatic surface treatments—including handscraping, distressing, and saw cutting (pictured)—and a wide range
of color from the palest white to near-black. All Artisan ﬂoors have
beveled edges and are treated with Kährs Nature oil. The boards
are 7¼ inches wide and 5⁄8 inch thick.
Polygon’s Humidity Control Unit 8000 combines cooling and
desiccant dehumidiﬁcation technologies in one energy-efﬁcient
system. The unit controls dew point temperatures in hot, humid
climates, and it is ideal for use in structural drying, temporary
humidity control in building construction, and condensation and
corrosion control, the company says.
Bosch Power Tools has upgraded its 13-gallon wet/dry
Airsweep vacuum with ﬁltration and containment options. When
used with a Bosch HEPA ﬁlter, this vacuum can be used in
compliance with the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting rule.
This updated model includes a plastic-bag containment system.
Owens Flooring by Colonial Craft has added 7- and 8-inch
widths to its engineered Plankﬂoor line, which has a 3⁄16-inch wear
layer. Plankﬂoor is available in 10 species: white oak (pictured), red
oak, hickory, hard maple, walnut, American cherry, Brazilian cherry,
eucalyptus, Australian cypress, santos mahogany and sapele.
IndoTeak Design has launched a line of FSC-certiﬁed
engineered reclaimed teak ﬂooring. This ﬂooring is available in
widths from 3½ to 12 inches and lengths from 4 to 10 feet. The
texture of the ﬂooring can be hand-wire-brushed or smooth-handsanded.
UFloor has added Pall-X 96 semi-gloss ﬁnish to its offering of
Pallmann products. This single-component waterborne ﬁnish is for
residential and commercial applications.
64 Hardwood Floors Q October|November 2011
Industry News | Products
8 Porter-Cable says its PC60THPK 6-amp hand planer is powerful
and easy to adjust. With two blades, this planer can make a 5⁄64-inch
cut in one pass. To ensure level and square results, the planer’s
cast aluminum shoe is 11½ inches long and is furnished with three
chamfer grooves. The planer also features an ergonomic dust
extraction port that can be hooked up to a vacuum.
Proceq has added the Hygropin moisture meter to its line of
testing instruments. The Hygropin measures both ambient moisture
and moisture below the surface of the concrete. It has a 5-mm
probe and digital display.
10 Franklin International’s Titebond 771-Step has a polymer
formula that acts as both an adhesive and moisture control
system. It can be used with solid and engineered ﬂooring, as well
as bamboo and cork. What’s more, Franklin International says
Titebond 771-Step can be used to garner LEED credits.
11 Metabo Corporation has upgraded its 7-inch Angle Grinder
Surface Prep Kit to include the W24-230 large-angle grinder, 7-inch
dust control shroud and optional vacuum. The upgraded grinder
has a rated speed of 6,600 RPM, and the dust control shroud is
made from virgin polyurethane.
MAPEI’s Ultrabond Eco 985 is a premium single-component,
hybrid-polymer-based wood ﬂooring adhesive; it is 100-percentsolids, isocyanate-free and easy to clean up. MAPEI says Ultrabond
Eco 985 provides both a strong bond and excellent sound reduction
properties, while also protecting wood ﬂooring from moisture
vapor emissions coming through concrete slabs.
Maﬁ America Inc.’s Tiger Oak Floors With Color Fills
is luxury engineered ﬂooring. Maﬁ bakes the ﬂooring using a
proprietary technique that causes it to crack. The cracks are ﬁlled
with complementary ﬁller, available in violet, blue, green, cream,
silver, grey or translucent (pictured applied to a bar front). The
ﬂooring is ﬁnished with brushed, natural oil.
14 Rockler says its Circle Cutting Jig can cut ﬂawless circles from
5½ to 52 inches in diameter. The jig is pre-drilled with countersunk
mounting screw holes and comes with assorted hardware to
accommodate a variety of popular routers, including Porter-Cable,
Makita, Hitachi, DeWalt and Bosch.
October|November 2011 Q Hardwood Floors 65
Online Resource Center
Get more informat io n ab o u t ad vert isers in t h is issu e b y
visiting Hardw ood Flo o rs’ o n lin e read er in q u iry service .
Quickly locate an advertiser in this issue using the list below:
www.3M.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
NWFA Wood Flooring Expo
www.nwfa.org . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Allwood Import LLC
www.allwoodimport.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
www.nwfa.org . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Appalachian Lumber Co. Inc.
www.appalachianlumber.net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Old Master Products
www.thegarrisoncollection.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . 10-11
www.bostik-us.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Owens Flooring by Colonial Craft
www.colonialcraft.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
www.duraseal.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Premiere Finishing & Coating LLC
www.prefinishfloors.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Elegance Exotic Wood Flooring
www.elegancewoodflooring.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Shamrock Plank Flooring
www.shamrockplankflooring.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Lignomat USA Ltd.
www.lignomat.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Sheoga Hardwood Flooring & Paneling Inc.
www.sheogaflooring.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
www.mapei.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
www.surfaces.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Maxwell Hardwood Flooring
www.maxwellhardwoodflooring.com . . . . . . . . . 34
U.S. Sander LLC
www.ussander.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Mercer Abrasives, div. of Mercer Tool Corp.
www.mercerabrasives.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
www.wdflooring.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
www.miragefloors.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
www.wagnermeters.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
www.mullicanflooring.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Woodwise/Design Hardwood Products
www.woodwise.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
66 Hardwood Floors Q October|November 2011
Everything else is half as good.
For more information, call your local distributor or a Bostik customer service
representative today at 1-800-7BOSTIK or visit us on the web, www.bostik-us.com.
“I got some lumber here that’ll
work just ﬁne…you need some
homebrew to go with that?…”
Concentrated, with steely dedication, to producing quality hardwood ﬂooring since 1872.
© 2 01 0 W sD F L O O R I N G , L L C
W D FLO O R I N G.CO M