Wood flooring is incredibly popular in interior design as it adds comfort and value to the home, office and space. But do we fully understand the ins and outs of how best to buy the hardwood floor material? Where and how do you find the most competitively priced and highest quality material at great prices?
As a consumer, you likely search online or visit a local retail showroom to see what interests you. Naturally prices will vary depending on the species, grade, width and style of cuts and whether it is a solid or engineered material. Online vendors tout discount pricing, but are they reliable and how is the quality of the material? Do they really know what they’re talking about? Establishing trust is incredibly important. It all seems to be a big gamble. Identifying an expert who has their finger on the pulse of the industry is a must. You really want an expert with direct reach and ongoing relationship with the mills to get direct pricing, ensure quality and reliability.
Eliminating the middleman translates into better pricing. This is true when flooring retailers promote discounts to the end consumer as their competitive advantage. However, purchasing through retail stores often results in lower quality wood flooring and commodity dimensions which often result in further problems. Retailers only sell you what they have. However, going mill direct allows you to achieve the design and materials you dream of.
Getting a great end result in your wood flooring is an art form and it starts with reliable and knowledgeable professionals that ensure you are getting the right material for your project. Dealing with someone who listens, understands your concept or design, and knows how to deliver is important.
Product quality is still by far the biggest concern consumers should have. We posed this to Greg Anderson, NWFA Certified Professional with Vermont Plank Flooring, and this is what he had to say.
“When you go to a standard retail wood flooring store they will have flooring that was likely milled and finished months in advance, in large quantities with short and narrow dimensions. Wood flooring materials are hygroscopic and as this flooring material sits and waits the quality is immediately affected. The longer material is warehoused after it has been milled the more likely it will start to warp, bow, bend and distort from its original shape. If the material has been pre-finished there’s a chance that the color or sheen of the boards has faded and altered. Unsuspecting clients are none the wiser and these little things add up when working with an inferior product. For all of those reasons we emphasize going mill direct because in the end you really do get what you pay for.”
Furthermore, the mill direct approach is able to provide you an accurate market price based on the current availability of the lumber. Being able to mill materials to your exact dimension specifications and provide a freshly made product separates us from the rest. Custom milled materials result in extremely satisfied customers.
Design Possibilities For Any Budget
A mill that provides a wide range of flooring at budget friendly prices is a designer’s and architect’s dream. Design professionals look for mills that offer a wide variety of wood species, sourced from around the world in a variety of widths including the super trendy truly wide plank flooring.
“We see some very demanding projects come through our mill, and we’re happy to say that we are able to accommodate most anything. We have pushed the envelope a few times to produce boards as wide as 19 inches and as long as 16 feet when budget and design needs required those specifications.” remarked Greg Anderson of Vermont Plank Flooring.
Greg also noted that the team at Vermont Plank Flooring works closely with customers to help them find the material for their projects and budgets. For example, wide plank flooring is very much on trend today. Being able to provide desired individual widths or variable widths offer big savings and result in a gorgeous look.
Pre-finished flooring is another exciting and evolving option, especially when tight construction schedules are involved such as in high rise buildings and other urban projects. In many instances, this means inferior quality products that introduce unhealthy off-gassing. Not so with Vermont Plank Flooring, as they use a f VOC-free finish due to natural linseed oil and waxes. Among the coating systems Vermont Plank Flooring offers is a scratch resistant Treffert Sapphire and an aluminum oxide for their pre-finished flooring. These produce a durable finish without harsh chemicals associated with harmful health effects that are a result of long term exposure.
Sustainability At Every Turn
Sustainably sourced solid wood flooring is an integral part of today’s eco-friendly and healthy construction. If certification is your goal, seek out mills that offer FSC®-certified or newly sawn and reclaimed plank flooring which qualifies for LEED certification credits.
Using reclaimed flooring is also increasingly part of the eco-friendly standard. Either case requires a trustworthy source like Vermont Plank Flooring.