Hardwood Flooring & Installation
StairSteps only supplies 100% Canadian hardwood flooring.
Our service area mainly focuses on the Oakville, Mississauga and Toronto area's. Although there are many different manufacturers and origins of hardwood flooring, if You are looking to install any Hardwood flooring we can give you the best product on the market today, and install it with accurately. We are extremely detail oriantated.
- All aspects of good hardwood flooring include the quality control of the actual wood, which consists of the kiln drying process, the milling and the finishing processes respectively.
- Hardwood flooring Grades will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer (Please see more about Hardwood Grading below).
- One thing to ask about when you are purchasing Hardwood flooring is board plank length. The industry average is 28", Some manufactures have an average board length of greater than 4' (48"). This is extremely important, otherwise you may end up with a "Chiclets" floors.
We are not a store. We are a professional installation company with vast experience in hardwoods. We know what brands and grades have met our previous customer's standards.
We understand that consumers are extremely vigilant with regards to the prices they are willing to pay when hardwood flooring is concerned. This is totally understandable, as we would feel the same way. But problems arise when retailers do not fully explain the grading system.
How Important Are Hardwood Grades
Notice the difference in board widths. The top-left board is the correct size at 3 1/4", the top-right board is 3/16" thinner at 3 1/16". This particular hardwood was rated "Select grade". These two boards were pulled from the same box.
So how can you tell if the hardwood flooring that you are considering is justly graded Select and better, or Select?
Is the grading system Standard across the industry?
Select and Select and Better grade's are standard amongst hardwood flooring manufacturers. The problem is that a manufacturer has the ability to determine these grades to a certain extent. For example a Select grade of one particular brand can be as good as, or even better than a Select and Better grade of another brand. Knowing and using different brands familiarizes one with that particular manufacturers standard and consistency. For example, we frequently use a Select grade Canadian hardwood that has an exceptional drying and milling process, yields several 6 to 7 foot boards in every box and carries a price tag cheaper than all "Real" Select and Better grade hardwood flooring.
What does this mean? Well, it means that you may not have to pay an unnecessary premium for hardwood flooring that carries a meaningless sticker on the box.
In our experience, grades that one should generally stay away from, are boxes that carry the names, "Rustic", "Country", "Mill", "Pioneer" and "Pub" to name a few. With that said you may find other grades which are not necessarily sub-par but are more subjective to ones taste. For example "character grade" has been known to have beautiful milling, but showcases more natural characteristics in the wood like Oak or Hickory knotts. Again this comes down to the manufacturer.
So as you can see it's not so "cut and dried", but hardwood flooring manufacturers that have been around for many years are typically doing something right.
Hardwood Flooring Grades
Select & Better
Select & Better Grade Will have longer average board lengths. This makes a noticable difference once the floor is complete. Minimum color variation. Now this will depend on species here also, but in general and especially concerning "Red Oak" you will have a much more uniformed floor using Select & Better
The moral of the "Hardwood Grade" story is, that it is extremely advantageous to have installed different brands and their varying grades. Only then, can someone truly know where the real value lies. And yes..... We have done that.