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The OFFICIAL Hardwood Flooring Thread

Newbie
Mar 14, 2009
2 posts
Burlington, Ontario
patrob wrote:
May 4th, 2008 11:42 am
If you found nothing about the product, that should answer your question :idea: There are 'millions' of manufacturer & more coming out everyday, nobody can keep up with names & what comes from where.

Also Kempas is not Brazilian Walnut. There is a lot of stuff from Asia that they call it Brazilian Walnut but it's not even close. Brazilian Walnut is not orange or red in colour, it's a darker brown. Also buying hardwood from auctions is what you see is what you get. Don't expect a quality product and there is no history on this product, where it came from, how it came, where was it stored and what kind of finish was really used...
Please tell anyone and everyone not to purchase Exoticorp kempas wood!!

My husband and I were also very delighted at the appearance of this Exoticorp hardwood floor (kempas). This was our first time at an auction, and when we realized that most lots were going for $3, we jumped right in and bought 1200 sq ft. Boy am I sorry.

We purchased it in the Spring of 2008. Prior to installing, the flooring sat in our house several months as we were renovating. In the fall we laid portion in the kitchen and everything seemed fine. In Feb we installed the flooring in the living room. After about 7 days the floor starting to shrink SIGNIFICANTLY (both kitchen and living room). The gaps between each and every board is horrific. Obviously this wood can not tolerate dry heat. We do have a humidifier by the way. I'm devastated, but that's what you get if you don't do your homework.

Would it be feasible to strip the floor, fill in the gaps with filler and refinish?
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Little Burger wrote:
Mar 15th, 2009 8:52 pm
Please tell anyone and everyone not to purchase Exoticorp kempas wood!!

My husband and I were also very delighted at the appearance of this Exoticorp hardwood floor (kempas). This was our first time at an auction, and when we realized that most lots were going for $3, we jumped right in and bought 1200 sq ft. Boy am I sorry.

We purchased it in the Spring of 2008. Prior to installing, the flooring sat in our house several months as we were renovating. In the fall we laid portion in the kitchen and everything seemed fine. In Feb we installed the flooring in the living room. After about 7 days the floor starting to shrink SIGNIFICANTLY (both kitchen and living room). The gaps between each and every board is horrific. Obviously this wood can not tolerate dry heat. We do have a humidifier by the way. I'm devastated, but that's what you get if you don't do your homework.

Would it be feasible to strip the floor, fill in the gaps with filler and refinish?
Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Hopefully others will read this & stay away from it :!:

If the gaps are fairly big, filler will dry out, shrink, sink in & might even fall out. Crank up the humidifier to more than 50%, give it some time & hopefully it will expand at least a little bit.

Was the wood wrapped in plastic? What was the humidity in the house prior to installation? Was there a lot of plastering/painting going on?
Things like that have a significant impact on the wood.

SOLID EXOTICS are not meant for this country! If you want exotic hardwood, get engineered or solid sawn but it will not be for $3 sq. ft.
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Newbie
Oct 6, 2007
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Hi guys, very informative thread. Some great pictures too. I just pulled the carpet in my family room and am confused on some things.

1. What would be a better choice. Solid or Engineered? This is a 5 level back split home. There is a basement below where I am installing the floor and the floor is not perfectly level/flat (see below).

2. What would be a recommended way to flatten the floor?
For the slightly low areas I can buy some shims and glue/nail them and sand to feather them in. But there is one area as in the picture below that needs to be leveled. From the yellow line to where I took the picture is a slope. It's about 5/8" of a difference. What I was thinking is purchase a piece of 5/8 ply and rip strips on a table saw to about 5" wide. Then I would somehow need to gradually shave it to form long shims. Then glue and nail these side by side. After that do a few passes with a belt sander. What do you think? Too much work?
I thought of using self-leveling compound but after reading around I don't think that's a good idea. Any other suggestions?

3. After all that is done what underlayment should I use? Is the wax paper enough or should I go with something that has some sound absorption?

[IMG]http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/4072/plywood.th.jpg[/IMG]
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MorePower wrote:
Mar 15th, 2009 10:31 pm
Hi guys, very informative thread. Some great pictures too. I just pulled the carpet in my family room and am confused on some things.

1. What would be a better choice. Solid or Engineered? This is a 5 level back split home. There is a basement below where I am installing the floor and the floor is not perfectly level/flat (see below).

2. What would be a recommended way to flatten the floor?
For the slightly low areas I can buy some shims and glue/nail them and sand to feather them in. But there is one area as in the picture below that needs to be leveled. From the yellow line to where I took the picture is a slope. It's about 5/8" of a difference. What I was thinking is purchase a piece of 5/8 ply and rip strips on a table saw to about 5" wide. Then I would somehow need to gradually shave it to form long shims. Then glue and nail these side by side. After that do a few passes with a belt sander. What do you think? Too much work?
I thought of using self-leveling compound but after reading around I don't think that's a good idea. Any other suggestions?

3. After all that is done what underlayment should I use? Is the wax paper enough or should I go with something that has some sound absorption?

[IMG]http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/4072/plywood.th.jpg[/IMG]
It depends what kind of wood you want to install. Exotic or domestic & also the width.

Use a long straight edge to see the height difference. If you say it's 5/8", use strips of 5/8", 1/2", 3/8", 1/4" & then shims to gradually reduce the difference.

You can sand everything with an edger or belt sander. For flooring underlay, use wax paper. No soft underlay is recommended for hardwood flooring.
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Dec 19, 2006
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I didn't know that there was a product out there that was more tolerant to different humidity levels. Thanks for the information.

Since Brampton Hardwood is not a recommended place, can you recommend some other locations in the GTA?
patrob wrote:
Mar 14th, 2009 9:36 pm
Who told you should install lower grade in the bedrooms? It's your house, you will live in it & even though these are bedrooms, they are your bedrooms.
Lower grade wood means a lot more shorts, more character (knots, colours) & possible uneven milling (from some manufacturers). So if you are willing to live with that, it's up to you.

But I would def. stay away from Brampton Hardwood, especially for their lower grade wood.

Engineered & solid, at least from Vintage, looks identical. Installation for nail down is pretty much the same (engineered requires diff. nails & nailer for 9/16") Engineered can also be floated or glued down but I would not bother to float on wooden sub-floor.

Most homeowners very rarely go through the process of re-finishing their floors within first 10-15 yrs. And yes, engineered can also be re-finished. So I wouldn't worry about re-finishing at this point. Engineered hardwood is more tolerant for changes in humidity. One of the best engineered products out there is Solid Sawn from Vintage.

Here are the humidity levels required for engineered.

Image

Here are the humidity levels required for Solid Sawn.

Image

Pick what you like even if the price is slightly higher. You only install it once :)
Newbie
Apr 28, 2008
37 posts
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Toronto
patrob wrote:
Mar 15th, 2009 9:43 pm
SOLID EXOTICS are not meant for this country! If you want exotic hardwood, get engineered or solid sawn but it will not be for $3 sq. ft.
I like the Jotoba in a 4" plank. I want to get unfinished. Top quality. What do you recommend?
Newbie
Mar 14, 2009
2 posts
Burlington, Ontario
patrob wrote:
Mar 15th, 2009 9:43 pm
Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Hopefully others will read this & stay away from it :!:

If the gaps are fairly big, filler will dry out, shrink, sink in & might even fall out. Crank up the humidifier to more than 50%, give it some time & hopefully it will expand at least a little bit.

Was the wood wrapped in plastic? What was the humidity in the house prior to installation? Was there a lot of plastering/painting going on?
Things like that have a significant impact on the wood.

SOLID EXOTICS are not meant for this country! If you want exotic hardwood, get engineered or solid sawn but it will not be for $3 sq. ft.
Thanks for your reply. I'm sorry to hear filling is not an option. We have cranked the humidifier, unfortunately it is not enough.

Yes, the wood was in fact wrapped in plastic and there was some painting. Never realized the plastic would have such an impact.

The gaps are big and I can't live with it. My husband wants to clip the nails, and re-install. What are your thoughts. I myself want to rip the darn stuff, take the $4K hit and lay new (and no we can't afford it). I would like to go the unfinished route - any recommendations on were to get unfinished flooring.

Thank you ever so much for your valuable advice and input. Obviously I wish we had spoken sooner. Please keep doing what you're doing!!!!
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lucrob wrote:
Mar 16th, 2009 10:16 am
I like the Jotoba in a 4" plank. I want to get unfinished. Top quality. What do you recommend?
Are you looking for natural colour Jatoba or dark stain? How many sq. ft. do you need? And why do you want unfinished? I would stick with pre-finished, less problems, better quality finish, no mess.
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Jr. Member
Jan 15, 2009
125 posts
GTA
What's the best was to remove quarter rounds without damaging the quarter round itself, the floor underneath, and the baseboard behind it?
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Little Burger wrote:
Mar 16th, 2009 12:46 pm
Thanks for your reply. I'm sorry to hear filling is not an option. We have cranked the humidifier, unfortunately it is not enough.

Yes, the wood was in fact wrapped in plastic and there was some painting. Never realized the plastic would have such an impact.

The gaps are big and I can't live with it. My husband wants to clip the nails, and re-install. What are your thoughts. I myself want to rip the darn stuff, take the $4K hit and lay new (and no we can't afford it). I would like to go the unfinished route - any recommendations on were to get unfinished flooring.

Thank you ever so much for your valuable advice and input. Obviously I wish we had spoken sooner. Please keep doing what you're doing!!!!
Did you check that your humidifier is even working, just because you crank it up doesn't mean it's humidifying properly.

You can try to rip it out & re-use it but there will be a lot of waste & what if you run out of wood, will you be able to get the exact same wood again?

Yes the plastic plays a big role in the packaging because if the wood was packed moist, the plastic helps to keep the moisture in the wood & once you install it, the wood dries out & that's where the gaps come from.

I would still get pre-finished hardwood, not a fan of un-finished because we have seen too many problems if not done properly.
And I doubt you want more problems after going through this already.

That's why I always tell people not to buy from auctions because you just don't know what you are getting & then it's too late.
Everybody loves a great deal, especially on expensive hardwood but sometimes it's just not worth to take a chance because that $3 sq. ft. deal might cost you much more in the end :idea:
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YeemJeem wrote:
Mar 16th, 2009 1:24 pm
What's the best was to remove quarter rounds without damaging the quarter round itself, the floor underneath, and the baseboard behind it?
Pre-cut with utility knife where it was painted or Dap-ed & use a thin painters scraper (red available at HD in painting section :D ) to pry the quarter round & be gentle.
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Apr 28, 2008
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Toronto
patrob wrote:
Mar 16th, 2009 1:21 pm
Are you looking for natural colour Jatoba or dark stain? How many sq. ft. do you need? And why do you want unfinished? I would stick with pre-finished, less problems, better quality finish, no mess.
I want unfinished and I will be staining with a dark stain. Can you assist me with my original question? Thanks
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lucrob wrote:
Mar 16th, 2009 2:20 pm
I want unfinished and I will be staining with a dark stain. Can you assist me with my original question? Thanks
You have to call around. Not many places sell unfinished jatoba. But be careful with jatoba, whether pre-finished or un-finished.
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Mar 27, 2006
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Hi Patrob,

This is a great thread ... have gone through maybe 10% and already feel wiser. Just purchased a new house (approx 15 year old) and planning to get some work done before moving in, including replacing carpets in living, dining and family room with hardwood. I'm a complete novice with this stuff, so still researching what type of wood to go for but had a quick question about colours. I would prefer to go with a darker hardwood (seem to be in style these days), but the staircase/banisters are all lighter (spiral going up and down). Is staining these to match the hardwood difficult/expensive? The stairs are currently carpeted, but will be either replacing the carpet or changing to hardwood with a runner. Any advice on what you would recommend?

Also, I was recommended by a contractor to visit Brampton Hardwood for materials. I take it from this thread you would advise against.

Thanks in advance,
- KD

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