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Old 2012-01-27, 08:20 AM
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good2know good2know is offline
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Default Hardwood Upgrade ? Considerations

A summary of our experiences with hardwood in Ottawa new homes...

- wider boards are more prone to cupping, cracking and splitting

- birch and maple look great in the showroom and initially on the floor but:
. birch is too soft for most homes with kids or dogs in traffic areas
. maple isn't that much better
. darker stains emphasize dust bunnies, scratches, marks and even footprints - near impossible to keep looking clean
. any repairs made to boards are quite visible

- dark stained oak has better 'hiding' properties than birch / maple

- lighter stains are even better

- nhb installers pretty much ignore all manufacturers recommedations on site conditions prior to installation

- nhbs generally install hardwood too early in the process resulting in a lot of damage to the surface - scratches, dents, water damage since subtrades have zero respect for what will be your property

- Tarion processes are such that a warranty clain is difficult / impossible

- make sure to record these defects on the pdi - don't let the builder rep talk you out of it (http://www.buildinghomes.ca/communit...ad.php?t=18794)

This is a big dollar upgrade and people are often dissapponted.

Last edited by good2know; 2012-01-27 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 2012-01-27, 09:55 AM
patrob patrob is offline
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Very good post & all true except cracking/splitting of boards can happen on any size even 2 1/4" since it's a humidity issue.
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Old 2012-01-27, 10:02 AM
TheGrudge TheGrudge is offline
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In our place, hardwood was standard on the main floor but they charged us $1500 to upgrade to the dark stain. We have narrower planks (2 1/4" I believe) simply because we couldn't stomach another $1500 or so to go wider. I believe it's maple.

Anyway, we have an 85lbs Old English Sheepdog and have been in the house about 8 months. In my experience the floor looks much better after a few months, once the scratches are everywhere instead of limited to just a few areas. Let's just say I've had to create a mental block in my mind to avoid thinking too much about it. My friends say it's no big deal but it drives me bananas!

We "swiffer" the floor at least weekly but we still get the odd "Sheepdog Tumble Weed" appearing. And man, is it visible.

Hardwood LOOKS nice, but for my money I don't understand all the hate towards carpet. It's quiet, soft, and dogs can't scratch it!

Last edited by TheGrudge; 2012-01-27 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 2012-01-27, 10:18 AM
spiffy05 spiffy05 is offline
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We had a dark hardwood installed in our last house before selling. Boy oh boy were we happy we didn't get a dark stain in our new place. The dark LOOKS amazing, but when you have a large-ish white dog like us, especially a younger one, they can scratch it to hell very quickly. Not to mention the million tiny hairs. As TheGrudge said, self generated mental blocks help .

The lighter hardwood is easier to keep clean, and in my opinion, easier to hide imperfections. Unfortunately, that also means that we missed some of the imperfections during our PDI and are now stuck with them.

I'm happy we have hardwood in the new home, but it was a standard. We did pay the premium for the hardwood stairs and are very happy with that decision.
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Old 2012-01-27, 10:36 AM
Almost_Home Almost_Home is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiffy05 View Post
We had a dark hardwood installed in our last house before selling. Boy oh boy were we happy we didn't get a dark stain in our new place. The dark LOOKS amazing, but when you have a large-ish white dog like us, especially a younger one, they can scratch it to hell very quickly. Not to mention the million tiny hairs. As TheGrudge said, self generated mental blocks help .
THIS IS EXACTALY US..white dog and all! So glad we went with a lighter floor this time around.
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Old 2012-01-27, 10:48 AM
tzak tzak is offline
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I had a horrible experience when they had to rip out the hardwood. We had to clean for days. The dust and saw dust landed everywhere. It is pretty bad when you can't open the window too.
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Old 2012-01-27, 10:55 AM
LB1 LB1 is offline
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They ripped a lot out after our PDI, they cut boards in the kitchen. My off white grout now has a yellowish tinge.

I should add that satin finish hides things better than glossier finishes.
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Old 2012-01-27, 11:06 AM
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Right now I have the reddish stain oak hardwood..it's been 6 yrs since it was installed..still looks great..survived 6 kids , 2 golden retrievers and a handful of daycare kids..lol

Fingers crossed..and the medium tone (sahara) maple harwood will do just as great at our new place

I agree..wish the hardwood will be one of the last to be installed..as trades do not take care /precautions to keep it new..at least until owners take possession.

I've seen too many times with nhb and trades leaning crap up against windows scratching them up before closing...

or 'cleaners' who clean up the nhb..not doing it properly..and in the process..scratched the crap out of granite countertops ..would be incredibly disappointing to get that on closing day...

I find it laughable on many nhb when they 'claim' the vents have been cleaned..sticking a shop vac in the vent to me doesn't count..amazing to find how truly blocked with junk/construction crap..is in there..
Sad on a nhb..first thing to do after move in..get vents cleaned..avoid dusk and debris that will be kicked in the air..and all over the new hardwood floor
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Old 2012-01-27, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrob View Post
Very good post & all true except cracking/splitting of boards can happen on any size even 2 1/4" since it's a humidity issue.
Thanks Patrob

What we have found is that wide maple is the worst (almost to the point of not preventable no matter what you do) and that narrow oak is much less prone to cracks.

It also helps that the grain hides it and with maple/birch not at all.

We won't be upgrading to birch/maple, wide, and/or dark again.

I keep telling mdw and daughter (2 different houses) that all the marks are 'character'. They aren't buying it
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Old 2012-01-27, 11:51 AM
Almost_Home Almost_Home is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by good2know View Post
Thanks Patrob

What we have found is that wide maple is the worst (almost to the point of not preventable no matter what you do) and that narrow oak is much less prone to cracks.

It also helps that the grain hides it and with maple/birch not at all.

We won't be upgrading to birch/maple, wide, and/or dark again.

I keep telling mdw and daughter (2 different houses) that all the marks are 'character'. They aren't buying it
Do you have a pic of what is happening to your hardwood. We purchased a 6" plank in a bleached out grey tone and it is maple. Just wondering what else we could do to prevent the cracking etc... other than making sure the humidity is set properly???
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