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What’s The Best Prefinished Hardwood Floor?

Participating over the years on many hardwood flooring related message boards the question is often asked; “who makes the best prefinished hardwood floor?” The answer Prefinished Lauzon hardwoodisn’t an easy one because there are so many types of hardwood floors. There are quite a few lists at the previous link and I hope not to be repetitious. Let’s look at some angles not discussed as often.

Buy Canadian

I’ve always had high respect for prefinished hardwood floors manufactured in Canada. My first experience came through Mirage who handles both engineered and solid hardwoods. Up to the time in the early 90′s I had only been associated with the basic producers like Bruce, Hartco, and Robbins, while throwing in some Harris-Tarkett and Mannington here and there.

Having more of an installation background with engineered hardwoods working as a contractor in Southwest Florida, solid hardwoods represented approximately 25% of the work at the time. Upon seeing the engineered Mirage quality first hand there was no looking back to the big three. Working with their products made any job go easy. Why so easy? It’s the method of manufacturing. Not only is this true of Mirage but Lauzon and others north of the border. They spend more time and effort producing a higher quality hardwood floor.

The big three (Bruce, Hartco, and Robbins) now part of the Armstrong company all produce basically the same stuff when it comes to installing their products. Boards generally don’t fit tight, milling is average to say the least, Prefinished Robbins hardwood displayresulting in tossing aside more product than the Canadians. As an installer my largest goal was getting a tight looking, gap free installation. With the Canadian guys it was a breeze. On the flip side the big three would take almost twice as long to install and look right because of the extra effort involved. Not to mention the filler that was needed after the installation. It’s no wonder I saw more Bruce filler in my days compared to other manufacturers combined.

Now let’s look at an average installer who gets thrown your way. The store may say he’s the best but we know it’s not a perfect world. What’s going to be his take on installing the cheap hardwood floors? Will he put in the extra effort to make it look right? I’ve seen jobs done by others with difficult products and some did not turn out pretty.

So Many To Choose From!

Granted I don’t have first hand experience with every single hardwood floor made and nobody probably will. There may be other exceptional brands not discussed here. But for the most part if I were to pick two or three it would look something like this. Feel free to add your own list.

Best Floating Floor

Kahrs
Award

Best Engineered

Lauzon
Kahrs
Mirage

Best Solid Hardwood

Sheoga
Tembec
Lauzon