Get in the Know…..
Posted by Katy Campbell on June 15th, 2016
As a Hardwood flooring retailer I often get asked what the difference between inexpensive products made in China are, from Canadian made hardwood flooring. I always take great pride in sharing my knowledge on the subject as most consumers are unaware of the health and environmental risks they are taking when purchasing a foreign product.
Factors involved in making final decisions on purchasing hardwood from China or Canada are usually based on cost and quality. Chinese floorings are favored by budget conscious consumers, but at what cost to the home owner?
A recent study completed by HPVA, discovered that six out of eight Chinese distributed hardwood samples contained two to three levels of formaldehyde over the accepted amount. Formaldehyde is known to cause upper throat and nasal cancers as well as Leukemia according to the National Academics of Science.
Aside from that being enough reason to avoid Chinese manufactured hardwood flooring another factor that is easier for the average consumer to spot is quality. Hardwood flooring experts and professional installers can attest to the importance of high quality pre-finishing, precision milling and average board length. Most installers charge up to double to install a cheap product making it not all that much “cheaper” and once it has been installed it is easy to see why. Short lengths and poor quality pre finishing can turn what should be an investment in your home into a setback for re-sale.
Canada has very high standards when it comes to the lumber industry and cutting trees. The FSC has done a great job in raising the bar over the past decade. Some Canadian companies reach even further to reduce their carbon footprint with selective harvesting whereas only the trees mature enough for harvesting are cut. This cannot be said for our overseas competitors. For those of us who know and understand the importance of protecting our planet, the effects of poor or illegal logging is devastating. Exotic species make beautiful hardwood flooring, and can be purchased fairly inexpensively considering the cost to the environment and its wildlife. Yet it rarely weathers well in the North American environment tending to gap and cup excessively with our climate. Although clear cutting protected forests and rain forests has decreased over the past few years, it still remains a huge global issue and will continue to be until the culprits who are doing it have no market for their illegal goods.
Therefore as long as the average consumer continues to purchase Hardwood flooring made in these factories overseas who refuse to follow guidelines or regulations and are allowed to produce a product unfit for re-sale there will be no reason for anything to change. The vicious cycle of cutting trees illegally, clearing our precious rain forests and putting a product that is unsafe into our homes will continue. This can all be put to a stop with the voice of those who know, speaking out about it and encouraging our friends, family and acquaintances to do their research on a product before they buy. And most importantly shopping at your local hardwood flooring store as they certainly play an important role in the community, offering a quality experience for customers that their foreign counterparts just can’t compete with.
Global News – globalnews.ca
Global Community Monitor
Canadian Cancer Society