The disappearing hardwood floor

Call it another victim of globalization.

Our desire for ever-cheaper products has made the traditional heritage hardwood floor an endangered species.

When China came knocking a decade ago with its cheap labour, the big flooring factories slowly began outsourcing in order to stay competitive in the Big Box arena.

Traditional hardwood flooring suffered, as the Chinese versions arrived twisted, warped and cupped due to massive differences in humidity between China and North America.

Much of these first arrival floors were not sell-able and ended up in auctions, throwing the reputation of solid wood floors “under the bus.”

The offshore solution was to engineer hardwood floors with adhesives, a plywood backer and a thin wood top sheet.

This has been widely adopted as the ‚new wood flooring.

For those who want the real thing, though, solid three-quarter inch flooring with no glues can still be found – you just need to know where to look.

Traditionally, solid wood floors came from trees that were milled locally into lumber, then dried and processed into flooring that was also warehoused locally.

The distance between forest and consumer used to be short and the wood was fresh, dry and quickly acclimatized to the consumer’s own home.

Real hardwood flooring is still made that same way, and it still supports local forestry, local jobs and local programs through taxes.

Solid wood flooring is timeless in beauty, has a low carbon footprint and is 100 per cent natural.

Yes, it’s more expensive than engineered flooring from China, but that cost is not prohibitive when you prorate it over the lifespan of the floor and consider the myriad of social and environmental benefits.

The Comox Valley is home to a dedicated group of woodworkers ready to build your dream floor “just like the pioneers did” – and it will be worth every penny!

So the next time you’re thinking of putting in some real wood floors . . . think local!


Steve Roscoe is the owner of Woodland Flooring: handcrafted flooring sustainably harvested from B.C. woods. He can be reached at 250-890-0402 or













We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Drumming up visitors in the Comox Valley
MLAs shake fingers in quake exercise
Farrah Fawcett dies age 62
Concerns about imported fill flow at gravel pit meeting
Police await autopsy results of suspicious death investigation
Council delegations have plenty to say
Tour de Rock community party a hairy affair in Port Alberni
Qualicum adds electric car to its fleet
Spill could kill tourism, shellfish, say Parksville protesters

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 15 edition online now. Browse the archives.