Repair & Care
White Hardwood Floors
White stained wood floors were quite popular in the eighties and early nineties. However in recent years demand has fallen considerably. Many prefinished manufacturers offering white appearances have followed suit by discontinuing their lines. Only a handful still produce white toned hardwoods that include Kahrs, Mirage, and Lauzon. The latter offers several in their Line Art engineered collection while Mirage presents a near pure color in their Red Oak Alaska available in both engineered and solid.
Another quality manufacturer in Kahrs shows several in their priced right floating Spirit line that shows an Artic (shown right) and Sand Oak. For those seeking a distressed wood floor, the companys' newer wire brushed Artisan Collection has several very light colors in Oak Linen and Oyster.
Bruce Fulton Plank
Likely to be the longest lasting white floor that has survived design styles over the years is the Bruce Fulton Winter White line (shown below). Although it's not at the top of the quality scale, this combination strip or plank floor is widely used by decorators seeking a contemporary motif at affordable prices.
Shows Flaws and Cracks - Cheap Products
When it comes to lighter colored finished products specifically with prefinished, quality should be exceptional. Without it, the installer is likely to grumble. On an individual note I recall doing many white 2 1/4" solid strip floors for a builder on Sanibel Island, Florida in the early nineties. Folks, any marginal product will show every flaw imaginable. In this case we practically bought cases and cases of caulk used as filler for the joints on a "special" builders grade product.
Yes, I grumbled! I also asked; why the devil was this stuff being sold. All that caulk will eventually get pushed out once the floor starts to breath in and out (seasonal contraction and expansion) After all, the homes are in excess of one million dollars. The response..."it's good for refinishing work" in years to follow.
It's true, but the extra efforts called upon for installers to make it right can take hours upon hours, while never getting paid for it either. Don't get me wrong, it is common to spend some time filling manufacturer flaws, but this one went over the edge. Additionally, what the homeowner does not know is most filler becomes a dust magnet. Over time the dirt will begin to show. Keep in mind, this is not true with the higher quality products mentioned in the beginning of this article.
Unfinished And Stained White
Now we probably have you horrified of going with a white wash stain. Other options would include having the floor installed unfinished, stained, and finished with the desired gloss level. Filler used in this procedure is not an issue due to it's form, and the actual finish coatings seal the entire floor. To minimize the expansion and contraction, a good quality unfinished engineered product would be the best choice. Times have changed with high quality unfinished engineered hardwoods available best suited for this application.
Owens Plank unfinished engineered flooring is the forerunner in quality. Species include red and white oak; more friendlier products that take stain better on the jobsite. Sizes range from the more common strip flooring all the way up to six inch wide plank. Wider planking can be special milled at substantially higher prices.
Other Unfinished Engineered Manufacturers
Other companies producing unfinished engineered include Real Wood Floors out of West Plains Missouri. Some installers have noted their product is comparable in quality to that of Owens, with a much lower price tag. On the west coast, one can contact Pacific Hardwoods whose product thicknesses range from 3/8 to 5/8 inches, while offering stunning longer lengths. Another manufacturer worth noting is Howell Hardwood Flooring of Dothan, Alabama, but quality and overall lengths do not compare to the previous two.
Floor Filler you'll need it most of the time