In many ways, the rise in popularity of prefinished hardwood flooring has been a godsend for the wholesale hardwood flooring industry — the ease of installation and reduced labor costs associated with prefinished products have allowed thousands, if not millions, of cost-conscious homeowners to enjoy the great look and durability of solid hardwood flooring without breaking the bank.
That said, there are a few downsides that are unique to prefinished hardwood flooring, and width complaints are near the top of the list. Customers used to seeing hardwood floors that were finished on site — where the natural gaps between the planks can be filled in the finishing process — may flip when they see the unavoidable small gaps in a prefinished installation: “Surely these planks are defective! They must be all different widths!”
As with most customer-service challenges, managing the customer’s expectations is key. Make sure the client is educated about the special characteristics of prefinished hardwood flooring before the job starts. Explain that that natural expansion and contraction of the wood will make some small gaps unavoidable. If this is a problem, recommend a solid hardwood flooring product with a beveled edge, which will make the gaps less noticeable.
Finally, if the presence of small gaps (typically no more than 1/16”) is really a deal breaker, gently suggest that the customer might be happier with an unfinished wholesale hardwood flooring product that can be finished on site to whatever level of glassy smoothness the customer might desire.
Contact Wood Monsters today to learn more about solid hardwood flooring’s expansion and contraction abd further ways to minimize it.