June 26th, 2010
finding the right wood flooring for this project took some time. There are a lot more types of flooring available recently, imported from Europe or from China, but the majority of homes use an engineered wood veneer that is more plastic than wood in many cases. Some of these can look quite good, but in general they are more akin to wallpaper in their regularity and lack the character of solid flooring.
In our search for just the right material we ended up contacting every flooring company we could find in Japan and finally found one that makes solid flooring for a reasonable price, and in the color range the clients wanted. As I mentioned in the last post the material was approved just a few days ago -and within moments the builder immediately started installing the wood on the ground floor and the third floor. Since then they have been moving at full speed.
In the case of the third floor we decided to order the wood unfinished. It is an ash that has been cured to improve dimensional stability for use with radiant floor heating, but the regular finishes from the factory are a bit lighter than we wanted, and so we will have the painter put on a dark stain and seal the floor in situ. In both cases the wood is really quite beautiful, and I am glad we took the time to find it. It really goes to show the difference between using the standard flooring that most builders are familiar with and spending the time to find a material that is right for just this house and just for this client.