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Question:

How would you rate Brazilian Hardwood Company vs. Bellawood? I am going to purchase 3/4" thick 3 1/4" wide Santos Mahogany prefinished and am leaning towards Brazilian Hardwood. I will also have to install engineered flooring on my first floor because it is concrete (I don't like the parquet). How is Bostik Best glue? Thanks!!!

Cindy

Answer:



Dear Cindy

I don't generally buy from wood floor companies unless they have been in business at least 10 years. And Bellawood only started in 1996. And I am a bit suspicious of companies, that are offering a 50 year warranty. Warranties are more of a marketing ploy than a realistic statement of how good their wood is. But that's not to say that Bellawood makes a bad product. My only other hesitation with Bellawood is that they are affiliated with Lumber Liquidators, and while L. L. may sell a lot of wood, like a Home Depot, most of it is second rate, and priced to go.

You should first read my article Prefinished Which to Choose ? You really must take a box of wood and lay it out on a flat surface. Whether glue down or nail down, the prefinished boards should fit together well by hand. To tell you the truth my favorite brand, year in and year out has been Mirage or Lauzon. Fits like a glove. Just read my article on the Melrose product, that I bought here in Toronto locally and you will see what trouble poorly milled or poorly stored wood flooring can cause.

I couldn't find any info on Brazilian Hardwood Company, but maybe you mean Brazilian Direct?

As far as Santos ( Myroxylon, balsamum) it is a hard dense wood that is quite moisture stable that should work well in most climates. It's good to buy this stuff prefinished, as there are a couple of finishing issues here. Very difficult to sand, due to the hardness, the dust can cause severe allergic reactions, and some polyurethane finishes have been know to leave streaks because of reactions to oils and resins in this wood. But if you have prefinished wood, you will not experience any of those problems. It's a great looking wood in this case. And by the way Lauzon makes a solid wood Santos, and some interesting thick faced engineered wood. They've been in the wood floor milling business for 18 years and have a better finish called Polynium on all their prefinished products. This stuff wear like iron, I'm not kidding. Non toxic when sanded at some future date also. Check them out at http://www.lauzonltd.com/profile/profile.html

Oh, and it's too bad you don't like parquet because Birger Juell has got some glue down custom parquet that rivals those great European floors, and because this is all solid wood, it will last many lifetimes. Check his stuff out at http://www.birgerjuell.com/downloads.html

As far as the glue goes Bostik Best is quite a fine urethane adhesive, I'm just partial to the Dri Tac products because I'm familiar with their longest lasting glue Dri Tac 6200. They also have the 7500 urethane adhesive, and as long as you realize that both Bostik Best and Dri Tac 7500 have really short open times. As little as 30 minutes for the Dri Tac 7500 (but no flash off time), and (after 1 hour flash off) 2 hours of installing for Bostik Best. The shorter the open time the quicker the glue will grab and hold some bowed pieces, but the progress of the job will be slower. So know how well your wood is milled, and choose the glue that suits the wood, and the levelness of your subfloor. But in either case if you have an assistant with a watch either glue will install quickly and efficiently.

You would be fine with either product. Be sure to order the urethane adhesive remover, it's the only solvent I know that will take this gunk off the wood surface and your hands. I hate going home with black hands. Both urethanes have a one year shelf life, from the date of manufacture. So check for this, and don't buy any old material. Keep this stuff covered after opening.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.

You may also find these articles helpful:

1. How To Sand Wood Floors Without Leaving Machine Marks

2. How To Chemically Strip Wood Floors without dust!

3. Prefinished Hardwood Floors: How To Choose!

4. Hydronic heating under your wood floors

5. How To Take Care Of Your Health And Safety when Installing, Finishing, Repairing or Cleaning your wood floors