Newsletter Archive:
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Issue 3 - October 2010


Our new showroom, attached to our workshop at Unit 4, 10 Magdala Place, is proving to be an invaluable place for clients to come and meet our General Manager Chris Lee, in order to discuss their flooring needs. Large 1m square solid timber sample boards hang on the walls, display racks show our wide range of prefinished engineered timber, whilst the floor showcases a variety of installation techniques – floating/direct fix/underlays, etc. We also have a revolving digital screen showing examples of floors we have installed, in order to help you visualise what an entire floor in a furnished room will look like. It is a useful place to view and experience timber flooring.  With over 15 years of experience at Swinard Wooden Floors (and 28 in the wooden flooring industry), Chris is extremely knowledgeable and has the solution to every possible flooring dilemma.

As Chris is sometimes off site, please make an appointment first, by calling him on his mobile 027 432 4946 or at the showroom on 338 8830.

New Products
Royal Plank – Oak

In 2010 we began to carry Royal Plank in our range. It comes in 2200mm long x 220mm wide boards and is 15mm thick. This product is made up of two layers, the top one is 6mm of solid Russian White Oak which is pre-fitted to a base of 9mm plywood - this increases its stability, which is a great advantage when clients would like to use wide boards over underfloor heating. It comes pre-sanded, which means that only a light sand is needed before finishing.  It can be stained (should you wish) and finished in either polyurethane or oil. It has the same wear layer as most solid timber flooring and it is FSC certified (see below). We have installed it in a number of houses in the Canterbury area and the owners are extremely pleased with it. While, currently, it is only available in Oak, we are hopeful it will be brought out in other timber species in the not to distant future.

We are happy to install laminate flooring, if this is our client’s choice. Of course we would still prefer to lay a solid or prefinished timber floor rather than a laminate, but recent advances in the laminate flooring industry has meant that some new better quality products are appearing on the market.  They can be a very reasonably priced alternative to a wooden floor. If you are considering this product, talk to Chris and he will be happy to show you samples of the brands that we would recommend.

Creating an individual look for your floor often involves staining the timber to get the exact colour you require.  We are proud to point out that at Swinard Wooden Floors we stain the timber, rather than just adding a tint to the polyurethane. We feel that tinting gives an inferior result and have noticed that as the polyurethane wears over time the “tints” become patchy. We have developed a large number of timber stains and have samples of these for you to choose from. 

Environmental Issues - FSC – Forest Stewardship Council.
This is the mostly commonly used and universally recognised sustainability accreditation scheme in the world today. The installation of environmentally-friendly hardwood flooring was an important belief held by our founder, Geoff Swinard and we have continued with these principals in our floors today. Wherever possible we will buy your timber from an FCS certified source. 

The FSC is an international non-profit organisation which aims to promote responsible management of the world’s forests and to find solutions to the problems created by bad forestry practices. It encourages environmentally-appropriate forest management so that the harvest of timber products does not harm the forest’s productivity, biodiversity and ecological processes.  It also ensures that forest operations are structured and managed in such a way that financial profit is not generated at the expense of natural resources, the local ecosystem or even the relevant communities. In addition, it helps to ensure that local communities are encouraged to sustain forest resources and practise long-term management plans.  

Products also have to go through the FSC Chain of Custody (CoC). This ensures responsible management during production and in the distribution pathway, from the raw material to the finished product.

In summary, buying a flooring product bearing the FSC logo means it has been legally harvested from a responsibly managed forest; that the rights of indigenous communities and forest workers were respected; that the local biodiversity and endangered wildlife habitats were unharmed and that ecologically-friendly practices were employed throughout its production, manufacture and distribution.

Patrick has recently completed his apprenticeship and is now a fully qualified timber floor installer. Chris, Greig and Nathan also regularly attend flooring courses to ensure that our staff are up to date with the latest laying methods and are certified floor installers.

Plank floors (the wider the better!) continue to reign supreme, but we are also seeing some more complex, traditional patterns, such as herringbone, creeping in again, particularly in entrance ways.

Clients are taking advantage of staining techniques to create individual floors for their homes, with “greys” being particularly popular.  This colour looks really stunning next to the ever popular white minimalist kitchens.

If you are looking for a wooden floor with a point of difference but are not necessarily wanting to install a parquetry pattern, it would be worth considering an end-grain floor. This has a decorative edge, but still nods to nature.


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©Swinard Wooden Floors Limited, PO Box 7134, Christchurch 8240     T 03 329 9669     F 03 329 9660     M 027 432 4946