From the Forest through the Factory to Your Floor

One of the truisms about the flooring industry is that most flooring contractors purchase the flooring that will go in your home through a distributor or local retailer. Especially for smaller contractors, this makes economic sense because they don’t have the physical facilities or financial foundation to purchase directly from the manufacturer or properly maintain an in-house inventory of flooring.

While this certainly can be convenient for the contractor, it’s not necessarily the best thing for the consumer. First, because there is someone in the middle of the transaction, there is an extra layer of cost that you will ultimately bear. Second, the quality and seasoning of the flooring that comes into your home can vary widely based on the practices of the distributor or local retailer – someone whom you’ll likely never meet.

This is not to suggest that using a distributor is always a bad thing. For certain products even we use a distributor, but when ever possible we work directly with the mill or manufacturer.

Why Mr. Floor purchases Wood Flooring Directly From the Factory

Mr. Floor purchases flooring directly from the mill or manufacturer for several reasons. First, quality and consistency are the hallmark of our brand and the best way for us to maintain the highest standards is to have a direct partnership with the source of manufacture. We physically inspect each facility and hand pick our mill partners that meet our stringent quality requirements.

For example, we work directly with one of our Canadian mills that produces much of the red oak that we install in Chicago homes.

A consumer would never consider the differences between red oak harvested in Montreal versus Kentucky, but we do! Northern Red Oak (right) is considered to be much more dense and hearty than Southern Red Oak (left).

composite image of southern and northern red oak contrasting grain density. Factory in Canada allows Mr. Floor to control quality from the forest to your floor.

The prolonged harsh winters in Canada creates a much shorter growing season which creates much tighter grain patterns in this type of wood. What does this mean to you as the consumer? Our floors can withstand much more abuse than a typical wood floor. This extra wood density allows the floors to perform better when objects fall to the ground. We are not saying that our floors are indestructible, but it will take more force to cause a dent on our wood!

Another reason that we purchase directly from manufacturers is that we’re able to completely control the quality of our products.. We can specify any number of different formats of prefinished flooring. Our mills will manufacture both solid and engineered flooring with a build quality that is unique to Mr. Floor. Because of our expertise and the mill partnerships we have created over the last 30 years, we are capable of specifying large quantities of flooring to be made for us in special runs that you’ll only find in our showroom!

Buying Direct Requires a Higher Level of Knowledge and Training

Just as with distributors, the quality of flooring manufacturers varies. Mr. Floor continuously interviews and researches potential new sources of flooring products to insure we can offer the best value and performance in every category.

Recently, the Mr. Floor sales team visited one of our Canadian manufacturers for several days of education. Having our sales consultants understand how timber is harvested, processed and turned into flooring helps to insure that any recommendation they make is based on first-hand knowledge and not just something they’ve read in a brochure.

Indeed, only after we’ve fully tested and installed each production run first-hand do we offer it to our clients. It’s another important step that insures when you invest in a new floor with Mr. Floor, you’re getting the very finest product that not only looks beautiful, but will also perform well for years to come.