How to Wash and Care for Your Hardwood Floor


It may seem like a silly topic, I mean, washing a floor should be simple, correct?

The way you wash your hardwood floor really depends on the type of sealant that you have used.  So, be sure to determine your type of finish, if any at all, because the finish, and not the type of wood, actually determines how you would safely wash and care for your floor.

It is also important to note that water is wood’s worst enemy!  Why you ask?

Hardwood floors can easily get water damaged even if they’ve been sealed. If a wood floor gets saturated with moisture, swelling and warping, unwanted stains or mold growth could result.  To avoid these problems, and to insure the beauty of your floors for years to come, address spills as quickly as possible.Take the time to buff your floor with a towel so that the floor is dry.

I’m not going to go on and on about the Do’s and Don’ts of cleaning your floor; however, I will emphasize the Do’s.

Here they are:

Do use a non-toxic floor cleaning solution.  The best choice is a simple mixture of ¼ Cup of mild liquid dishwashing detergent added to a bucket of warm water.

*Toxic cleaners are not only bad for the environment, but also your health and the quality of air in your home.

Do use a sprinkle of baking soda on a damp sponge for rubbing off scuffmarks.

*Again, harsh cleaners and high acidic products such as vinegar and ammonia cleaners will eventually dull the finish of your floor.

Do vacuum and sweep wax based floor surfaces only.

*If floors are waxed, re-apply wax once or twice a year, and buff in-between to restore the original shine. Waxed wood shouldn’t be mopped; a wax seal is not watertight and liquid could cause unwanted damage.

There you have it, how to care for your hardwood floor 101.  For further questions, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Collingwood Flooring and they will be thrilled to share their knowledge and expertise on the subject of flooring!
Written by: Melanie Vollick

Writing for several years with experience in newspaper, newsletter, website, magazine, technical and business writing, Melanie is an accomplished columnist, editor and proof reader.  Her aptitude for approaching many styles and genres of writing allow her to present incomparable written documents in a timely manner, while developing a strong presence for her clients.  

Is the Butternut Tree a Species at Risk?

Endangered Provincially and Nationally, the Butternut tree or also known as White Walnut is suffering from an incurable disease that is quickly wiping out the species.

The main threat to the Butternut is a serious fungal disease called Butternut Canker, which was first found in Ontario trees in 1991. It has been traced in North America for approximately 50 years.  The disease is thought to have arrived in infected plants imported from overseas. A similar blight was responsible for wiping out both the American Chestnut and the American Elm.

Once the fungus takes over, the tree dies within a few years of infection.  Colling-wood Flooring has recently been able to get permission to cut down some of the dying Butternut from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

The butternut species is relatively short lived, rarely living longer than 75 to 100 years of age and the disease is found in an astonishing 90% of the Butternut in Ontario alone.  Unfortunately, the trees have disappeared from many parts of the United States and Canada.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources there is no cure for the Butternut Canker disease so order now, as it may be your last chance!  Colling-Wood Flooring has approximately 10,000 square feet.

Merv Gardner started Colling-Wood Flooring in 1990. He is a special man with a heart for wood and for 40 years, Merv has been honing his woodworking skills and now has his star pupil and daughter Lisa working at his side.

Written by: Melanie Vollick

Writing for several years with experience in newspaper, newsletter, website, magazine, technical and business writing, Melanie is an accomplished columnist, editor and proof reader.  Her aptitude for approaching many styles and genres of writing allow her to present incomparable written documents in a timely manner, while developing a strong presence for her clients.

For more information or to order your one of a kind, butternut flooring, please feel free to give Merv or his daughter Lisa a call – (705) 445 1147.

Click here to check out their website – Colling-wood Flooring

Rich beautiful color on these wide planks

Price: Butternut starting at $6.50/ sq. ft.

6″ 8″ 10″ AND 12″ WIDTHS

Cutting the lumber for Wide Plank Flooring !

Making flooring with a band saw!

Here’s a rare peek at Merv using his large band-saw mill to make Flooring.


You have to start somewhere, so he takes a slice off the top first.SSPX0065
He cuts the boards wide enough to allow for shrinkage during the drying process… and to acommadate for planing after it is kiln dried. This is the butternut being milled.


The bigger the tree, the wider the planks you can get.



Yes, Merv has been known to smile on occasion!

What is Kiln Dried Lumber, and Does it Matter?

Using Wet Lumber for Flooring


You can use wet, ( non kiln dried flooring ) in your house, however, you need to expect to have 3/16″ spaces between the boards when it acclimates to the moisture level of the air. Those gaps between the boards will change from time to time as well. In the summer the floor will soak up moisture and the gaps will shrink. In the winter, when there is less humidity in the air because it is cold outside, the gaps will expand again. You will actually hear it groaning and creaking as this happens.

This is charming and fits many old houses…because that is how they were done when the home was built!

We had to match a floor in a century home north of Toronto (Barrie area), and the specialist flooring contractor had ordered quarter sawn douglas fir, which has a beautiful red colour and the straightest grain you can imagine. However the original floor was put down wet and had those tell tale 3/16″ spaces. I had the contractor lay waxed twine between the boards as they laid them. He installed the floor with modern equipment, then to match the original square head nails we ordered horse shoe nails which looked nearly identical.

If you want that unique look of a perfect floor though, you need kiln dried materials.


While we are talking about kiln drying, you have to be aware that much of the flooring coming out of South America is only dried to about 13-14%. This flooring will shrink and warp and cup significantly after installation.

Colling-Wood flooring dries all our floors to 6%. It takes more energy, more time but we believe it is worth the effort to create a flooring that will remain the way it is installed.


Get in touch about 2 months before you need it if you are looking for a truly special floor.


Butternut Wide Plank Flooring

A rare find… Legally harvested Butternut, and it is being turned into wide plank flooring!


This lumber is typically not available because of being a protected species. You are not supposed to cut it for any reason, however the owners of a property that is becoming a subdivision obtained one time approval to clear for home building and Merv jumped at the opportunity to work with this very rare wood.


It is a unique lumber with small worm holes randomly throughout. When you want a floor with a high degree of character this flooring will fit the bill. Nobody will know if it is antique lumber or not.


The photos above show it’s natural color with only a clear finish applied. This butternut flooring will not last long. Give Merv a call for pricing.


Here is a lift of very wide planks ready to be put down in a house…they look to me like 1×10 boards.

I believe there is about 15,000 square feet of this Butternut flooring available–after that, there is no more, so if you are building a custom home, get in touch with Merv or Lisa!