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Question from Janet and Tim Kroeker

Dear Debra,

A year and a half ago I wrote to you asking about installing a hardwood floor on a low budget. We had a source for some local burr oak or ash wood that had been thoughtfully harvested, milled and dried locally that we would have had to sand and finish it and put up with some off-gasing even if we went with a low VOC, (would that also mean slow drying) finish.

The other alternative was to go with a mass produced, commercial prefinished, and well protected (they said up to 8-9 layers) hardwood with little off-gasing–but who knows were it came from and the harvesting conditions. The latter choice would have been less expensive, have less off gasing and because we are presently living in the house we wouldn’t have to put up with a drying time.

I asked your opinion and you replied:

Well, I wanted to let you know we did go with the local choice and we are very satisfied we made that decision. We went with a local ash wood. Our friend Steve harvested and milled the boards while our other friend John kiln dried the wood and then took it to a finishing mill in Winnipeg (about an hour drive) where it was planed and tongue and grooved.

Debra’s Answer

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