Flooring Archives - West Wind Hardwood

What to Know Before You Replace Carpet with Hardwood

Few changes can make as profound an impact when renovating your home as when you replace carpet with hardwood flooring. Beyond the aesthetic upgrade, this transformation brings a host of benefits. However, before you embark on this journey, understanding the nuances and implications of this change is crucial.

The Pitfalls of Aging Carpet

Over time, carpets can harbour various allergens and contaminants, particularly when in place for a decade or longer. Despite diligent cleaning efforts, older carpets tend to trap microscopic particles within their fibers, including dust, pollen, pet dander, and dust mites.

The accumulation of these particles can be significant, leading to a potential buildup that regular vacuuming or standard cleaning methods may not be able to fully eliminate. Even with routine maintenance, deeply embedded allergens persist, becoming a concern over time, especially for individuals sensitive to airborne irritants.

Dust Mites and Mold

Dust mites, microscopic creatures thriving in humid environments, find carpets an ideal habitat. Their presence can aggravate allergies and contribute to respiratory issues. Additionally, carpets can foster mold growth in areas with higher humidity (like Vancouver Island) or incidents of moisture exposure, particularly underneath the carpet or padding, creating a health hazard.

Challenges of Older Carpets

While newer carpets may have protective treatments against stains and allergens, older ones lose this efficacy over time. As carpets age, their ability to resist spills and stains diminishes, making them less effective at maintaining indoor air quality.

Impact on Health

Prolonged exposure to these allergens can trigger or worsen symptoms for those prone to allergies or respiratory conditions. This can result in discomfort, recurrent allergic reactions, and potentially worsen existing health issues.

Recommended Read: Prefinished vs. Unfinished Hardwood: Selecting the Perfect Fit for Your Home

Addressing Carpeting Concerns with Hardwood

Allergens and Air Quality

Hardwood flooring offers a significant advantage in maintaining a better indoor air quality compared to carpeting. Unlike carpets that trap allergens and other particles within their fibers, hardwood floors provide a smooth and hypoallergenic surface that minimizes the effects of dust allergies. It is particularly beneficial for those prone to allergies or respiratory issues, as it creates a healthier living space by reducing the presence of common allergens, contributing to a fresher and more breathable atmosphere within the home.


Unlike carpets that tend to wear down, mat, or develop irreversible stains over time, hardwood withstands the test of time remarkably well. High-quality hardwood can retain its original beauty and structural integrity for decades, even generations, when properly installed and maintained. Its innate strength allows it to endure heavy foot traffic, minimizing the visible signs of wear and tear that often afflict carpets. While carpets require regular deep cleaning and may need replacement every decade or so, hardwood floors demand comparatively minimal maintenance to maintain its allure and functionality for an extended lifespan.

Increasing Resale Value

Replacing carpet with hardwood can significantly increase the resale value of your home. Hardwood flooring’s longevity adds value to the house and reduces the need for frequent replacements, making it a cost-effective and enduring investment. Many homebuyers prefer hardwood floors because of their timeless appeal, durability, and easier maintenance. This upgrade is a powerful selling point, potentially attracting more buyers and increasing the home’s market value.

Ease of Maintenance

The simplicity of maintaining hardwood floors starkly contrasts the upkeep required for carpeting. Regular care for hardwood typically involves a straightforward routine: sweeping with a soft-bristle broom or vacuuming with a floor attachment to remove dust, dirt, and debris. This maintains the floor’s cleanliness and preserves its polished appearance.In the case of spills or stains, hardwood offers a practical advantage. Unlike carpets, where liquids tend to seep into fibers, causing stubborn stains and potential odor issues, spills on hardwood are easier to address. A quick wipe or mop with a slightly damp cloth and hardwood-friendly cleaner often eliminates the spill, leaving minimal residue or staining.

Best Areas to Replace Carpet with Hardwood

When considering where to replace carpet with hardwood flooring, several areas in a home tend to benefit the most from this upgrade:

Living Room: The focal point of many homes, the living room, often sees the most foot traffic. Hardwood flooring here not only elevates the space aesthetically but also offers durability against heavy use.

Dining Room: Hardwood flooring in the dining area is advantageous as it’s easier to clean spills and crumbs, making it ideal for mealtime spaces.

Hallways: High-traffic areas like hallways benefit from hardwood flooring due to its durability and ease of maintenance, reducing the visible signs of wear.

Entryways: First impressions matter, and hardwood in the entryway or foyer adds a touch of elegance while withstanding the impact of frequent entries and exits.

Bedrooms: While some prefer the comfort of carpet in bedrooms, hardwood flooring can create a consistent look throughout the home. Plus, you can add rugs for warmth and comfort underfoot.

Home Offices: With the rise in remote work, home offices are becoming a staple. Hardwood flooring provides a professional and easy-to-clean surface for these spaces.

replace carpet with hardwood

Explore Hardwood Flooring with West Wind Hardwood

High-traffic areas, central gathering spaces, and places prone to spills or messes benefit most from the durability, aesthetic appeal, and ease of maintenance offered by hardwood flooring. Bedrooms can also be a great candidate for hardwood, but personal preferences for comfort might influence this choice, which can be complemented by rugs to maintain a cozy feel.

Before making the switch, consider your needs, lifestyle, and preferences. Chat with our flooring experts for valuable insights and guidance. We can help ensure that your transition from carpet to hardwood is a rewarding and transformative experience for you and your home.

Elevate Your Home with Hardwood Stair Treads

Staircases are the backbone of a home’s architectural design, often overlooked but integral to both function and aesthetics. Whether renovating or building a new home, the choice of stair treads is an important one. While you can use various materials, hardwood stair treads are renowned for their durability, aesthetic appeal, and timeless elegance.

Why Hardwood for Stair Treads?


Hardwood is known for its strength and durability, making it an ideal choice for stair treads. Stairs bear significant foot traffic and impact, and hardwood stands resilient, ensuring longevity without compromising quality.

Aesthetic Appeal

Beyond durability, hardwood adds a touch of class and warmth to a home. Natural grain and diverse hues cater to a range of design preferences, enhancing the overall ambiance of the space.

Variety of Wood Choices

When selecting the type of wood for your stair treads, consider the specific properties of each species. Oak, maple, walnut, and cherry are popular hardwood choices because of their durability and varying appearance. Oak, for instance, stands out for its strength, while cherry has a warm, rich, reddish colour.

Matching Hardwood Stair Treads to Flooring

Matching stair treads with hardwood flooring can create a seamless visual experience within your home. If continuity is the goal, use the same colour, wood species and finish for flooring and stair treads. Not only does this create a sophisticated and clean look throughout the home, but eliminating visual disruptions in flooring can make the space appear larger and more open.

On the other hand, embracing contrasts can also yield striking results. Pairing different wood tones, finishes, or patterns can create an eye-catching effect, adding depth and character to the overall design scheme. You don’t have to change the tone of your stair treads to contrast the flooring. For those with herringbone or chevron parquet floors, simplifying the stair tread with a linear layout creates a visual change. Another way to achieve this is by opting for hardwood stair treads with a different grain pattern, possibly a different wood species, but using the same colour and finish for consistency. Both of these produce eye-catching results without being jarring.

Custom-Made vs. Repurposing Leftover Flooring

Typically, hardwood flooring is designed to minimize waste, resulting in uniform dimensions achieved by milling all pieces to narrower widths. While this works well for flooring, applying the same approach to stair treads poses challenges. The use of narrow and short flooring for treads leads to visible joints, which create more of a pieced-together appearance in the confined space or a stair tread. The numerous joints can also weaken the tread, especially the leading edge, often causing separation or breakage over time. Another issue is the likelihood of squeaky stairs due to increased wood-to-wood movement with more joints, impacting both the stairs’ structural integrity and aesthetic appeal.

Custom-made hardwood stair treads offer several advantages. Continuous lumber spanning the entire stair width eliminates end joints, reducing the likelihood of movement and squeaking. This seamless construction enhances strength, durability, and aesthetics, as there are no visible cracks. Another option is a professional two to three-piece glue-up using a specialty epoxy like EcoPoxy. The fewer pieces combined into a single, solid tread enhances strength and durability with fewer joints. Additionally, integrated nosing eliminates the need for an added nosing piece, making custom-made treads visually attractive and avoiding joints at vulnerable stress points, such as the nosing overhang. 

Visit our Custom Milling Services page to see the flooring and accessories our team can make for you.

Caring for Hardwood Stair Treads

Maintaining the beauty and integrity of hardwood stair treads requires regular care, similar to caring for your hardwood floors.

Routine Cleaning

Regularly sweep or vacuum with a small or bare floor attachment to remove dirt and prevent scratches. Damp mop occasionally using a hardwood floor cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. 

Protect from Moisture

Limit exposure to moisture, as excessive water can damage the wood. Be sure to clean up any spills right away, not just for safety but also because they can damage the finish over time.

Periodic Maintenance

For heavily trafficked stairs, it is normal to need to refinish the hardwood stair treads over time. You will need to refinish them with a product designed for use on stairs to protect the wood and rejuvenate its appearance.

Choosing Hardwood Stair Treads in Your Home

Hardwood stair treads are functional and elegant, adding value to your home. Their durability, versatility in design, and the ability to seamlessly integrate with existing hardwood flooring make them an ideal choice for homeowners looking for sophistication and longevity in their staircase design.

When investing in hardwood stair treads, consider the wood species that best suits your aesthetic and practical needs. Remember, careful selection of quality materials and proper maintenance will ensure your hardwood stair treads retain their beauty and functionality for years to come. Reach out to our experts to discuss your custom hardwood stair tread options.

Muse Collection by Mirage: Inspiring Flooring for Your Home

Just in time for Women’s History Month, Mirage Hardwood Flooring has released its newest flooring collection inspired by eight remarkable women with enduring legacies. The Muse Collection by Mirage features eight modern White Oak hardwood flooring colours, available in linear and herringbone boards. These choices effortlessly complement the latest interior design styles and allow homeowners to express their taste through this elegant collection. 

White Oak Character in Grace

Meet the Muses

The Muse Collection pays homage to exceptional women who made significant contributions throughout history. These muses, hailing from various parts of the world, inspire us to make a difference in society. The floors are named in honour of these remarkable women, celebrating their impact on humankind.

Ada Lovelace – 1815-1852 – Mathematician and Writer

This hardwood flooring boasts a whitewashed tone with a brushed finish. The soft, lighter hue adds brightness to any space while still retaining the natural warmth of the wood with the visible texture. It really allows bold design to shine without fading into the background.

Grace Hopper – 1907-1992 – Computer Scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral

A graceful greige tone, this hardwood flooring stain is the quintessential complementary hue to a variety of colour palettes. It particularly stands out in open-plan decor, as the brushed natural texture adds warmth and character.

Rachel Carson – 1907-1964 – Marine Biologist and Conservationist

The best use for this light wood flooring is to soften monochromatic contemporary designs or to subtly balance a room with bold or dark-colour walls. The finish’s neutral undertones adds a quiet luxury to all spaces, no matter the mood of the decor. 

Maud Watson 1864-1946 – Tennis Player

The exquisite brown-beige of this brushed wood flooring creates a cozy atmosphere in any room. The combination of creamy undertones and the texture of natural character lines offer an elegant base for those looking for a timeless space.

Ingrid Van Houten-Groeneveld – 1921-2015 – Astronomer

The sandy neutral of this flooring infuses complexity and character into any room. It is a beautiful choice for statement rooms and works wonderfully when paired with either high- or low-contrast decor.

Eleanor Roosevelt – 1884-1962 – Diplomat and Humanitarian

This rich golden-brown stained hardwood is incredible for those looking to add an earthy element to their space. The light colour is stunning with rich warm tones, such as burnt reds and rustic greens.

Amelia Earhart – 1897-1937 – Aviator

This bronze-coloured wood flooring will elevate your home with its warm depth and dimension. This flooring boasts subtle variations in tone that is perfect for contemporary designs in cool tones for soft balance.

Hattie Larlham – 1917-1996 – Advocate and Humanitarian

The nutty brown stain of this brushed flooring subtly highlights the natural wood grain of the White Oak. The rich tones beautifully compliment warm and neutral interiors.

White Oak for Lasting Beauty

Investing in hardwood flooring means investing in lasting beauty. White Oak is one of the most aesthetically pleasing wood species, and it blends well with most styles and colour schemes. Mirage designed the Muse Collection colours to allow homeowners to seamlessly integrate traditional and contemporary styles, creating harmony and balance between the old and new. In this way, the collection mirrors the innovative and visionary spirit of the muses.

Not only beautiful, White Oak’s adaptability makes it suitable for residential and even light commercial settings; its high durability and resilience withstand high-traffic areas. The Muse Collection hardwood floors boast a 3-ply structure, providing a durable foundation for your living space. Mirage’s exclusive DuraMatt® finish offers up to 35 years of wear-through protection for residential applications, ensuring your floors stay beautiful for years.

White Oak Character in Eleanor

The Muse Collection by Mirage at West Wind Hardwood

Visit our Flooring Gallery to see this timeless flooring collection in person. We also provide samples to take home so you can explore the quality and craftsmanship that sets Mirage’s Muse Collection apart. This Canadian-made flooring is a superior choice for beauty and durability, and it is made from the finest responsibly sourced wood from managed forests.

Embrace the spirit of remarkable women, express your individuality, and let the Muse Collection be the canvas for your style. Elevate your home with the enduring allure of Mirage Floors and celebrate the legacies of inspiring women.

Prefinished vs. Unfinished Hardwood Flooring: Selecting the Ideal Fit for Your Home

Selecting the perfect hardwood flooring for your home involves a careful evaluation of the unique benefits associated with prefinished and unfinished options. Each type presents a distinct set of advantages to consider, as you need a floor that not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your space but also aligns with the practical requirements of your home. This decision-making process goes beyond mere preference. It’s about understanding the intricate features and qualities that make prefinished and unfinished hardwood flooring stand out, ensuring that your choice is not just about style but also about functionality and long-term suitability for your family and your home.

Unfinished Hardwood Flooring: A Natural Canvas

Unfinished hardwood flooring looks clean and natural, showcasing a surface that’s both classy and practical. Without the subtle indentations of micro beveled edges, it’s not just visually clean but also easy to maintain because you don’t have to worry about cleaning buildup from the grooves. 

After installation, the hardwood flooring will need to be sanded and finished. This allows for your personalized colour choice and integrates with your chosen interior style. In addition to this, unfinished hardwood allows for modifications over time. Homeowners can refresh the look through sanding and refinishing without replacing the entire floor, providing long-lasting flexibility and versatility.

Check out our custom wood flooring gallery.

Prefinished Hardwood Flooring: A Convenient Option

Contrasting the raw nature of unfinished hardwood, prefinished or factory-finished hardwood flooring brings its own set of advantages to the table. Factories often apply finishes under controlled conditions, resulting in a consistent, high-quality finish. This consistency also enables them to provide warranties on the finishing, offering assurance against wear or defects.

One of the most compelling benefits of prefinished hardwood flooring is the time saved during installation. Unlike unfinished hardwood flooring that requires on-site finishing, prefinished options arrive ready to install. This eliminates the need for additional finishing steps, significantly reducing the installation time and allowing for immediate use of the floor once installed.

Customization vs. Convenience: The Choice Is Yours

Unfinished hardwood flooring offers homeowners a blank canvas, allowing for custom stains, finishes, and artistic touches that reflect individual tastes and complement the home’s ambiance. When you install unfinished hardwood you are creating a tailor-made floor for your pace. 

In contrast, prefinished hardwood showcases a uniformity and precision that originates in a controlled factory environment. This uniformity is not just about aesthetics; it’s a testament to the exacting standards upheld during the finishing process, promising a consistent look and feel throughout the entire floor. Homeowners seeking a hassle-free installation process like the reliability of prefinished hardwood. The assurance of a well-executed, uniform finish can eliminate the uncertainties associated with on-site finishing. Moreover, the accompanying warranty on the finishing stands as a testament to its quality, offering a safety net against wear, defects, or inconsistencies that might arise, providing peace of mind for years to come.

In essence, while unfinished hardwood flooring opens doors to personal expression and creativity, prefinished hardwood offers a reassuring uniformity born from factory precision. The choice between the two hinges on whether you are looking for customization or the convenience that comes with a consistently flawless finish.

Long-Term Considerations for Prefinished and Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

Long-term considerations for both prefinished and unfinished hardwood floors pivot on their respective characteristics, maintenance needs, durability, and adaptability over time.

Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

Durability of Factory Finish

Prefinished hardwood floors come with a factory-applied finish that often boasts exceptional durability. This finish is cured and dried under controlled conditions, ensuring a robust protective layer against wear and tear, UV damage, and moisture.


Manufacturers typically provide warranties on the factory-applied finish, offering reassurance and coverage against premature wear or defects. For example, we are partners of Vintage and Mirage, who offer a 35-year warranty on finish wear-through for residential applications.

Consistency of Appearance

The uniform finish applied in a factory environment tends to maintain its appearance consistently throughout the floor’s lifespan, ensuring a timeless look without the need for additional treatments or refinishing.

Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

Customization and Style Changes

Unfinished hardwood allows for extensive customization. While this presents an opportunity for personalization, it also means that eventual changes in style or preference might require sanding and refinishing the entire floor to achieve a new look.


Unfinished hardwood offers the advantage of multiple sanding and refinishing opportunities. Over the years, the floor can be easily sanded down to remove wear, scratches, or stains. It can be more difficult to find stain matches for prefinished flooring if you need to sand down a problem area and refinish it to match the rest of the floor.


Unfinished hardwood floors, with proper maintenance and periodic refinishing, can potentially last for generations. The ability to refresh the surface through refinishing ensures that the floor can maintain its allure and structural integrity over the long term.

Making the Decision

In summary, prefinished hardwood floors excel in immediate durability, consistent appearance, and initial convenience, backed by a factory finish warranty. Unfinished hardwood floors, on the other hand, offer long-term adaptability and the potential for extended longevity with periodic maintenance. Choosing between the two involves considering the desired lifespan, flexibility for customization, and the balance between immediate convenience and long-term adaptability.

You also need to consider your immediate priorities and long-term goals, as well as your home’s specific requirements. If you prioritize a quicker installation process, a consistent factory finish with a warranty, and immediate use of the floor, prefinished hardwood might be the better fit.

On the other hand, if you seek customization options, the adaptability to uneven surfaces, and the potential for multiple refinishing opportunities, unfinished hardwood emerges as a strong contender.

Selecting between prefinished and unfinished hardwood flooring is about finding the ideal match for your home’s unique needs. Evaluate the benefits each type offers, considering your preferences, desired level of customization, installation timeline, and long-term maintenance requirements. By doing so, you’ll make an informed decision that ensures a floor perfectly suited to your space, style, and lifestyle. If you need help making your decision, reach out to our hardwood flooring experts today

Understanding Eco-Friendly Hardwood Flooring: A Sustainable Choice for Lasting Beauty

When choosing flooring for your home, eco-friendliness is an increasingly important consideration. Among the many options available, hardwood flooring stands out as a sustainable and durable choice, offering a blend of natural beauty and environmental responsibility. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the virtues of eco-friendly hardwood flooring, highlighting its superiority over flooring alternatives, its extended lifespan, and the significant environmental benefits of sourcing local hardwood from Canada.

Choosing Eco-Friendly Hardwood Flooring for Sustainable Living

Sustainability and Longevity in the Home

reclaimed hardwood floor
We made a reclaimed fir floor from glue laminate beams.

One of the fundamental advantages of eco-friendly hardwood flooring lies in its longevity. While vinyl or laminate flooring might seem cost-effective initially, hardwood flooring offers a far more extended lifespan. With proper care and maintenance, hardwood floors can last for generations. For example, Canadian company Mirage Hardwood Flooring designs hardwood floors lasting up to 100 years. This durability reduces the need for frequent replacements. It minimizes the environmental footprint associated with manufacturing and disposing of flooring materials.

Environmental Benefits

Hardwood flooring significantly reduces the burden on landfills because of its durable and long-lasting nature. When finally retired, hardwood flooring is biodegradable, allowing it to decompose in landfills naturally. Additionally, its organic composition enables recycling, where reclaimed wood can be repurposed into various materials, reducing the need for resources and minimizing further environmental impact. This sustainable life cycle of hardwood flooring underscores its role in curbing landfill waste while offering timeless beauty and reliability.

Hardwood vs. Alternatives

Image via nwfa.org.

Unlike vinyl or carpet flooring, primarily composed of synthetic materials, hardwood is derived from natural timber, making it more sustainable. We have a graphic from the National Wood Flooring Agency (NWFA) showing that hardwood flooring, both solid and engineered, has a noticeably lower carbon footprint than other flooring types. 

By opting for hardwood, you’re choosing a renewable resource that, when sourced responsibly, has a significantly lower environmental impact than other flooring options. 

Reducing Carbon Footprint with Canadian Hardwood

Investing in hardwood flooring produced in Canada further elevates its eco-friendly credentials. Canada boasts a robust forestry industry that adheres to stringent regulations and sustainable harvesting practices. Canadian hardwood flooring companies exemplify this commitment to sustainability by employing responsible wood harvesting techniques through selective cutting and reforestation. By supporting such practices, consumers contribute to preserving and renewing forests while reducing their own carbon footprint.

Naturally Responsible Canadian Flooring

We are partners with Mirage Hardwood Flooring and Vintage Hardwood Flooring, Canadian companies that have gained recognition for their dedication to sustainability. Their commitment to responsibly harvested wood aligns with principles of environmental conservation. Choosing Mirage or Vintage floors means selecting hardwood flooring sourced from forests managed with ecological responsibility, ensuring the preservation of natural habitats and biodiversity. Furthermore, the durability and longevity of their floors significantly reduce the need for frequent replacements, diminishing future environmental impact. We proudly stock both Mirage and Vintage hardwood floors in our flooring gallery

Certifications for Eco-Friendly Hardwood Flooring

PEFC Certified

Specific certifications for eco-friendly hardwood flooring for your space indicate responsible sourcing and environmental compliance. The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) signifies that wood originates from sustainably managed forests. The EPA TSCA Title VI Compliance also assures consumers that composite wood products like engineered hardwood flooring meet stringent formaldehyde emissions standards, ensuring healthier indoor air quality. Look for these certifications when choosing eco-friendly hardwood flooring for your home. 

Making Sustainable Flooring Choices

As consumers become increasingly conscientious about their environmental impact, choosing flooring materials becomes more than a mere aesthetic decision. It becomes a statement of commitment to sustainability and responsible consumption. 

Hardwood flooring, solid hardwood even more so, emerges as a superior eco-friendly choice over vinyl, carpet or laminate options due to its environmental benefits, durability and longevity. Opting for hardwood flooring, particularly from reputable Canadian brands, not only enhances the look and feel of your space but also contributes to environmental conservation and reduces your carbon footprint.

By choosing eco-friendly hardwood flooring, homeowners invest in both the timeless elegance of natural wood and the planet’s well-being, creating spaces that endure beautifully for generations to come. To learn more about West Wind’s hardwood flooring offering, visit our flooring gallery in person or contact us