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Carlisle vs. the Competition
Let’s face it, shopping for a wide plank floor can be quite the task. What starts with falling in love with an image on Instagram or Pinterest can lead to the discovery that there are hundreds of options of flooring in the market today. So, how do you make sure the floor you purchase is one of quality that will timelessly age with the life of the home?
In this blog post, we’ve outlined five points to guide you in the pursuit of your dream floor. The overarching distinction is that a Carlisle floor is custom-made in our New Hampshire mill, specifically for the client’s home.
Here are Five Specific Contrasts:
1. Plank Length
Carlisle: 2–12 foot lengths with an average around 7 feet
Competitors: 6 foot (72 inch) maximum length — average isn’t listed
Why it Matters: The longer the plank length, the fewer boards are used in a room. This creates a more cohesive and elegant aesthetic. Short boards are easier and cheaper to produce and are cut to fit into containers for importing. Short planks are typically a clear sign that the floor is being made overseas.
2. Wood Filler
Carlisle: Never uses filler
Competitors: Use filler in most collections
Why it Matters: Perhaps the clearest marker of the quality of a wood floor is the use of wood filler. No filler is required when the timber is chosen with care and patiently air and kiln dried. When filler is used, it is to camouflage where knots, checks, holes or other defects are left after milling. The only advantage to this process is to lower the cost of manufacturing. Consumers pay in the long run with the ugly blotches that appear where filler was used.
3. Finish Types
Carlisle: Resilient, UV-cured finishes
Competitors: Hard-wax oil
Why it Matters: UV-cured finishes make a permanent bond to the wood flooring, which thoroughly resists staining and scratching. UV finishes do not require any annual recoating to maintain their effectiveness. Cleaning is simple — just vacuum and damp mop.
Hard-wax oils do not make a chemical bond with the wood and are much more susceptible to stains from water, wine, cooking oils, etc. These finishes require at least an annual recoating to retain their protective qualities, so high-use areas like kitchens, dining rooms and hallways will show wear and staining almost immediately and still require regular repair and upkeep.
4. Custom Crafting
Carlisle: Each plank is individually selected by hand, milled, and finished specifically for the client’s home
Competitors: Produced in bulk, imported and warehoused
Why it Matters: Crafting a floor one board at a time is much more labor- and time- intensive, but provides dramatically more consistent color variance, beautiful grain patterns and increased structural integrity. Purchasing stocked material, which likely comes from many overseas production batches, increases the risks of manufacturing variations and product durability issues.
5. Direct Sales
Carlisle: Sold directly by Carlisle employees
Competitors: Distributed through many vendors
Why it Matters: Wood flooring is one of the highest cost items to be chosen in the construction of a new home. Purchasing directly from a custom manufacturer ensures that the expectations of the client are fulfilled. Direct purchase also means that more of the client’s cost of flooring is “in the floor,” rather than passed through the various resellers in a distribution chain.
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