Gaylord Hardwood Flooring
Gaylord Hardwood Flooring locally sources the finest lumber to provide its clients with the highest-quality flooring.
By Janice Hoppe-Spiers, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and at Gaylord Hardwood Flooring that means creating some of the most unique wide plank flooring available. “We don’t use scanners to check for knots because we see that as a thing of beauty and our people are the artists,” owner Greg Gaylord says. “There are many tests to check milling and finishing quality, but selecting the most beautiful boards is not something that can be done by machine.”
Gaylord’s father, Lewis Gaylord, founded the Tweed, Ontario-based company in 1985 as a lumber supplier selling to furniture, trim and hardwood flooring manufacturers. After realizing those hardwood flooring manufacturers were buying only the lowest-grade lumber and cutting between the knots, Gaylord decided to differentiate itself by using its higher-grade lumber to make higher-quality flooring with longer board lengths to architects, builders and homeowners.
Simply making better flooring with longer boards wasn’t good enough. Now the trend has moved to rustic wide plank flooring and it has some of the most unique flooring available. “We cut straight through the log, so rather than cutting the log to avoid the knots, we are trying to hit as many knots as possible to give it a really cool vertical grain and you see a lot of medullary rays,” Greg Gaylord says. “We look at the log different and don’t look at it as a commodity.”
Gaylord Hardwood Flooring controls every element of its manufacturing process and lives by its motto: “You can’t go wrong doing things right.” Located equal distance from Toronto and Ottawa, the company ensures its showroom is worth the two-hour drive with flooring samples lining the floor and the walls, example displays, industry experts ready to assist, a wood-fired pizza oven and a separate children’s area. For those who can’t make it to Tweed, Gaylord Hardwood Flooring uses Skype and FaceTime to give its clients a tour of the showroom.
Gaylord Hardwood Flooring sources and manufactures its flooring all within a 300-mile radius. “The ‘greenest’ thing you can do is everything locally,” Gaylord says. “There is so much out there made in China and companies marketing themselves as a green option and they aren’t. How can something be considered ‘green’ when it is shipped across the world in polluting container ships? We are really small, but we are focused on providing the best rather than pumping out a lot of square footage.”
The company prides itself on maintaining long-term relationships with its freight carriers because transporting 12-foot bundles is more challenging and requires more care so the product is not damaged. Gaylord Hardwood Flooring transports any delivery within a 20-hour drive itself to the client to ensure customer satisfaction.
Gaylord Hardwood Flooring has also maintained the same core group of lumber suppliers over the past three decades. “One of our lumber suppliers has been in business for over 150 years, and what’s cool about them is they have been harvesting the same land that entire time,” Gaylord notes. “People ask us if our lumber is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and this supplier is the perfect example of how we source sustainably, but they are a small company and can’t afford to spend thousands on a certification.”
Moving forward, Gaylord Hardwood Flooring plans to continue “doing what we are doing,” Gaylord says. “We are not trying to be a huge company,” he adds. “We want to work with good people and not have to compete with the people making flooring in China. The customers we want are the designers who really care about giving their client the best and the builder who really appreciates the quality of the wood.”