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Flooring made in China

dockelly's picture

Hi All,

Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. 

I bought some prefinished solid oak flooring at HD.  3/4 by 3 1/4 with knots and dark streaks, very rustic looking $2.54 a square foot.  A special promotion, Centerra flooring.  Their unfinished white, HD not Centerra, oak in 2 1/4 is $2.55 by me.  I was wondering how they can sell it so cheap and saw made in China on the box when I was unloading it from the truck.  Do you think they get the wood from here or some other country and mill it there? 

(post #75001, reply #1 of 52)


(post #75001, reply #2 of 52)

I am about to install a bunch of Chinese  2 1/4" white oak strip flooring for a customer who purchased one of our homes.  They got it at a local lumber yard.  It has 7 or 8 coats of nice looking finish on it.

It is beautiful stuff for $3.30 / ft.   I'm sure they don't grow white oak in China, so I can't figure out how this works.  All I know is, that it's a lot cheaper than other domestic flooring that we've always used.

If they start shipping houses from China, I am in big trouble!


(post #75001, reply #3 of 52)

"If they start shipping houses from China, I am in big trouble!"

There will be plenty of work in repair and remodeling still!



Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!



Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #75001, reply #4 of 52)

the Chinese will come with them...


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming

WOW!!! What a Ride!

Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #75001, reply #5 of 52)

I'm sure they don't grow white oak in China, so I can't figure out how this works.

I'm with you.  Seems like the cost to ship the logs over and the finished materials back would add more to the price.  But then, what do I know?  A while back the Japanese were buying up a lot of out PNW timber.  They'd put it on a ship, motor out to sea, mill it and then motor back in and sell it back to us - the efficiency of their process vs. our old mills made it work.  Go figure.

(post #75001, reply #6 of 52)

The logs shipped to Japan DID NOT return to us in finished product with the exception of sliced veneers because, in the USA, only two slicing plants were ever set up.  The product in the veneer industry was mostly hardwoods.

But Japan converted most of the wood the imported in log form from the USA to their own domestic use or trade in other parts of the Pacific Rim.

The wood that DID get exported and returned to us in finished products was Doug Fir Clear timbers imported by Italy and Spain and remanufactured into door and window components and, in the case of Spain, to handcarved wooden doors.

I worked in the wood products industry for quite a few years, mostly for a large corporation who was heavy into the log export business to Japan and South Korea, but the notion that we were buying back finished product from Japan is complete BS. At the time all such nonsense was being bandied about, the dollar/yen exchange rate between the US and Japan was on a par and it would have made no economic sense for the Japanese to export back to the US.  (It typically cost $385 per MBF just to transport the raw logs and the Japanese were paying nearly triple domestic prices for the logs).

While I was ALWAYS opposed to our wholesale export of our old growth resources to the far East, the propaganda about exporting our manufacturing to Japan was simply a myth promoted by those opposed to exports who resorted to lies and misinformation to rally support for their cause.

(post #75001, reply #8 of 52)

Thanks for the clarification - I did wonder about the whole story.  I heard it from a park ranger so gave it a little more weight than it merited...

(post #75001, reply #32 of 52)

The logs shipped to Japan DID NOT return to us in finished product with the exception of sliced veneers because, in the USA, only two slicing plants were ever set up.

I'm curious which two slicing plants you are thinking of - I know of at least three currently in operation, wondering if they include the two you have in mind.

(post #75001, reply #35 of 52)

In the early 90's, I made an attempt to get financing to put in a slicing plant here on the West Coast as I was seeing a lot of our local hardwood species (and some softwoods, like Yew and Port Orford Cedar) going aboard ship as slicing stock for the Far East. 

(This was in addition to the 10's of millions of Bd. Ft. we were exporting out of the local port in the form of Old Growth Doug Fir, Port Orford Cedar sawlogs, not to mention a few other PNW softwood species).

I was working with Oregon State University's Dept. of Forestry and they were the ones who told me of the "two" plants; one in Illinois, IIRC' and another in either Tennessee or Ohio. 

The Machinery and equipment for support and residuals was pretty expensive (about $1.5 million at the time) plus the cost of purchased or leased ground, utilities, a building, rolling stock and so forth.

I live within 10 miles of an international port, had some potential overseas customers, and have long been involved and tapped into the timber supply end....

But, sigh, the time was not right....the 90's economy was still a bit sluggish and I ultimately moved on to other things.

(post #75001, reply #7 of 52)

I laid pre-finished common grade (clear with colour and chatoyance) Birch throughout my house and for a few client's.

The wood was Eastern Canada sourced, sent to China for manufacture and finishing and shipped back here to be sold under the Dubeau label. I paid roughly $3 US for it. Milling was best I've run across and the aluminum oxide modified urethane finish is incredibly tough.

(post #75001, reply #24 of 52)

I deal with a lot of Eastern flooring of them told me when he was sourcing some material he could get Pennsylvania cherry that had been shipped to China, sawmilled, and shipped back for substantially less than he could get it directly from Penn. That same company though is doing or is going to be doing a lot of milling for a big U.S company, because their quality was so much better than Chinas, and the costs are less and quality better than in their domestic plant.

What I am hearing a lot about is big problems with moisture content in Chinese 15 % mc. or so. Be very careful.


Cabinetmaker/college woodworking instructor. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Cabinetmaker/college woodworking instructor. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

(post #75001, reply #25 of 52)

china has some huge hardwood forest, Thet have some pretty good wood, alot of exotic hadwood that does not grow in U.S.

(post #75001, reply #28 of 52)

I bought some Dubeau-branded birch prefinished and it was the sweetest stuff.  Basically 0% rejects- all boards straight, no flaws.  We culled a few boards on colour, that's all.  No problems with moisture content etc.  The finish has stood up for about four years, through kids and abuse from construction of our addition.  The only scratching I've seen has been due to the softness of the birch.

Can't say anything complimentary about the Bruce red oak I installed on the main floor.  That stuff was crap, regardless where it was milled and whose major brand-name was on it. 

If the Chinese can take the raw wood, mill it and finish it and ship it back here far cheaper than we can merely mill and finish it, reality is that they've got the business.  Until fuel prices go up to reflect the full cost of fossil fuels consumption, shipping stuff offshore to where the labour costs are lower is a trend that's here to stay.  Just wish they'd keep their @#*()&) long-horned beetles at home, though, or they won't be getting any more local hardwood to mill!

(post #75001, reply #9 of 52)

I looked at some "made in China" flooring at HD and noticed the milling on each end of the boards was off. They were about 1/32" to small on the last 3-5 inches. I only noticed this when I put a couple of boards together and went into their tool department to get same bessy clamps. Even under a lot of pressure the gap never tightend up.

(post #75001, reply #10 of 52)

An acquaintance owns a lumber outfit in Western NC. Huge kilns for drying local oak and cherry. Sells much of it to China for manufacture of furniture.

As to the quality of the flooring, it's a big country with lots of manufacturing plants. Bound to be a variation in quality. Just like from anywhere else, some will be good and some won't.

(post #75001, reply #11 of 52)

good luck..I recently installed a prefinished HW floor that was milled in China. what a nightmare.

you couldn't tell by looking at em, but the boards had varying widths, and it as absolute hell to keep the rows straight. took me more than double the time.

after I had laid about 6' I got the supplier and the store involved. they agreed to put in a claim. the owners really wanted the floor, It is a very dark floor ( wood is Kulim- I think grows in Pilipines or mayasia , then milled in China). Supplier could't gaurantee that a new batch would be the same problem. so we ended up having to sort all the boards we had by widths, in order to get a decent install.

The owners are very happy now, but we are still waiting to see exactly what compensation the supplier give, so far they have only comped and extra 100 sq ft of flooring we ended up short cuz of crappy boards.


(post #75001, reply #12 of 52)

This should be interesting because I have never seen Chinese flooring before.  I will know by next week how I like it!


(post #75001, reply #13 of 52)

I'm out of state right now, be back in Jersey tomorrow.  First chance I get I'll be checking it out, dry fit a box and see if there's any problems.  Anyone reading this post heard of the brand name, Centerra.  No indication what the finish is but does have a 25 year warranty and an address/phone number in USA.

(post #75001, reply #14 of 52)

if you go ahead with it will you please let us know how it turns out and how the installation goes. The boards I had were up 1/8 variance. - + 1/16" and some boards even worse. once the boards were sorted we found about 2/3 to be within a tolorable width. the rest had to get worked into the installation.



(post #75001, reply #15 of 52)

I'll let you know about the dry fit, the actual install is probably two to four months in the future.  I bought it early because I really liked the look, more important the DW did as well and it was a limited time special offer.  Actually my local HD was sold out, had to go to the one down the road.

(post #75001, reply #16 of 52)

make sure you dry fit mroe than just a couple boards...actually...what you should do as well is open 2 -3 boxes and check the width with a pair of calipers. you might find a very slight width varinace which may be acceptable but one you start getting into the 1/16's and over they accumualte very quickly over several rows.

even if your boards are not perfect you may still want to keep them because you like how it looks and the atractive price, simply be prepared for the extar time to install. just slamming them together, will create big problems if the boards are not uniform.


(post #75001, reply #18 of 52)

just got home from virginia and opened a box and did the dry fit. did this before i read your post, there is a slight difference. i want a rustic look so i'm not bothered by it but will plan accordingly when i install it. i put it together on my deck and took pictures which i'll post later. thanks

(post #75001, reply #36 of 52)

Here are the pictures I promised, dryfit on my deck. All from same box. Hopefully I'll be doing the floor in 2-3 months and I'll get back to you with what problems I encountered with milling, if any.
Happy New Year!

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(post #75001, reply #37 of 52)

I see the subject has popped up again.  Since I first read this, I have installed about 500 sq. ft. of Anderson Pacific 2 1/4" prefinished oak strip flooring.  The homeowners purchased the flooring and I installed it for them.  I believe this flooring is milled and finished in China.  It is 18mm thick.

I was skeptical at first since this was my first experience with imported flooring. I had to make some adjustments to the Bostitch nailer to accomodate the different thickness of the flooring, but other than that it was no problem.

What was unusual about this flooring was the superb quality.  It was well packed with no damage to any piece and I never found anything except high quality, perfect pieces in each box.  In 500 feet of flooring, I never found one flaw in any of it.  Every piece was perfectly flat, straight, and perfectly milled. 

I am impressed!!



Edited 12/28/2006 5:49 pm ET by BoJangles

(post #75001, reply #38 of 52)

When I lived on the west coast I saw huge ships come into port and load them with logs. I am not familiar with the product but is it possible that they have ships which take it out 300 miles from the U.S. and mill it?

(post #75001, reply #41 of 52)


I did a remodel back at the beginning of this year that had 1200 square feet of new glued down eng. flooring that came from China. (see attachment)

Like yours, there wasn't one single piece in any of the 60 or so boxes of the stuff that was bad, not one single piece that had any flaws that prohibited it from being used, excellent product all around.


(post #75001, reply #42 of 52)

Nice floor, Nice kitchen!

(post #75001, reply #39 of 52)

Looks nice!

Don't forget to space the Butts!

(post #75001, reply #40 of 52)

will do! what i did find odd was the lengths, nothing more than 5 feet. perhaps there using wood rejected by american mills?

(post #75001, reply #43 of 52)

I wanted to update you on the flooring I installed today. I found alot of varying widths, by as much as 1/16. I've only installed one other floor, which was armstrong, and the quality was much better, more precise. My floor is for our beach bungalow, so I'm not that concerned about the occasional gaps, it's a pretty rustic house to begin with. Thought you'd like to know.