hardwood, laminate flooring, trims and mouldings

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Global Alliance Home Improvement Products Inc. has been Central Ontario’s trusted source for quality, affordable flooring since 2007. We specialize in hard surface flooring, including laminate and hardwood, offering our customers access to nearly 100 choices in varying materials, finishes and sizes to suit personal tastes and lifestyles. 

By relying on our 30 years of knowledge in the flooring industry, you ensure that the best decision is made for your home or business. We are able to offer our customers access to premium products at such low prices because of our long-standing relationships with manufacturers, which we order from directly. 

We also maintain low overhead by having our showroom and warehouse facilities located just outside the city. Although you need to do a little driving to reach us, you are rewarded with substantial savings. You will find laminate options starting as low as $1 per square foot as well as top-end wood planks for less than $7 per square foot. 

Global Alliance also carries a full array of flooring accessories, including basic and premium underlay, window and door trim as well as crown moulding and baseboard. We offer affordable shipping options worldwide and reasonable delivery rates for greater Toronto customers. You can even 
order a flooring sample and then have it shipped to your home for free! 

Global Alliance Home Improvement Products Inc. is committed to supplying Ontario residents with the highest-quality hardwood and laminate floor products at competitive rates. Our professional sales staff can help you decide on the best flooring choices for your home or business, and they are always happy to share their expert tips on the best ways to maintain your new floor. 

Here is our expert advice, based on 30 years experience, on the most common questions our customers are curious about: 

Should I Choose a Hardwood or Laminate Floor?

When it comes to investing in new floors, you are faced with the choice between laminate and wood flooring. Comparing the differences can be daunting at first, so here is a quick guide to the benefits and drawbacks of each type: 

laminate flooring is a synthetic product that looks like real wood due to the textual image that is imprinted on the top layer. The core layer consists of tightly compressed fiberboard material and melamine resin. There are many types of laminate floors, ranging from inexpensive to higher-end wood-textured grains that are difficult to discern from the real thing. Often referred to as a floating floor system, the surface of laminate is more durable, scratch resistant and easier to clean. However, once it is damaged, it becomes more difficult to repair. While it is considerably cheaper than wood flooring, it does not add as much value to your home. 

Solid hardwood flooring is made up of long wood planks that have been harvested from trees. Natural wood gives off a warmer vibe and has its own character quirks, but you pay more for this authenticity. While it is easier to damage, it can be refinished, so it ultimately lasts longer. There are numerous options within this category based on grading, traits, finishes, color and strength. 

Durability can be increased and the price maximized by choosing 
engineered hardwood flooring. This modern option applies a sawn wood lamella finish to the top of several layers of high-quality plywood or high-density fiberboard. The thin veneer is more easily chipped and delaminated, and it can only be sanded once. However, it is more resistant to moisture and retains a comparable resale value to solid wood floors.

The Global Alliance showrooms are stocked with dozens of laminate, solid hardwood and engineered hardwood floor options as well as basic and premium underlay choices that carry a 50-year aging resistance. You can even find the perfect trim and moulding all in one convenient location!

What Flooring Option Looks Best in My Home?

There is no universal answer to this question since it ultimately depends on your personal taste and how you want the flooring to look in your home. There is a notable difference between laminate and hardwood floors. The pre-designed, imprinted patterns on the laminate’s surface imitate the look of real wood, but the patterns repeat approximately every five boards. Each plank of real wood has its own unique texture variation of the wood grain so that no two pieces look exactly alike. You will often need to mix different types of solid wood throughout your home due to the organic material's susceptibility to moisture. Laminate and engineered wood gives you more options for creating a uniform look. 

Which Type of Flooring will Last the Test of Time?

Durability for all types of flooring depends on foot traffic intensity, the amount of moisture the product is exposed to and your adherence to the manufacturer’s care and maintenance guidelines. Laminate is harder than natural wood, making it highly resistant to fading, staining and moisture damage. However, damaged pieces need to be completely replaced, which can become a problem if the product has been discontinued and you didn’t buy extra planks. The expected lifespan of a laminate floor is 20 to 25 years. 

If longevity is your main concern, then solid wood flooring is the best option. Depending on how well it is cared for, hardwood floors can last for many decades. The durability depends on the species of the tree. Hickory, oak and cherry are hardier than soft Douglas Fir, which dents easily. The finish and frequency of staining also impacts how long the planks last. With some varieties of hardwood floors, like those with oiled or wire brushed finishes, minor scratches and dents will seamlessly blend with the current look, adding to the unique appearance and depth of the texture. 

On average, hardwood floors are sanded every 10 to 20 years and can withstand up to seven refinishes. An engineered hardwood floor has a comparable lifespan but is more difficult to repair over time. You can typically only sand it twice before the veneer wears too thin. Global Alliance’s products come with a warranty to ensure that they last the test of time. Click on the variety you like to find out more.

Will Moisture Ruin My Floors?

Laminate floors have the highest resistance to moisture, making it a better choice for the bathroom, laundry room, basement or kitchen. Wood is an organic material that responds to fluctuations in temperature and humidity, making it a poor choice for high moisture areas. It is better suited for living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms and entryways. Engineered wood fares slightly better since the cross-wise layers of plywood provide a more stable structure. Our flooring experts can recommend the perfect solution for each room.

Do Laminate and Hardwood Floors Have an Environmental Impact?

In general, hard surface floor finishes are easier to maintain, require fewer chemical treatments and improve indoor air quality with their hypoallergenic smooth surfaces. Global Alliance is committed to promoting sustainable practices, so we only carry products that are durable, healthy and environmentally safe. 

The planks that make up solid hardwood floors are responsibly sourced from certified forests. Environmental impacts are further minimized by using water-based and low-VOC floor coatings, finishes and cleaners. The engineered variety is mostly organic since it is manufactured from layers of plywood or fiberboard. Both options can be salvaged and recycled to expand the lifespan. 

Laminate floor products also use engineered wood as a substrate. However, the top layer is constructed from tightly bonded composite materials and petroleum-based resins. Large volumes of glue may be used to bond together the composite material, and the high-pressure treatments can cause the flooring to off-gas formaldehyde. Global Alliance carries non-toxic laminates that are far more environmentally friendly. A second consideration is that once it outlives its usefulness laminate must be burned or taken to a landfill, thus promoting additional pollution. However, it is more environmentally friendly than carpeting and carpet pads, which are also destined for the landfill and need to be replaced much more often. Look for laminate products that have a low-VOC finish coating and use a water-based glue. 

How to Clean Laminate and Hardwood Flooring

One of the biggest benefits of choosing a hard floor surface is that it is resistant to spills, stains and household chemicals that can ruin other types of flooring. However, maintaining your flooring in the proper way is the key to increasing its longevity. Additionally, improper cleaning can void the manufacturer's warranty. Each flooring material requires its own process. 

Regular upkeep of laminate floors involves sweeping or vacuuming with soft bristle brushes or the floor attachment bar as well as dry mopping or swiping with a damp soft cloth. Accumulated dust and dirt can cause a laminate floor to become scratched or warped. Although laminate is more resistant to moisture, water and traditional liquid cleaners for wet mopping as well as steam cleaners and buffing machines can ruin the digital finish. 

Hardwood floors need more care and use special cleaners to preserve the beauty of the material and restore the finish. Ammonia-based cleaners, bleach, acidic materials like vinegar and wax-based products can damage the wood if it does not have a strong finish. Like laminate, you want to use a vacuum with soft bristles or a floor attachment or a dry mop for daily cleaning. Make sure you go with the grain. 

Affordable Flooring Products Made to Last

Global Alliance carries a range of solid and engineered hardwood floors in Barrie as well as an extensive line of laminate options to fit your home and office requirements. No matter which type of flooring you are looking for, we offer a stylish collection of shades, grains and polishes bound to enhance any space. Have a look at our affordable products to choose the perfect pattern, material and surface for your floors. You will also find matching accessories, such as moulding, baseboard, door trim and door stop, to enhance the look of your rooms. We invite you to 
contact us anytime to tap into our 30 years of experience in the flooring industry.