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Your access to Quebec's vast array of wood products.

Wood is a sustainable material

Wood is sustainable. This is apparent with one look at all thee wooden homes built some 100 years ago, and sometimes even 200 years ago, including some very fine examples that are still in good shape and used around the globe. There are also centuries-old buildings that are now part of part of UNESCO’s world heritage, such as the Tôdai-ji Buddhist temple in Japan, erected in the 8th century, and the Urnes Stave Church in Norway, built in the 12th century. Wood buildings can last a very long time provided they are well designed and maintained.

The same can be said for wood flooring. All types of wood floors can easily last over 25 years, even 100 years if they are not changed simply as a matter of taste or design preference. By comparison, vinyl or ceramic tile coverings can last a maximum of 30 to 50 years, those of linoleum, more or less 25 years, cork coverings for about 30 years and carpeting, about 10 years at the most.  

In addition, wood floors maintain their value over time. Whereas other types of flooring appear faded and outdated after a few years, wood floors keep their charm and are a valuable asset when selling a house. In a survey of real estate agents in the United States, 90% of respondents said that houses with wood floors sell faster and at a higher price that those without them.

Their durability compared with other types of flooring along with their lower maintenance costs over 15 years make them the least expensive of all floor coverings, claims the Fédération française du bâtiment.  Also, the author of an American study on floor materials wrote that “carpet, for example, typically has the lowest purchase price of any option, but expensive maintenance and low durability make its life span cost highest of all options considered.”
(Source: The many virtues of hardwoods)

If you need hardwood lumber, visit our web page Wood Flooring Manufacturers

 

Wood has health virtues

Wood has health virtues. It does not have the problems of the other products used for the same purposes, carpet instead of wood floor, for example.

One of the aspects often overlooked by green building evaluation programs is the air quality inside houses. This air is often contaminated by a host of substances that are released not only because of the use of a variety of household products, but also from furniture and home finishing materials. The consequences on occupants’ health can be even worse considering that North Americans spend on average over 90% of their time indoors.  The problem is compounded by the fact that more efficient houses are being built – tighter houses that do not ‘breathe’ as well – and the amount of glues going into these houses becomes ever more important.  

Rugs and carpets are likely to present several problems in this regard.  They are one of the largest sources of pollutants, both chemical and biological, in indoor air.  Glues, fibre bonding agents and treatments (e.g. stain-resistant, anti-static, anti-odour) all release volatile materials.  The dust that accumulates between rug and carpet fibres is also a source of many allergies.

Some carpets are coated with a pesticide – a voluntary toxic product – by the manufacturer. Others contain brominated flame retardants, which belong to a large family of chemicals that can be toxic for the liver and thyroid gland, disturb the endocrine system and cause fertility problems. Some others are treated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a synthetic chemical used in kitchen utensils (Teflon™) and whose molecules persist in the blood and breast milk of exposed persons. Risks for health, namely that of newborns, are well documented.  It should be pointed out that young children are particularly vulnerable to chemicals contained in carpets. Not only do they spend more time indoors, they are also often on the ground, sitting or lying down, with their face very close to the carpet.
(Source: The many virtues of hardwoods)

 

Wood for music lovers

Wood has long been used to make musical instruments. And the type of wood to use has always been a concern of instrument makers. Each type of wood has its own special qualities and each type of instrument has its favorite wood species. Maple, for example, is very popular for making violins and wind instruments such as the bassoon, according to Joël Dugot, curator at the Museum of Music in Paris. When making its guitars, yellow birch is appreciated for its “sound somewhere between the mellow tone of mahogany and the bright sound of maple,” writes the Québec instrument making company “Art & Lutherie” on its website, adding that “Canadian wood has excellent tonal qualities.” Cherry and ironwood are also species appreciated by Québec’s stringed instrument makers.

 

The acoustical qualities of wood are also prized for finishing state-of-the-art concert halls. A perfect example is the Raoul-Jobin hall at Palais Montcalm in Québec City, entirely renovated a few years ago and said to provide exceptional sound quality, which makes it one of the best concert halls in the world. Its concrete walls are covered with high-density wooden panels and finished with maple veneer, whereas the stage floor is made of red oak on a wood frame, which naturally amplifies sound. (Source: Palais Montcalm site)

If you need hardwood lumber, visit this web page

 

 

The many virtues of hardwoods

Hardwoods are a natural resource with many virtues. These trees are not only sustainable and renewable, but also help protect the environment by mitigating climate change. They are a safe resource that contributes to human health in a variety of ways. Hardwoods are also a valuable resource owing to the many qualities of the products made from their wood. In Québec, hardwood forests are both abundant and managed in a responsible manner to ensure they remain sustainable. Many forest companies adhere to recognized sustainable management principles. This enables them to obtain environmental certification for the products they market. It is no coincidence if analyses made using modern scientific tools rank wood products among the most beneficial when it comes to sustainable development, compared with other materials used for the same purposes. Whether they are used for flooring or woodwork, hardwoods offer naturally decorative coverings featuring the unique imprint of nature. If you are looking for hardwood lumber suppliers, do not hesitate to visit our Suppliers Web page.

 

Less stress because of wood

A few words about Mr. David Fell’ study: For his experiment, the researcher set up two identical offices – one with a wood environment (furniture and blinds in a light colour – birch) and the other without (white furniture and blinds) – and then gave 120 students in succession a stressful mathematics test while they sat at the desk in one of the two rooms. During the three phases (mental preparation, test and recovery period) of the 40-minute test, devices continuously measured two sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation indicators of the students, therefore of their stress: pulse rate and skin conductance.

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Wood for health

Throughout history, human contact with nature and natural elements has been associated with health, whether physical or psychological. Among the Greeks, Aristotle attributed therapeutic virtues to the colour green and philosophers found inspiration in olive tree-filled gardens, a tree considered miraculous. Among the Celts, druids used mistletoe to brew healing potions and venerated old oak trees. In the Middle Ages, poultices were made using birch buds and alder leaves. These are but a few examples.  Last but not least is aspirin, one of the most used drugs in the world, which is a derivative of salicylic acid and once extracted from willow bark.

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Wooden in train!
An acquaintance of mine who was travelling in southeastern Japan sent me a photo of a railroad car that featured a wooden floor. It was a standard passenger car that ordinary people take on their daily commute, but the floor was made of wood... a highly unusual occurrence! The QWEB shared this photo with Mr. Takahashi, our colleague in Japan. He sent us a series of web links showing a variety of trains in different cities. All the railroad cars had one thing in common – wood on the inside. Sometimes it was just the floor and other times you could see wood from top to bottom including the walls. Very interesting indeed! We don't know, however, if you have to remove your shoes before entering the train...


 

Whatever the species, wood flooring is always a must!
Maybe Nevada, Savana, Java or Sahara? Why not Amaretto, Geisha or Barista? Maybe Heritage, Design or Domestic? Opt for engineered, Genius, wide or narrow. How about maple, hickory, oak or ash? We are certain there is wood flooring from Quebec that will satisfy your customers’ needs and expectations.In addition to being made by specialists, Quebec floors come in a tremendous variety of colours, widths and collections. Visit our wood flooring manufacturers page to find the best flooring manufacturers in Eastern Canada.

 

Living Maple Trees Shipped to Japan!
The most unique project that Ryoichi Takahashi, manger of the QWEB office in  Japan, and Bruno Couture, manger of the hardwood group, have suggested is without a doubt the overseas shipping of two live maple trees. They had started a maple promotion campaign a few years earlier, which generated a lot of sales. Quebec and the QWEB were becoming increasingly associated with maple.
One fine morning, Mr. Couture learned that the secretary of his colleague in Japan studied in a school (Toyo Eiwa Jogakuin) that planted a tree during a ceremony every year. It goes without saying that thanks to the success of the maple campaign, the QWEB was asked to send a maple tree to Japan.

 

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Hardwood flooring reduces stress levels
Life seems to be whizzing by more than ever. The fast-paced life of big cities has its exhilarating side, but it can also be draining - the subway, the air pollution, the mad dash to get to the train on time but also to daycare to fetch the kids, etc. etc.

When arriving home to a stylish décor where wood has a prominent place, the calm returns. It has been proven that wood reduces stress levels (study by DR. Fell, 2010, "Woos and Human Health"). In addition, wood does not release any significant amount of compounds that could be detrimental to children or the family's health. Lastly, it is a sustainable product that will welcome you home. And don't worry because even if you get tired of its co lour after a few years, you can always sand it and change the finish.

If you need hardwood flooring, visit our Suppliers section.

 

THE chairs specialist: Mr. Oda
During many world travels to promote wood products and develop business, Bruno Couture, hardwood and wood flooring manager at QWEB, met extraordinary people. One of them is without a doubt professor Noritusgu Oda.

He met professor Oda when he was a judge at the international design competition called International Furniture Design Fair Asahikawa (IFDA).Professor Oda has a wealth of knowledge. Above all, he is an eminent chair specialist. He knows everything about chairs. He has even written books on them: Danish chairs, 200 chairs, Hans J Wegner’s 100 Chairs and The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Chairs, to mention but a few. Mr. Couture purchased the encyclopedia for hispersonal satisfaction. He was truly amazed by the quality of professor Oda’s illustrations.If you are interested in furniture or Danish design, you absolutely have to get to know professor Oda, who himself is not only a great connoisseur of Danish chairs (Hans J Wegner and Finn Juhl), but also a collector. He apparently has over 200 chairs in his collection.

Mr. Couture  hopes their paths will cross again.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noritsugu_Oda is only one source of info.)

 

The best kept secret in Québec!
The best kept secret in Québec is without doubt yellow birch. It's not a new drug for losing weight. It's not the name of a great Native leader either. It's a type of tree that only grows in Eastern Canada.

Its wood, which is not quite as hard as sugar maple and a bit harder than black walnut, is used extensively by furniture manufacturers in Eastern North America. It's called yellow birch, but the wood's colour is more a creamy white than yellow. The yellow birch's heartwood is a reddish brown that is highly prized by connoisseurs, but also fairly rare on the market. The wood is very easy to work with. Its fine and regular grain gives it a nice soft finish after sanding. It is really worth trying.

Visit the list of suppliers who can sell you yellow birch

 

Black Cherry  (Prunus serotina Ehrh)

Nearly 200 species of the genus Prunus are known, but fewer than 30 are native to North America; of these, seven grow in Canada—five cherries and two plums. Only the Black Cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.), grows large enough to be classed as a timber-producing tree.Size ─ Heights of 60 to 70 ft., with diameters of 18 to 24 ins. are common, but there have been reports of trees reaching heights of 100ft. on the best of the southerly sites. Towards its northern limit of growth, the Black Cherry may be shrub size.

Wood ─ Moderately heavy, hard and strong; light to dark reddish-brown; semi-ring porous. The wood is valuable for furniture. Many of the pieces of furniture produced in the early days of Canada’s development are fine examples of the value of this species for cabinet work.One of the largest cherries, this species is value for lumber and as food for humans and wildlife. The bitter fruits are often used for jelly. Bark has been used as flavouring.

 

Hardwood Flooring: Durable and Economical

Several characteristics make wood a valuable resource for construction, both for professionals and users. Wood is a sustainable material, as can be seen in certain centuries-old wood buildings, in many still used ancestral homes and in… floors. Wood flooring can sometimes last over a century, making it very economical compared with other types of floors with a shorter service life.

Wood is also a regulating element in buildings. It not only serves as a humidifier in an indoor environment that is too dry, but also as a dehumidifier in a room that is too damp. Furthermore, due to its thermal inertia, it acts as a thermostat by regulating, to a certain extent, the indoor temperature.
(Source: The many virtues of hardwoods.)

To find a manufacturer, click here.

 

International studies and hardwood flooring

A study conducted by Swedish researchers, which compared the impacts of linoleum, vinyl and untreated hardwood floor coverings, concluded that wood flooring is the most environmentally friendly, among other things, since linoleum and vinyl require the most inputs. According to the study’s authors, wood coverings produce fewer emissions into the air and water, use less energy and generate less waste than coverings made of linoleum and vinyl.

A German study on four types of wood floor highlighted the fact that these floors have “significantly less” impacts (by factors of 5 to 50) than all other products on the local market when it comes to global warming, acidification and eutrophication of watercourses, photo-oxidant formation and ozone depletion.

Lastly, two other studies conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin in collaboration with the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Material (CORRIM) reached similar conclusions. They pointed out that wood is a “desirable” floor covering with respect to the environment due to lower emissions into the air than other coverings, along with lower water consumption and lesser use of primary energy. They also emphasized the durability of floors. “The shorter service life [of other coverings] means that they will have to be replaced more often, and that supposes new environmental impacts,” reported the researchers, who also focused on “desirable” end-of-life scenarios for wood from floors, and also on the renewable nature of the resource and net carbon balance of the material. (Source: The Many Virtues of Hardwoods)

If you need hardwood flooring, visit our Suppliers section.

 

Basswood (Tilia americana)

 

Habitat ─ Basswood is found throughout the deciduous and Great Lakes-St.Lawrence forest region as far east as western New-Brunswick and westwards along the rivers into the grasslands in Manitoba. It grows in mixture with other hardwoods, and makes its best growth on deep fertile soils. It does not form pure stands anywhere throughout its range.

Wood ─ Light, soft, low in strength; heart-wood pale brown, sapwood lighter.

Importance ─ The wood is one of the softest and lightest in weight of the Canadian hardwoods and is valued for hand-carving, modelling, turnery, interior trim, veneer, plywood and furniture parts.

 

Creative Souls

A soul is an abstract notion. However, most people would readily agree that all living things have a soul.  The amazing creative spirit of designers, inventors, artists, artisans and manufacturers is what gives a soul back to wood when they make a floor, a piece of furniture or a lovely decor.

We would like to showcase the brilliant work of these creative souls in a new brochure. From an unpretentious piece of wood, these talented people have produced masterpieces.

Our goal is to encourage and inspire you to use wood from trees that grow in northeast North America and also to trust Quebec manufacturers as the suppliers.

In addition to this somewhat mercantile goal, we want you to indulge your senses and enjoy browsing through this brochure. Take your time. Prepare your favourite beverage. Sit down comfortably and take pleasure in looking at, this wonderful brochure about our wood.  

You can have a view of the brochure by clicking here!

Or click here to receive a physical copy of our booklet by mail

 

Four and Hashi
In marketing, you have to know when to stop using a concept so that people don’t get tired of seeing it. Therefore, after having used the Chashitsu and Happy Birch Day, I proposed to my Japanese colleague and designers to go back to the drawing board and to maple, but this time with a consumer product, one that would be more accessible. It would also be a functional product that can be complex to create – a chair!


Mr. Sato and Mr. Kurokawa therefore presented us with two totally different chairs made of maple. Mr. Sato designed a chair called FOUR. It is a sturdy chair that can be used four different ways. It can be rocked, straight, more relaxing or sitting on the ground so a person’s legs can stretch out. Mr. Kurokawa’s chair is more traditional. The word Hashi in Japanese is translated by chopsticks. It is sleek, elegant and very comfortable despite its seeming rigidity. The maple components rest on a streamlined metal base.


These chairs were used for a traditional ad campaign in Intramuros, a renowned design magazine. If you need hardwood lumber, please visit the Suppliers section.

 

Beech (Fagus grandifolia) : A species you’ll learn to love 

Until quite recently, Beech wood was not particularly in demand. In fact, you didn’t hear much about it. But since it now features prominently inside the Montréal Symphony Orchestra’s new concert hall, it is molto accelerando fortissimo (very quickly gaining in popularity).


 

Create what you want with Hardwoods from Canada

For many years now, the Quebec Wood Export Bureau has published a blog called CREATE WHAT YOU WANT WITH HARDWOODS. The main mandate of this communication tool is to show designers, architects and key influencers what can be done with hardwoods from eastern North America, particularly from Quebec. We invite you to check out the blog and sign up to be on our mailing list so you don’t miss any posts.

In addition, if you created something special with hardwoods such as red oak, walnut, sugar maple, yellow birch, etc. (species from eastern North America), don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to publish your photos with a description of your project. Lastly, feel free to tell us what you think about the projects we showcase. Your comments are always welcome!
http://www.canadahardwoods.com/en/

 

Baseball bats made of Canadian Hard Maple

I had the opportunity to work on another niche product in recent years. Baseball bats in higher leagues and Major League Baseball are made of wood. The best known types of wood are ash and sugar maple. However, not just anyone can make baseball bats, especially for the top league!

Producers that are able to supply the wood “squares” must have access to a supply of high quality logs. It is also necessary to have particular expertise and a diverse customer base to be able to sell major league “rejects.” It is worth mentioning that Major League Baseball has stringent selection criteria. The wood grain must be straight. The weight of the barrel (thickest part of the bat) must be located in a specific area and colour must be even. The wood cannot have knots, etc. and furthermore, the number of growth rings per centimetre or the width of growth rings is regulated.

Baseball bats have been the subject of several studies. A private study was conducted to determine the best supply area for sugar maple. Another study, public this time, was published in the prestigious scientific Forest Products Journal. Its title was “Selected Quality Characteristics of White Ash Used in Professional Baseball Bats.”

For more information on wood suppliers for baseball bats or other niche products, please visit the Suppliers section.


 

Color
Hardwood flooring companies are aware of what is happening in all areas of interior design so they direct their development accordingly. Furniture, kitchen cabinets, decorative accessories, materials, textures, shapes and colors of course are important to consider in order to develop flooring that harmonizes the different market trends.

Colour is a key directive in all design. As interior colour trends evolve it is critical to develop flooring that best compliments or pairs with the direction. As an example if colour trends move toward soft neutral tones like grey, taupe or cream so should flooring.

If you have existing wood furniture or cabinets, the best way to choose your hardwood flooring colour and style is to make sure you select a floor that will blend or coordinate in colour. If not, the floor can start the colour scheme based on what you like (dark, light, natural, etc.). Also consider contrasting colours - a dark floor with very light furniture will offer a dramatic effect!



 

Bird’s Eye Maple from Canada
Sugar maple can feature a very particular figure in its wood grain called bird’s eye. For several generations, people believed that these wood grain variations were caused by insects. Studies have still not fully explained how these small eyes or swirls occur, but the best explanation would be the trees’ environment. Therefore, sugar maples that grow on main or secondary hilltops, upper slope breaks or thin soils experience greater stress and that would cause the figures to appear.
Lastly, it is interesting to know that bird’s eye maple has not always been so popular. There was a time when people used this wood to heat their homes since the market was not yet developed. Smart marketers then found a niche for such as special product.
When buying bird’s eye lumber, don’t expect to be able to get very large volumes at the same time. Obviously, this scarcity dictates price. Its grading uses letters, for example AAA corresponds to a larger and well distributed number of figures compared with an A.
For more information on suppliers of bird’s eye maple and other niche products such as flame, curly, etc. please go to: http://quebecwoodexport.com/en/hardwood-lumber-and-value-added-hardwood-lumber/suppliers

 

Hard Maple for Musical Instrument
In recent years, QWEB had the opportunity of being mandated to develop the market for musical instruments made out of wood, mainly guitars. The guitar industry can be both local and high-end and one such example is a company called Godin guitars in Québec. However, to be able to sell wood instruments in large quantities, you need to look toward manufacturers in countries where labour costs are lower. I therefore organized a trade mission to Asia to visit guitar manufacturers.


The mission’s purpose was mainly to promote Canadian maple. Maple wood can be used for the back of a guitar and especially its neck. The maple’s intrinsic characteristics are what make us choose it, particularly its hardness and impeccable whiteness.There are variants in a maple’s wood that will be explained later, such as bird’s eye and flame. They are natural figures in the wood. These variants are rare but prized by musical instrument makers. The figures enhance the guitar’s appearance naturally. It’s also a niche market. The guitar industry is using more and more yellow birch, Québec’s provincial tree emblem. The wood of this tree is also light in colour. Yellow birch is also used for the back and neck of guitars.

 

Montréal Wood Convention welcomes special visitors!
Some 60 foreign overseas buyers visited hardwood mills in Quebec as a part of their participation at the Montréal Wood Convention 2017 where they had  the opportunity to meet directly with local manufacturers to do business. Twelve countries were represented, including two large delegations from China and Poland.

 


The group had the chance to taste maple toffy at the Château Montebello log hotel.

 

Certified Gymnasium floor made of Canadian Hard Maple

The Quebec Wood Export Bureau (QWEB) has developed, with the help of the Quebec wood flooring industry, a classification guide for sugar maple gymnasium floor boards. It’s a Canadian first!

Sugar maple has long been known for its hardness and technical characteristics, which are in high demand for gymnasium floors. However, project managers did not have a standard they could refer to when they prepared specifications and therefore could not ensure a product’s quality. They also wanted to ensure that the product was indeed Canadian maple.

For access to this guide, click on tthis link.

QWEB members that have a gymnasium flooring compliance certificate are audited to ensure that they comply with standards outlined in the guide. A guarantee of quality for you! Do not hesitate to contact us for further information at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 

 
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