Editor’s note: This feature story was published in spring 2016. For up-to-date info, refer to our Trends & Trades store listing.
Situated across the street from OCAD University’s art school on stilts, this boutique showroom offers the city a creative and cultured selection of high-end hardwood flooring. Its own brand, T&T Wood Private Collection, is available in wide, long planks, as well as chevron or herringbone patterns. Much of the European hardwood used for this range is imported untreated and then custom finished in Canada, meaning that stains, finishes and other features – including antiquated, hand scraped, distressed and wire brushed – can be fully customized on spec, even for the smallest of projects. Of particular interest are the fumed hardwoods from Europe, such as oak and acacia, whose rich colour is achieved by a smoking process that saturates the grain.
The real coup: exclusive hardwood options from Italy’s Listone Giordano. A number of samples from its three core collections – including wide planks of heritage oak treated with an Invisible Touch finish that preserves the wood’s “raw” look – are displayed on convenient sliding panels.
SHOP HERE FOR: Hard-wearing, eco-friendly flooring with Italian flair. Each of Listone Giordano’s super-durable planks incorporate multiple sub-layers of stability-boosting birch joined together by toxic free glues. Of course, it’s the artisan-crafted top layer of solid wood that really makes a statement. Planks for the Réserve collection are hand-distressed to achieve a rich, rustic finish without the pattern repetition seen in machine-made options. Listone Giordano’s prices range from $8/sq ft to $40/sq ft.
BEST BET: Listone Giordano’s Natural Genius collection. Devised by leading and emerging Italian architects and interior designers, this line breaks free from the typical plank format. Matteo Nunziati’s Foxtrot sees boards positioned both parallel and perpendicular to one another in a jazzy gridlock formation; Michele De Lucchi’s Quadrone recalls exterior decking with its reclaimed teak, complete with generous rifts; and Daniele Lago’s Slide Flooring favours various rhombus- and trapezoid-shaped slabs. Vibrazioni by Marco Tortoioli Ricci is an optical treat, with angled cut planks laid in paths that widen and narrow.