Armstrong World Industries was started by Thomas M. Armstrong in 1860 carving bottle stoppers from cork by hand in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Today, Armstrong is an umbrella company of several flooring brands. They also have ceiling products. These flooring brands are Armstrong, Bruce, Homerwood Premium Hardwood Flooring and T. Morton Handcrafted Hardwood. This article will focus on the Armstrong brand.
Armstrong offers a wide variety of floor coverings. Some of them are manufactured in the US but they also have facilities in China, England and Sweden. They sell hardwood, laminate, vinyl sheet, vinyl tile and linoleum. They are proud to offer hundreds of varieties of floor coverings.
Armstrong Wood Floors: Durability in the Flooring Material
They use both exotic and domestic hardwoods. They offer unique hand-scraped to more classic wood floors. When it comes to wood floors, they manufacture solid wood floors only in the prefinished variety (not the sand-on-site variety), engineered hardwood (the type that is made of many layers of wood glued together).
Their prefinished floors also come with matching trims and moldings necessary to complete the job. Armstrong prefinished floors are Performance Plus Hardwood which means that they have a hard acrylic infused in the hardwood with a Nano Aluminum Oxide finish to make them very durable. Armstrong boasts that they are two and a half more times more durable than regular wood. Specifically, they are more resistant to dents and wear. Personally, I think this claim is questionable. I have no idea what floor they tested their prefinished floor against. There are just too many factors to make this a believable claim. These floors are available in birch, hickory, maple, cherry, oak and walnut.
The installation is designed to be very easy. It is a fun job for any do-it-yourselfer. For a skilled floor installer, the job is very quick.
Armstrong will donate flooring only to 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations where they are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions by the Internal Revenue Service.
On a more sinister note, in 2007, Armstrong declared to the Washington Post that they purchase wood from developing nations. The CEO stated that he does not feel a need for labelling or a certification showing the origins of the lumber consumed in their products.
Also, they are not a participant in the Forest Stewardship Council certification system. To make matters worse, it was stated in that same Washington Post article that in their factories in China, they have used exotic woods like teak and merbau which are banned wood products. The company commented on this claim that the wood came from Southeast Asia and they are working to make sure that the wood is harvested legally. Also, the company stated that 95.1 percent of their wood is grown in the U.S.
Customer Satisfaction and Final Thoughts
Many people are dissatisfied with their Armstrong floors. In fact, when customers have called the company complaining about cracks and popping, they blamed their flawed product on the floor installer. It is very common that the floor is acclimated and laid correctly and still lots of those annoying crunching sounds. This is the most common review.
A lot of things can go wrong with a wood floor. Never mind questionable wood floors, many people have complained about their Armstrong laminate floor – a floor that is much less fussy! Many people complain that the quality is not there and it also swells up. This company offers so many floor covering options that they don’t really specialize in a quality wood floor.
That said, there are some people who have Armstrong wood floors and they are very happy with them and have had them for years. Many customers are pleased with the slippery finish of Armstrong wood floors because they are very easy to keep clean. The company is quick to respond to customers’ problems – it is a matter of how they respond!
On a side note, in 2006, the company filed Chapter 11 because of personal injury claims reported from 2000. These claims were from asbestos costing the company somewhere between $758.8 million to $1.36 billion. Makes me wonder what is in their Nano Aluminum Oxide in their prefinished floors! If you are shopping around for wood floors, I would personally think twice if I was thinking of an Armstrong floor.