Flooring is Not Beneath Oaks Landing Skillset
If you search “hard enough” on YouTube, you’ll find a video for a rock band called Hardly Soft. Their big hit single? “Pills.” And if you look carefully in the video you might just find Chris Tinney playing guitar.
Tinney, the current owner of Oaks Landing Flooring in Orillia, Ontario, is a master craftsman who studied, and won awards at Park Street Collegiate, for carpentry and cabinet making, eventually making his way to Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario. The boy from Orillia spent some time with his band in Victoria, B.C., but he was eventually called home to begin his path in woodworking and flooring – something he had a true gift for.
“It’s always been a creativity thing for me, starting with music and eventually making things,” explains Tinney. “Studying cabinet making and carpentry at Georgian, I landed on the dean’s list for both courses.” With his awards in hand, he made his way to furniture maker Pioneer Handcraft around 1996. Much of his time was spent refinishing furniture.
Looking for more opportunities in music, Tinney moved to Victoria with his band. His day job was working in hardwood flooring with a partner, then he went on his own. He explains that two individuals who were from Europe mentored him. “No pun intended but as a cabinet maker I thought working on floors was beneath me. But they showed me the old world ways of doing things that was far different than the way people are doing it here. A lot more things made sense.”
After a series of unfortunate events around his band, his studio, and his drummer, and for the sake of his family, Tinney focused more on the business and decided to move back to Orillia.
After a few more stints for other people in Orillia, Tinney went back to flooring as a contractor and building his business. “I wanted to do more than what they needed. And when a building opened up nearby, I took it over and made half of it a showroom and the other half a shop.”
His idea was to be more unique than anyone else and decided that most flooring products are just plywood with veneer.
Tinney thought that the best thing to do as a company was to sell flooring the way it used to be and the way it should be. It’s a solid product with a quarter-inch of wood on the top. Once customers choose their floor and type of wood, staining is done on sight. “What we do is install it, sand and finish it to your specifications…we can then deep clean the finish every year.”
The sanders he uses only take off what is needed and he no longer requires the large drum sander. All he has to do is scuff-sand it and apply more stain, then the floor is brand new. With a pre-finished floor you have to replace the board or sand the entire piece and re-stain it, he explains.
All stains are Green-Guard certified by a third party and all wood is harvested in Ontario and generally comes from a company called Townsend Lumber. It is sold to the customer unstained or treated and then gets treated to the customer’s specifications.
Tinney says this is all part of the investment into your home.
As part of the National Hardwood Flooring Association of America, Oaks Landing Flooring follows the rules and specifications set by the organization to meet as high a standard as possible. Going forward Tinney is looking at doing more work in lake and cottage country.
Joel Kranc is an experienced and award-winning editor, writer and communications professional. With more than 26 years of experience, Joel has covered a variety of topics in the finance and B2B space. He owns and operates his own content company – Kranc Communications.