Allen Canter Contracting affords Hawaii the most experienced wood flooring professional in the state. Mr. Canter is certified by the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) and has been a seasoned, licensed flooring contractor in Hawaii since 1979. He began his career as an apprentice in San Francisco learning installation, sanding and finishing from a 50-year veteran. He was also the top vinyl and carpet installer at Abbey Carpet San Francisco until moving to the Big Island in 1979.


According to Canter, sanding and refinishing in San Francisco were huge challenges because of wood deterioration in the city’s aging buildings. The replacement of boards because of termite damage became a daily activity and allowed him to become quite proficient in his craft. Here in Hawaii, the Northeast quadrant of our single wall homes has the most problems due to moisture and termites. “We can change a lot of boards quickly,” he said.


Older homes have beautiful Douglas Fir and Oak floors under the carpet — perfect for sanding and refinish. Dust abatement is key to a perfect job. “I have spent a lot of money on proper vacuum systems to ensure my customers 96 percent dust abatement,” Canter explained. “There is no such thing as dustless — 96 percent dust abatement is excellent and we achieve that.”


On new installations, moisture in sub-floors is a constant problem. Really crazy situations can arise because people fail to adhere to industry manufacturer standards, such as Calcium Chloride testing on concrete. Metered moisture readings are all required in wood and laminate installation as well. Records should also be given to the customer and supplier or your warranty is void.

There is a vast variety of different testing that is called for by manufacturers and the NWFA — recognized as a ruling authority in the wood flooring business worldwide. The NWFA establishes guidelines and instructions for proper methods, installation and maintenance. Canter serves on the Board of Directors for the Educational and Testing Committee and the board for Certified Sales Counselors (SSC) of the NWFA.

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