One of the many myths about wood floors is that they are difficult to clean and maintain. That may have been true long ago, but now, with the high quality finishes available, wood floor upkeep is quite simple. In fact, it is no more laborious than cleaning any other type of flooring surface. Many people […]
Pros and Cons of Choosing This Rustic Option
Goodwin receives numerous requests for distressed flooring. We achieve this more “rustic” look by using various staining, scraping and contouring techniques on our already beautifully aged antique woods. Some companies scrape newer woods to achieve this look, but Goodwin guarantees all of our solid flooring is at least 200-500 years old.
Goodwin’s Chief Operating Officer, Andrew St. James, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a distressed wood floor:
- A well-made, precisely handcrafted distressed wood floor adds ambiance to any room of the house.
- Distressed products are handcrafted to achieve a variety of interesting looks.
- A lower grade of wood can be used, translating to some cost savings.
- Genuine antique products (such as the wood used in Goodwin’s distressed flooring) possess a quality that is just not obtainable with newer wood products.
- Goodwin Company, is a family owned and operated business specializing in the finest of reclaimed and sustainable hardwood flooring .
Since 1976, Goodwin Company has earned the reputation as an industry leader in manufacturing luxury solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring utilizing reclaimed wood, including river reclaimed antique heart pine and original-growth heart cypress. Goodwin’s clients include homeowners and businesses throughout the country. Building professional; designers, architects and builders rely on Goodwin Company for unsurpassed quality and distinctive design.
You can expect your wood floor to change over time. Our Production Manager, Miguel Scannone, is happy to explain:
Almost every hardwood floor changes color over time. Most floors become a darker shade, caused by exposure to direct or indirect sunlight. The changes seen in the color of the floor happens more quickly during the first weeks after installation. This color change depends on the amount of exposure to sunlight, but tends to slow down while still continuing to change for about two years.
If you place furniture and rugs on a new or recently sanded hardwood floor, those areas shielded from the sunlight are going to have a different intensity in color than the rest of the floor. If you then arrange your living room in another layout after a few months, there will be apparent differences in color.
Modern finishes can provide protection that allows your floor to last for many years in great shape. There are also finishes that can, to some extent, block the effects of the sunlight, slowing down the rate of change, but most hardwood floors will develop intense, deep, and beautiful tones as the floor ages. If you follow the finish manufacturer’s guidelines for use, care, and cleaning of the surface; while making sure to repair and refinish the floor when necessary; your hardwood floor is going to look better and better every year.
The following tips have links if you want more detail. Or call and talk with our in-house technical expert, Andrew St. James.
1. Help in choosing a reclaimed wood floor…
Begin with a few choices:
· Do you want a unique floor with a story?
· Light, medium or dark? Consistent or color variation?
· Pin stripes, bold arches or subtle graining?
· Single or random widths?
· ‘Character’, pristine or in between?
· How about knots or do you want ‘clear’?
Maybe you just want to see a few of these characteristics in River Recovered Heart Pine… Legacy Heart Pine… River Recovered Heart Cypress… or Sustainably Harvested Woods.
Antique Heart Pine is the most frequently specified reclaimed wood.’Virgin growth’ heart pine, the ‘wood that built America’. is all heartwood, very hard and comes in many grades.
Some of the more commonly available reclaimed woods include: American Chestnut, Heart Cypress, Douglas Fir, Eastern White Pine and Oak.
2. Which finish should you use on reclaimed wood?
The finish you choose can dramatically change the look of your floor. While most reclaimed wood is sanded and finished smooth to the touch, you can have a distressed floor. Distressing simulates old, old floors or barn siding and is usually done on milling machines, though it can also be done onsite by craftsmen.
How you want to maintain your wood floor determines if you want polyurethane that requires a professional to repair or if you want an oil finish that you can refresh when scratches occur. The oil finishes are very natural and low sheen; however, they can be made to have degrees of shine. They are especially appropriate for heavy traffic and come with easy maintenance products.
3. Would solid or engineered reclaimed wood work best for you?
Engineered wood is a growing market. Goodwin began engineered flooring to help conserve the rare River Recovered® wood. While solid wood floor may remain the ‘gold standard’ for those who can accommodate its greater demands, now you can have ‘USA made’ engineered flooring that looks and lasts like solid and is easier to fit into the construction cycle.
4. Not all reclaimed wood is equal…
To consistently manufacture a well made reclaimed wood floor that is properly kiln-dried, precisely milled, graded to established standards and backed by in-house technical expertise requires a considerable investment. Reclaimed wood can be a confusing niche. You may want to know some terminology when specifying antique heart pine. Building design professionals may want our free continuing education course on Architectural and Design Uses of Reclaimed Wood.
5. Installation tips to help your reclaimed wood perform well for a lifetime and beyond.
Once you have chosen your floor, what about installation? How to select a wood floor professional, even tips on existing subfloors are on our blogs. It is possible to get any stair parts or millwork in the same grade as your floor.
Engineered floor installation, when glued to concrete, needs to have an elastomeric type adhesive made for engineered wood. We generally suggest a vapor retarder over the slab. Even if the slab is dry now a seal coat ensures against future leaks or storms.
Just a few of the important tips to help ensure your solid wood floor installation:
1. The sub floor needs to be flat and level to within 3/16” over 10 feet for nail down or flat within 1/8” over 6 feet for glue down installation.
2. The moisture content of the wood floor and the sub-floor need to match the expected indoor temperature and relative humidity once the building has been occupied. Be sure to use a pin type moisture meter on dense reclaimed wood.
3. Enough ‘cleats’ for nail down jobs will help prevent the floor from moving too much. You should nail a 6” inch wide floor every 4”, an 8” inch wide floor every 3”, etc.
Call 800-336-3118 anytime we can help with your reclaimed wood questions.
There can be confusion between sapwood and heartwood that has not darkened in antique wood. As living trees mature they develop heartwood around the center. Pine heartwood has more resin than the surrounding sapwood. As mentioned in an earlier posting the heartwood darkens over time. In large antique pine beams it is common for this process to progress through out the entire piece. Occasionally however we find beams that still have yellow portions within the heart. These areas are called yellow heart. The picture has a board that was just surfaced showing areas that have changed color and areas that have not. The question is sometimes asked if these yellow sections are sapwood, but they are not. The sapwood is on the outside of the heart wood. If you look at the curvature of rings and the yellow has heartwood outside of it the yellow part is heartwood. Over time the light heartwood sections will darken and blend in.
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