Fun and Business for USGBC

The annual Christmas party for the US Green Building Council, Heart of Florida Chapter, held on Sunday December 4 at Goodwin Heart Pine Company was fun for all, and some important business was attended to. The USGBC, Heart of Florida Chapter, announced the new officers for 2012, as follows:
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Green Halloween at Santa Fe College

We Love Green Halloween, thanks to all the generous participants!
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Antique Pine Flooring Scrap Works of HeART!

Antique pine flooring scrap makes a work of heART in the right hands. Here is Goodwin’s former cabinet maker, Rick Bennett, with a gift he made for our Sales Manager, Charlotte.

Wood Floors Over Concrete

There are many questions about gluing down solid wood flooring to concrete.  The traditional industry standards for wood floor installation limited the direct glue down of solid wood flooring over concrete to short pieces or parquet patterns.  A well made engineered wood floor looks like a solid floor but avoids some of the installation difficulties.  The backer of the engineered flooring helps reduce the movement with moisture changes.  For many applications this is the best solution.

With the advent of elastomeric adhesives gluing solid flooring directly to concrete has become more common.  NOFMA produced a technical publication outlining recommended procedures for installing solid wood floors to concrete about five years ago.  Despite the inherently higher risks of gluing solid to concrete it has become an accepted practice for many people in the industry.  This installation method takes more effort to manage the risks.  Moisture issues are the primary concern.  Test to see if the concrete is dry enough.  The ASTM F2170-2 test is a widely accepted procedure which measures the relative humidity inside the concrete.  It is often prudent to apply a sealer to the concrete just in case moisture is introduced into the concrete at a later time. Then if the concrete gets wet in the future a trowel on moisture cured urethane vapor barrier or penetrating sealer such as Bone Dry which was applied prior to installing the floor can keep the water away from the wood. An alternative to a glue installation is to install a plywood subfloor over the concrete then nail down the flooring.

Submerged Logs

Most of the River Recovered® pine we use to produce heart pine flooring has been underwater for a century or more.  Questions about this antique wood cover the entire spectrum from concerns that the wood will shrink extra after it is installed to the thought that long exposure to water might keep the wood from moving at all.  Actually the answer lies in the middle of this range. To start with, living trees have a high water content.  Wood in its natural condition performs well when it is surrounded with water.  The basic structure of the heart wood with high resin content changes very little during the long stay at the river bottom. The resin helps protect the heartwood underwater just as it protects the wood in a living tree. The desirable properties of this antique wood come from the slow growing conditions. Original growth forests produced long leaf pine of a high density with high resin content. These characteristics are not changed while the wood is submerged. Carefully kiln dried and matched in moisture content at the job site, this antique wood will give excellent performance as flooring.

Subfloor Preparation Tips

Starting with a flat subfloor is essential for a good wood floor installation.  Older homes often have areas where the subfloor is irregular. Refasten any areas of loose subflooring.  It is sometimes advisable to renail the entire subfloor using ring or screw shank nails. Renailing can also be needed in new construction where the subfloor was left exposed to the weather. Sand any small high spots flat. Small depressions can be filled with layers of thin plywood.  Cut the plywood to progressively smaller pieces (like a contour map) then feather the edges by sanding.  Plaster based floor patch is not recommended. If the floor joists have sagged in an old house removing the subfloor and sistering new joists to the old ones can be a good solution. Adding stiffness to the framing is better than reducing stiffness. If you are not doing a large area and the plywood is sound you can use 2x4s turned on edge. Cut them to follow the floor contours and create a flat top.  We used to use a metal rail system and a router to trim the tops of the 2x4s to a flat plane.  Install the floor as you would over a sleeper system.  This is still a lot of work

Plywood vs. OSB

The relative merits of using OSB or plywood for the subfloor under a wood floor has been a hot topic.  The issue is the nail holding ability of the OSB especially if the moisture content of the subfloor has been high.  Many experienced professionals prefer plywood subfloors.  The consensus is that staples hold better than cleats if you are faced with a nail down installation over OSB.  Here are two links where subfloor materials are discussed.

http://hardwoodfloorsmag.com/forum/topic9-loose-squeeky-crackling-popping-floors.aspx

http://hardwoodfloorsmag.com/forum/topic167-understanding-osb.aspx

Antique Cypress Floor Inlay

Once again creative work by Matt Marwick of Precision Floorcrafters in Florida has garnered him national recognition.  The National Wood Flooring Association gave a Floor of the Year award for Matt’s innovative design at the national convention this year. The eye catching design features large end cuts from an antique cypress log as the centerpiece.

Now featured on the cover of the Hardwood Floors magazine for June /July 2011