Archive for the ‘Residential Flooring’ Category

Brazilian Cherry Flooring

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Let’s clear things up immediately. Brazilian cherry flooring is not cherry wood. Most of it comes from the rainforests of Brazil, but it also grows in Peru and Mexico. While it’s mostly known as Jatoba, it can also be called courbaril or locust.

So why is it Brazilian cherry? Marketing. The gurus on Madison Avenue thought it would sound better to American ears. Take a look at it. It’s got a got a rich burgundy color.

Whatever you want to call it, here are some fun facts about Brazilian cherry flooring:

  • It ranks over 2800 on the Janka hardness test. The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a type of wood to withstand denting and wear. It’s a way to see how much force is required to embed an 11.28 mm (0.444 in) steel ball into wood up to half the ball’s diameter. Bottom line: This is a totally hard wood.
  • Aside from the burgundy shade, it can be salmon or red in color. Usually there are streaks of dark asymmetrical stripes.
  • This is not something that you want to make part of a DIY project. It’s advised that you hire a pro if you chose this type of flooring.
  • You can get it in engineered wood and solid wood. In laminate flooring there is absolutely no Brazilian cherry wood used.
  • While this is considered an endangered wood you can still purchase the material. Just make sure that it’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Their members include some of the world’s leading environmental NGOs (WWF and Greenpeace), businesses (Tetra Pak and Mondi PLC) and social organizations (the National Aboriginal Forestry Association of Canada) , as well as forest owners and managers,  processing companies and campaigners, and individuals.

When you purchase Brazilian Cherry flooring most likely it will already be prefinished. The plusses getting it ready to use are that:

  • All of the finishing processes happen before it is delivered to your home. That means you won’t have to put up with a mess on your site. Likewise, you’ll get a product that doesn’t smell like all of the chemicals used to make it ready to install.
  • Since everything has been done before it was brought to your location, the finish has already been cured. Once it’s installed, you can walk on it.
  • When we talk about the finish, we’re looking at a couple of top wear layers that have been painted with up to 7 coats of an aluminum oxide-based finish.

The only minor downside to getting a pre prefinished product is that it may get damaged when it’s being installed. However, if the Brazilian Cherry isn’t finished and something bad happens when a professional puts it in, the nick or ding can be repaired as the finishing process takes place.

Dictionary of Hardwood Flooring Terms

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

If you’re in the market for some hardwood flooring, it’s always good to know the lingo. That way when you talk to a sales rep, you’re not always asking, “…and that means what?” Here are some of the more popular terms you’ll encounter as you do your due diligence:

 

Above Grade
The surface is above the level ground.

 

Below Grade
The surface is below the level ground.

 

Better
Oak with light dark graining and small knots.

 

Clear
Expensive oak without visible knots or blemishes.

 

Cross-ply Construction
When wood plies are assembled in a criss-cross pattern. This makes the material more resistant to moisture.

 

Engineered
One of the three common types of hardwood floor (also see Longstrip Plank and Solid). Could be up to 5 thin sheets of wood that are laminated together.

 

Floating Floor Installation
When installing, the planks are not fastened to the subfloor.

 

Janka Hardness Test
It measures the resistance of a type of wood to be able to withstand denting and wear. It’s a way to see how much force is required to embed an 11.28 mm (0.444 in) steel ball into the wood up to half the ball’s diameter.

 

Longstrip Plank
One of the three common types of hardwood floor (also see Engineered and Solid). Similar to the multiple layer approach used in Engineered floors. The materials are glued on top of a center core.

 

Moldings
Applied with the purpose of covering expansion joints.

 

Number 1 Common
When oak has a few knots and a little dark grain.

 

Number 2 Common
When oak has more knots and a darker grain.

 

On-Grade
Ground level.

 

Rotary Cut
When the hardwood is cut, it shows a larger grain pattern.

 

Select
When oak has a few knots and but not too much dark grain.

 

Sliced Cut
When the hardwood is cut, it shows a more uniform grain pattern.

 

Solid
One of the three common types of hardwood floor (the others are Engineered and Longstrip Plank). It’s a solid piece of wood with a groove and tongue. Very sensitive to moisture.

 

Square Edge
When the hardwood boards join together squarely. This makes for a smooth, uniform surface.

 

Stapled Down
Staples are used to secure the hardwood to the subfloor.

 

Strip
A hardwood floor where the boards are thinner or more narrow. You’ll find this type of flooring comes in cherry, pecan, red oak, white oak, hickory, maple and white ash.

 

Tongue and Groove
When two hardwood boards are put together; one plank has a groove, the other a tongue.

 

Trim
Same as “Moldings”

 

UV Cured
In the factory, the hardwood is cured by using ultra violet lights without heat.

Select an Everlasting Hardwood for Residential Flooring

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Residential flooring has to be able to handle plenty of traffic and weight from an assortment of people and pets. Many people opt for hardwood flooring because, unlike carpeting, wood doesn’t retain bacteria, mites, fleas or dust. Hardwood flooring is good looking, durable and when sealant has been applied, cleaning with a dust or wet mop is very low maintenance.

There are numerous wood choices on the market today to use for residential flooring purposes. Oak has been a perennial favorite because it is among the hardest of woods, able to take the punishment of plenty of family traffic yet still be durable and beautiful. Color choices range from deep reds to white.

Maple wood is another durable choice featuring a hardness that resists scratches and marring. Color choices range from pale white to reddish brown.

For a flooring with a more rustic feel, pine is a less expensive choices than oak or maple. But because it is a softwood, it is not as durable as hardwood options and shows dents and scratches much more readily.

Teak has long been prized for its resistance to rot, fungi and mildew and is an excellent choice for areas in the home where dampness occurs such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Bamboo woods are gaining in popularity as an environmentally sound residential flooring choice. It’s prized for its exotic looking striped grain, and like teak, resists moisture and is a solid choice for humid climates.

One of the fastest rising stars of the residential flooring market is Ipe, also known as Brazilian Walnut, rated as the hardest and most durable wood choice available.

Ipe is an excellent hardwood residential flooring choice because liquid spills can be mopped up without soaking into the surace. Ipe is a hardwood that is decay, rot and insect resistant, making it a perfect choice for tropical and humid climates. In addition, Ipe is extremely fire resistant, an outstanding safety feature.

Color choices range from lighter golden browns to olive greens, and black and brown, although color uniformity can pose a problem. Because of its extreme hardness, installing Ipe requires special drills and saws to prevent the wood from splitting. But Ipe’s overall beauty and durability make it an outstanding residential hardwood flooring selection.