I have been in the design and construction business since 1974. Over the years the quality and types of products for floor covering have changed. I am always exploring products that are developed to meet higher environmental standards and wise use of energy. I am involved in projects with architects, contractors and clients to design and complete new homes and large scale remodels. One of the things I am charged with is the selection of materials, not only are the materials important for their aesthetics, they are important for their performance and technical aspects.
The category I am going to talk about in this post is floor covering specifically wood flooring. On several of my projects in the last ten years I have used Carlisle Wide Plank Flooring. They have been in the wood flooring business for fifty years. They are concerned about the environment and the quality of their product. They hand select trees for their characteristics as opposed to the clear cut method. One of the things I like is the factory finishes. As the project develops and the design principles are defined we can begin to select the various wood species that may be used. Today there are many species available, some are different kinds of pine, red oak and white oak, ash, hickory, maple and more. There are also the reclaimed woods, which can be very beautiful. These species of wood floors come in varied widths of planks with options for special finishes also. The options are brushed, footworn, timeworn and hand scraped. These treatments can give the look of a reclaimed wood but with out the rustic aspects,like nail holes.
Hickory flooring, 10″ wide plank with a smooth Heirloom factory finish.
Heart Pine, 9″ wide plank with a smooth #8005 satin natural finish.
I like the ease of working with a factory finish, I select a color from the samples or have a custom sample produced. I can look at it with other materials on the project. When we finalize the selection it is returned to the company and finished to match the sample. Very easy and usually right on.
Not every project is right for solid hardwood flooring. If an in- floor radiant heating system is being used it is better to go with an engineered wood product, the R value is better and a floating installation is also better. There are many companies out there that produce engineered wood flooring and floating floor systems which are preferred for use with radiant heating systems. One of the company’s I like is Torleys they use a cork backing with some of their floors. Engineered means the wood floor is manufactured with different layers. A top layer of a wood veneer which is adhered to another layer. In some cases installation is left floating, meaning not glued or nailed down. The cork backing is antibacterial, mold and mildew resistant and quiet. The mold and mildew resistance is good for a concrete sub floor installation. The cork is also a good backing for a household where there are allergy concerns. Just about any wood species can be made into a veneer and factory finished the same as a solid wood product.
Engineered wood flooring, Hickory random width, floating installation over in-floor heat system.
This is a very small sampling of the various types of wood flooring options I have used in projects over the years. Many projects we are still using locally sourced wood flooring that is milled in the Ely area. These products would be installed, sanded and finished on site. We have some very good sources here in the area, options for species are wide open they also can be pre-finished before installation.