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Free CEU Classes Update

Be sure to subscribe to our Antique Wood News RSS feed to keep up with the Goodwin Heart Pine Free CEU Course offerings for Building professionals. Feed back on the classes has been phenomenal, below an excerpt from the Heart Pine Blog

A Belated Note on November’s Workshop 

antique wood floor

antique wood floor

Jan 16, 2012

A note from Jo-Anne Peck, Suzanne Prieur and Steve Quillian
A belated thank you for your participation in November’s Historic Homes Workshop. Due to your enthusiasm and hard work, we had a nice turnout and a successful event. We are very impressed with you folks in St. Pete! Your neighborhood activism and your historic preservation advocacy are models for historic cities across the U.S.

Please visit http://oldhouseworkshop.com/ to view photos of this event and our earlier workshop in Tampa.

We are proud to have had the opportunity to have worked with you and look forward to together, helping preserve Tampa Bay’s historic fabric.

Please let us know of any suggestions that you might have to improve future workshops.

Antique Wood Floors Over Radiant Heat

Antique wood floor

Decorative feature in antique wood floor

We are occasionally asked if antique pine flooring is a good choice over radiant heat.  Over the years our customers have had many successful installations over this heating system.  There are general guidelines such as turning on the heating system in advance for several days to make sure that there is no excess moisture in the subfloor.  Also the temperature of the subfloor should not go above 85 degrees F. Wider boards are prone to show larger gaps in the heating season.  Vertical grain flooring moves less than select grain flooring.  As with any installation starting with properly milled flooring and exercising care to get the moisture content of the flooring (and the job site) correct go a long way towards getting an antique heart pine floor which looks good for years and years.  The NWFA has also developed guidelines for installing wood floors over radiant heat see Installation Guidelines, Appendix H.

Natural Color Changes

The rich color of old heart pine is one of the main benefits of an antique wood floor. A discussion of heart pine may help you to get the look you want. Several species of wood change color significantly as they age. Lumber from freshly sawn antique heart pine logs change from light yellows to deep orange-red browns as time passes. The color change is especially noticeable in longleaf heart pine of high resin content. Other species such as American black cherry, Jatoba (sold as Brazilian cherry) and purple heart also show a significant color transformation. Oxidation of components of the wood drives the change in color and it is accelerated by ultraviolet light. Covering part of a board with aluminum foil and leaving it in strong sun light for a day or two can cause enough darkening to be seen. For a new wood floor much of the change in color takes place in the first few weeks. However the richer tones continue to emerge for several months. Area rugs placed on the floor before this time will keep the areas under the rugs from darkening. Heart wood typically changes color significantly more than sap wood. The color of freshly sawn longleaf pine River recovered® logs is lighter while heart pine reclaimed from buildings is usually darker. Reclaimed heart pine can also contain some yellow portions that are associated with high resin concentrations. The color deepens to the same range in wood from either source. The degree of color change in a new floor is strongly affected by finish that is applied. The type of finish should be considered as a part of the decision to determine the final color of the floor.

Knowing what to expect can help you flooring installation go more smoothly, and heart pine will make your heart sing.

Antique Wood Floor, Concrete, and Water

In the antique wood floor industry…

We often hear the comment that reclaimed wood flooring never needs acclimation. Unfortunately this is not the case. The high resin content of antique Longleaf pine diminishes the width changes driven by moisture fluctuations but does not eliminate them. Moisture concerns need to be addressed when using antique heart pine flooring just as with other wooden floors especially if the subfloor is concrete.Antique Wood Floor

Let’s start by listing a few observations
-Antique Wood floors, or any wood floors, are often installed over concrete subfloors.
-The majority of wood floor complaints are moisture related.
-Untreated concrete readily absorbs, conducts, and emits water.
The combination of concrete and wood flooring calls for planning before the installation begins to avoid problems during the lifetime of the floor.

One of the first questions might be ’is the concrete dry enough now?’ Moisture meters or testing water vapor emission from the surface of the concrete can indicate if the concrete is wet. In some cases these tests are not reliable indicators of conditions that will lead to a successful antique wood floor installation. Devices that measure the interior relative humidity within the concrete have been used in Europe for some time and are now often used here. If the moisture level is too high consider installing a vapor barrier or a penetrating sealer designed for use under antique wood flooring.

Concrete that is dry now may be exposed to water later. On-grade concrete can absorb water if exterior surface water accumulates or if the soil moisture levels increase. Once the water is introduced into concrete it travels to affect adjacent areas. If a vapor barrier was not installed the moisture can cause problems with an existing antique wood floor installation.

Non absorbing cushion such as closed cell foam is usually used under floating floors. Using porous padding material under floating floors introduces the possibility of retaining moisture if excess water is temporarily present.

Leaks from plumbing, appliances, roofs, or other building sources can result in wet wood floors. The National Wood Flooring Association suggests removing the water and drying a flooded floor promptly. For more details refer to the NWFA publication C200, ‘Problems Causes and Cures’. Some floors cannot be saved. If the concrete under the antique wood floor has been wet it is important to verify that it has dried out before replacing a floor.  Best wishes for a great longterm antique wood floor. Call if we can help with further questions.

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Maintaining Your Antique Wood Floor

A wood floor is one of the best investments you have ever made. With proper care, it will stay beautiful and last a lifetime. How do you keep your floors as beautiful as the day they were installed or refinished? Follow these easy steps and you will have beautiful floors that always look their best. Here are some basic rules that apply to all types of finishes. With these simple steps your heart pine floor will give you lasting beauty and enjoyment.

Keep out the dirt

Dirt and grit are any floor’s enemy, whether carpet, tile, or hardwoods.

  • Use dirt-trapping mats outside all exterior doors.
  • Throw rugs or small carpets just inside entrances are also helpful.
  • Sweep, vacuum with a brush attachment, or mop regularly as needed.
  • Do not use a household dust treatment. Your floor may become slick or it may dull the finish.

Prevent damage

Avoid scratches or dents in the floor.

  • Use felt or fabric-faced glides on the legs of your furniture.
  • If you need casters, non-marking rubber is the best type.
  • Keep high heels in good repair and replace protective shoe heel caps, exposed steel support rods in high heels will dent even concrete.
  • Move area rugs occasionally and shade large west-facing windows.

When you clean

  • Cleaning is different depending on the finish you choose.
  • Do not use wax over a surface finish (water-borne or moisture-cure).
  • You can damp mop a surface finished floor with a minimum of water or cleaner.
  • Finish manufacturers often have a cleaner that is made for their finish.
  • Wipe up spills quickly. Standing liquid can harm the wood and finish.
  • Don’t wax too much. It can decrease luster. Buff your floor before you rewax and see if that returns the luster.