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Finding a Wood Floor Professional

River Recovered Antique Pine FlooringPart 1, Choosing an installer for heart pine wood floors.

Historic reclaimed floors represent a substantial investment that will look good for a long time if installed and maintained properly. A good installation is greatly aided by the choice of a good installer. Installers range from those with little concern for quality, to the reliable and experienced, and finally an elite few have a reputation that commands a premium.

Here are a few hints toward finding an installer for your reclaimed wood floor; however, there are no hard and fast rules.
• Talk to people you know who have had good experience with their wood floors.
• Find out if questions asked after the installation received the same attention once the bill had been paid. Was service work done promptly?
• References from repeat customers are especially helpful. Most accomplished craftspeople are proud of their work and feel good about providing references.
• Websites usually show pictures of past work, and general company information.
• Schedule ahead of time. Many of the best firms are booked in advance.

Moisture issues are the cause of the majority of wood flooring complaints. Discuss the steps that will be taken to achieve the proper moisture content in the wood flooring with the installer. Highly resinous antique heart pine wood should be checked with a pin type moisture meter. Experience with local conditions helps determine the proper moisture level. Vapor retarders or barriers are a necessary part of most reclaimed wood flooring installations. Which product or system do they plan to use?

It is best to agree on your expectations of the final product prior to your purchase. This can include reviewing antique lumber grades for pine floors, species characteristics, installation standards (NWFA), and the time required to complete the work. A few detailed topics such as the proper nail schedule and checking the flatness of the sub floor are appropriate for discussion at this time.

Knowledgeable professionals are happy to spend the time to communicate with you in advance to assure your satisfaction. Written agreements can also help avoid misunderstandings. And don’t forget, workers should be insured to protect you from the potential liability of a medical claim.

Most good installers check the room lay out prior to starting the installation and periodically check that the floor is running true during the installation. Wood floor installation is a profession that offers easy entry for new workers in most localities. Experienced workers have had the chance to gain the knowledge needed for a proper installation.

You will not have all of the technical expertise to make the decisions needed for a good installation. Care in choosing the correct installer can help achieve the goal of long-term satisfaction. Contact Goodwin Heart Pine if we can answer questions about antique wood flooring.

Part 2, Wood Floor Finishers will follow

Antique Wood Flooring in Georgia

Goodwin end grain heart pine floor tiles at the Chihuly Museum in TampaCharleston One Source’s Pat Devaney met me at beautiful Glendalough Manor near Atlanta to see builder, Gary Alford last Thursday. After looking through Goodwin’s album Gary and his client chose end-grain tiles and vertical grain Antique Heart Pine wood flooring for a home they are building nearby. When we offered to pre-square and groove the pieces to help create a herringbone pattern Gary said, “Wood work is what God put me here on Earth to do.” Can’t wait to see the floors when finished.

On to my next stop…

The Yellow Bluff Company south of Savannah was lovely when I arrived late the next day at sundown to deliver a 1901 photograph of heart pine logs being rafted down river. The frame was of Goodwin’s Antique Heart Cypress to hang in the clubhouse that has Midnight Heart Pine and Legacy Vertical Antique Heart Pine flooring and stair parts.

Goodwin Midnight Heart Pine Antique Reclaimed Wood Office Furniture

I plan to visit St. Petersburg, Florida and Key West to deliver more wood flooring soon. Call if you want to come along to see beautiful antique river-recovered and reclaimed wood and meet great crafts people.

Antique Wood Flooring Myths

Download "Kiln Drying 101" by by Andrew St. James ARS PhD, COO Goodwin Heart Pine and Director of the company dry kiln.1) Some people think that antique wood does not shrink and swell anymore so it does not need to be brought to the proper moisture content on the jobsite.  On the contrary wood science and field experience both indicate antique wood shrinks or swells when the moisture content changes.  You need to install the wood at a moisture content that is close to the value that will be maintained while the building is in use.

2) We often hear the remark that old wood does not need to be kiln dried.  There are two issues here.  First, most air dried wood has a moisture content too high for interior use.  The second is the possible presence of living organisms such as powder post beetles, termites, or mold.  Kiln drying to 140 F for several hours eliminates live insect pests in the wood.  Proper kiln drying also eliminates living mold and brings the moisture content down to a level that wood will not support mold growth.  Click on the link to read more information about kiln drying in our article in WoodSource KilnDrying101 or click the thumbnail above.

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