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Everyday Eye-Candy: Colors & Textures of Our Healthy/Green Home Remodel

by Corey at Celebrate Green Blog

On most days, I’ve been enjoying the process of witnessing our vision for a healthy & sustainable home come to life.

We knew the unfolding would be slow (in fact, we’re on the “5-year plan”) – but there are n-o-w projects in the works taking up a great deal of time, energy and attention.

It can be hard (so hard!) to stop and smell the proverbial roses.

Still, in the midst of researching the ins and outs of low-flow toilets, sustainable flooring and no-VOC paints, on occasion I pause (these photos are proof that I DO pause!) just long enough to appreciate the moment. Yes, home renovation is stressful. Yes, Murphy’s Law lives (oy, does it!). Yes, everything – and I mean everything – takes longer to finish and costs more than planned. But I am lucky to be on this journey. This I know.

But what if there are no rose gardens to be found? How to cherish the now?

With an iPhone, of course. Or more specifically, the handy-dandy camera on my iPhone.

In the hardware store admiring the rainbow of paint chips and my adorable decor adviser (although something tells me I should question her recommendation to paint the living-room bubble-gum pink).

How much do I love our river-recovered and reclaimed Goodwin Heart Pine floors? Let me count thee ways! From the floor’s incredible spectrum of colors (white to purple!), to the old nail holes and historical character, to the swirls and whirls reminding me of the water from whence the planks came – even after the kitchen and bathrooms are remodeled, I have no doubt our floors will remain the crown jewel of our home. (This is a shot of the floors at the top of the staircase, just after installation, before hand-scraping or finish had been applied.)

Some girls drool in front of the windows at Neiman Marcus. I bliss-out in front of the Marmoleum display at Green Depot. To each their own. I just love the walls of colorful, natural, innovative materials.

I may be a tree-hugger, but I’m not normally drawn to “Earth-tones” – AKA browns. Yet, here in Green Depot‘s wood flooring section, there’s beauty to be found in the samples’ textures and tones.

Modern art? Or wool carpet sample display. I’d say: both!
What inspires your everyday eye-candy? Share your pics on our Facebook page!
Follow Corey’s journey to updating her home with the health of the planet, her family and wallet in mind. Stay tuned for more of Corey’s Green Home Project. (Missed previous posts? Click here.)

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®.

Choosing a Wood Floor Professional – 2

Legacy Select Antique Pine Wooden FloorPart 2 – Hints for finding a finisher for heart pine wooden floors
Many of the suggestions for finding an installer in the first section also apply to looking for a floor finisher for heart pine so you might want to look at Part 1.
A directory of professionally certified finishers such as NWFACP’s list at http://www.nwfacp.org is one place to look for a person or company to sand your wood floor. Websites will often list certifications for the individual or company and classes they have taken. Membership in a wood flooring association can also be a positive sign. A certain minimum amount of work experience is highly desirable, but this is not a guarantee of quality work. Another indication of a commitment to quality work is attending wood floor industry schools. Also the sanding equipment should be professional grade. This does not mean that it has to be new but well maintained high quality equipment is important for a top quality job.
A discussion of the look you want to achieve helps choose between the many types of floor finish available for wood floors. Natural oils, hard wax oils, oil modified polyurethane, water borne acrylic or poly, and Tung oil (fortified or not) are some examples of what is available. Talk to your finisher about the properties of the different products such as –
—overall look,
—ambering,
—gloss levels,
—drying times (walk on floor),
—durability,
—odor,
—time for full cure (replace area rugs),
—VOCs,
—film build,
—maintenance requirements, and
—environmental concerns.
Additional information is available on the internet at http://www.woodfloors.org/WoodFloorFinishes.aspx and other sites. The brand of finish should be designed for use on wood floors for durability and so that film forming products flow to yield a smooth surface. Saving money by using low quality finish can significantly reduce the life of the floor. Professional products cost more but usually only add a small percentage to the overall price. Discuss the finisher’s experience with sanding antique wood floors. River Recovered® heart pine sands slightly differently than most other woods. Some finishes darken antique heart pine floors as they are applied and continue to enhance the natural color change in the wood as it ages. Other products maintain a much lighter shade. Certain species have different reactions with different finishes so it is best to use a combination of flooring and finish products that your floor finisher has experience with.
Dust control and possible paint touch ups on the baseboard are other topics to discuss in advance. The temperature in the room, relative humidity, and direct sun light in the areas where the finish is applied will be of concern to the workers. Commissioning a new flooring project can be stressful, but finding a good team to install and finish your floor makes the process easier and gives better results.

Reclaimed Wood Floor of the Year 2011

River Recovered Antique Heart Pine and Cypress


Goodwin Heart Pine floors win National Wood Floor Association Reclaimed Wood Floor of the Year again!

The millenium giant River Recovered Heart Cypress 53″ diameter log rounds were inset into a field of River Recovered Antique Pine floors and surrounded by Curly Heart Pine trim by Matt Marwick, Precision Floor Crafters, nearby Goodwin Heart Pine.

Matt’s passion for the sinker pine and cypress and his craftsmanship are a perfect match for Goodwin. These antique wooden floors are a tribute to the loggers that cut this tree down over 100 years ago.

Loggers from 1904 Show the Girth of a Giant Cypress

Choosing a wood floor professional -2

Part 2 – Hints for finding a finisher for heart pine wooden floors

Many of the suggestions for finding an installer in the first section also apply to looking for a floor finisher for heart pine so you might want to look at Part 1.
A directory of professionally certified finishers such as NWFACP’s list at http://www.nwfacp.org is one place to look for a person or company to sand your wood floor. Websites will often list certifications for the individual or company and classes they have taken. Membership in a wood flooring association can also be a positive sign. A certain minimum amount of work experience is highly desirable, but this is not a guarantee of quality work. Another indication of a commitment to quality work is attending wood floor industry schools. Also the sanding equipment should be professional grade. This does not mean that it has to be new but well maintained high quality equipment is important for a top quality job.
A discussion of the look you want to achieve helps choose between the many types of floor finish available for wood floors. Natural oils, hard wax oils, oil modified polyurethane, water borne acrylic or poly, and Tung oil (fortified or not) are some examples of what is available. Talk to your finisher about the properties of the different products such as –
—overall look,
—ambering,
—gloss levels,
—drying times (walk on floor),
—durability,
—odor,
—time for full cure (replace area rugs),
—VOCs,
—film build,
—maintenance requirements, and
—environmental concerns.
Additional information is available on the internet at http://www.woodfloors.org/WoodFloorFinishes.aspx and other sites. The brand of finish should be designed for use on wood floors for durability and so that film forming products flow to yield a smooth surface. Saving money by using low quality finish can significantly reduce the life of the floor. Professional products cost more but usually only add a small percentage to the overall price. Discuss the finisher’s experience with sanding antique wood floors. River Recovered® heart pine sands slightly differently than most other woods. Some finishes darken antique heart pine floors as they are applied and continue to enhance the natural color change in the wood as it ages. Other products maintain a much lighter shade. Certain species have different reactions with different finishes so it is best to use a combination of flooring and finish products that your floor finisher has experience with.
Dust control and possible paint touch ups on the baseboard are other topics to discuss in advance. The temperature in the room, relative humidity, and direct sun light in the areas where the finish is applied will be of concern to the workers. Commissioning a new flooring project can be stressful, but finding a good team to install and finish your floor makes the process easier and gives better results.

Heartwood vs. Sapwood

Words can have a variety of meanings when used by different people.  Wood science textbooks tend to agree on the definition of the words heartwood and sapwood.  Trees transform sapwood into heartwood by depositing additional chemicals in the wood.  The color and durability of heartwood make it preferred for many products.

In informal speech ‘heart pine’ (or sometimes ‘heart of pine’) is often used to describe wood products containing the heartwood of southern yellow pine trees. Traditional heart pine floors were all heartwood. Now many products labeled heart pine actually contain a mixture of heartwood and sapwood.   As the color of the wood matures the heartwood develops a much deeper color whereas the sapwood remains yellow.  The contrast increases between the heartwood and sapwood as the wood ages.  According to the Southern Forest Products Association  website ” there is no set ratio of heartwood vs. sapwood in the grading rules that defines heart pine lumber.”   The site goes on    “Of the 10 Southern Pine species, longleaf pine is most commonly referred to in the trade as “heart pine”. It is generally characterized by tighter growth rings, higher density and greater proportion of heartwood. Longleaf lumber is so prized it merits a special quality classification within the grading rules.”

The superior qualities of longleaf pine heartwood enhance both the appearance and durability of products made from this wood.

Love Reclaimed Wood Floors and Friends

Last night I was visiting my girlfriend, Deborah, to measure for some more reclaimed wood floor that she wants for an addition.

She looked down at her Goodwin engineered heart pine floors in her office and said, “I just love looking at this wood. I never get tired of it seeing it. It’s so beautiful.”

Thanks, Deborah. That’s why we put our heart in everything we do. We love reclaimed wood floors and happy clients… they can become friends!