Reclaimed Wood Floors, 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 heart pine wooden flooring just as with other wooden floors especially if the subfloor is concrete.
Let’s start by listing a few observations
-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 wood flooring 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 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 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 can not be saved. If the concrete under the floor has been wet it is important to verify that it has dried out before replacing a floor.

Love Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed Heart Cypress Log Wood Slabs

Norm and George Looking at 1,700 Year Old Heart Cypress Log

I was looking across the breakfast table at George Goodwin this morning in his faded pink New Yankee Workshop sweat shirt that must be 25 years old by now and couldn’t help but smile. It’s great to have so many wonderful memories; sawing up that big ‘ol river recovered heart cypress log with Norm watching, cleaning reclaimed wood floors for the filming and then visiting the same client’s years later and hearing them say ‘I love, love, love my antique flooring from Goodwin. We are so very lucky.

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!

Reclaimed Wood Flooring Road Trip to Key West

I went on a wood flooring road trip to beautiful Key West, Florida (about 500 miles from Micanopy, FL) to deliver reclaimed wood flooring last week. It was heart warming to reconnect with old friends.

First I wanted to see in person that a new client liked the grade of River Recovered Antique Pine we made to his custom specs. Rudy Molinet said,

“I bought my floor from your company over the other companies I talked with because your Charlotte cared more about what I wanted than just selling me a floor.”

Everyone loves Charlotte, but she is not on the web site (yet) because she is pretty camera shy. Here is Charlotte on the right, hard at work at Goodwin Heart Pine.

Heard similar sentiments as I visited with many longtime colleagues while in Key West: “Charlotte is absolutely wonderful… She always follows up… You can count on her…” When a builder said, “George is on the website, but you can’t see Charlotte”, I was reminded that she’s shy about having her photo taken. She has beautiful prematurely white hair and is quite lovely, yet you usually get her profile when taking a picture. Charlotte is in the yellow t-shirt on the right hand side of this photo of our neighbor at the Goodwin office in her clown suit. Charlotte’s not the clown… she’s the other person!

Rudy Moliet and Ales Bursa at the installation of Goodwin River Recovered Pine wood flooring.

See Rudy Molinet with his builder, Ales Bursa. You can buy Key West propery from Rudy at Marquis Property Realty. Thanks so much Rudy for loving beautiful reclaimed wood floors.

Why I love antique wood floors…

I had fun yesterday driving through historic neighborhoods in Orlando with Sheila Ratliff, Classical Renovations. You could Jonni Vermeulen's River Recovered Antique Heart Pine flooring with a dark walnut stain.literally see her 30-year career from house to house. For years Sheila has driven her truck to Goodwin and taken back all the antique heart pine flooring and other wood she could carry to restore historic old homes from the 1800s and on and I finally go to see them! Sheila agreed to write about ‘green renovations’ so more about her soon.

Then I called up a client who bought antique heart pine flooring two years ago. Jonni Vermeulen sounded surprised to hear from me but said, “I love, love, love my floors.” You can see in the photo how she stained her River Recovered Antique Heart Pine dark to reduce the red tones but still have the dense hard antique wood floors’ beauty and grain.

For years I’ve talked mostly on the phone with our reclaimed wood floor owners. Now I’m on a mission to see more client’s homes and reclaimed wood floors. Love to hear from you.

Carol Goodwin

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