Reclaimed Wood Floors
Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring Is Amazing If Done Correctly
These reclaimed wide plank hardwood floors are mixed red and white oak hardwood planks, milled in Carbondale, Colorado. Artistic Floors by Design installed, weathered, and finished the flooring. The Backcountry (Highlands Ranch) homeowner loves the look and feel of the texture under her feet. Each board brings a uniqueness to her custom home.
Wide plank hardwood flooring options are available in a myriad of wood species, textures, species, and finish options. Wide plank wood flooring is a great choice as long as the client is informed of the inherent characteristics and the installation, sanding, and finishing are completed by a NWFA Certified Craftsman. By specifying appropriate materials, communicating effectively with the end user, and contracting with a Certified Craftsman, your investment will remain sound and secure for generations to come.
First, Lets talk about some of the inherent characteristics of wide plank flooring. As a flooring product, the wider the plank the more communication there needs to be between the end user and the specifying organization. Sometimes, architects and designers specify wide plank floors without understanding the inherent characteristics of such products and the necessary technical implications. For instance, several of our clients were encouraged by architects and designers to install wide plank walnut floors (and don’t get me wrong they are beautiful). However, walnut is considerably softer than other hardwoods. When you have lifestyles that include entertaining hundreds of people at your home, numerous times per year, or you have two large golden retrievers that like to play fetch in the house, the beautiful wide plank walnut floors quickly don’t look so beautiful. At Artistic Floors by Design, we match your design ideas with your lifestyle so your environment remains beautiful through your day to day activities.
Some of our other clients with not so beautiful wide plank floors have fallen victim to overzealous sales people. I am referring to sales people who put their needs before the needs of their clients. In order for a wide plank hardwood floor to perform properly, the client is also going to need a high dollar humidifier (this goes for solid hardwood floors and especially wide plank engineered) in Colorado’s high desert environment. Wood planks are hygroscopic and will contract, face check, delaminate, and dry cup if too much moisture is removed from the wood into the air. We are proactive in educating our clients on the need for humidification in Colorado, even if it means we lose the bid – Integrity is more important than sales.
Even more of our clients, end up contacting us because they were led to believe that a wide plank hardwood floor can be installed by anyone with a hammer and saw. Or, that rental equipment for sanding and finishing wide plank floors is just as good as professional equipment. For instance, there are several companies in the Denver area who bid for jobs, and once they are awarded, they begin looking for bodies to put on the job. That sometimes looks like unskilled labor hanging out at Home Depot or Craigslist ads. Several of our clients have experienced this first hand, from sub par installations with the wrong species to permanent squeaks and pops as the wood is walked on.
Second, Certified Installation includes numerous technical obstacles that need to be addressed, rectified, and documented for the investment of wide plank wood floor to have a return. First, is environmental controls (humidifiers) and proper acclimation and documentation. Second, is proper estimation and layout to maximize materials usage. Third, proper subfloor preparation, installation fasteners and adhesives must be used to assist the environmental controls in maintaining the woods integrity.
Third, Certified Sanding and Finishing must be used in order protect the investment for future generations. First, proper grit sequence and selection must be used to minimize material removal. Second, new machinery must be employed to maintain flatness of the wide plank floors for long term durability. Third, specification and proper application of finishes is essential to the longevity of hardwood floor performance.