Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cutting the lumber for Wide Plank Flooring !

Making flooring with a band saw!

Here's a rare peek at Merv using his large band-saw mill to make Flooring.

You have to start somewhere, so he takes a slice off the top first.
He cuts the boards wide enough to allow for shrinkage during the drying process... and to acommadate for planing after it is kiln dried. This is the butternut being milled.

The bigger the tree, the wider the planks you can get.

Yes, Merv has been known to smile on occasion!

Friday, October 7, 2011

What is kiln dried lumber, and does it matter?

Using Wet Lumber for Flooring

You can use wet, ( non kiln dried flooring ) in your house, however, you need to expect to have 3/16" spaces between the boards when it acclimates to the moisture level of the air. Those gaps between the boards will change from time to time as well. In the summer the floor will soak up moisture and the gaps will shrink. In the winter, when there is less humidity in the air because it is cold outside, the gaps will expand again. You will actually hear it groaning and creaking as this happens.

This is charming and fits many old houses...because that is how they were done when the home was built!

We had to match a floor in a century home north of Toronto (Barrie area), and the specialist flooring contractor had ordered quarter sawn douglas fir, which has a beautiful red colour and the straightest grain you can imagine. However the original floor was put down wet and had those tell tale 3/16" spaces. I had the contractor lay waxed twine between the boards as they laid them. He installed the floor with modern equipment, then to match the original square head nails we ordered horse shoe nails which looked nearly identical.

If you want that unique look of a perfect floor though, you need kiln dried materials.

While we are talking about kiln drying, you have to be aware that much of the flooring coming out of South America is only dried to about 13-14%. This flooring will shrink and warp and cup significantly after installation.

Colling-Wood flooring dries all our floors to 6%. It takes more energy, more time but we believe it is worth the effort to create a flooring that will remain the way it is installed.

Get in touch about 2 months before you need it if you are looking for a truly special floor.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Butternut Wide Plank Flooring

A rare find... Legally harvested Butternut, and it is being turned into wide plank flooring!

This lumber is typically not available because of being a protected species. You are not supposed to cut it for any reason, however the owners of a property that is becoming a subdivision obtained one time approval to clear for home building and Merv jumped at the opportunity to work with this very rare wood.

It is a unique lumber with small worm holes randomly throughout. When you want a floor with a high degree of character this flooring will fit the bill. Nobody will know if it is antique lumber or not.

The photos above show it's natural color with only a clear finish applied. This butternut flooring will not last long. Give Merv a call for pricing.

Here is a lift of very wide planks ready to be put down in a house...they look to me like 1x10 boards.

I believe there is about 15,000 square feet of this Butternut flooring available--after that, there is no more, so if you are building a custom home, get in touch with Merv or Lisa!