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It seems as though our lives are busier than ever.  In addition to the everyday grind we are tethered to our mobile devices and tablets.  Our brains are constantly processing everything around us.  Its no wonder design trends are moving to reduced palettes, minimal contrast, less saturation, clean lines and less clutter.  Human overload has led us to incorporate natural greens like plants and herbs into our design along with pops of wood and stone.  We’re making the choice, either consciously or subconsciously to design our spaces to soothe our busy minds and souls.  Shiplap with its crisp, clean lines is more popular than ever.  Homeowners are using it in every room of the house including kitchens and baths.  The photo below is a prime example.  Notice the reduced palette of the white cabinetry and shiplap paired with the natural warm tone wood flooring.

Monochromatic kitchen with natural wood.                         -photo courtesy of Houzz

 

Homeowners also continue to embrace rough sawn wood to add an earthy element to their space.  Notice the balance brought to the space with the shiplap positioned beneath the rough sawn planking on the ceiling.  Recessed lighting with white trim returns us to the simplicity of a reduced palette.

Photo Courtesy of Ken Hiukka Custom Builders

Photo Courtesy of Ken Hiukka Custom Builders

 

Textured flooring continues to be popular and is expected to remain so for some time.  Homeowners are also increasingly paying attention to the different types of finishes and sheens.  Matt and oil finishes with no sheen are rising in popularity.  We’re also seeing a return to warmer tones and as homeowners and designers shift away from the cooler tones that have dominated the last five years.  While greys are still popular, we’re seeing move toward warmer greys and rich, earthy tones.

While accent walls are nothing new, we’re seeing an increase in the number of bedroom accent walls being done.  Everything from barnwood style accents to shiplap to millwork panels are in as buyers look for an inexpensive way to personalize their most intimate spaces.

Rustic Accent Wall in Nursery

Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

Duluth, MN, January 17, 2018 –The Tongue & Groove Store has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz ®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The solid wood product manufacturer was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2017. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2018” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

We are so honored and humbled to have been recognized in this way. We do our best to understand the needs of each of our customers and do what we can to fulfill those needs. We truly enjoy working with our clients and love what we do.

“We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2018 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including Kyle and Ann Anderson of The Tongue & Groove Store,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

Follow The Tongue & Groove Store on Houzz

About The Tongue & Groove Store

The Tongue & Groove Store manufactures solid wood products made to order including: tongue and groove wall/ceiling planking, flooring, custom trims and mouldings such as casing, base, crown and chair rail. The company also offers custom factory finishing on all products. “The thing that makes what we do so unique, is that the customer really has full control,” explains Anderson. The customer can choose the profile, the specie and the finish so the final product is exactly what they are looking for. ´ For more information on The Tongue & Groove Store, visit: TheTongueandGrooveStore

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit Houzz.

We just returned from the Minneapolis Lake Home & Cabin Show. The show is such a great way for us to connect with MN and WI customers face to face that live outside the Duluth area. We are also able to connect with other vendors at the show that we may not see on a regular basis. Following are our design takeaways from the show:

Shiplap: We’re seeing it everywhere including lake homes and cabins.  Buyers are incorporating it in a myriad of spaces from living areas and kitchens to bedrooms and baths.  We see it on walls and ceilings in crisp, clean shades of white.

 

T&G Ceiling Planking: Homeowners gravitate to the warmth created by a planked ceiling.  Textured barnwoods and Knotty Pine stained rich brown colors were amongst the most popular choices, lest we not forget painted white shiplap.

Modern Farmhouse / Rustic Modern: Most show-goers were interested in achieving either a Modern Farmhouse or Rustic/Modern themed design.  Modern Farmhouse architecture and interior furnishings seemed to be incorporated into most homes and cabins.  Many consumers were also after a blend of rustic and modern interior finishes, seeking rustic planking to pair with modern appliances, furniture and fixtures.

All the Comforts of Home: When it comes to cabins, the floor plans are following suit of what you would expect to find in a traditional home.  For example, open floor plans, mudrooms, large kitchens, multiple bedrooms and baths with soaking tubs, 3-season porches and even multi-stall garages.  Outdoor showers are also gaining in popularity as many cabin owners are convinced this is the ticket to minimizing sand from entering the structure and damaging the floors.  Many cabin owners are incorporating built-in bunk beds to maximize space and the number of guests they can host and adding laundry appliances to avoid bringing linens home with them.

We really enjoyed our time at the show and we love interacting with our customers.  If you didn’t make the show but are interested in some of the current design trends, I hope you found our takeaways helpful.

 

 

Proper care and maintenance is the number one question we receive from customers that are purchasing wood flooring.  Following is a phenomenal article that appeared inHardwood Floors Magazine written by Brett Miller on 12/04/2017.

Wood flooring is one of the only floor coverings that, when properly maintained, will last for the lifetime of the home.  Most wood floors can be cared for with minimal effort, and in many cases, a little preventive maintenance will help maintain and enhance the natural patina an aged floor acquires year after year.  One of the biggest misnomers is the idea that, as the floor ages, changes color, and even changes dimensions, this is somehow a negative thing. The reality is, the most beautiful, and often-imitated floors being sold today, are those doing their best to replicate what age naturally does to a wood floor.
Even wood floors that are more traditional, sanded flat with film-forming finishes, will grow in beauty with age and wear. However, age and normal wear should not be confused with a poorly maintained wood floor. Regardless of what kind of wood floor, or which type of finish is used, all wood floors need to be cleaned regularly.

The challenge we consistently battle surrounds what our customers use to clean their floors. With all of the options on the shelves at the grocery store and big-box stores, and touted on the late-night infomercials, it’s no wonder the end-user gets misled with their cleaning product purchases. We often battle the preconceived notion that regular use of steam (vapor water), or a product that is marketed to rejuvenate or add luster, or polish, or restore the wood floor, is all that is needed to retain the beauty of the floor.  The most straightforward and safest advice for the end-user is to follow these steps to ensure their floor will perform as it was intended:

  • Wipe up all spills immediately.
  • Only use vacuum cleaners that have a setting for hard-surfaces.  Turn off the beater bars/brushes on the vacuum cleaner when present.
  • Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water will result in cracks, splits, cupping, warping, degradation of the finish, and leave a discoloring residue.
  • Do not use steam cleaners on wood floors. Water in a vapor form will penetrate the wood fibers and cause irreversible damage to the wood flooring and the finish.
  • Use breathable throw rugs both inside and outside the doorways to prevent grit, salt, chemicals, sand, moisture and other debris from being tracked onto the wood floors.
  • For wood flooring installed in the kitchen, place a breathable area rug in front of the kitchen sink and stove.
  • Rugs should be shaken out, cleaned, and thoroughly dried when they get wet.
  • Check with the finish manufacturer for when rugs can be placed on the newly finished floor. In general, they should not be placed on a newly finished floor for a minimum of seven days after the final coat of finish has been applied.
  • Take special precautions with non-skid pads that are frequently placed under area rugs. Some of these pads may imprint their pattern onto the finish and/or the wood floor. (Natural fibers may not transfer as much as some synthetic pads.)
  • Be aware that area rugs cover the wood floor, protecting it from UV/sun exposure, which results in color differences in the wood floor.
  • Put fabric-faced glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching. Periodically check these floor protectors for embedded soil and replace as necessary.
  • Avoid walking on your floor with cleats, sports shoes, and high heels. A 125-pound woman in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch. An exposed heel can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact will dent any floor surface.
  • Keep pet claws trimmed and in good repair.
  • When moving heavy furniture, do not slide it on wood flooring. It is best to pick up the furniture completely to avoid scratching the floors.
  • When moving appliances (refrigerators, stoves, etc.), use safety glides. On newly finished floors, wait a minimum of three days before replacing appliances.
  • Use an appropriate humidifier throughout the winter/dry months and/or a dehumidifier in the summer/humid months to keep wood movement and shrinkage to a minimum. Is important to maintain a consistent environment throughout the year to minimize floor movement.
  • When the floor loses its luster, it’s time for a recoat.

Beyond these general guidelines, it is essential to know which type of finish has been used on the floor for other maintenance concerns. Different wood flooring finishes require different care, and it is important to use the right product to protect the floors and prolong their life.

Factory-Finished Floors
Finishes used on factory-finished floors may include aluminum oxides, urethanes, penetrating oils, Teflon-infused, acrylic impregnated, or many other types. Because of these variances in product types, it is critical to determine which finish is used on the floor to know how to care for it. For factory-finished wood floors, consumers should follow the directions of the flooring manufacturer as to which cleaning products to use. This is extremely important because not following those directions may void the manufacturer’s warranty of the floor.

Site Finished Floors (Film-forming finishes)
Film-forming finishes may include any varnish, oil-modified urethane, waterborne urethane, moisture-cured urethane, conjugated oil varnish, conversion varnish or UV-cured finish. Each of these types of film-forming finishes does as the name describes; they form a protective film of finish over the wood flooring. For site finished wood floors, follow the finish manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations.
When the wood or finish manufacturer is unknown, use a wood floor cleaning product available from a local wood flooring professional.  Using a non-recommended product to clean the floor may ruin the intended appearance of the finish, and it may also cause problems when it is time for the floor to be recoated.

  • Do not use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
  • Excessive use of wood floor cleaners can damage the wood floor. Only use as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Do not use household dust treatments.
  • Never use wax on non-waxed surface finishes.
  • Do not use petroleum-based cleaners on waterborne finishes.
  • Do not use vinegar on wood floor finishes. Vinegar is acidic and will degrade the floor finish.

Natural Oiled Floors
Natural oils are oxidizing oils that typically consist of tung, linseed, vegetable, or other oxidizing oils that penetrate to varying degrees into the wood surface, filling and surrounding the wood fibers. Maintenance for these finishes is usually product specific:

  • On oil-finished floors, use only what the manufacturer recommends to clean the floors. The oil finish may periodically need to be reapplied by a professional. There are many different types of oil finishes, and each has a specific maintenance program.
  • Use of a dry microfiber mop will safely and effectively remove loose debris from the surface.
  • Many natural oil manufacturers recommend a specific maintenance routine of using oils and soaps on a regular basis. Failure to follow specific maintenance procedures will result in a finish that will not perform as it’s intended to.

Waxed Floors
Wax finishes soak into the pores of the wood and harden to form a penetrating protective seal. The wax gives a low-gloss satin sheen. It generally is maintained with additional thin applications of wax. Only solvent-based waxes, buffing pastes, or cleaning liquids made specifically for wax-finished wood floors should be used.

  • On a wax finish, do not over wax a wood floor. If the floor dulls, try buffing instead.
  • Avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.
  • On a waxed floor, to remove water spots, use a fine steel wool, a soft cloth, or a synthetic pad and a small amount of mineral spirits. Rub gently in a circular motion until the spot is gone. Then re-wax the area and buff.
  • On waxed and oiled floors, never use water-based cleaners. Only use specific maintenance products from the finish manufacturer.

For more information on maintaining your hardwood floor read the full article here

 

“On time and under budget!” said no one ever of the building/remodeling process.  The holidays are already a stressful time of year, shopping, wrapping, baking, volunteering, add in a remodel and it can become downright overwhelming.  Unforeseen delays can quickly dash your dreams of dishing up the holiday magic in your newly remodeled home.  If you find yourself in the middle of a remodel that seems to be dragging on as the holidays rapidly approach here are a few tips to survive the season and retain your sanity.

1.)  Keep Your Cool.  You may have done all the proper planning months in advance so your project would be complete in time for Thanksgiving, yet that has come and gone and here you are.  If only your contractor would’ve done (fill in the blank) this would be done by now!  Why I oughtta give him a piece of my mind!!!  I assure you, your contractor wants your job to be complete just as badly as you do.  However, a good contractor will never sacrifice the quality of their work just to hit a deadline.  Taking your frustrations out on your contractor is not a good idea.  Unforeseen problems are frequent in the remodel business and often slow progress.  You’ve hired someone to do the job and you want to ensure it is done right, cut them some slack and let them do their thing.

2.) Be Realistic.  Instead of visions of sugar plumbs dancing in your head, you have visions of a Pinterest and Houzz -worthy home.  But as you look around, you realize the trim mouldings haven’t been installed and the window dressings can’t be hung, the light fixtures are still in boxes!  Christmas will surely be ruined!  Stop, calm down and assess the situation for what it is.  How much work is remaining to be completed and how much time is there to complete it?  Sit down with your contractor and run through the punch list.  If it is clear, that the project won’t be wrapped up see if you can establish a new timeline to wrap up construction.  Target finishing up the most important items first and forego the finishing touches.  If you’re working on a kitchen remodel, can the cabinets and countertops be set?  Will the oven/cooktop be functional?  So, you may have to live without the crown moulding for Christmas, at least the food will be hot and you’ll have a functional prep space.

3.) Hold Off On the Decorating. Remodeling can be dirty business.  Fine dust particles seem to escape even the best cordoned off areas.  Hold off on putting up the tree and decking the halls until the project is either complete, or you and your contractor reach a mutual pause date.  When establishing the new timeline with your contractor, give yourself enough time to do clean up and reposition furniture or appliances so you have a functional space.   You may want to skimp on the decorating since your contractor will want to wrap up the project in the near future.  Be prepared to take down your decorations promptly so the project can resume without further interruption or new obstacles in the way.

4.)  Remember the Reason for the Season.  It is majorly disappointing that your project isn’t going to be done as you originally thought.  However, the holidays are a time for families to gather and enjoy laughs and time together.  It isn’t about crown moulding, light fixtures or backsplashes.  Perhaps, the Grinch said it best, “Maybe Christmas,” he thought “doesn’t come from a store. “Maybe Christmas, perhaps means a little bit more.”

Grinch picture

Saunas provide a great way to relax and may offer additional health benefits.  Many of our customers choose to add saunas to their home or cabin and often have questions about what type of wood is best to use.  Western Red Cedar is the most popular choice when it comes to sauna material.  It is naturally moisture resistant, which means it will hold up well over time, stays cool to the touch and emits a pleasant aroma.  Many sauna manufacturers use clear cedar, which does not contain knots.  The primary reason for this is that the knots in the wood are harder than the surrounding grain.  This harder wood is more susceptible to heating up and could burn or cause discomfort when it contacts your skin.  However, actual instances of this occurring are pretty rare and many consumers choose to build their sauna out of knotty grade cedar.  Should you decide to go this route, you will want to ensure that all knots are tight and sound.  Knots unsound in nature may become so loose they fall out, exposing the vapor barrier behind.  The primary benefit to using a knotty grade cedar in the sauna is that it is significantly less expensive than clear cedar.  Homeowners can save thousands of dollars by finishing their walls and ceilings in knotty grade cedar.  Consumers that are still concerned about the knots heating up use clear cedar to build their benches.

Cedar-T-and-G-Sauna

Cedar T&G Sauna

Eastern White Cedar is also an option.  However, White Cedar does not contain the same naturally occurring resins as Red Cedar, making it more susceptible to rot and decay.

Redwood is also a popular sauna material.  Redwood has many of the same properties as cedar, and even considered more moisture resistant than cedar.  However, the higher concentration of tannins and pheynols, the resins that make up the moisture resistance, actually cause the wood to blacken when exposed to body oils and sweat.

Aspen is the most popular alternative to Western Red Cedar.  Aspen is also moisture resistant and stays cool to the touch.  It emits no aroma and is hypoallergenic.  Hotels and other commercial saunas are often constructed of Aspen in consideration of those that may have Cedar allergies.

When deciding which specie to use in your sauna you’ll want to consider the following:

  • Budget. Can you afford to splurge and go with a clear grade lumber, or does compromising and installing knotty grade walls and ceiling with clear grade benches better suit your budget?
  • Beauty. Do you prefer the longevity Redwood has to offer or are you more disposed to the looks of Cedar or Aspen?   Will it bother you if the Redwood darkens to a blackish color?
  • Senses. Are you sensitive to smells or do you have an allergy to cedar?  If so, you’ll want to look for an alternative specie.

The seasons are a changin’.  Cooler air has moved in and some of us have even turned on the heat.  Changing temperatures and humidity levels can create some frustrating problems for our hardwood floors.  Hardwood Floors Magazine published a great article on this very topic.  View the full article here: https://hardwoodfloorsmag.com/2017/10/02/tis-season-understanding-seasonal-related-issues/

Nearly every wood floor will have some seasonal separation between the individual boards – gaps – throughout the floor during the fall and winter months. When the air in the building is heated, the relative humidity levels drop. When this happens, the wood loses moisture as it equilibrates to the drier conditions and boards begin to shrink. As a result, gaps begin to appear between boards. This is a normal phenomenon and is directly related to the reduction of moisture in the surrounding air.

Once seasons change and the interior heating systems are turned off, or when supplemental humidification is introduced and the indoor environment regains moisture, most of these seasonal gaps will disappear.

All solid flooring, including properly specified, manufactured, and installed wood flooring should be expected to have seasonal gaps between boards during the dry months when no supplemental humidification is added.

The width of the boards, the species, and how it’s cut from the log can all affect how much solid wood flooring is affected by this change in moisture. In general, how much solid wood flooring shrinks is directly proportional to its width. For example, in identical scenarios, an 8” wide plainsawn plank of white oak flooring will shrink twice as much as a 4” plank of the same cut and species.

Seasonal gaps between boards are more prominent with solid wood flooring products than with engineered wood flooring products. The structural composition of engineered wood flooring inherently allows it to be more dimensionally stable than solid wood flooring. Although engineered wood flooring is more dimensionally stable than its solid counterpart, it will still react to these low humidity levels but will show itself differently. When the relative humidity levels remain below the manufacturer’s recommendations for long enough, engineered flooring will begin to dry cup. When this happens, the wear layer loses moisture (same as its solid counterpart) and begins to shrink across its outer face, which can exert enough force on the core material to pull the edges of the plank upward. This causes a cupped appearance across the width of the board.

Seasonal Gaps

Solid Flooring with Seasonal Gaps

dry cupped flooring

Dry Cupping on Engineered Flooring

 

The effects of these seasonal fluctuations can be compounded in some new construction scenarios. Energy-conscious homebuyers and homebuilders have, in recent years, demanded tighter, more energy-efficient homes, which can inadvertently become detrimental to wood building components and their ability to perform, if not properly addressed. This construction practice, by design, prevents warm or cool air loss, but also seals in the new home’s moisture. Moisture from the entire building process is not allowed to dissipate quickly enough. This moisture comes from many sources including hundreds of gallons of water used in the placement of concrete, masonry, thin-set, tile mortar, drywall, plaster and many other building components. This will often cause wood flooring and wood subflooring to take on this moisture. When the home dries out and finally finds equilibrium in the home (often 6-12 months after the home has been moved into), the flooring and/or subflooring materials shrink, and again result in what could then be considered abnormal gaps. If the environment remains at these conditions, the gaps will likely never completely close back up in the humid months.

For more information, view the full article by, Brett Miller, Vice President of Education and Certification at the National Wood Flooring Association. https://hardwoodfloorsmag.com/2017/10/02/tis-season-understanding-seasonal-related-issues/

The popularity of HGTV, Houzz and other home improvement outlets along with social media have increased our desire to achieve a magazine quality home.  Most of us start out with a general idea of how we want our space to look once it is finished, however with all the different design trends and products available it can be difficult and time consuming to achieve.  Before you give up on your dream home, you may want to consider hiring an interior designer.  If you’re like me,  the list of reasons not to hire a designer is the first thing to enter your mind.  I can’t afford that! What if I don’t like what they come up with?  How do I convey my vision to my designer?  Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with lots of different designers and I am now convinced that interior designers are not just for the wealthy.  Here are some things to keep in mind when considering hiring an interior designer.

Budget – Yes, hiring an interior designer will cost you some money up front.  However, in the long run they are often able to save money for their clients by getting it done right the first time.  I can’t tell you how much money I’ve spent painting and repainting rooms the wrong color.  You go in thinking it’s pretty straightforward – off-white, beige or grey, yet once you step back it looks yellowy, or pinky, or blue or…just all wrong.  More than one designer we work with have told us stories of clients purchasing furniture, only to have it delivered and find out it doesn’t fit in the room properly.  Interior designers measure everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.  They do this to ensure that everything fits and flows together properly.   You will also want to thoroughly discuss your project budget with your designer so there are no surprises down the road.

Relationship – The relationship between an interior designer and a client is an intimate one.  It has to be.  The designer has to understand YOUR likes and YOUR dislikes.  They need to understand how you will be using the space they are making over.  Remember, they are working for YOU and will tailor the design to meet all of your needs.  It is important that you and your designer are able to build a rapport with one another.  Throughout the design process you will have to communicate back and forth often, and the designer will want to spend some time in your home, taking measurements etc.  You have to be honest with your designer too.  If you are afraid to speak your mind, you risk ending up with something you don’t love.  The designer works for you, you aren’t going to hurt their feelings if you tell them you don’t love the color, or style of something they suggest.

Background – When choosing an interior designer, ask them to show you their portfolio.  Find out what kind of projects they have done in the past and if they have any areas of specialty.  Some designers prefer to focus on one area of the home such as kitchens and may be able to offer even more expertise in these areas than their competitors.  A good designer will also have a list of references you can contact.

Professionals – While we all aspire to be a Joanna Gaines, the reality is many of us are not.  It took me a lot of failed projects to realize I just don’t have what it takes.  It’s okay, I’ve come to terms with it.  An interior designer, is a professional.  They do have the keen eye it takes to arrange a living room picture perfect.  They know how to hang your artwork and organize your shelves.  Good designers, make this process look easy but the truth is they spend hours, sometimes even days coordinating the fine details of your space.  Their ability to create a haven in your home comes from years of experience, as well as continually keeping up with changing design trends.

 Building or remodeling is a big deal.  It takes a lot of time and a lot of hard earned dough.  I think we are all striving to get the biggest bang for our buck.  Not everyone needs an interior designer.  However, a lot of us can benefit from a little guidance and fine tuning they have to offer.  It is at least something to consider, especially if you are going for that Pinterest worthy home.

 

T&G wood ceiling and white washed shiplap create a cozy feel in this cabin retreat

 

After installing a new hardwood floor, you will typically need a transition moulding to complete the job.  Transition mouldings are used to create a smooth transition between different rooms or different surfaces.  Transition mouldings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and determining which moulding you need can be confusing.   I’ve broken down the five most common flooring transitions and their uses.

T-Moulding is used to in doorways between adjoining wood floors.  Hallway to bedrooms is a common example of where you would want to use a T-Mould.  This type of moulding can also be used to transition between different types of hard surfaces that are the same height.

T-Mould

 

 

 

Reducer is used to provide a smooth transition between a hardwood floor down to a  floor or low pile carpet of a different height.  You will want to avoid using a Reducer in a floating application, as a floating floor needs room to move and a Reducer would not allow for the necessary expansion gap.

Threshold Mouldings are used in situations where a hardwood floor is meeting up with a second floor of a different height. Instead of a gradual slope, like a Reducer, a Threshold has a rounded off square edge appearance. Thresholds are perfect when butting a hard surface floor up to a high pile carpet and are also often used when hardwood floors are meeting up with a sliding glass door track. A Threshold will overlap the hardwood floor and create a defined transition to this second surface.

A Stair Nose is used to trim the front edge of a step when you are using flooring pieces (vs a tread) to cover stairs.  The Stair Nose butts tight with the flooring to create a seamless transition to the edge of the step.

Stair Nose

Quarter Round is used to trim the expansion gap between the wood flooring and the wall.  Typical Quarter Round measures 3/4 x 3/4.  Some homeowners prefer a lower profile moulding called a Base Shoe, which measures 1/2 x 3/4.  Base Shoe is also commonly used to trim the small gaps created by the baseboard and hard surface flooring.

 

Quarter Round

 

Selecting the right type of transition moulding, will not only give your floor that polished look, it will also provide a safe way to traverse different types of flooring and height changes.  Make sure all mouldings are secured properly.

 

 

Hurricane Damage

Damage left by Hurricane Irma

In light of the recent disasters caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, we’ve had several people wondering how this will affect lumber pricing going forward.  Obviously there is a significant amount of lumber used in new home construction and prospective builders fear a surge in lumber prices will price them out of building their dream home.  Unfortunately, according to most economic forecasters it is still too early to tell what affect, if any, the hurricanes will have on the lumber market.

Typically, lumber prices do rise following natural disasters, however the increase is primarily concentrated in the storm ravaged areas.  However, “there are other factors in play right now,” states NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) economist, Dave Logan.  “The wildfire outlook is uncertain at this point, and duty rates on Canadian lumber are being reevaluated and will not be finalized until mid-November.” The lumber duties have been on NAHB’s radar well before Harvey and Irma and the group is calling for legislative action to postpone duties on Canadian lumber.

Although, the outlook on lumber prices is still uncertain, economists believe there will not be much impact on prices through the medium term.  However, economists are forecasting an increase as much as 10% on roofing materials as a result of Hurricane Harvey.  These increases will be felt nationwide and could be long-lasting.  For more information, check out the full article here

Regardless of what building material prices do, our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by the hurricanes this season.