REDD: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation
REDD is a United Nations program designed to encourage more wealthy, developed nations to financially compensate developing countries that reduce or eliminate deforestation and forest degradation. The U.N. estimates that deforestation and forest degradation contribute to 17 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions-a greater percentage than transportation and third only to global energy and industrial sectors.
So when shopping for floors, look for or ask about REDD.
To learn more, please visit the official UN-REDD website.
Americans spent almost $51 billion on their pets in 2011, but pets still give much more than they receive. According to a study by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, independently living seniors who have pets are more active, cope better with stress, and tend to have better physical health and mental well-being than those who don’t.
In fact, residents at an experimental residential home for the elderly, called the Eden Alternative, have experienced a 15% increase in longevity compared to residents at traditional nursing homes. The key difference? The facility and its grounds are home to dozens of dogs, cats, birds and rabbits.
So how can you return the favor? Start by registering your pet with a service like www.PetAmberAlert.com, a site that claims an 85% success rate in finding and reuniting lost animals with their owners, if the alert goes out in the first week. The service immediately places automated calls to neighbors, sends faxes to local shelters and veterinarians, and posts notices to Twitter and Facebook.
We realize this has nothing to do with floors, but sometimes we want to share some helpful ideas with you. This is one of them.
Every job and every customer is different, and each should be treated as such. With some customers, we can guess what their concerns will be. If we’re at a bid and the lady has three young kids running around, we probably won’t go into the details of describing the chemistry of different finishes or other minute details. She probably cares more about the job getting done on time and that we leave her home clean.
Customers who are around retirement age tend to do business in a more careful way. They want details. They want us to take time with them. We often sit at the kitchen table and have a cup of coffee with them while we talk about the job.
No matter who the customer is, it’s about engaging them. We want to spend as much time as the customer has—to learn more about them and what kind of flooring they want. More often than not, we will be rewarded with the job and a lifelong customer.
Many customers are sold on the beauty and durability of pre-finished wood floors without being informed about the details of the warranties and the simple maintenance necessary to ensure performance and satisfy expectations. They often thought their pre-finished floors would look brand new for 30 years, but they have since found out or been informed that the warranty doesn’t cover general wear and tear.
The good news is that Slaughterbeck Floors, Inc. can often help these floors look much better; the bad news is that sometimes we just can’t. Sometimes the wear layer on such a floor is so thin that it can’t be sanded, and the finish is worn so badly that a recoat won’t give it the appearance customers want.
This is also the case with some new floors that simply can’t be recoated. Some factory-finished floors are impossible to recoat. For years, contractors have been wary of trying to recoat newer pre-finished floors because many have finishes that are difficult to abrade. For example, pre-finished wood floors that have well-known brand names for non-stick and anti-stain ingredients (Teflon and Scotchgard, for example) may not accept a new coat of finish, no matter what abrasion or chemical recoating product is used. Customers should have realistic expectations from these floors. Use common sense; place rugs or mats on high-traffic areas, and being careful about grit or scuffing.
This test measures the resistance of various types of wood to denting and wear and tear. It measures the force required to embed an 11.28 mm steel ball into wood to half the ball’s diameter, and it measures the indentation. The Janka hardness rating determines whether a species is suitable for use as flooring. While oak is very hard, and is the industry go-to for flooring, there are other species that are much harder.
|Wood Flooring Species
|Ipe / Brazilian Walnut / Lapacho
|Cumaru / Brazilian Teak
|Brazilian Redwood / Paraju
|Red Mahogany / Turpentine
|Brazilian Cherry / Jatoba
|Santos Mahogany / Bocote / Cabreuva
|Sydney Blue Gum
|Goncalo Alves / Tigerwood
|Hickory / Pecan / Satinwood
|Afzelia / Doussie
|Wenge / Red Pine
|True Pine / Timborana
|Sapele / Sapelli
|Hard Maple / Sugar Maple
|Natural Bamboo (represents one species)
|Red Oak (Northern)
|Carribean Heart Pine
|Carbonized Bamboo (represents one species)
|Brazilian Eucalyptus / Rose Gum
|Black Cherry / Imbuia
|Southern Yellow Pine (Longleaf)
|Lacewood / Leopardwood
|Southern Yellow Pine (Loblolly and Shortleaf)
|Eastern White Pine
Let’s use White Oak for this demonstration. In addition to the specific features of each wood species, sawing methods can create many different visual effects. The most common methods are plain sawing, quarter sawing, and rift sawing. None of these sawing methods can guarantee the same results on 100% of the boards.
The plain sawing method is the most common. It consists of sawing boards off the log in strips parallel to the pith. These boards are then sawn lengthwise again. Every board sawn this way has a unique appearance. Floors made with plain sawn boards have greater color and pattern variations than floors made with boards sawn using other methods.
As the name implies, the quarter sawing method starts by sawing the log into quarters. Boards are then sawn off the top parts of the faces of each quarter, cutting through the growth rings at about a 90-degree angle. This method usually produces fairly uniform boards with similar grain patterns. These patterns are created by the rings in the oak.
If we continue sawing boards off the faces of the quartered log, we get rift sawn boards, which are differentiated by the fact that the growth rings on the outer edge of the log are different from those nearer the pith. The grain on the top of the board will be linear, while the grain on the ends will be somewhat slanted.
Today’s wood flooring industry is all about style, and the gadget accessory industry is catching on to our tastes. Vers (www.versaudio.com) makes cases for Apple gadgets out of wood; the company says it has a green mission, so it makes its cases from natural renewing species. Plus, Vers values sound quality, and wood reduces unwanted resonance. Vers also offers options. Its cases are available in cherry, walnut, and strand bamboo, cases for the iPad and every other make of the iPhone and iPod are available. Now you can let your inner wood grain shine—in your floors and with your “gadgets” too!
It has been said that what is old is new again! And that is exactly what can be said about cork flooring.
Cork has been used as flooring for hundreds of years. But recently, it has seen a renaissance due to its unique green story and its distinctive appearance.
First, The Green Story
When harvesting cork, the tree is not cut down. The cork is removed from around the trunk and the larger limbs and continues to grow and to be harvested again and again. Many trees can be harvested up to 8 times!
Tips When Considering Cork
Start with a clean, smooth subfloor. As with hardwood floors, the subfloor can’t be too flat or too clean. When the subfloor has irregularities, they may not show up at the time of installation. But, once the floor is seasoned, the sunlight hits it and walking traffic hits the cork floor, any imperfections will become all too clear.
Understand different types of cork floor. Each exists for a reason.
- Most cork flooring today is sold as a “veneer”, installed with a click system similar to that of floating laminate floors. This is a very sustainable practice—you get more floors by using a veneer than using solid cork. Veneer faced cork floors are usually not “refinishable” but can be professionally treated to refresh the surface with another coat of finish.
- A solid or homogeneous cork floor is when the color and pattern continue throughout the entire floor. This cork floor provides an elegant compliment to area rugs and other carpets.
Understand the finishes on cork floors. There are many different types of finishes for cork floors; so it’s important to become familiar with the finish used on the floor you select and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance and renewing the finish.
Enjoy your new cork floor and its resilient qualities!
Consider the long-term use of your floors and how it will fit your life style in later life. It’s important. When remodeling, work to eliminate height differences between rooms/areas and to solve height changes between rooms. This will help remove possible tripping hazards and improve the visual flow of your home.
When planning new floors, if you use the same flooring on an upper level, a step and lower level, plan to use a contrasting nosing along the edge of the level change and even “frame the step with contrasting material. This helps the eye realize the level changes. It will help keep visitors from slipping off the edge of an upper level. You can see this in our photo gallery“.
What’s the difference between a refinish and a screen and coat?
It is important for our customers with hardwood floors to understand this so that the life of your floors can be extended.
Refinishing hardwood floors involves sanding and finishing the floor with multiple coats of finish over a series of days. When you sand a hardwood floor you actually go down to bare wood and take a small amount off the top.
Screen & Coat is a repeat of the process that is completed while applying the coats of finish to the hardwood. It is a screening (mild abrasion) of the topcoat of finish in preparation for a new layer of topcoat urethane. This process “renews” the top protective layer of finish. It will remove or minimize a lot of the fine scratches and wear which has taken place to your floor.
However, if improper cleaning solutions have been used (those with oil or waxes), the screen and coat will not bond to the existing finish. These oils or waxes act as a contaminate (sort of like spraying “Pam” on a pan), and it will not allow a bonding to the prior coats of finish. It is important to know what products are being used on your floors for cleaning. Contact us to find out what products are best for your floors.