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Thinking of Switching to Wood Floors?

  • If you are leaning toward the move to wood flooring for your home or business, you should consider installing a beautifully classic wide plank floor for unparalleled beauty, durability and versatility.  Wide plank flooring has been in use for hundreds of years, with the earliest settlers first using the plentiful pines of the Northeast to create solid, durable floors that only improved over time, with use and age.  Even today, many of the colonial homes that are still in existence throughout the region still have their original wide plank flooring.

    There are different types of wood and different finishes to give you the floor of your dreams, regardless of whether you want to recreate the classic ambiance and craftsmanship of the colonial days, or your taste leads you to create a more modern, fashion-forward style.  There is wide plank flooring that will complement any decor and lifestyle.  You can choose between different grades for the exact look you hope to achieve, from a clear, streamlined knot-free appearance to the more natural grades that provide a more time-honored knotty look that has a little more character and depth of old world design.

    Traditional Flooring Ambiance

    Pines, Cherry, Walnut and oaks are the best for achieving your more traditional looks like Georgian, colonial or country styled homes.  They tend to be more rustic and natural looking, with a more knotty appearance, and they feature warmer tones with grains that are more pronounced.

    Contemporary and Fashionable Flooring

    Maples, Hickory and Birch are all proven woods to help create a modern, transitional or contemporary look.  They tend to reveal less of the grains, which appear tighter, and these woods generally look lighter in color and hue.  They work well to achieve a cleaner line to augment that of contemporary lines in the home.

    There are a variety of treatments and installations that will further create the exact look you hope to achieve, and once you transition to wide plank flooring, you’ll be glad you ditched the carpet, for a fresh, clean new beginning of living well.

Should I Choose Plank Flooring or Strip?

Solid hardwood flooring is available in two main forms: plank flooring and strip flooring. Strip flooring is a more modern traditional form of wooden flooring, and plank floors are a more modern take on an old world design. The kind of wood you should choose for your home depends on the size of the room you are decorating, your budget and how you want the room to look.
Strip flooring is made up of narrow strips of hardwood that are laid side by side. Strip floors tend to look plain and uniform, and they lack the charm of other kinds of wood. In contrast, plank flooring uses much wider wooden boards, which show off the natural appearance of the wood. Western WidePlank offers texture sanded planks of wood. These planks have been treated to bring out the natural grain of the wood, offering a natural, earthy appearance.
If you are investing in traditional wooden flooring, it makes sense to choose a flooring style that shows off the quality of the wood. Thin strips simply do not work as well for that purpose as broader planks. Wide planks are more visually appealing, easier to lay and generally more hard-wearing than thinner strips. They look good bare, and they look even better when treated with an appropriately colored wood stain.
No matter what kind of wood flooring you choose, take good care of it. Wood is highly susceptible to damage from dampness and excess water, so treat your flooring with a water-resistant finish. Hardwood planks are durable, and it is easier to replace individual wide planks on the floor should damage occur rather than individual strip flooring.

Flooring Essentials: A History of the Lowly Nail

The use of nails dates back to at least Ancient Egypt, with bronze nails dating 3400 BC. There are a number of Biblical references to nails, including a story in Judges, where a wife drove a nail into her husband’s temple while he was asleep, and of course, nails were used for the crucifixion of Christ. Until 1800, all nails were hand made or forged, and were made by someone known as a nailor, or nailer. Slitters were the workmen whose job was to cut up iron bars to just the right size for nailers to take and further shape and make heads and points. Manual slitters were eventually replaced in the late 16th century by slitting mills, which saved a lot of time and effort.

Making a wrought-iron nails meant that iron ore had to be heated with carbon and then shaped into square rods. From there, a blacksmith would heat the rod in a forge, and when the iron was hot enough, he would taper the end of the bar while being careful to keep the cross section square. The blacksmith would then cut off the tapered part, inserting it into a nail-heading tool that had a square hole. The top of the tapered iron would stick out just enough so that it could be hammered out and downward, and thus would create a square nail head.

During the time of the American Revolution, England was the leading manufacturer of nails, worldwide. The American colonies had difficulty obtaining nails mainly due to the fact that they were expensive. They were forced to come up with their own nail-making setups in their own homes, with the family members all working on making nails nights and during bad weather…for their own use and for bartering purposes.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “In our private pursuits it is a great advantage that every honest employment is deemed honorable. I am myself a nail maker.” Some stories show the growth of the nail making trade in the Thirteen Colonies being held back by the Iron Act, which prohibited new slitting mills in America, but it is thought that the Act was never actually enforced. Wrought iron nails continued to be produced into the 19th century, but with the advent of softer nails for easier manufacturing and use, the wrought iron nails were reserved for purposes where the softer nails just would not suffice.

When used with today’s flooring, the inclusion of wrought head nails lends a look of authentic history to any floor, as an antique process that, while no longer the mainstay, brings back a vestige of the past in an artistic manner.

A Mahogany Wood Floor!?

One of the most beautiful types of wood that a person can have in his or her home is mahogany. One of the more valuable types of wood available, mahogany is a richly colored wood with unique pink tones. This pink coloration slowly turns into an attractive deep brown-red color as the wood ages, causing a two-tone effect in some items. In addition to its attractive color, another benefit of mahogany wood is that it has only a fraction of the amount of voids or knots that other types of wood such as pine or oak have. This helps ensure that the wood itself is even and less grainy, as well as making it easy to polish and craft for things like furniture and flooring.

Some of the most common pieces of furniture created using this wood are tables, desks and other products that do not have joints or seams. This is where mahogany shines, but it is also one of the best types of wood for flooring. The wood itself is durable and strong, which allows people who work with it to create items that last a lifetime. The wood does not bend, break or become dented under heavy items, which makes it perfect for flooring. Because this is a strong wood, it can also be used for many types of musical instruments. Drums and guitars are often crafted using mahogany because it has a strong resistance to damage. Boat builders rely on mahogany as well not only for its strength but also for its resistance to rotting when exposed to large amounts of moisture.

Mahogany can be harvested from only three species of trees, which makes it rare and valuable in some parts of the world. The rarest and most expensive type is Swietenia Mahagoni, which grows in Florida, the Caribbean and Honduras. The other types, Swietenia humilus and Swietenia macrophylla, are found along the coasts of South America near the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Mahogany is prized for its beauty and strength across the globe, making a mahogany floor as valuable as the wood it is made of. Contact Western Wide Plank for prices and designs available for mahogany flooring.