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The Color Gray as a Design Feature

Reclaimed Wood in Holiday Design

Inspire and Be Inspired by Twill Laminates

The Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors

Painting and Staining Cypress

American Cherry: A Stunning Wood for Centuries

What is a Carbon Footprint?

Hard Maple Wood Highlight

Cypress Wood Highlight: Exterior and Interior Uses for Cypress

What Does Chain of Custody Mean?

Unique Uses of Ash

Rustic Alder Wood Highlight

Cypress Mills Say Rain, Rain, Go Away

Hardwood Finishing: Determining the Right Finish for Your Project

Vertical Grain Fir Wood Highlight

American Hardwood Lumber Carbon Neutral or Better, Preliminary Results Show

Telling the Whole Story, provided by
the American Hardwood Export Council


Wood is Carbon Neutral

Build Green; Design with Wood

TR-19 – A Synthesis of Research on Wood Products & Greenhouse Gas Impact

Meet Our Bloggers
Hardwoods Incorporated Architectural Group Blog

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Uniboard TFL Panels are a Versatile Design Option

Uniboard TFL (thermally fused laminate) panels consist of a composite wood panel (MDF or particleboard) to which decorative paper is fused using heat and pressure. The melamine resins used to fuse the decorative paper to the panel create a surface that is durable, hard, and resistant to stains and scratches.

Their durability and wide array of colors and finishes make Uniboard TFL panels a good choice for residential, retail, and institutional uses, where they can be used for kitchen cabinets, office furniture, storage furniture, and commercial fixtures.

What Looks are Available with Uniboard TFL Panels?

Uniboard TFL panels come in 120 colors and 11 finishes, so creating the perfect look for any application is easy. Colors available include solids (mostly neutrals with a few bold primary colors), neutrals with subtle texture, and the showpiece of the TFL line: wood grains.  Uniboard offers dozens of extremely realistic wood grain look panels (89 as of this writing), including Classic Maple, Mahogany, and Barnwood. Several of the finishes are designed to mimic the texture of real wood, including Riviera Oak, which contains a mixture of circular and linear patterns to produce a finish exceedingly similar to that of actual oak grain.

With all this variety, Uniboard TFL panels are extremely versatile. Abstractly patterned neutrals like the brushed-look Stainless or solid neutrals like Willow Gray may be just right for reception desks or storage in a commercial space. Cabinets in a brightly colored solid such as Spectrum Red would add interest to an otherwise all white modern residence. White kitchen cabinets are always in style in a traditional kitchen, while cabinets in Storm, a black wood grain, would add some edge. In a cabin or rustic residence, Barnwood panels would make perfect kitchen cabinets. Bourbon Cherry or Classic Spice would work well in a space with a polished, classic look.

    

Will Uniboard TFL Panels Work for My Project?

Uniboard TFL panels are available in a wide selection of industry grades, sizes, and thicknesses. With three varieties of cabinet doors available (TFL, 3D Laminate, and 5-Piece) and multiple matching options for molding and edgebanding, Uniboard TFL panels are almost endlessly customizable. Uniboard provides a reference chart for ease of sourcing materials to ensure that everything will match perfectly.

Find out more about Uniboard's 2017 Kitchen Collection here.

Hardwoods Incorporated has had a long-standing relationship with fabricators. We are a recognized supply source for the cabinet industry and maintain an inventory of lumber, plywood, hardware and Arborite® laminates. Our sales force is available to assist cabinet makers, millworkers, and other fabricators in sourcing the products they need to ensure exceptional outcomes. Our five distribution centers stock the products you need most, including an exceptional selection of premium surfaces, laminates, wood substrates, industrial panels and hardwood lumber.

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What is More Green - Exterior Wood or Composite Decking?

When building a project, small or large outdoors, so does the debate – composite decking or wood? The truth of the matter is that no material is perfect. The debate though, was not typically based on the science and research but more on emotion and assumptions.

Many activists have protested local municipalities who have proposed rebuilding with exotic wood products, arguing that the use of this wood was causing deforestation in developing countries. This is just not so. Another popular argument was that composite decking is more environmentally friendly because it’s derived from recycled materials. While this is in fact true, that statement doesn’t tell the whole story.

 

USING EXOTIC WOODS HELPS DEVELOPING NATIONS


Imagine living off of the land in the area in which you were born. You farm but the soil can be fickle and often you have to clear trees from new tracts of land, often by burning them, to plant crops in a new area. But this is not the only choice for many now. With markets developed for woods, there is now another choice. These same lands can support sustainable forestry. These same people now have the choice to cut some of the trees on the land but to do so in a way that continues to keep trees and forests intact while offering an alternative. The increased wood markets have helped to preserve forests in developing nations, not take them down.

How do you know the wood is actually sustainable? The Lacey Act requires it before wood can be imported into the United States.

 

RECYCLED MATERIALS DOESN’T MEAN NO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT


No life cycle analysis has ever been completed specifically comparing exotic wood decking versus composite decking. When an analysis was completed in 2012, looking at the environmental impacts of composite decking for the entire time of use, the picture was not as perfect as some would have you believe.

Yes, composite decking is made out of recycled materials. This makes it seem like an environmentally friendly product. This decking product is made out of recycled plastic shopping bags, wood mill waste and old pallets, which is pretty neat. The problem with composite decking is that all of the environmentally friendly aspects of it are concentrated in material-sourcing. Once you factor in the high environmental impacts of the fossil fuels required to manufacture composite decking, as well as greenhouse gas emissions, the overall impact of composite decking products is much higher than traditional decking products.


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NOTE - The research cited can be viewed here.
A version of this information originally appeared in the 2014 International Wood Magazine which you can view here.

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Color Trends for 2018 Announced


The color trend predictions for 2018 are in, and they are bold. According to the experts, the all-white interiors of a couple of years ago are out and they are being replaced by rich colors inspired by the intensity and connectedness of our lives in a busy, tech-obsessed world.

Pantone, ever a tastemaker in the field of color, is predicting bold colors to take hold in 2018. "Intense colors seem to be a natural application of our intense lifestyles and thought processes these days,” stated Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, speaking at the International Home + Housewares Show. Eiseman also declared metallics the new neutrals and predicted the iridescent trend would stay strong. Pantone has introduced eight color palettes for 2018, which include Playful with loud colors like Minion Yellow, Lime Popsicle, Green Flash, and Blue Skydiver, Resourceful with a mixture of oranges and blues, and TECH-nique with fun, bright shades including hot pink, fuchsia, and turquoise.

Sherwin-Williams has released three new color palettes for 2018 inspired by modern life: Sincerity, Affinity, and Connectivity. The most subdued of these is Sincerity, a palette that takes a more colorful approach to minimalism. Sincerity is made up of sand, complex grays and hazy botanicals, and inspired by silence, Instagram, and normcore. Affinity is a much warmer, more saturated palette inspired by globalism, folklore, artisanal crafts, and indigenous patterns. The third palette, Connectivity, is comprised of cooler tones and bright colors such as orange, violets, digital green, and high-def yellow meant to evoke technology, youth culture, and virtual reality.

Behr’s trending colors for 2018 also consider our highly connected, always-on, technologically integrated lifestyles, but they seem to push back against them a bit. Behr’s color of the year for 2018 is a cool, tranquil, spruce blue named “In the Moment” that they describe as “a soothing, restorative coalescence of blue, gray and green.” In the Moment is part of a collection for 2018 inspired by mindfulness that includes many neutrals (including a dark gray-brown pointedly named “Unplugged”), but also includes bolder accent colors inspired by nature in warm yellow, deep blue-tinged green, and even purple.

PPG Paints has been perhaps the most audacious yet in their look forward to the year ahead; they’ve declared their color of the year for 2018 to be Black Flame, a midnight-dark blend of black and navy.

Color is back, so expect clients to be more willing to make bold choices with color in 2018; whatever their inspiration, there are palettes available in these predictions to suit everyone’s taste.


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What is Happening with Hardwood Plywood Products from China?

An update on the anti-dumping case before the Commerce Department.


Many customers have called and are wondering about the latest decision by the Commerce Department and what it means for hardwood plywood. We’ll do our best to clear up some of the questions.
 

Did Chinese Companies “Dump” Hardwood Plywood?

Yes. The U.S. Commerce Department reached a preliminary determination on June 19, 2017 that some Chinese companies are, in fact, dumping certain hardwood plywood products in the United States.

A Commerce Department investigation found that exporters from China had sold hardwood plywood used for wall panels, kitchen cabinets, tabletops and flooring in the United States for as much as 114.72 percent below fair value, the department said in a statement.

The merchandise subject to this investigation is hardwood and decorative plywood and certain veneered panels. All hardwood and decorative plywood is included within the scope of this investigation regardless of whether or not the face and/or back veneers are surface coated or covered and without regard to dimension or thickness. Excluded from the scope of the investigation were wooden furniture and kitchen cabinets, including RTA. It also excludes finished table tops, finished countertops, and laminated veneer lumber door and window components.

 

What Penalties Were Imposed?

The department preliminarily set an anti-dumping margin of 114.72 percent for Shandong Dongfang Bayley Wood Co Ltd and a margin of 57.36 percent for other respondents eligible for a separate rate. A rate of 114.72 percent was set for other Chinese producers who belong to a China-wide entity, the Commerce Department said in a statement.

Mandatory respondent Linyi Chengen Import and Export Co Ltd was determined not to be dumping and was not assessed an anti-dumping margin, the department said.

As a result of the decision, the Commerce Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require cash deposits from the firms based on those preliminary rates. Linyi Chengen will not be subject to a cash deposit rate.

 

How Did This Start?

The investigation was launched after the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood initiated a complaint on behalf of itself and its members, six private firms in Oregon, New York and North Carolina.
 

What Does This Mean for Pricing and Availability?

That’s a great question! We wish we had a magic eight ball and could figure that out. Past industry trends show that this may result in a rise in the cost for imported plywood. There are also possibilities of shortages throughout the supply chain as pricing and supply adjustments are made.

We will do our best to keep our customers apprised of any major changes in pricing or availability.



Read the Entire Department of Commerce Fact Sheet.



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Modern Adirondack Chairs Designed in Thermally Modified Ash

An Interview with Paddy Collins

We interviewed Paddy Collins, an Atlanta-area specialty carpenter and customer of Hardwoods Inc., about the modern Adirondack chairs he recently built out of thermally modified ash.
 

How did you come up with the design for these chairs?

They’re a take on two different style chairs that when the designer hired me to build them, she said, “Can you make them look like this?”  One she showed was by a guy in north Georgia that decided he no longer wanted to make chairs anymore and the other was a set of plans she found on Pinterest.  I put my own spin on it, because as a guy who makes things, I don’t like making other people’s things.  As a gentleman, I put my heart and soul into these things, and I wasn’t going to try to steal any part of his design, so I made it my own.
 

What are your favorite things about the design?

Being a specialty carpenter, I’m really not into the design as much as the finished product.  I’m a big fan of the clean nature of mid-century modern, and taking the expectation of your material and ramping up a notch.  The design really isn’t that on my mind as I’m making things.  I just want my clients to be happy.
 

Why did you decide to use thermally modified ash?

One of the reasons is that obviously these were going to be an outdoor project.  The price of outdoor wood goes from regular pressure treated pine, which is its own thing, to something special that will last longer, like teak or ipe that’s specifically out on the market for that sort of thing, but when you look into those exotics, they’re expensive as all get out.
I’d heard of thermally modified wood before, but I’d never worked with it, and I was in Atlanta Hardwood getting some material for another project and got talking about it with two guys behind the desk, and they suggested I take a look at it.
What I liked about the ash is that it’s super dense; they make baseball bats out of it.  It’s real tight and straight-grained, real sturdy, and it wears well, but like any other natural wood it has to have a finish on it.  But with this new product they were telling me about, you could get the same strength that regular ash provides and the thermal modification allows it to sit outside.
So they are the ones that really talked me into it and I’m glad they did because I think it really made the difference as far as the overall look, and as the chairs age they’re just going to get even better.  It gets a little black to it when it ages in the sun, and I told the clients if they don’t like it, we can just sand it and go right back to the start and it’ll be fine.  The color is another reason I went with it because it really is just pretty.

 

Tell us a little about your business.

I’ve been a carpenter/contractor/jack of all trades for about 20 years now.  In the beginning, I’d take on anything.  I’d do your floors, your cabinetry, your roof.  I just tried to do a lot of different things in the construction business to see what I was good at, what I liked, and it boiled down to specialty type things.  I made a pretty good niche for myself.  I work on referral only; I don’t advertise.  Within the last five or six years, when I got involved in television, is when the specialty stuff really took off.  I was hired to work on a show filmed here in Atlanta for HDTV as their specialty fabricator and the host would come up with crazy weird ideas for moving walls or who knows what; we did a lot of moving things.  What was great about that was that really solidified my confidence level so that I knew I could build custom, cool, weird, crazy things.  I still have a lot of private clients and I get to dip my toe in the high end celebrity market occasionally.

If you have a product or a brand that you’re trying to promote, having your word mean something means something to me.  That’s where referral business is great, because I have a reputation that I’m going to do what I say I’m going to do and I’m going to do it to the client’s satisfaction.  If you can be a good person and do quality work, you’re always going to be in business.

Visit his website to learn more about Paddy Collins’ work.


 

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New AIA Class Now Available


We are pleased to announce that through a collaboration with the American Hardwood Information Center, we created a new continuing education class to help explain the technical aspects about thermally modified hardwood and its role in architectural design.

This course was approved by both the American Institute of Architects/Continuing Education System (AIA/CES) and the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC) for one Learning Unit/Hour.
 

Thermally Modified Hardwood and its Role in Architectural Design Class Description:

Thermally modified hardwoods can fill an essential need in your architectural designs. Thermally modified hardwoods can be used in different applications than traditional hardwoods. This class will teach you the science behind thermally modified hardwoods and explain the physical characteristics and performance features. Finally, we’ll examine proper design applications and specifications for thermally modified hardwood and their environmental advantages.

At the conclusion of this Presentation, participants will be able to:

  1 - Comprehend the basics of what thermally modified hardwood is and explain how it is different than other wood products.
  2 - List physical characteristics and performance features of thermally modified hardwood.
  3 - Recognize the proper design applications for thermally modified hardwood.
  4 - Write accurate specifications for the installation and maintenance features of thermally modified hardwood.
  5 - Understand the environmental advantages of thermally modified hardwood.

To schedule a Lunch & Learn session near you, contact us today.


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What You Should Know About Ipe Decking

If you’re looking for a hardwood decking option, Ipe should definitely be on your short list. Prized for its hardness and durability, Ipe is a decking option that will stand the test of time.

Ipe (Tabebuia spp., Lapacho group) is a tropical hardwood that grows all over South America much as yellow pine grows all over the United States. In some cases, it is harvested irresponsibly, but sustainable sources of Ipe are available from a reputable supplier. Our Ipe is sustainably sourced.

Topping out the Janka scale with a rating of 3684, more than three times the hardness of Walnut, Ipe is extremely hard, dense, and heavy. When dry, it weighs approximately 69 lbs per cubic food (compare that to Southern Pine at 35 lbs per cubic foot) and generally sinks in water. Ipe dries well without much checking or twisting and has an exceptionally smooth surface that is not prone to splintering.

Ipe is basically bullet-proof. This hardwood is resistant to rot, insects, and even fire.  Ipe can safely be used in ground contact without preservatives. In a 1962 Panama Canal study conducted by the U.S. Navy, Ipe was one of the top performers when it came to rot and insect resistance; it lasted 15 years in the ground without attack by termites.


Ipe Decking Naturally Aging Over TimeIpe is one of the most durable wood species available. The U.S. Forests Products Laboratory has given Ipe its highest possible durability rating (25+ years). Most Ipe decking is guaranteed for at least 20-25 years, and may last decades longer. The boardwalk at Coney Island in New York City used to be constructed of Ipe, and it lasted 25 years before it needed to be replaced.  Chances are your deck will see less traffic than the Coney Island boardwalk and last considerably longer.

Because of its extreme hardness, Ipe can be difficult to work. Carbide tipped saw blades are recommended, as Ipe will dull others. Predrilling for fasteners is necessary and, as with all hardwood decking, only stainless steel fasteners should be used. Hidden clip fastener systems are recommended as they allow the wood to expand and contract without putting pressure on screws, keep water from soaking into the decking, and leave a smooth, splinter-free surface.

Ipe is a beautiful dark brown, sometimes with reddish hues. To preserve this natural color, Ipe decking should be finished every two years with an oil-based finish. Because of Ipe’s alkaline characteristics, many oil and water-based finishes will not work, so you’ll want to use an oil finish specially formulated for Ipe. Without this treatment, Ipe will weather to a silvery gray color. Even if you decide to let your Ipe decking weather naturally, you should still apply an oil finish once right after installation.

When you want to build a deck that will last for decades and be nearly impervious to rot and insects, Ipe is a great choice.

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Forests Down Under

A Blog by Jim Howard, President


On a recent trip to Australia, I had the opportunity to visit the forests down under and learn firsthand about their native trees and local history.

I visited a rainforest in northern coastal Australia in the Queensland region near Cairns, which was historically a timber region. We saw towering bull kauri pine (Agathis microstachya), the largest of Australia’s conifer pine species, which can grow up to 160 feet high. Here we also saw some of Australia’s significant eucalyptus forests and caught a glimpse of one of their best known inhabitants, the koala.

The town of Herberton in northern Australia became an important gateway to the gold mining region at the Palmer River. By 1910, as the area became populated and the need for forest products grew, over 20 species were being harvested, including silky oak, maple, silkwood, black pine and Kauri pine. Also prevalent are giant fig trees that host myriad plants and animals. The tree shown is estimated to be 500 years old.

In southern Australia in the Barossa Valley near Adelaide, we visited the Yalumba Winery, Australia’s oldest family run winery. They have their own cooperage and produce white oak barrels.

Nearby we visited the Herbig Family Tree, estimated to be 300-500 years old with a diameter of seven meters at the base. This red gum tree was the home of Friedrich Herbig, who moved into its hollow base after emigrating from Germany in 1855. Three years later, he married, and his wife moved into the tree as well. They remained there until 1860, when they finally outgrew their treehouse after the birth of their second child.

It’s interesting that the study of an area’s forests provide a window into so many other aspects of a place. Experiencing the forests of Australia gave me lessons in trade, ecology, and history.

    




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Ash Lumber and the Emerald Ash Borer


Ash is a great species of lumber to work with. Ash is known for its staining potential and ability to mimic oak. It has great shock resistance, and solid workability. To this point, it has been an economical wood that was always readily available.

The light brown and creamy white colorations of ash look great with a simple clear finish and are strikingly beautiful.

Uses for Ash Wood

Ash is used for furniture, cabinetry, flooring, doors, architectural moulding and millwork, tool handles, baseball bats, hockey sticks, oars, turnings, and is also sliced for veneer. It is a popular species for food containers because the wood has no taste. Learn more about ash lumber.

How the Emerald Ash Borer is Killing the Ash Trees

Emerald Ash Borers are likely to kill 99 percent of the U.S. ash wood trees, says the U.S. Forest Service. This exotic insect girdles and kills the tree. The killer beetle has made a home in 26 states, two Canadian providences and is continuing to spread. In just 10 years, it has become the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America.

The demise of the ash tree would be a truly sad event.

Can the Emerald Ash Borer be Stopped?

Research continues and (expensive) single-tree treatment is now available, but as of now, the infestation continues. In areas of the country already infected by emerald ash borer, quarantine efforts are underway to slow the spread of the emerald ash borer to new areas (the latest quarantine map).

The USDA has also recently approved three species of parasitic non-stinging wasps for import from China. The wasp eggs develop inside of the ash borer larvae, killing it. After they emerge from the trees, the adult wasps continue to feed on larvae and eggs in the area. Woodpeckers are the wasps only natural competition. According to the USDA, the wasps are not attracted to pets or people and have no stingers. What looks like a stinger is actually their egg-laying organ.

Currently, scientists are breeding and releasing them. As of fall, the wasps have been released in 19 states. But their population still has to catch up to the immense borer population and Illinois doesn’t have the wasps as yet.
“It’ll be years before that balance comes back into the ecosystem until then, there’s no silver bullet to save those ash trees,” said Heminghous.

Giving Ash a Second Life

Many woodworkers and designers are embracing ash, with a desire of paying homage to ash in its wood form, embracing the idea that even when you can’t save the ash tree, you can save its wood. The Chicago Furniture Designers Association has even launched a furniture exhibition entitled, Rising from the ASHES: Furniture from Lost Trees.

This resurgence in the popularity of ash is bittersweet. We will continue to celebrate and use ash lumber while it is available, while cheering on the parasitic wasps and hoping they will catch up to the emerald ash borer.
 

Learn More

For more information refer to http://www.emeraldashborer.info/.
Be certain to check any quarantine regulations before removing ash.



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Historic Preservation Meets Cutting Edge Green Technology

 

History in the Making

The National Trust for Historic Preservation recognizes Ponce City Market as “history in the making,” and recognizes the project as part of a plan “to move Atlanta forward while maintaining and emphasizing the city’s unique history and culture.” Ponce City Market has reopened a renovated and reinvented Sears, Roebuck & Company building into a unique place rooted in the history of the building.

Ponce City Market will likely be Atlanta’s largest adaptive reuse project ever, encompassing 1.1 million square feet of retail, office space, and residences in what was once a Sears, Roebuck & Company distribution center. This adaptive-reuse project picked up some impressive awards in 2016, including a 2016 Global Excellence from the Urban Land Institute and the 2016 Project of the Year from the Atlanta chapter of the same organization. Ponce City Market has earned the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council.

Sears Roebuck Building Evolves into Ponce Market

  SearsHistoricPhoto 



 

Green Technology Abounds at Ponce Market - 
Thermally Modified Lumber, VikingWood  

PonceMarketEntry_VikingWood

















While exposed brick walls showing the wear of 90 years of industrial use purposefully leave the history visible to those visiting the Ponce City Market, the project has also embraced new green technologies and innovative products. Hardwoods Inc., headquartered in Mableton, GA, is proud to have provided VikingWoodTM for Ponce City Market.

VikingWood™ is a natural, chemical-free lumber that is rated for exterior use without the need for chemical treatment. The wood is treated under extremely high temperatures (400 degrees Fahrenheit+) causing the sugars to be cooked away, leaving a safe, green alternative to chemically preserved wood. The treatment process results in a deep rich colored wood. It is excellent for exterior applications where weather related decay and stability are essential. You can expect years of service with minimal maintenance from this sustainable alternative to tropical imports.

“We are proud that VikingWood™ was included in an innovative project like the Ponce City Market,” says Hal Mitchell, President. “This wood fits the look and feel of the market and will be there for years to come. “The unique treatment system we use is the first of its kind in North America and provides a stress-free, thermally modified lumber for superior stability and exceptional resistance to weather and fungi-related deterioration”.

As Ponce City Market continues to add new stores, restaurants, and residences, it is exciting to watch the continual integration of green innovation with historical preservation.
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Product Feature - Rochshield's Aspen Core Plywood
 

Why and When to Use Plywood

Plywood is an extremely stable product, not subject to movements caused by temperature and humidity changes. This makes it perfect for applications where tolerances are tight, such as door panels set within stiles and rails. Typically plywood’s 4 × 8 foot sheets also make it an excellent and affordable option for applications where wide widths are needed, such as cabinets and wall panels.

A high quality panel comes from a consistent high quality manufacturing process. We have formed partnerships with manufacturers that go above and beyond. This helps us supply plywood panels with beauty, durability, and high performance.

 

Supplying Rockshield Aspen Core Plywood to Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama

One of the suppliers Hardwoods Incorporated is pleased to partner with is Rockshield Engineered Wood Products. We can supply Rockshield’s premium quality aspen core plywood for your next project.



Why Use Aspen Core Plywood?

The inner core of this plywood makes the product different from other kinds of plywood. The aspen inner core has similar characteristics to a poplar core but at a more economical price (priced similar to a fir core). The aspen core is also lighter in weight than both a fir and poplar core.

Due to the softer nature of aspen, it does not telegraph core imperfections to the face veneer, resulting in a smooth appearance, ideal for furniture grade finishes. Aspen core is very stable with excellent screw holding and machining qualities. The color is almost white, resulting in little color variations along the plywood edges. 

Aspen creates a superior product due to its light to white color, uniform texture, good dimensional stability, and low shrinkage. The species available on the face of the aspen core plywood are: maple, cherry, walnut, hickory, knotty pine, white oak, red oak, birch, sapele, and khaya.


   

Uses for Aspen Core Plywood:

Kitchen cabinets
Wall paneling
Furniture
Recreational vehicles
Doors
Bathroom vanities
Stair parts
Speakers
Commercial millwork

 

Sustainability

The core blanks of Rockshield’s plywood are made with aspen logs from sustainably-managed forests in Northern Ontario. Aspen not only produces superior hardwood plywood, it is also a great species for sustainable forestry. Aspen naturally regenerates from root saplings once the main trunk has been harvested and is a post disturbance species as well.

LEED ACCEPTED - Rockshield aspen core plywoods are accepted under LEED V4 formaldehyde requirements.



To learn more about Rockshield Aspen Core Plywood, contact the Hardwoods Incorporated Sales Team at www.hardwoodweb.com.



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Product Feature - Live Edge Wood Slabs

Using wood slabs in your project is a great way to add individuality. Each slab is distinct and has its own story to tell. Each tree's unique history shines through in our slabs rich grain, gnarly character and complex figure.

What are Live Edge Slabs?

Live edge slabs are pieces of lumber cut from a log without the outside edges being trimmed. The live edge slab incorporates the entire natural exterior of the tree, including cambium and bark. Many have limb crotches, curly figure, old nail holes, or other natural characteristics displaying the raw beauty of wood. 
 

What can Live Edge Slabs Be Used for?

Live edge slab pieces are typically used for fireplace mantles, dining room tables, benches, shelving, conference room tables, and desks. They are also often used in various bartop and countertop applications. They are also a current design trend featured in many high design restaurants and bars.

Wood slab countertops can be made of one piece of wood or book-matched with two pieces from the same tree to look like one piece. This functional item will help give your kitchen character and will make it a unique room in which to work and relax.


   

Where Do We Get Live Edge Slabs?

We are proud to purchase our live edge slabs from Eutree Inc., an Atlanta-based company that specializes in processing only urban logs. “They do great work and we are always impressed with the quality of the live edge slabs we get from them,” explains our CEO, Jim Howard.
   
Owner, Sim Acuff ran an Atlanta tree service for a decade before founding Eutree. “I got tired of throwing away logs" recalls Acuff, and he knew he wasn't alone. Tree service workers tend to revere the trees they cut down, particularly the old, grand looking trees that are removed. "It was a shame to send all that nice lumber to the landfill or to see it chipped or to pay to get rid of it."

No cut of wood reveals the natural beauty of wood like an awe-inspiring slab. Eutree’s generously cut wood slabs showcase the magnificence and character of open grown urban trees.

 

What Wood Species Are Available?

The wood species that are in stock change depending on what trees are being trimmed or removed. There are many that are typically available, including red oak, white oak, red gum, elm, box elder, poplar, cherry, Lebanese cedar, and pecan/hickory.  
Many are kept in stock at our Atlanta location so stop by!




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Unusual Uses of Wood in Transportation

Wood can show up many unusual places. We expect to see wood used for durable flooring, sturdy house framing, and beautifully crafted furniture, but have you ever thought of using transportation made almost exclusively of wood? Wooden planes, cars, and motor bikes have been made throughout the years. These surprising wooden items made by people who thought outside the box will give you a new appreciation for wood’s usefulness!

The Mosquito Fighter Plane


In the lead up to WWII, Britain’s Royal Air Force commissioned designs for a new bomber that would be smaller and faster than the ones they already had. A civilian company, De Havilland, came up with a design for a fighter plane made almost entirely out of plywood! The Mosquito, as it was called, was made of Ecuadorean balsawood sandwiched with Canadian birch and heat-formed over a wooden frame.  These light-weight bombers used less fuel than traditional bombers and were twice as fast. Nicknamed the “Wooden Wonder” and “Timber Terror,” Mosquitos flew over 28,000 missions over the course of the war.

And why, exactly, was it wooden? Certainly because spruce, birch plywood and Ecuadorean balsa weren’t strategic materials and were in plentiful supply. In addition, furniture factories, cabinetmakers, luxury-auto coach builders and piano makers could quickly be turned into subcontractors. And because as a material, wood makes a "remarkably smooth, drag-cheating surface free of rivets and seams". And battle damage could be repaired relatively easily in the field.

Source: HistoryNet


The Hercules Flying Boat


Across the pond during WWII, the U.S. War Department came up with a prototype for a flying boat known as the Hughes H-4 Hercules.  Due to restrictions on the use of aluminum, this flying boat was made almost entirely of wood.  It was affectionately called the “Spruce Goose,” although it was actually made of birch.  Not only was the Hercules the largest flying boat, it also had the largest wingspan of any aircraft ever built. The Hercules was not completed in time for the war and made only one flight on November 2, 1947.  It is currently on display at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

Source: Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum


The Splinter Supercar


This wooden supercar made news when it premiered at the Essen Motor Show in December 2015. We loved this story so much there is a separate blog on it sharing much of the detail behind this unique wooden supercar.

“The Splinter” is a high-performance sports car that is 90% wood!  Nearly every part of the car is made from wood composites, including the chassis and wheels.  The Splinter, a fully functioning sports car with an estimated top speed of 240 mph, began as Joe Harmon’s graduate project at North Carolina State University and took his team five years to complete.

Source: Hardwood Distributors Association

Wooden Vespa


Portuguese craftsman, Carlos Alberto made this inspiring wooden Vespa. Classic Vespa is one of the most gorgeous designs in history and this is a really worthy remake. Fashioned from laminated hardwood, the result is stunningly beautiful.

Named "Daniela," in honor of his daughter, this Vespa motor scooter is hand crafted almost entirely out of laminated hardwood. The main spine of the bike is fashioned from steam bent and laminated veneers upon which very nicely carved body work hangs. Even the package tray and seat are made from wood.

Source: Carlos Alberto website


Did we miss something? Is there another project you'd like to see added to this list? Let us know.



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It's Finally Here - North America's First Pressurized, Closed-System Thermal Modification Kiln

We are excited to announce that the kiln has been installed and has already dried a few charges of thermally modified wood. After a long history of successful use in Europe, this closed-system pressure vessel is the FIRST to be installed in North America. This pressurized closed thermal modification system is important in maintaining a consistent high-quality product.
 

What Makes a Closed Thermal Modification Different?

Using a simple and accurate control strategy, this system is the only thermally modified system that keeps the wood near hygroscopic equilibrium during the entire treatment cycle. What is hygroscopic equilibrium? Also known in the lumber industry as “EMC”, equilibrium moisture content, is defined as the point where wood stops absorbing moisture from or releasing moisture into the surrounding air. At this point, the wood is said to have reached hygroscopic equilibrium.

For thermally modified wood from a closed system, the resulting wood is at a constant 5% moisture content.  
  

Why is Equilibrium Moisture Content a Big Deal?

For anyone working with wood on a regular basis, EMC is important for a number of reasons. Wood expands and contracts with moisture content depending on the average moisture content of the region where the wood is located. In addition, when wood is exposed to a wet environment, such as exterior applications, wood will cup, warp, and degrade without specific exterior treatments.
 

How Is A Pressurized Closed System Better for Thermally Modified Wood?

Since the system is closed and pressurized, the system does not allow the wood to go below 5% moisture content. In some other system types the wood is dried to almost 0% and then reabsorbs moisture after the treatment is done. The pressurized system doesn’t allow that fluctuation which reduces the treatment stress on the wood. This allows for a more stable product as a result and reduces the potential for cracking, and splitting.
The pressurized closed system improves the wood’s properties, resulting in increased dimensional stability and increased decay resistance, while creating a chemical-free wood that repels moisture.


Learn More about the Advantages of Thermally Modified Lumber.


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Wood Highlight - Red Oak

Red Oak: Versatile, Budget Friendly, and Beautiful

Red Oak, at least in the US, is one of those woods that we tend to take for granted. We find it used in everything from flooring to cabinets to furniture. Hard and strong, with excellent wear resistance, and moderately priced, red oak presents an exceptional value. In addition, designing with red oak can result in either a traditional or contemporary look.

Yale’s Kroon Hall is one of the AIA/COTE (American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment) 2010 Top Ten Green Projects. The building is a simple, barrel-vaulted structure clad in stone that likens it to the campus’ neo-Gothic buildings. Project director Mike Taylor of Hopkins Architects, a British firm, describes its architecture as “a modernist blend of cathedral nave and Connecticut barn.”

When interviewed about designing the new School of Forestry and Environmental Studies building, the architects took the opportunity to browse through the university’s plans room to see drawings of existing buildings. While there, they made a discovery that had a vital effect on their design.

“We saw that Yale had its own forests in New England,” explained Taylor. “We thought then that it could be a masonry building with a timber lining—and that it could use its own timber.” Durable red oak was the wood of choice, used for all the internal woodwork—paneling, stair treads, and some furniture and flooring—with the exception of the glulam beams. In the end, about half was sourced from Yale’s Tourney forest and the rest from within 500 miles. Local sourcing and life-cycle considerations were important factors in achieving a LEED-Platinum rating.

This was the first time the architects worked with American red oak, though they had extensive experience with white oak. “We were a bit guarded,” said Taylor. “It has more character, variation and warmth than white oak. We were concerned that it could look exaggerated.” The result is a harmonious visual contrast that provides warmth that might otherwise have been lacking in the 68,800-square-foot building.

A centrally placed staircase leads to the most dramatic space in the building—the top level. Under a vaulted ceiling, paneled in red oak veneer and supported by glulams, are an environmental center and auditorium, separated by classrooms and a cafe. Tongue-and-groove vertical and horizontal red oak paneling lines the walls.

The architects used several techniques to lower energy demand. By incorporating an east-west orientation, the building minimizes heat gain and maximizes daylighting and solar gain. Photovoltaic panels generate about 23% of annual energy needs, supplemented by purchased green energy, and geothermal wells provide heating and cooling. The building also has operable windows, and when necessary, the building uses displacement ventilation with heat recovery. Through these efforts, Kroon Hall is not only carbon neutral, but it is expected to consume 58% less energy than a similar, code-compliant building.

Kroon Hall also uses a rainwater harvesting system. It gathers water from the roof and uses a garden in the south courtyard filled with native aquatic plants to filter out sediment and contaminants. The water is then transferred to underground storage tanks until it’s used for flushing toilets. The water savings are estimated at 500,000 gallons a year, or 75% less than a similar building would use.
 
Richard C. Levin, president of Yale, praised Kroon Hall as “Yale’s most sustainable building” and said that he hoped “its energy-saving concepts will be emulated widely and inspire others to advance green building design even further.” Set anywhere, this building would be an achievement in architectural and sustainability terms. For the students and faculty, what could be better than to be reminded of the subject of their study every time they look at the majestic red oak walls? With busy agendas, they are unlikely to get to the forest as often as they might wish. How marvelous then that the forest has come to them.
 



Photography: Morley von Sternberg and The American Hardwood Export Council

Special thanks to the American Hardwood Export Council and the American Hardwood Information Center for this feature. 


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Atlanta Hardwood Corporation Expands, Adding Thermally Modified Wood Production Capacity

The Next Step in Wood Drying Technology - Thermally Modified Wood


Atlanta Hardwood Corporation is pleased to announce they have added a thermal modification kiln to its integrated line of wood products manufacturing.  The closed-system pressure vessel will provide thermally modified lumber for use in applications where decay resistance and stability are crucial. 

“We are excited about the addition of a thermal modification kiln at White County Mouldings in Cleveland, GA,” says Hal Mitchell, President of Atlanta Hardwood Corporation. “The closed-system, pressurized kiln utilizes proven European technology and is the first of its kind in North America. By treating under pressure, we can maintain EMC levels in the wood providing stress-free, thermally modified lumber for superior stability and exceptional resistance to weather and fungi-related deterioration”.
 

What is Thermal Modified Wood?

VikingWood™ is a natural, chemical-free material which is treated under extremely high temperatures (400oF+). Sugars are cooked away leaving a safe, green alternative to chemically preserved wood.

When hardwood is thermally modified, the process permanently alters the wood’s chemical and physical properties when temperatures over 400˚F are reached. The thermal modification process reduces the equilibrium wood moisture content down to a very low range of 5-6%.
 

Benefits of VikingWood™ Thermally Modified Wood

Stability – increased dimensional stability, with less cupping / warping.

Decay Resistance – heat removes the sugar-based, food source for insects and fungi, resulting in a durable interior and exterior product.

Repels Moisture – the heat process fundamentally changes the hygroscopic ability of wood, reducing the wood’s ability to absorb moisture up to 85%.

Chemical-Free – naturally durable hardwood product without the use of chemicals.

Chocolate Brown Patina – a rich, deep chocolate brown appearance brings an unexpected tropical look.

 

Design Applications for Thermally Modified Hardwood

VikingWood™ has a versatile range of design applications, both exterior and interior.

 

What Wood Species Are Offered?

VikingWood™ thermally modified lumber will be offered in:  Poplar, Ash, Sweet Gum, Red Oak, Red Grandis, Soft Maple, Cypress, Eastern White Pine, Southern Yellow Pine 

To learn more about VikingWood™ contact the Atlanta Hardwood Sales Team at www.hardwoodweb.com.

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Wood Acclimation

Why is Wood Acclimation So Important?  And How Do I Specify Wood Acclimation?

Acclimation allows the moisture in the wood to adjust to the normal conditions in which it will be installed. It is the most important first step to proper wood installation.
 

What is Wood Acclimation?

According to the National Wood Flooring Association, wood floor acclimation is “the process of adjusting (conditioning) the moisture content of wood flooring to the environment in which it is expected to perform”.
 

Why Does Wood Need to Acclimate?

Wood is an organic material that reacts to its environment. It is hygroscopic - it absorbs and loses moisture in reaction to its surrounding environment. In humid environments, wood gains moisture and swells. In dry environments, wood loses moisture and shrinks. This is completely normal and happens at all stages of the wood life cycle. When wood is properly acclimated, it performs as expected and is a beautiful addition to any project.
 

What Happens to Wood When Not Acclimated Correctly?

When wood gains too much moisture, it can cup. Cupping occurs across the width of lumber, trim, or floor boards, with raised edges on each board and lower centers than the edges.

Wood can gap when it loses too much moisture too quickly. Gapping mostly occurs between floor boards. Although in larger solid wood pieces, it can mean splits and checking. Flooring gaps can vary in size and are considered normal if they appear and disappear during seasonal changes in humidity. Gaps are not considered normal if they are large or do not close during more-humid months.

Both of these issues can be minimized by maintaining an environment consistently between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and 30-50% humidity. Significant fluctuations outside these ranges can result in cupping or gaps.

 

How Long Should Wood Acclimate?

There is a common misconception among contractors that if you bring wood flooring, mouldings, or other solid wood products onto a jobsite and let it sit for a few days, it will acclimate properly and be ready to install. This is a big mistake costing time and money later.

Contrary to belief, acclimating wood properly has less do with the amount of time it sits on the job site, and more to do with monitoring the moisture content of various components.

Most wood performs best when the environment is controlled and remains within a relative humidity range of 30-50%. Ambient temperature should also be controlled within a range of 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

How Do I Specify Wood Be Installed?

Wood installations should be some of the last jobs on a construction project. Certain conditions should be met before wood flooring is delivered to the job site.

The following conditions should always be established before wood is delivered to a jobsite:

     - The building is completely enclosed (doors and windows installed)
     - Final grading has been completed and all drainage runs away from the building
     - All wet construction elements are completed and dry (concrete, plastering, drywall)
     - Basement and crawl space areas are dry
     - Air conditioning and/or heating is functional and has been running for five days prior to installation
     - A relative humidity of 30-50% has been achieved and an air temperature of 60-80 degrees is maintained.

Once the job site is ready and the wood delivered, the time it will take to acclimate depends on the expected seasonal change, manufacturer recommendations, the species of wood, and climate conditions of the job site.

It is highly recommended the moisture content of wood be measured immediately after delivery to establish a baseline.

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Wood and Moisture: It’s All Biology

Hardwood lumber just cut, referred to as green lumber, can have a moisture content of 40% or more. After hardwood lumber is sawn, it is typically air-dried to around 15% moisture content. Hardwood lumber will be continued to be dried in a kiln to a moisture content of 6-9%.

Wood is hygroscopic, which means just like a sponge the moisture content will change depending on the relative humidity of the surrounding air. When humidity increases, the wood absorbs moisture from the air causing the wood to expand. When the humidity decreases, the wood releases water into the air and the wood shrinks.

 

What Direction Does Wood Expand In?

When wood expands and contracts because of changes in moisture content, hardwood will move in a predictable way. Wood shrinks most in the direction of the annual growth rings (tangentially), and half as much across the rings (radially), and only slightly along the grain (longitudinally). or from the center of the tree to the outer edge).

Hardwood shrinks most in the direction of the annual growth rings (tangentially), about half as much across the growth rings (radially), and only slightly along the grain (longitudinally).

Flat-sawn boards will cup away from the heart of the tree. The shrinking will occur mostly in its width.
Rift-sawn boards will warp and shrink into a diamond or trapezoidal shape.
Quarter-sawn boards will shrink slightly in both length and width.

 

What Do I Do About Moisture and Wood Movement?

The solution to this problem is quite simple: don’t stop the wood from moving, but rather account for its movement. With a little bit of knowledge, you can predict the degree of wood movement, and take action to accommodate the movement.


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The History of Thermally Modified Wood

Thermally Modified Wood Started with the Vikings!


Thermally modified wood products are still considered new to us here in the United States. But they’ve been widely used for over 20 years in Germany, Austria, Norway, Switzerland, Japan and Italy for both interior and exterior use. However, it was the Vikings, centuries ago, who apparently first discovered that burning the surface of wood made it more durable and better suited for exterior use.

Vikings Discovered Thermally Modified Wood!

Centuries ago, the Vikings learned to overcome natural wood's shortcomings by treating it with fire. They discovered that burning the surface of cut wood made it more resistant to the effects of outdoor exposure. Consider this the first instance of wood's thermal modification for construction purposes!
It was only within the last century that Europeans perfected the thermal modification process. By adding steam to it, this further alters the structure of wood, making it more impervious to rot, mildew, and decay.

What Does Thermal Modification Do to Wood?

Thermal modification is now a highly technical computer-controlled process carried out in specially designed high-temperature kilns. Only heat and steam—no chemicals—are used, which makes the process green.

When hardwood is thermally modified, the process permanently alters the wood’s chemical and physical properties when temperatures over 400˚F are reached. This is very different than the way wood is dried traditionally in a kiln. Kiln drying only reduces the moisture content of the timber (to an acceptable range of 6-8%). The thermal modification process reduces the wood moisture content down to a very low range of 0-5%.

Two of the popular ways to thermally modify wood are in open systems (not under vacuum) and closed systems (under a vacuum). Open systems reduce the moisture content to zero, but cause more stress on the wood and its physical properties. Closed systems reduce moisture content to approximately 5%, resulting in less internal stress. Thermally modifying hardwoods has the effect of drastically reducing the equilibrium moisture content. Put simply, the physical structure of the wood is changed, resulting in changes in the physical properties of the hardwood.

What Physical Characteristics are Different with Thermally Modified Hardwood?

Thermally modified wood produces material with outstanding dimensional stability and rot-resistance because of how it changes the cellular structure of the wood. The cells in wood have their ability to transport water reduced, resulting in a water resistant effect. The sugar content in the wood cells is also reduced, minimizing the food source for mold and fungus. These two physical changes in  the wood result in a hardwood product stable and durable enough for exterior applications – much as the Vikings used it.

Natural Rich Brown Color Created with Thermal Modification, No Stain Needed

The color of the wood is transformed, and this color extends throughout the thickness of each board. The color of “medium-treated” wood varies from light to golden brown, while the “intense-treated” wood is a chocolate brown. Because of their stability and color change, thermally modified products are considered an environmentally friendly alternative to engineered and exotic products.


Why is Thermally Modified Hardwood a Great Product?

Thermally modified hardwood is a natural, chemical-free material – a safe, green alternative to chemically preserved wood. The deep rich colored wood is excellent for exterior applications where weather related decay and stability are essential. You can expect years of service with minimal maintenance from this sustainable alternative to tropical imports such as teak and ipe.


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Red Grandis: The Perfect Wood for Interior and Exterior Applications

As the weather warms, our minds wander to what exterior projects are on the horizon. Whether in your own home or in the projects you’ll be designing, red grandis is a wood to seriously consider for your next design.
  

What is Red Grandis?

Red Grandis is a plantation species grown in Uruguay in an FSC certified forest using FSC certified harvesting practices. Straight-grained and medium textured, red grandis is an alternative for a variety of hardwoods such as mahogany and sapele.
  

What are the Characteristics of Red Grandis?

The species bears a close resemblance to Genuine Mahogany in density, hardness, and grain structure. The color is a warm red, in-between mahogany and cherry in color when freshly sawn. As it oxidizes and is finished, the color deepens to a richer red, more similar to mahogany. 
Red Grandis offers an ecological alternative to many tropical hardwoods. Versatile and strong, this beautiful hardwood is 100% pure FSC® certified. The heartwood can vary in color from pale pink to medium pink. It has a uniform, but moderately coarse textured grain which is usually straight or slightly interlocked.

 

What Projects Can I Use Red Grandis For?

Red Grandis is a consistent, premium quality wood ideally suited for high-end applications in furniture, cabinetry, mouldings, windows and doors. Renowned for stability on its own, red grandis is also seen as an excellent alternative to Spanish cedar and mahogany for exterior applications.
 
Want more technical specifications? 




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The Art of Stacking Moldings

Creating a unique wide molding can be a design challenge and stress the budget. But it doesn’t have to be. By using multiple smaller moldings instead of one solid molding, you can stretch your budget and get the same high-end custom look.
   

What is molding stacking?

The standard width of trim is five inches but many times when choosing baseboards and crown molding, wider options can look attractive. By combining standard molding profiles and shapes that are available off the shelf in stores, it's easy to build up or "stack" standard profiles. This creates the effect of a single piece of wood several inches wider in almost any style. According to the American Hardwood Information Council “stacked" molding may typically cost hundreds of dollars less than custom-made molding for a single room.
 

Where can stacked moldings be used?

Built-up moldings can be used anywhere the walls meet the ceiling for crown molding, as well as for chair rails, door and window frames and baseboards. Stacked moldings can also be used to create custom features in a room, such as a fireplace mantel.
 

How can I combine stock pieces of wood to create a baseboard?

Writing a Specification? Determine what profiles you want to combine and then just include a description and graphic of how they should be installed. For a traditional molding, start from the floor with a relatively flat trim board that is four to six inches high. Add a piece of trim molding with a convex or rounded shape (such as a basic quarter-round) at the bottom of the flat trim board. Then top off the flat board with a recessed profile. The finished product should measure six to eight inches high.

How to combine wood profiles to create a crown molding.

Start by deciding the overall impact and width you are looking for and then look at options to combine. Once you’ve selected the profile layout, write your specification accordingly. The finished product should measure at least six inches and can be as intricate or simple as you can imagine. A crown profile using the stacking method can have anywhere from two molding profiles to five or six.

Whether traditional or contemporary, using stock moldings to create custom solid molding designs is a great solution for any project.


 

Why Can't I Get 14 Inch Wide Moldings from a 24 Inch Diameter Tree?

Standard minimums for upper grade hardwood lumber are 5-inch wide boards. So, asking for a 14-inch wide molding gets quickly problematic. This is where stacking molding from multiple stock profiles is a solid alternative to building a custom molding. But why?

A hardwood tree may be 55 feet tall and 24-inches in diameter, but it will yield boards that are no more than 12-inches wide. Mouldings, in turn, will be narrower than that. Larger trees can produce wider lumber, yet wider boards are more difficult to work with because of hardwood's natural expansion and contraction characteristics, leaving a different set of challenges. 
  
Stacking multiple stock molding profiles alleviates these challenges and provides an economical solution to give a project the unique architectural interest you and your clients are seeking.


Special thanks to the American Hardwood Information Center for information and images.

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Wood In Bathroom Design

When thinking of surfaces to use in bathroom design, wood may not be one of them. But why not? Wood is used on decks and docks, where it is constantly shifting between wet and dry. Why not use it in the bathroom?

Whether it's on the floor, the countertops or even in the shower, wood provides a seamless transition from the bathroom to other areas of your home, and, when treated properly, provides a material that blends with every style from minimalist to traditional.
 

Where to Use Hardwoods in Bathroom Design

There are a variety of ways to integrate hardwoods into bathroom design. Whether as a unique statement piece or small detail, wood adds warmth and visual interest.
 
Hardwood paneling in the bathroom infuses style instantly and meshes with the design style chosen. Wood on an accent wall softens and adds texture. Wooden countertops can become a centerpiece of the bathroom. Hardwood millwork and trim adds detail and ties a room together.  A wooden washbasin or tub may seem like a dangerous design choice, but not so. Cedar, hinoki and other aromatic hardwoods have been used for centuries to make ofuro, the deep soaking tubs beloved by the Japanese.

 

Can You Use Hardwood Floors in the Bathroom?

Hardwood flooring is a viable design choice in bathroom design. Many flooring manufacturers recommend engineered hardwood flooring instead of solid hardwood flooring for bathrooms. Other designers and installers state that both solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring can be used, arguing that the most important part of wood flooring installation in a wet environment is the finish. The important thing is to follow the hardwood flooring manufacturers’ guidelines.

Besides the aesthetics reasons for using hardwood flooring in a bathroom, ease and continuity are two more reasons. It's easier to run flooring that exists in the other rooms of the house through to the bathroom. It creates a flow and feeling of continuity.

 

Choosing the Right Finish When Using Hardwoods in the Bathroom

Water on hardwoods shouldn’t be taken lightly when considering hardwood in the bathroom. Selecting a good finish is critical for hardwoods to hold up over time. The wood should be properly sealed, paying close attention to manufacturer instructions. Some recommended finishes are oil-based urethanes and boiled linseed oil.

To see more creative ideas for using hardwoods in bathroom design, take a look at our Bathrooms Pinterest Board.

 


How to Care for Woods in the Bathroom

If you maintain the floor finish and promptly clean up splashes, everything should be fine. Follow these maintenance tips:

 - Minimize humidity of your bathroom by properly ventilating.

 - Promptly clean up all spills.

 - Place protective mats or rugs in “high-risk” areas, i.e. in front of the bathtub, vanity/sink, and the shower.

 - Reapply wood finishes as recommended by the finish manufacturer, typically every 2 to 5 years.

 - Take preventative measures to prevent water pooling on wood surfaces and fix all problems as soon as they arise.


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Cypress Wood Rustic Wood Ceilings Add Style and Warmth

When designing a room, the ceiling is often overlooked. What’s over your head has more to do with the feel of a room than any other aspect. Few materials can top wood when it comes to creating a warm and cozy look for your home. Using wood in an unexpected place like the ceiling gives a room even more texture and dimension. 

Why install a planked wood ceiling?

Adding an architectural detail to an otherwise bland room is one of many reasons to add a rustic cypress planked wood ceiling but it is far from the only reason. This is also a great way to cover a dated popcorn ceiling or a poor drywall installation. Wood ceilings can also change the acoustics in a room. A wooden ceiling instantly becomes a focal point in a room, infusing unique style in your room.   

Will a wood ceiling make my room too dark?

The natural color of cypress is the perfect way to have a wood ceiling without making the room too dark. Be sure to balance the wood with lighter or bolder colors on the walls.

Cypress Wood Ceilings - A Unique Look

“There’s really nothing quite like it,” says Hal Mitchell of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association. “It’s an exceptional wood that offers variety and lasting performance to any home, anywhere. And for interior applications, as paneling, millwork, cabinetry, or flooring, cypress delivers a unique look that complements practically every architectural style. So whether in the woods or ocean front, rustic to contemporary, with cypress, the possibilities are endless.”

  

Special thanks to the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, Photographer Christopher Wesnofske and Jim Tetro / U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon



Learn more about installation specifications



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Addressing Indoor Air Quality in Design

Studies have shown that the indoor air quality in our homes is often worse than outdoor air quality. What can you do to address indoor air quality in design?

How Did Indoor Air Quality Become A Big Deal?

Indoor air quality first gained widespread attention within the building industry in the late 1970s. Indoor air quality problems began to appear in buildings tightly constructed to minimize air infiltration to reduce energy consumption, but which did not allow adequate ventilation. During that same timeframe more petroleum-derived chemicals began to be used in building materials.

So, What Is Indoor Air Quality?

According to the EPA, Indoor Air Quality refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.  Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce risk of indoor health concerns.

Where Do Indoor Air Pollutants Come From?

Ceiling tiles, caulks, gypsum, wall coverings and paint may off gas volatile organic compounds. Textiles are not much of a problem with regard to the fiber construction but the PBDEs and stain resistant chemicals used to protect them may release toxic chemicals and this hold true for the cleaning products used during the operation phase of a project.

How Do I Design to Reduce Indoor Air Pollutants?


There are many things that you can do to maximize air quality and minimize indoor air pollutants throughout the design, construction, operations and maintenance phases of a project. Furniture components like wood can cause issues related to formaldehyde, plastics can emit phthalates, and metals like chrome contain chromium which is a heavy metal and dangerous to our circulatory system.

Want to Learn More About Indoor Air Quality and How to Address It In Design? 

Patricia Mastrovito can present a program at your office:  Indoor Air Quality By Design, accredited by the AIA, The IDCEC and the USGBCI for 1 hour of continuing education.

You’ll learn the impact of indoor air pollution on human health, identify sources of indoor air pollutants and view several case studies of the effects of controlling versus not controlling indoor environmental quality at the design phase of building construction.

CONTACT US TODAY TO SET UP YOUR CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASS.


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Tali Decking: A Sustainable Alternative to Mahogany for Decking 

Tali, sometimes called Sasswood (formal name: Erythrophleum suaveolens), is a plentiful and sustainable wood from Central and West Africa.

Tali Decking is a durable, stable, long-lasting outdoor decking product imported from Africa. It is an environmentally friendly alternative to Ipe and Cumari and is the preferred decking choice in many European countries.

Tali has an appealing mahogany-like grain character. The structure of the wood is very uniform without any distinctive markings.This beautiful and abundant wood is harvested using responsible forest practices as it is one of the few decking hardwoods to carry FSC certification.

 

Why Use Tali Decking?

    

Tali Decking Specification Options:

Two Profile Choices in Every Piece: One side is a smooth profile while the back side is grooved.

Two Decking Sizes: 5/4 x 4”  (1” x 3-1/2” actual) & 5/4 x 6”  (1” x 5-1/2”)



Want more information about this product or interested in ordering or specifications?
Contact AHC Craig Imports: 1-800-248-4393.

 

       Forest Stewardship Council     
       (FSC)-certified products
       available upon request.

       Responsible forest
       management

FSC   C068144       
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ThermalModifiedWood_Ecwood_WoodSiding    
















To find out more about VikingWood™ offerings, contact us.

View or Download Full Specifications for Vikingwood™.
 

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Specifying Red Grandis?

photograph by Stephanie J. RodrigueUruguayan red grandis is plantation grown and harvested using FSC certified forestry practices. The species resembles mahogany in hardness, density and grain structure. It is aesthetically similar to cherry, mahogany or Spanish cedar when first sawn.

Over time, the wood oxidizes and its color deepens to a rich dark red. Among its positive attributes are its physical workability, stability, durability and resistance to decay. In addition, it is highly sustainable and FSC rated so availability and quality are very consistent. Another plus is that the price point is significantly less than mahogany or sapele.

EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR USE
In this home, red grandis was chosen for the exterior doors and shutters for its durability.  With its renowned stability, finishing quality, and natural beauty, red grandis was also chosen for the interior shiplap siding, architectural mouldings, and interior doors.

CONSISTENT QUALITY, HIGH CLASS LOOK
When it comes to selecting a product based on its versatility, durability, and good looks, red grandis is hard to beat.  You can refer to our technical specifications for more information.