Monday, June 27, 2016

Engineered Flooring with Reclaimed Roots

Find out about Albany Woodworks' new  and affordable Engineered Flooring Collections and how they are maintaining their reclaimed roots. 

If you would have asked President of Albany Woodworks, Richard Woods, if one day he would be selling custom made reclaimed engineered flooring, the answer would have been no! "Back then, engineered products had a bad name. They were considered cheap and not well made." stated Richard. "However recently people have been focusing on using flooring for different applications like walls and ceilings, and I knew that the market was moving away from traditional solid, custom floors."

Richard saw an opportunity to create an affordable, ecosmart engineered flooring using the reclaimed, antique woods he has been selling for nearly four decades. He sought out a company that had the ability to take his flooring and convert it into an engineered product. But this couldn't be ANY engineered floor. "It had to be the best of the best," said Richard, "to maintain the reputation that I have earned since I started in 1976 as a straight shooting, quality focused business man. People know that when they order from Albany Woodworks they are going get a guarantee of quality."
He was able to set up shop with a company that could provide him with top of the line, sustainable Baltic Birch plywood backing. This backing creates long lasting stability and durability for the Albany Woodworks' engineered line. "Another engineered myth we had to overcome was the lack of wear surface," stated Richard. So, he opted for a 4 mil wear surface to ensure that customers could refinish their floors several times, whether it be to change with the trends or after 20 years of wear and tear.

To make it as environmentally friendly as possible, the reclaimed wood is adhered to the backing with a low VOC glue, meaning it is non-toxic and healthy for family and pets. "The goal was an environmentally friendly product that would be affordable yet a long lasting value for the next generation of home builders. That is why all of our current flooring collections come as engineered with a range of costs to make sure we can offer everyone a product for their dream home."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ten Questions to Ask Before Buying Wood Flooring! (Part Two)

From pets to installation, find out the remainder of the 10 questions to consider before buying wood flooring! 

6. I’m concerned about pets scratching my floors. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

There are definitely measures you can take to minimize pet scratches. Placing area rugs in parts of the room that receive alot of traffic or where your pets tend to congregate will help keep scratches down. Also, keeping your pet's toe nails trimmed will allow scratch free pet frolicking!

7. How do I keep my floors looking new?

The key to keeping your floors looking new is to clean them regularly. This will remove any abrasive dirt or sand that may scratch your finish. This can be done by vacuuming with a hardwood safe extension and my damp mopping.  Weekly cleaning paired with area rugs in high traffic areas will go a long way in keeping your wood floors brand new!

Another easy one that will make a big difference in the life of your floors is keeping your high heels at the front door. Heels put an incredible amount of pressure per square inch. The National Science Foundation put it in perspective: "What exerts more pressure-per-square inch when walking a 100 lb woman in high heels or a 6,000 lb elephant in bare feet? Stiletto heels have an area of about 1/16 of a square inch. Elephants, unlike humans, walk with two feet on the ground at a time. Each foot is about 40 square inches. Thus, the woman "wins" by far more than 1,500 psi versus 75 psi."

8. How long after I order my floors will it take before they are installed?

This answer will vary. All flooring (pre-finished or unfinished) need to be left on site for a period of time to acclimate to the conditions of the home. Pre-finished floors can be installed and used almost immediately. On-site installation and finishing takes a bit longer but the quality and control over the process makes it worth the wait! The floors will have to be sanded first and then multiple coats of finish will be applied. Each coat takes at least a day to dry and then needs to be sanded again before another coat is applied.

9. I’ve seen instances where wood floors fade over time. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

All flooring will change color over time, especially if it is real wood. However, this change adds color and beauty to most floors as time goes on. The type of wood is really what determines how quickly the color changes. Woods like oak and hickory will change color slowly through the years, while exotic cherries tend to change color more quickly.

The two factors of color change are: sun exposure and the type of finish used. Prolonged sun exposure will darken lighter floors. Minimize this effect my moving rugs and large furniture periodically to minimize a drastic color difference. As for the finishes, oil based finishes will yellow over time and give the floor an amber color (which is still beautiful) and water based finishes have a tendency to stay clear.

10. Installation is so expensive. Why can’t I just do it myself?

If you are spending thousands on a custom made flooring and you are not a floor finisher/installer by trade, it is worth hiring a professional. The material is not as easy as going to pick up another gallon of paint and the waste factor is taken up by lots of variables. That along with knowing about certain cuts for framing the room, special tools needed, checking for a flat sub floor, ensuring low moisture in sub floor, etc makes hiring a professional  more and more appealing. An experienced installer can put down a floor and finish it to your specs and the results will be stunning! 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Reclaimed Lumber With A Big Kentucky Story

Renovation of historic building gives Albany Woodworks some one of a kind reclaimed lumber. 

(Above) Side view of one 19" reclaimed heart pine joist from Fort Nelson Building

Albany Woodworks recently reclaimed wide plank heart pine joists from a historic warehouse located in the heart of Louisville, Kentucky. Nineteen inch wide planks from a building with a history, located on a site that helped Louisville and Kentucky get its start. Next to a tiny park known as Fort Nelson Park located on Main Street and 8th Street lies the Fort Nelson Building, home to several businesses since its construction in the 1870's. You may notice a theme. Fort Nelson Park and Fort Nelson Building reside on the original grounds of Fort Nelson, a 1700's fort build toward the end of the Revolutionary War. It's construction was completed in 1781 and it was used for about 10 years before being abandoned. It was considered one of the strongest fort in the West, with thickly reinforced wood and earth walls and ditched filled with spikes. During these ten years of occupation, everything that was inside Fort Nelson's walls was essential the start of Louisville.
Fort Nelson Louisville Kentucky
(Above) Fort Nelson (courtesy of Wikipedia)
After the fort was torn down, Kentucky had entered statehood and Louisville began to develop as a town. Warehouses and homes were constructed in the area, including the Fort Nelson Building in the 1870's. The building, built of cast iron, limestone and brick with heart pine framing, has survived several tragedies through the years including tornadoes and floods. After laying vacant for decades, the Fort Nelson Building is receiving new life through a renovation to open a whisky distillery in the historic area. 
(Above) Fort Nelson Building in Louisville, KY (courtesy of 

These renovations are what allowed Albany Woodworks to purchase the gorgeous, wide plank joists. "We are in the process of removing the nails and will be cutting it into gorgeous flooring. We will keep some of the original sawmarks for our Orleans Collection. It is very special to get heart pine joints of this width!" stated Albany Woodworks' President, Richard Woods. "We love the stories behind all the wood we get to work with!"
(Above) Antique nails pulled from the joists. Square nails like these were used from the 1790's-1900's.

Find out more about Albany Woodworks

Friday, June 3, 2016

Ten Questions to Ask Before Buying Wood Flooring! (Part One)

Trying to figure out where to start when buying wood flooring? Here are 10 questions to help you start your project.

10 Questions to Ask Before Buying Wood Flooring

1. Which type of wood floor is right for me, solid or engineered?

Solid vs. Engineered can be a decision based on many factors: application, cost, and climate. Both solid and engineered products from Albany Woodworks are eco-friendly and high quality. If you are looking for a wall application, require a glue down application or live in a high humidity environment, then our top of the line, low VOC engineered flooring is the ideal choice. Our engineered flooring has a 4 mm wear surface that allows refinishing several times over the years.

Solid wood flooring is beneficial for nail down applications. It can be sanded and refinished for generations to come, a feature that engineered flooring is limited on . Our antique flooring provides a very stable surface for any room. It works best on floors and ceilings and gives any room wonderful character!

2. Which wood species is right for me?

This will really depend on the grain design you like, the color (if you wish to only put a clear finish) and the hardness you need. The Janka scale provides the hardness of all woods, domestic and imported. Antique woods are naturally harder due to their age. Back then, the trees had time to grow densely (29 growth rings in antique flooring vs only 7 growth rings in some new flooring today).

3. Is a factory-finished floor or a site-finished floor better for me?

This really depends on factors like: how custom do you want the color/finish on your floor? What is your installation time line?

Both have their advantages. Factory finished floors comes ready to install so if you are on a tight timeline, no extra time will be added for finishing. It also cuts down on the amount of dust during installation. Site finished floors give you the most flexibility and control over how your floors will turn out. You can choose the stain color to best match your planned home decor and the sheen of the finish. Not to mention a professional grade job gives you a top of the line look to last you for years to come!

4. My room is 400 square feet, but we’re being told order 450 square feet of flooring. Is this really necessary?

Yes, this is the waste factor that is the general rule for flooring installation. This factors in the cutting that will need to be done in order to make the flooring fit properly in the room. Some of the cut pieces will be unusable. This waste factor can increase or decrease depending on the features of the room. If the room is square with no interruptions, than you may get away with less than 10%. If there are stairs, a bay window or fireplace, the waste factor may increase due to the amount of pieces that need to be cut. A flooring installer or contractor can help determine these waste percentages.

5. I’ve seen different finish sheens on wood floors; some are shiny and some are not. Which one is better?

This is primarily a preference choice. Sheen range from a matte oil finish to a high gloss finish.  Satin gloss finishes offer the most shine, and will reflect the most light. Semi-gloss finishes offer some shine, and will reflect some light. Satin or matte finishes offer the least shine, and will reflect the least light.

If you have children and/or pets, a satin or matte finish would be the best choice. They hide small scratches in the finish since they reflect the least amount of light.

Questions sourced from the NWFA. For more information on Albany Woodworks, click here