Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Engineered Wood Flooring vs Laminate Flooring

Trying to decide between engineered wood flooring and laminate flooring? Find out the choice that is a sound investment to last you decades of beauty and quality.

Homeowners that are building or remodeling their home face hundreds of questions from what is the best product to where to buy it from to what is the most bang for their buck! When it comes to choosing between engineered flooring or laminate flooring, the answer is clear. Quality engineered flooring will give a home the warmth and beauty of real wood and the long lasting durability that laminate just cannot provide.

The Difference is Defined

(From uhousebuild.com)

The difference starts at the most basic level, the definition of the two products. Laminate flooring is defined as a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood (or sometimes stone) with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer (wikipedia). Engineered flooring is made up of a top layer of a real hardwood species and a core, typically consisting of multiple plywood layers laminated together to form a durable plank, or in some cases HDF (high density fiberboard). (builddirect.com) Laminate flooring has nothing to do with actual wood. Once it is installed, there is nothing that can be done to update it with out removing the old and putting down new. This isn't to say any engineered flooring is the answer. Like with any product, there are quality levels. For a product that will last through the years, an engineered floor with a 4 mil real wood wear surface is the best bet. This allows a homeowner to refinish it at least once in the lifetime of the product. The wear surface gives the product versatility to grow and change with trends or a homeowner's preferences.  

Maintenance Issues Uncovered

Warped Laminate from wet mopping.
Here's where an issue lies that most box stores will not tell you. Excessive water is really not good for any flooring. However, laminate flooring cannot get wet... at all! They have to be maintained with vacuuming and dust mopping only. Spills of water must immediately be cleaned up. The result of water on a laminate floor is warping and buckling. Engineered wood flooring can be cleaned with vacuuming, dust mopping, wet mopping, etc. Engineered wood flooring is thicker than laminate so offers better stability and durability helping prevent warping and buckling. 

Long Term Savings

Cost is a major factor that pushes people to purchase laminate from Home Depot and Lowes. However for homeowners that want to stay in their home or those that want to increase the value of their home, the slightly more costly engineered wood flooring is the better alternative. Wood flooring is always in style and the versatility of the engineered product allows the current homeowner to update as desired. When selling a home, a new owner choosing to refinish floors seems a lot less problematic than having to rip up laminate that is only built to last 3-5 years. 

For more information on high quality, eco friendly engineered flooring, click here. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Five Easy Ways to Remodel Your Home

Looking to give your home a new look. Here are five ways to easily remodel your home. 

1. Add a custom front door- Custom doors can add a feeling of luxury to any home. Curbside appeal is the first chance to wow house guests or spruce up a home that you are looking to sell. The benefit of a custom door means you can size it to fit in your existing door frame. For more door ideas, click here

from smarthomeideas,net
2. Add an accent wall- Want to add some interest to a living room, kitchen or dining room? A wood accent wall is an easy addition to create interest and character for a new look from refined to rustic. Engineered flooring products are a great option for a glue down option for wall application. 

3. Add or upgrade shutters- Another way to instantly upgrade your home's curb appeal is with custom shutters. Shutters not only add beauty and interest to your home but they have several additional benefits. They help regulate the temperature in your home, keep hot afternoon sunlight at bay, and they are built to last. Cypress exterior shutters will last a lifetime due to its natural rot resistance. For more information on custom shutters, click here

4. Add custom natural wood moldings- Upgrade your home's moldings from baseboards to window moldings to crown moldings with reclaimed heart pine or cypress to instantly add warmth to your home. Want a little more drama? Add wainscoting to any room. 

5. Replace carpet with hardwood flooring with rustic appeal- Another
option for a home remodel is pulling up that old carpet and putting down hardwood floors. Reclaimed engineered flooring is an easy transition. Its glue down application typically allows door heights and molding heights to remain the same. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Historic Renovations: La Pointe Krebs House

Reclaimed, antique heart pine beams supplied for historic renovation in Mississippi.

(Above) Reclaimed antique pine beams lay in front of the Le Pointe Krebs House in Pascagoula, MS. 

Albany Woodworks once again received the opportunity to work with contractor, JO Collins, on their most recent historic renovation. With years of experience in antique woods and a reputation of quality, Albany Woodworks has provided reclaimed, antique building materials and flooring to several historic renovations across the US. The La Pointe Krebs House is no different. To meet historically accurate standards for the restoration, Albany Woodworks has worked tirelessly with the architect and contractor to ensure that all materials supplied are up to par. Going so far as to match sawmarks authentically that would have been created by hand sawing in the 1700's. 

(Above) The layout of the La Pointe Krebs house. 

The La Pointe Krebs House in Pascagoula, MS is a landmark of some importance. It has been confirmed to be the oldest house in the Mississippi River Valley. The original structure was a one room home built in 1757. An addition was added in 1770 and another in 1790. Part of what makes La Pointe Krebs house so special is the variety of historic building techniques that can be seen in the house. The original structure was built using Tabby Concrete, a mix of oyster shells and concrete. The other additions were built with Bousillage, a mixture of clay, animal bones, pottery fragments and Spanish moss. It acted as a museum for many years until it became a victim of Hurricane Katrina.

(Above) Original beams like the ones pictured above the window here are being replaced with beams of the same look, quality and craftsmanship like those framing the window. 

Now JO Collins and Albany Woodworks are working diligently to get this historic landmark back up and running. The task is full of obstacles as well. Part of the foundation has sunk and is being raised a considerable distance in order to level the house again. Steel beams and jacks were used to raise the walls of the house to rebuild the foundation. However, every detail counts. The steel beams can not be bolted directly into the home due to historic preservation issues; along with other countless challenges of similar nature.

(Above) A view of the steel beams and jacks used to hold up the walls of the structure. 

But there is no doubt that this historic renovation will be a success like all others. And soon, the doors of La Pointe Krebs also known as the Old Spanish Fort will once again open, allowing residents and visitors to appreciate the unique features and history of this landmark.