Monday, April 10, 2017

Which is better for my home: engineered flooring or solid wood flooring?

Our informative series continues with a focus this week on the differences between engineered flooring and solid wood flooring. Both Engineered and Solid wood flooring are excellent with tons of versatility, beauty, and will add great value when used in either residential or commercial applications. However, there are some applications where one may be better than the other!

Engineered Flooring Benefits

Engineered flooring offers a very high level of stability. The way it is created is taking a veneer of real wood and applying it to a plywood backing. In the case of Albany Woodworks, we take our reclaimed flooring lines and turn them into a sustainable, low VOC engineered product. We back it on sustainable Baltic birch plywood. This stability also allows for wide width flooring that is very trendy these days. However, not all engineered flooring is created equal so it is important to do the research on the brand you are considering purchasing. Ideally for a long life with an engineered floor, a 4 mm or more wear surface ensures the ability to refinish the floors. This amount of wear surface is almost the same a solid wood floor that is tongue and groove as well. Engineered flooring can be installed easily either by gluing it down or nailing it down. The tongue and groove design with end matching makes installations very simple!

Optimal Uses for Engineered Flooring

Engineered flooring is incredibly versatile and pretty much can be used for most applications. However, there are a few that it may be considered a better choice than solid wood flooring. 

1. Wood accent wall - the tongue and groove with end matching makes it optimal for this application. It installs easily and looks great! 

2. Ceiling paneling- It is very popular these days to have a wood ceiling as an accent point in a home, particularly with a neutral color scheme. Engineered wood makes an excellent material for ceiling paneling for the same reasons it works so well for wall applications. 

3. Extreme climates- beach home, mountain home or anywhere you might experience extreme heat, cold or humidity, engineered flooring's stability is a great choice to minimize any swelling or shrinking that wood naturally experiences. The 4 mm wear surface also means that you can refinish it just like a solid wood floor after years of wear and tear.  

Stay tuned for the rest of this blog on the benefits of solid wood flooring. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

How do I pick the right size pine beams for my home remodel?

How to size beams for your new home is a common question we get from customers! So, we have decided to do an informative series to help all those homeowners out there wondering the same thing! Each week will cover a new common question that our customers ask us.

Why Choose Pine Beams

You may be wondering why people choose to incorporate exposed beams in their home design. They can serve many purposes from decorative to structural. They provide a beautiful and interesting focal point in a room while creating a sturdy home. Not a fan of the rustic look? Not to worry, any company that provides you with beams should be able to ship them to you fresh sawn for a more refined appearance.

Sizing Pine Beams

This really is a great question to ask your general contractor, architect, or a company like Albany Woodworks. Their expertise will ensure that what you are envisioning is correct! However, we believe it is just as important for the homeowner to understand the sizing process so it is a great experience for everyone involved! Whether the exposed beams are decorative or structural, the dimensions chosen should fit the room, i.e. what may have been placed in the building when it was built as a structural component. In other words, the beams should look like they can "do the job". 

In order to figure this out, there are several keys elements to consider in this decision: the height of the ceiling, a combination of the direction the beams will be placed and the length of the beams and finally, the frequency (how many will be placed in the space). It is also important to understand the terms associated with a beam. These are length, width and depth (pictured above). 

So now what? Here is where expertise does come in handy but having an understanding of where your expert is coming up with his or her information is also helpful. Here are some general rules that are pretty standard when it comes to sizing beams. 
  1. The greater the frequency (number of beams being placed), the smaller the beams can be. 
  2. The taller the ceiling, the deeper and wider the beam should be.
  3. Long beams should be larger overall to maintain proper proportions. 
  4. Since beams typically rest in the framework of the wall, the beams needs to be approximately 8 inches longer than the inner dimension of the room (span).
The goal is nice proportion and a good aesthetic perspective. The rules and sizing apply for hollow beams that are for appearances only also. Here are some sizing examples! If you had a 13 ft tall ceiling with a 20 foot span (the direction the beams will go), this room would require a minimum of an 8in W X 12in D X 20ft 8in L beams. 

Now what about a smaller area like a breakfast nook or a hallway like the one pictured here? Lets say this area has a ceiling height of 8 ft and span of 12 ft. You would need a maximum of 4" X 8" to  6" X 8" beams with the length of 12ft 8in.  

With a few details, you can achieve the home design of your dreams! Albany Woodworks has been working in the beams, flooring and building materials industry since 1976. We value working closely with customers to ensure they have a great home building experience. To find out more, click here

Monday, April 3, 2017

"American Pickers" Nashville Store History and Other Historic Finds

Ever wondered what you find in the infamous "American Pickers" store? This blogger got the opportunity to visit the Nashville store and discover some of the historic pieces on display. My adventure also included learning the intersting history of the automobile factory that houses the store. Along the way, I spotted lots of, yep you guessed it, historic, original pine beams and flooring!

Wood Wheels American Pickers Store
Photos from Model T Ford Club of America. 

The first thing that caught my eye was this wood spoke car wheel! After some research, I discovered that wood spokes were used on the first Model T cars. They were used until 1926 when steel wheels became the latest invention. They bare or painted for the luxury option. The wood often chosen for this application was hickory. 

Around the corner, I stumbled across this vintage dress from Country Music sweetheart, Loretta Lynn. The award winning singer has had a 60 year long career. She paved the way for women in the country music industry. She was the first woman to receive the CMA's "Entertainer of the Year" and the first to receive a certified gold album. She still remains the most awarded woman in country music. She also holds another title in Albany Woodwork's history. She was one of the first customers to purchase adirondack chairs from a young Richard Woods in the early days of Albany Woodworks. These chairs sat on her ranch home porch outside of Nashville for years. 

And then nestled among the historic treasures was the antique woodworking. It was breathtaking in its own way. Each beam and piece of wood has resided in the building since 1881, when it was constructed to house a boiler company and then in 1904, the famous Marathon Automobile Factory. The Marathon Auto Company grew rapidly for the next few years, gaining investment and prosperity. Unfortunately, it fell as fast as it grew. By 1914, it was crumbling and closed soon after. There are only nine Marathon cars remaining today and are incredibly collectible. Marathon was the only automobile company to build cars within Nashville's city limits.  

The 130,000 sq ft building sat in disrepair and empty until the 1980's when it was purchased. The new owner renovated it and turned it into the Marathon village, a series of shop spaces, event spaces, and artist lofts. The renovations kept as many original features as possible. When the owner first went into the buildings, he pried open doors that had been nailed shut for nearly fifty years. Behind the doors, he found a time capsule of the early 1900's with highly sought after car parts, machinery and other historic artifacts sitting there waiting to be found. This just proves that you never know what you will find behind the doors of the historic buildings of Nashville, Tennessee.