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Essentials of Specifying Wood Flooring.AIA.CES


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AIA Continuing Education Program

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Essentials of Specifying Wood Flooring.AIA.CES

  1. 1. www.woodfloorrg.comWood Floor Resource Group is a Registered Provider with TheAmerican Institute of Architects Continuing Education Systems.Credit earned on completion of this program will be reported toCES Records for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for non-AIA members are available on request.This program is registered with AIA/CES for continuingprofessional education. As such, it does not include content thatmay be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement bythe AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner ofhandling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.Questions related to specific materials, methods, and services will beaddressed at the conclusion of this presentation.
  2. 2. www.woodfloorrg.comEssentials ofSpecifyingWood Flooring
  3. 3. Copyright Materials This presentation is protected by US and International copyright laws. Reproduction, distribution, display anduse of the presentation without written permission of the speaker is prohibited. Wood Floor Resource Group 2007
  4. 4. Learning Objectives Understand the fundamental characteristics of wood as a material: sources, types, hardness, stability, etc. Understand the essentials of wood flooring: species,formats, performance issues, common pitfalls, etc. Understand the pros and cons of solid vs. engineered wood flooring
  5. 5. Where Wood Comes From – Recycled/Salvaged/Reclaimed < Recycled (Pre-Consumer/Post- Industrial) Wood pieces or fiber that are manufacturing by- products Example: Sawdust < Reclaimed Previously manufactured wood products Example: Building deconstruction < Salvaged Logs Examples: Urban Forest, Agriculture, Waterways, Deadwood
  6. 6. Where Wood Comes From – Forests & PlantationsSome well-managed, some not Teak plantation Natural forest Want to know more? “Wood Flooring for Green Building”
  7. 7. Hardwoods vs. Softwoods Hardwoods come from broad-leaf trees deciduous Softwoods come from needle-bearing trees coniferous Most hardwoods are harder than most softwoods, but there are soft hardwoods and hard softwoods.  the Janka hardness of red oak (a hardwood) is 1290  the Janka hardness of balsa (a hardwood) is 75  the Janka hardness of Australian Cypress (a softwood) is 1375 !
  8. 8. How Trees Grow Medullary rays
  9. 9. Growth Rings Early Wood Late Wood Fast Growth Slower Growth
  10. 10. Heartwood vs. SapwoodSapwood HeartwoodS pc n u t n a o d c io Ha d n da d ree n s if e e d a t fn d edSpecies where sapwood c l s– n l n e el o o gris desirable: c n u t gs p o d c in aM peB c a l , ir h Species where heartwood is desirable: Ch r y M h g n , er, a o a y Ta ek
  11. 11. Lumber & Veneer – Plain Sawing/Slicing Plain sawing = the most efficient way to convert a round log into rectangular pieces of lumber Plain slicing
  12. 12. Lumber & Veneer – Quarter Sawing/Slicing Quarter slicingQuarter sawing
  13. 13. Lumber and Veneer – Rift Sawing/Slicing Rift slicing Rift sawing
  14. 14. Quarter- vs Rift-Sawn - Appearance Quarter-sawn Rift-sawn Only species with pronounced medullary rays (oaks, maples, sycamores, lacewood) present this difference.
  15. 15. Plain vs. Quarter-Sawn/Sliced -- Appearance Quarter sawn Plain sawnQuarter sawn synonyms:• Vertical grain/VG• Straight grain• Comb grainPlain sawn synonyms:• Flat sawn• Flat grain Only species with pronounced growth rings will present this appearance
  16. 16. Rotary Peeling – Process & AppearanceThe log is peeled by a blade and is worked A sample of veneer produced byaround the log toward the center, creating a rotary peeling.wood veneer.
  17. 17. Wood HardnessAll wood will dent if sufficient force is appliedHigh heels will dent even the hardest woods 115 lb woman exerts about 2500 lbs of force via a high heel
  18. 18. Hardness TestingWood hardness is measured by theJanka hardness test
  19. 19. Comparative Hardness Graph  Industry Standard
  20. 20. The Structure of WoodThe cellular structure of wood: a big bundle of “straws” Notice how it looks very much like a sponge
  21. 21. Why Wood Moves• All wood gains and loses moisture• When it does, all wood expands and contracts• The MC of wood will always equalize w/ ambient humidity Dry Sponge Wet Sponge
  22. 22. Differential ShrinkageTwo main dimensions on which wood moves:2. Radially3. Tangentially (twice as much)R = RadialT = TangentialL = Longitudinal
  23. 23. Shrinkage: Different Amounts & Directions Large shrinkage in the tangential direction Small shrinkage in the radial direction A lumber B A = bark face, or sap face B = heart face
  24. 24. Plain-Sawn Lumber More Prone to Cupping Quarter sawn cross-section Plain sawn cross-section
  25. 25. Quarter-Sawn Lumber is More Stable Quarter-sawn lumber Plain-sawn lumber Arrow thickness denotes movement amount
  26. 26. Some Species are More Stable than Others Tangential Shrinkage Species Tangential Radial Shrinkage Shrinkage Hard Maple 9.9% 4.8% This 6” wide piece Red Oak 8.6% 4.0% of Maple will shrink 10% (3/4”) in width. Brazilian Cherry 8.5% 4.5% Teak 5.8% 2.5% Values are percentage of shrinkage from green to oven dry
  27. 27. What does all this mean for wood flooring?Water & wood do not mix well • Wet concrete slabs or other subfloors • Wet mopping • Flooding
  28. 28. What does all this mean for wood flooring?Big changes in relative humidity also a problem Wood flooring performs best in RH ranges of 35% - 65% (typical of house interiors)
  29. 29. What does all this mean for wood flooring?Solid Wood Flooring:Wood properties = performance
  30. 30. What does all this mean for wood flooring?In conditions of fluctuating moisture, care must be taken whenusing wood flooring in the following: • Solid formats • Plain sawn • Wide widths • Less stable species
  31. 31. What does all this mean for wood flooring?• In conditions of fluctuating moisture, generally best to specify wood flooring in…  Engineered format – more stable in width than solid (about 50%) Veneer face very stable because of fractures When sawn face, cross plies help control movement  But engineered format is generally less stable than solid lengthwise Solid wood doesn’t move longitudinally Cross plies move sideways and can affect lengths
  32. 32. Engineered FlooringEngineered flooring is more complicated than solidMany formats that perform differently in different situationsTwo main components wear layer substrate
  33. 33. Engineered Flooring: Wear LayersSawn • 2 to 3.5 mm (6 - 8 mm possible) • Less efficient (sawdust) • Properties same as solid wood • Entire face movesVeneer (sliced or peeled) • Sliced 0.6 to 1 mm • Peeled 1.5 to 2.5 mm • Efficient (almost no waste) • Knife checking/fracturing
  34. 34. Engineered Flooring: Appearance Sawn wear layers Same as solid Sliced veneer Same but slightly more repeating pattern Peeled veneer Rotary – whacky plywood look
  35. 35. Engineered Flooring Formats: 3-Layer3 layer (must utilize thicker wear layer or “telegraphing” may occur) 1. Wear layer 2. Cross-slat core 3. Veneer backPros – least susceptible to cuppingCons – telegraphs in super-dry and wet conditions
  36. 36. Engineered Flooring Formats: 2-Layer2 layer 1. 2 mm or thicker sawn face 2. Plywood substratePros – Not susceptible to telegraphingCons – More susceptible to cupping, end peaking
  37. 37. Engineered Flooring Formats: Multi-LayerMulti-layer 1. Wear layer < 2 mm 2. Plywood substratePros – Not susceptible to telegraphingCons – More susceptible to cupping, end peaking
  38. 38. Engineered Flooring Formats: HDF CoreHDF core 1. 2 mm or less sawn face on HDF substratePros – InexpensiveCons – Quality of HDF = how it holds up to moisture absorption
  39. 39. Engineered Flooring – Edge/End TreatmentsEdge and end treatments• Beveled• Micro-beveled• Micro-eased• Square edge• True square Square edge
  40. 40. Engineered Flooring – Flooring TreatmentsSurface treatments and finishesTreatments• Smooth• HandscrapedFinishes• Glossy• Matte• Cashmere/Low-Gloss Hand scraped wood flooring
  41. 41. Engineered Flooring – T&G Systems Click T&G Regular T&G
  42. 42. Installation MethodsNail/StaplePros - Cheap, fast (where substrate exists), more integrity than floatCons - No substrate, need to install one, no particle board substrateGluePros - quiet, solid, any sound, dry, flat substrate, more integrity than floatCons - relatively costly & labor-intensive, messy, curing timeFloatPros - very fast, inexpensiveCons - “Springy” feel, clicking or tapping sound
  43. 43. Installation Really MattersThe performance of wood flooring is only asgood as the installationYou need to choose the correct installationmethod for your conditions and otherrequirementsConsult with Bob Goldstein, WFRG Director of Technical ServicesPhone: 856-705-1118Email:
  44. 44. Job site conditions really matterBiggest pitfalls • Wet slab • No heating/ventilation
  45. 45. Common Pitfalls – Color ChangeSome species dramatically change color (esp. exotics) • With exposure to air and/or • With exposure to light Brazilian Cherry expected color change Fresh> Aged>
  46. 46. Common Pitfalls - Moisture• Too wet: • Swelling (and subsequent compression set) • Lifting off the floor • Telegraphing • Tips up• Too dry: • Shrinking • Cupping Cupped floor usually caused by a wet subfloor • Cracking • Telegraphing
  47. 47. Engineered vs. Solid Wood Flooring ¾” Solid Wood Flooring 9/16” Engineered Wood Flooring
  48. 48. Engineered vs. Solid Wood FlooringComparing the sandable wear surface Engineered wear layer; 1.5 mm – 2.5 mm once, 3 mm+ twice Solid wear surface; 3 - 4 re-sandings total
  49. 49. Engineered vs. Solid Wood FlooringHigh-quality wood efficiency usage
  50. 50. Engineered vs. Solid Wood Flooring  Solid wood flooring has to acclimate  Engineered wood flooring does not. Result…  T&G can be milled to tight fit, plywood “built in”  Glue-down or floating installation  Eliminate plywood subfloor Save $$$ and resources!
  51. 51. Comparison of Cost Breakdown
  52. 52. Unfinished vs. Prefinished  Solid flooring – usually unfinished, must be site-finished  Engineered flooring – factory finish
  53. 53. Quality of Finish Site-applied finish • 2 or 3 coats max. • solvent- or water-based (may off-gas VOCs) Factory finish • 9 coats urethane, aluminum-oxide sub-coats • UV-cured (no off-gassing) Site-applied finishes less durable but scratches can be more apparent in factory finishes
  54. 54. Benefits of Screening/Top-Coating• Relatively quick/inexpensive - $.75 - $1.75/sq. ft.• Repairs most signs of wear• Creates uniform look• Seals surface of floor• Chemical system doesn’t require mechanical sanding Bona Prep Recoating Adhesion System Basic Coatings “TyKote” Sandless Recoating System• Can be repeated indefinitely Bob Goldstein: “Remember, you walk on the finish, not the wood!” Phone: 856-705-1118 Email:
  55. 55. Wood Flooring in Commercial ApplicationsFactors affecting how well wood flooring performsin demanding commercial applications: Pick the right product for the application and site conditions in terms of:  Format  Species  Finish  Hardness Pick the right installer and installation method Care and maintenance over the life of the floor
  56. 56. Wood Hardness High traffic = harder woodsIndustry Standard 
  57. 57. Care & Maintenance• Humidity/moisture issues Operate a humidity control system Clean up spills quickly—DON’T wet mop • Use recommended cleaners Bona Swedish Formula Hardwood Floor Cleaner Basic Coatings Cleaner • To remove scratches BonaKemi fill stick and marker touch-up kit
  58. 58. Wood Flooring Care and Maintenance Guidelines
  59. 59. Other ConsiderationsBudget • Least expensive installed product is generally multi-ply or HDF- backed engineered flooringOn- or above-grade or below-grade • Engineered only below-gradeSubfloor material and condition • Engineered often used over concrete, almost always over radiant heat $
  60. 60. Environmental Issues• LEED compliance• Forest certification• Plantations vs. Natural Forests• Recycled/Reclaimed/Salvaged• Rapidly Renewable• Regional Sourcing• Offgassing/IAQ Wood Flooring for Green Building
  61. 61. www.woodfloorrg.comThank you!Questions??