Wide Plank Wood Flooring: Design Considerations
Wide Plank Wood Flooring: Design Considerations
Wide Plank Wood Flooring: Design Considerations CAR06A Credit for this course is 1 AIA HSW CE Hour © Ron Blank & Associates, Inc. 2014 Course Sponsor Carlisle Wide Plank Floors 1676Route 9 Stoddard, NH 03464 800-595-9663 www.wideplankflooring.com
An American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Education Program Approved Promotional Statement: Ron Blank & Associates, Inc. is a registered provider with The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System. Credit earned upon completion of this program will be reported to CES Records for AIA members.
Certificates of Completion are available for all course participants upon completion of the course conclusion quiz with +80%. Please view the following slide for more information on Certificates of Completion through RBA This program is registered with the AIA/CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA or Ron Blank & Associates, Inc. of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.
An American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Education Program • Course Format: This is a structured, web-based, self study course with a final exam. • Course Credit: 1 AIA Health Safety & Welfare (HSW) CE Hour • Completion Certificate: A confirmation is sent to you by email; you can print one upon successfully completing a course, or from your RonBlank.com transcript. If you have any difficulties printing or receiving your Certificate please send request to firstname.lastname@example.org • Design professionals, please remember to print or save your certificate of completion after successfully completing a course-conclusion quiz.
Email confirmations will be sent to the email address you have provided in your RonBlank.com account.
Course Description In this one hour course, we will learn how various species, grading, milling, dimensions, and finishes of wide plank wood flooring offer design flexibility. We will also learn about the superiority of heartwood over sapwood in wide plank flooring, and standards related to installation of wide plank wood flooring. Finally, we will learn best practices for design and construction monitoring, to minimize the possibility of moisture intrusion in wood flooring installations.
Learning Objectives Upon completion of this course, the design professional will be able to: • Describe the benefits of wide plank wood flooring over alternative floor finishes • Identify various available species and finishes of wide plank floor material • Describe selection, mill and finishing practices that yield best long-term stability in wide plank flooring systems • Address moisture control, measurement, and testing of concrete substrates for wood floors
Wood Flooring Benefits Environmental • Average annual net growth for hardwoods is greater than average annual removals (US Department of Agriculture Forest Service) • Wood is a carbon neutral product that produces oxygen during its growth cycle and stores carbon during its service life (35-75+ years)(Univ. of WI Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis) • Wood floors use less water and energy to produce than other flooring options (Univ. of WI Wood Products Program SWF Life Cycle Analysis)
Wood Flooring Benefits Environmental • Wood floors last hundreds of years; won’t need to be replaced as often as other flooring options (Natl Assn of Home Builders) • While most hardwood trees take 40-60 years to mature, inventory planted today won’t be needed for 100+ years (National Wood Flooring Association) • Using wood yields lower air emissions (including greenhouse gases) than the processes of using other traditional building materials.
( U.S. Forest Service Study of Life-Cycle Analysis www.fs.fed.us)
Wood Flooring Benefits Comfort & Practicality • Unlike carpet, does not harbor dust or other allergens • Has more ‘give’ than natural stone or tile; more comfortable to stand on for long periods • Warmer (literally and figuratively) than stone or tile • Can be refinished to restore its natural beauty and remove scratches or dents (other flooring types require replacement; difficult to repair or cannot be refinished)
Review Question Wood flooring is a good material selection because: a) It does not harbor dust or other allergens as does carpet b) It is warmer (literally and figuratively) than stone or tile c) It can be refinished (other flooring types need replacement or are difficult to repair) d) All of the above
Answer Wood flooring is a good material selection because: a) It does not harbor dust or other allergens as does carpet b) It is warmer (literally and figuratively) than stone or tile c) It can be refinished (other flooring types need replacement or are difficult to repair) d) All of the above
QUALITY CHARACTERISTICS AND CONSIDERATIONS FOR WIDE PLANK FLOORING
Quality Considerations Wide plank flooring yields significant long-term benefits over mass-produced strip- flooring. There are four major considerations in selecting wood flooring for the longest possible trouble-free service: • Geographical sourcing • Heartwood content • Drying processes used • Custom-made vs.
mass-production For the best finished product, look for the manufacturer that sources from the geographical areas most optimal for each species, milled with the most heartwood content, using air drying as well as kiln drying, and offering made-to-order flooring runs for lower waste, higher satisfaction, and greater customization options.
Geographical Sourcing North America has among the finest quality hardwood species on earth, but specific climates produce the best specimens of each hardwood species. New York and Pennsylvania produce the finest Hickory, White Oak, Cherry The Midwest produces the finest Walnut New England produces the finest Birch, Red Oak, Maple, and Brown Maple. Timber from these regions is far superior to its southern counterparts in density. The ideal climate for each species yields a tree that grows more slowly, exhibiting a wider girth and taller pinnacle at maturity.
Selective, sustainable harvesting from these prime regions produce more heartwood and tighter vertical grain patterns, two characteristics that determine stability and performance of wide plank flooring.
Geographical Sourcing • Oak flooring made from timbers grown in the Northeast has a shorter growing cycle due to the cold, northern winters, which force trees to grow much slower. • It exhibits a finer, tighter grain and better color consistency. It reveals more heartwood in every board, making the floor more durable and stable in all environmental conditions. • Oak flooring made from Southern timbers – known as Swamp or Lowland Oak –has a longer growing cycle, due to the warmer, southern climates. Annual growth cycles of a southern timber can be nearly twice as long as it’s northern counterpart.
• This long growing season results in wide, visually busy and open grain. It will lack heartwood and vertical grain and present significant color variation including gray, black and brown. This impacts both the aesthetics and overall performance of the floor. It will be less stable, and more prone to movement, especially in high moisture environments. And less durable underfoot, than it’s northern counterparts.
Review Question Stability and performance of wood flooring is most influenced by: a) Timber harvested from ideal climate for each species b) More heartwood with tighter, more vertical grain pattern c) Air-drying as well as kiln-drying the material d) All of the above
Answer Stability and performance of wood flooring is most influenced by: a) Timber harvested from ideal climate for each species b) More heartwood with tighter, more vertical grain pattern c) Air-drying as well as kiln-drying the material d) All of the above
HEARTWOOD WIDE PLANK FLOORING
Heartwood Flooring Heartwood is the older, harder nonliving central wood in the tree. Compared to the surrounding sapwood, heartwood is usually: – Darker – Denser – Less permeable – More durable Heartwood has long been valued for superior beauty, higher strength, and greater long-term stability than sapwood.
Heartwood Flooring Benefits When evaluating wood flooring solutions for your residential or commercial application you must be concerned with the proportion of heartwood in the overall floor. Heartwood can only be present in flooring boards that are center-cut from the heart of mature timbers, typically in the first 40’ of the butt log. It is not present in floor boards cut from the limbs or newer, upper portions of the tree. Boards cut from the heartwood are superior in density and aesthetics.
WIDE PLANK FLOOR APPLICATIONS & DESIGN BENEFITS
Wide Plank Flooring Applications Common applications of wide plank flooring: – Retail – Office – Hospitality – Restaurants, Bars & Cafes – Spas & Salons – Recreational facilities
Design Benefits Customizable • Wide variety of species available • Many surface treatments available • Large selection of stain and finish options • Pattern, width, and length can be customized
SPECIES & FINISHES
Species Characteristics American Ash - Very dense, durable; prized for interesting grain patterns, striking hues Birch - Intriguing color tones, varying grain patterns from subtle swirls to flame-like character that appears to dance across the board. The best material contains more warm, amber heartwood sawn from mature northern New England timber
Species Characteristics Brown Maple - Cut from the same mature forests as White Maple, but with interesting variation of color seen in trees that have been used for sap collection for maple syrup production. Cherry - Subtle but distinctive flowing grain patterns and warmth make Cherry a very popular floor the favored wood for finest early American furniture and interior paneling, it can be polished to a deep, glowing red. As it ages, its lustrous hues darken a bit more than will other hardwoods, ultimately maturing to a rich, burnished auburn.
Species Characteristics Hickory - Tough, handsome, tensile strength rivaling steel; surface appearance admired by woodworking purists and cabinetmakers.
Best material is sourced from upper reaches of Appalachian Forest, (short summers /cool climate provide for substantial heartwood content). One of the most versatile floors; clients can choose to grade for less variation, or use stain for more consistent color tone. Red Oak – Sourced from warmer climates, grows too rapidly, producing unattractive combination of grain. Sustainably harvested Northeast Red Oak is slow-growing, producing tight, consistent grain, maximum heartwood, and exceptional widths and lengths.
Species Characteristics Rift & Quartersawn White Oak - visually stunning, elegant look, logs are cut at 90-degree angle from the growth rings, producing parallel lines running the length of the plank, with ray flecks radiating across each board. Walnut - rich, chocolate hues, auburn undertones, complex grain patterns make a spectacular floor with or without stain. One of the most attractive woods available. Handcrafted planks can be particularly striking due to their exceptional flowing grain, heartwood content, and balance of character captured in wider planks.
Species Characteristics White Maple – dense, hard grain long in demand for gym floors.
Smooth grain pattern with occasional swirls; light, consistent color tone can be varied from nearly white to golden tone, depending on the finish selected. Suitable for traditional and contemporary settings. White Oak - hard, resilient wood with nutty brown hues and dramatic grain features from straight to intricate swirls. Once used to make wine barrels, the dense fibers of this popular wood make a durable floor with a versatile look for design effects - casual, formal, or contemporary. Among the most versatile oak wood floors.
Species Characteristics Eastern White Pine- Regarded as America’s most time- honored wood for wide plank floors, Eastern White Pine is used in all vernaculars from early American to contemporary urban lofts. Dense, signature grain with subtle knots. Strong and durable, yet wears in over time, enhancing the unique character. Longleaf Heart Pine- Used during America’s Industrial Revolution, cut from the heart of the timber. Hard as oak; warm patina, rich colors from pumpkin and amber to darker, modern hues; available in a variety of grades. Formal Heirloom has tight knots and vertical grains; rustic Original exhibits wider lines, extravagant knots, and cathedral wood patterns.
Species Characteristics (Specialty) Hit Or Miss Eastern White Pine- authentic reproduction of centuries-old, less-refined watermill techniques, when the machinery would ‘skip’ across the boards leaving saw marks. Popular for reclaimed wood enthusiasts who want wider boards or seek economy. Often used with medium to dark stain and hand-cut nails to accentuate its vintage appearance. Reclaimed Oak - prized for its strong, prominent grain and rich array of colors from blonde to nutty brown. Variety of character (worm holes, checks, cracks, knots, nail holes) from its previous use creates a stunning floor with an Old World appearance.
Best material is salvaged from old buildings along the Ohio River Valley and western Pennsylvania where the best Oak grows. Look for 100% FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified material.
Species Characteristics (Specialty) Reclaimed Chestnut – among the most prized reclaimed wood floors. Unique wormhole character caused by bugs that infested the trees when blight nearly exterminated the species in early 20th century. Prominent grain and markings compliment rich colors from light brown to darker cocoa tones. Look for FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certification. Reclaimed Heart Pine – a staple in American architecture; one of the most popular construction materials of the Industrial Revolution. Salvaged from beams and floor joists of New England mills and factories built during the period.
This floor can add a classic look to any space offering a rich color palette, and strong grain. Different grading options so clients can choose more or less character for the desired look.
Stains & Finishes Wide plank wood can yield a wide range of floor colors, patterns, and tints using different species and finishes
SOLID WOOD VS. ENGINEERED
Wide Plank- Engineered and Solid Solid Wide Plank- look for… – Heartwood material (stability) – 6+ mo. air dry, then kiln-dry (stability) – Longest lengths (fewer seams) Engineered- look for everything you would look for in wide-plank solid wood floor, plus… – 3/16” wear layer – 5/8”-3/4” thick overall – 6”+ wide (fewer seams) – 9+ layers of Baltic Birch backing (2.5x thickness of lamella or wear layer) – 5’-6’ avg.
length (fewer seams)
Wide Plank- Engineered vs. Solid Engineered Wood Quality engineered wood flooring is available in wide planks, and when installed is virtually indistinguishable from solid Solid Wide Plank
Review Question Characteristics to look for in engineered wood flooring are: a) 3/16” wear layer b) 5/8”-3/4” thickness c) No fewer than 9 layers of Baltic Birch backing d) All of the above
Answer Characteristics to look for in engineered wood flooring are: a) 3/16” wear layer b) 5/8”-3/4” thickness c) No fewer than 9 layers of Baltic Birch backing d) All of the above
SUBSTRATES & ATTACHMENT
Substrates & Attachment When crafted properly from the right material, wide plank flooring – solid and engineered - yields itself to a variety of installation scenarios on traditional plywood, concrete, and over radiant heat systems. Subflooring, underlayment, and floor preparation techniques are beyond the scope of this course, but following are a few visual examples of potential installation scenarios.
Concrete Slab Directly adhered to properly leveled (flattened) concrete; moisture control & testing are extremely important.
Radiant Floor Systems Subflooring, underlayment, and floor preparation techniques are beyond the scope of this course. Refer to the wood floor manufacturer for installation and for species and materials compatible with under-floor radiant heating.
STANDARDS & TESTS
ASTM International Most U.S. manufacturers of floor coverings and adhesives specify testing for Moisture Vapor Emission Rate (MVER) of a concrete floor slab and/or for Equilibrium Relative Humidity (ERH) in concrete floor slabs to determine level of dryness and suitability for the installation of their materials.
The F-06 committee of ASTM International has written industry standards for testing the moisture of a concrete slab specifically for the flooring industry. Concrete moisture vapor and surface alkalinity testing are vital in the forecasting of the suitability of a concrete slab to receive a moisture-sensitive floor covering such as wood flooring. These tests should be performed on all concrete slabs regardless of their age or grade level.
Standards for Wood Flooring
ASTM F 710-11 Standard Practice for Preparing Concrete Floors to Receive Resilient Flooring Offers recommendations regarding the suitability of a concrete slab for the installation of resilient floor coverings based on accepted industry standards. This practice covers the necessary preparation of concrete floors prior to the installation to resilient flooring. In this section, PH testing practices are also covered. NOTE: While wide plank wood flooring doesn’t fall under the “resilient flooring” category, the slab preparation is the same.
ASTM F 1869-11 Standard Test Method for Measuring Moisture Vapor Emission Rate of Concrete Subfloor Using Anhydrous Calcium Chloride The oldest, simplest, and fastest concrete moisture test, the MVER is also the least accurate, only measuring surface moisture – not recommended.
ASTM F 2420-09 Standard Test Method for Determining Relative Humidity on the Surface of Concrete Floor Slabs Using Relative Humidity Probe Measurement and Insulated Hood The surface RH probe and hood are faster and easier for the contractor, but less accurate (only measures surface moisture) than F 2170-09
ASTM F 2170-09 Standard Test Method for Determining Relative Humidity in Concrete Floor Slabs Using in situ Probes Movable probes must re-equilibrate to give accurate RH readings, but in situ (cast-in-place) probes give the most accurate moisture measurement. For most accurate RH readings, installer should use in situ (cast-in- place) probes at 40% of slab depth (20% for structural slabs.
Review Question ASTM Test Method F 2170 (RH testing using cast-in-place wire probes) is: a) More accurate and reliable than other test methods b) Conducted with probe tips placed at 40% of the thickness of the slab c) Conducted at 20% of slab thickness for slabs drying on both sides d) All of the above
Answer ASTM Test Method F 2170 (RH testing using cast-in-place wire probes) is: a) More accurate and reliable than other test methods b) Conducted with probe tips placed at 40% of the thickness of the slab c) Conducted at 20% of slab thickness for slabs drying on both sides d) All of the above
Wood Flooring Moisture Control Project Considerations Moisture control is the single most important field consideration for controlling quality of wood floor installation • Contractor should assure a proper vapor barrier • Contractor should assure adequate concrete hydration (curing) • Dry surface does not mean concrete is dry throughout • Specification section 096400 deals with Delivery, Storage, Handling, proper acclimation and Project Conditions for installation of wood floors
Case study Alefs Harley-Davidson (Wichita, KS) Reclaimed Oak solid flooring gives a tough, outdoorsy feel and functionality to this Harley- Davidson showroom floor .
Case study Common Man Restaurant (NH chain) The appearance of aged beauty was achieved in this Walnut solid wide plank floor in a family restaurant setting.
Case study Park Hyatt Hotel Solid wide plank White Oak provides durability and lightness while perfectly contrasting and complimenting the furnishings in this hospitality application.