Archive for December, 2012

Wooden Seating for Your Outdoor Deck

Wooden Seating for Your Outdoor Deck

Your outdoor deck doesn’t have to be limited to wood floors and railings. Now, you can enhance the beauty and functionality of your deck with built-in wood seats. This type of seating is not only elegant looking, but it is also comfortable and quite functional during the warm months.

To give you more ideas on how to incorporate wood seats on your outdoor deck, here are some different style options to consider :

  • Curved bench- Install a curved bench around your railing to accommodate more people on your deck. A curved bench can be built directly into the railing for a permanent seating option.
  • Seatwall – If your deck is directly on the ground, you may decide to have a seatwall, which acts as a low bordering wall that doubles as seating. When you install your deck’s flooring you can extend each corner with a seatwall to accommodate more people when you have gatherings.
  • Raised bed – Create a dual function for your outdoor seats by building a wooden raised bed on your deck. Add some cushions on top to make it conducive to an afternoon nap. Then, use it as primary seating when entertaining guests.
  • L-shaped bench – Make use of the corners of your deck with L-shaped benches. You may choose to have it built in on your deck or leave it detached to make it easier for you to move it when needed. If it is facing the corner versus being lined up against it, adding a tree between the bench and the railing creates a nice touch.
  • Fire-pit benches – Install built-in benches around a fire-pit to encourage late night lounging on your deck. The fire-pit enables you to enjoy your outdoor living space even on cool nights.

Using reclaimed wood will enable you to achieve a more unique style for your outdoor deck. Each piece of reclaimed wood provides character that cannot be replicated by young, new wood, and it will last you for years to come, as it has already weathered the test of time.

Superior Hardwoods & Millwork of Montana

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Common Hardwood Floor Installation Mistakes to Avoid

Common Hardwood Floor Installation Mistakes to Avoid

Hardwood floors are a beauty to behold given their natural beauty and elegant surfaces. Having hardwood floors can easily enhance the look of your entire home and create a positive first impression when visitors enter.

If you plan to install hardwood floors at home, it is a good idea to keep in mind common mistakes that homeowners make when installing hardwood floors. Knowing these things will help you prevent them from happening during your installation process.

  • Failing to prepare the subfloor. Subfloors must be prepared first before installing the hardwood floor. Basically, subfloors need to be cleaned, flattened, and dried prior to installation. Otherwise, common problems like a floating floor, a squeaky strip of your floor, and an uneven floor will arise.
  • Not checking for moisture content. Moisture can cause wood to swell or warp and must be avoided when having hardwood floors. If proper moisture content is achieved and the hardwood floors adjust well to the site, the risk of warping or swelling will be minimal. However, failing to check the moisture content of the wood will instantly cause it to swell or warp easily.
  • Installing where humidity is high. Having hardwood floors is indeed beautiful, but that doesn’t mean you can install them anywhere. Places with high levels of humidity can easily damage the hardwood, and it will lose its beauty. Bathrooms and basements are perfect examples of these areas.
  • No expansion gaps. Wood will definitely expand if there is a high level of moisture and contract if the atmosphere is dry. For that reason, be sure you leave room for expansion gaps to accommodate the change – if you don’t, the wood will start looking imperfect and damaged.
  • Failing to follow installation guidelines. Many homeowners choose to do floor installation by themselves to save money. However, one common mistake is not following the proper guidelines for floor installation, which can lead to mistakes and damage.

Hardwood flooring installation is easier and faster if you know how to properly install your hardwood lumber. In addition to avoiding common mistakes in hardwood floor installation, it is best to invest in durable and high-quality lumber to maximize the benefits of having wood flooring. Superior Hardwoods offers excellent quality hardwood lumber that is suitable for home floors. You can be assured of its long lasting functionality, and it comes in a wide variety of wood species and tones to fit any style.

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Utilizing Wood In Your Home for Christmas Decorating

Utilizing Wood In Your Home for Christmas DecoratingChristmas celebrations are always fun and memorable times with families and friends, and decorating your home with festivity in mind ensures that everyone will enjoy the holiday spirit.

There are lots of ways you can decorate wood panels in your home to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.  Here are a few:

  • Hang small framed pictures on your wall. Choose memorable pictures from your previous Christmas celebrations and have them framed identically. Then, find a special place to hang them, so everyone can reminisce on the good old days.
  • Add a Christmas display. Line up several Santa Claus figurines or dangling snowflakes and hang them from your wood panels.
  • Decorate your wooden mantel. Your fireplace can be the ideal place to gather around after Christmas dinner, so make it look more festive by adding holiday decor, holiday-inspired pictures, etc.
  • Install holiday lights. Who says holiday lights are for Christmas trees alone? You can also string them along your wood panel to make it brighter.
  • Install Christmas molding. Have custom made moldings attached to your wood panel for the holidays.
  • Line up wreaths. Add wreaths to your wood panels so it will be easier to hang lights.

When it comes to highlighting wood in your home, try using reclaimed wood. Reclaimed lumber offers both functionality and beauty that fits perfectly with any interior home design. Reclaimed wood has a rich history reflected in its nail marks and holes, which adds to the overall design of your interior. Even if your decorations are minimal, the accents of your reclaimed wood will make the room unique and perfect for any Christmas decor.

Superior Hardwoods offers reclaimed lumber ideal for interior wood. You can choose from a wide variety of wood tones and wood species to fit your tastes, and you can also be assured that its durability and long-lasting functionality will serve you for many holidays to come.

Superior Hardwoods & Millwork of Montana
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Renovation Ideas for Your Home Using Reclaimed Wood

Renovation Ideas for Your Home Using Reclaimed Wood

Home renovations can be both fun and challenging. Homeowners love to renovate their houses to make improvements or simply create a fresh, new look.  However, home renovations pose certain challenges when it comes to choosing the design for your interior and which materials to use. There are hundreds of options to choose from, so making a final decision can be complicated.

If you plan to renovate your home, consider using reclaimed lumber. This eco-friendly wood material guarantees a beautiful outcome and also offers a lot of other benefits. Reclaimed wood is much more environmentally friendly than newer types of wood, it also lasts in good condition for a longer time, and requires more minimal maintenance than many other kinds of wood.

Here are some ideas for how you can incorporate reclaimed wood in your home renovations:

  • Home office – Nothing is better on a work day than entering your office and feeling calmer due to the peaceful environment you’ve created. Wood accents in your home office make it feel more homey and closer to nature, thus creating a calming feeling while you work. You can use reclaimed wood for your floor or even your office desk.
  • Stairway – Make your way up to the second floor on beautiful wood stairs. Reclaimed wood stairs are elegant and rustic and serve as a great backdrop for featuring art or photos on the wall.
  • Wood shelves – Use reclaimed wood for your bookshelves to create added allure to the items you display.
  • Butcher’s block – A wooden surface on your kitchen island is great for chopping vegetables or tenderizing meat. A butcher’s block made of reclaimed wood will assure long-lasting durability and create added beauty for your kitchen.

If you are looking for superior quality in reclaimed wood, contact Superior Hardwoods & Millwork of Montana. We offer an extensive collection of reclaimed wood selections, so you have many options to choose from involving different kinds of wood species and wood tones to best fit your tastes.

Superior Hardwoods & Millwork of Montana

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What Does “Green” Mean? Composite vs. Natural Decking

Composite vs Natural WoodWhen it comes to decking what does green really mean……In the construction world being “green” or using “green” building materials is particularly appealing to conscientious consumers. What does that really mean, there are many different definitions of what the term “green” means, but no agreed upon uniform standard. When deciding what “green” means consider several factors:

  • Sustainability – Are the resources used in fabricating the product renewable?
  • Environmental Impact – What environmental damage is done gathering raw materials and fabricating the product?
  • Embodied Energy – How much energy is needed to produce and transport the product? How heavy is it, and how far does it have to travel?
  • Lifespan – How durable is the product?
  • Deconstruction and Afterlife – What happens to the material when it is worn out? Can it be recycled, or does it end up in a landfill forever?

Starting with sustainability and environmental impact – harvesting of natural lumber for decking comes primarily from plantations or managed forests and is highly sustainable. Due to stricter logging rules the effects of logging are minimized. The main ingredient in composite decking is petroleum which is derived from oil drilling a process that damages vegetation, pollutes water and soil while leaving holes that scar the earth. When comparing embodied energy most exotic decking must be shipped several thousand miles and contains a fair amount of embodied energy. Although composite decking does not require the long range shipping factor it does; however, contain a fair amount of embodied energy itself due to the process used to harvest the petroleum products. When we are talking about lifespan composite decking is expected to last decades, although it hasn’t been around the decking industry long enough to document the longevity. Exotic hardwood decking can be expected to last well over 25 years. In example IPE was used on the Atlantic Boardwalk well over 25 years ago and is in beautiful shape wearing very well even under the excessive foot traffic and harsher conditions than a normal application would endure. Deconstruction and afterlife should be the final consideration when weighing the evidence. The naturally rot resistant wood species used in decking can be recycled and at the worst eventually will revert back to soil. Many composite decking materials may start out with a high recycled content; however, at the end of their lifespan they are not able to be recycled due to the inability to readily separate the components that make up the composite and are destined to become debris filling our landfills.

Again what does “green” really mean. When considering what “green” means to each of us there are many factors to be considered in evaluating the different decking materials. Once all information is processed the natural, truly “green” choice that will become apparent will be Exotic Hardwood decking ~ Naturally resistant to decay, insects and fire damage~ Maintenance free, will gradually change to a beautiful silver patina (Original color may be maintained with UV protectant application).

Superior Hardwoods & Millwork of Montana

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Extra Care Tips for Your Hardwood Floors This Winter

Extra Care Tips for Your Hardwood Floors This Winter

The cold weather may be a little harsh for us, but for hardwood flooring, it can be even worse. The air inside homes tends to become dryer due to running the heater, and if your floors dry out too much, they can warp, crack, and lose their beauty. In addition, water and dirt, which are some of the worst enemies of wood, can also damage the floor. So, it is important to give them extra care, so they are still as beautiful as ever when Spring comes around.

To protect your hardwood floors from water and dirt damage brought by snow and mud, a proper floor treatment can add the utmost protection even if these elements come into contact with your wood floors. Bona-Kemi, a reliable brand of floor treatment, can provide a longer lasting protection to your hardwood floors than other brands.  A finishing product like Bona-Kemi will help to effectively shield your floors from mud and snow throughout winter.

Also, take the time to regularly clean your hardwood floor. Sweep and vacuum any dirt and dust on your floor, so it does not have the chance to collect.  Accumulated dirt and dust is more difficult to clean and can actually damage the wood if not removed immediately.

You may also want to place area rugs on top of your wooden floor to add more protection from possible spills and dirt. Use area rugs in your living room and dining room plus door mats near your home to remove certain articles of clothing when you come inside from the outdoors, do it in your mudroom.  Snow can still be attached on your outer coat or winter hat.

Your pets also need to be cleaned from snow and dirt prior to coming in. After going outside in the snow, dry them off first and clean remove any dirt or mud before letting them wander inside the house.

Lastly, add a humidifier to prevent cracks from appearing in your wood floors due to drying. The humidifier will keep the air moist, so your hardwood floors stay healthy.

Superior Hardwoods & Millwork of Montana
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Tricks for Protecting Your Hardwood Floors This Holiday Season

Tricks for Protecting Your Hardwood Floors This Holiday Season

The holidays are a time of year when we share fun memories with our friends and families and celebrate a time of giving and sharing.  When welcoming special guests to your home, adding a few lovely touches, like a beautiful Christmas tree or colorful ornaments, creates a warm atmosphere where they can feel at home.

Beautiful reclaimed hardwood flooring adds flair to any living room with its unique character and elegant appearance and serves as the perfect backdrop for holiday decorating and entertaining.  However, as much as we love our friends to be around the house and help us celebrate, our wood flooring may be susceptible to spills, heavy traffic, dirt, and scratches. It is therefore important to keep a watchful eye on your floors to be sure they are well-protected during the holidays.

Below are some useful tips:

  • Clean your floors thoroughly so you can encourage guests to leave their shoes at the door. By providing a nice shoe rack on which they can place their shoes, a themed rule for entering your home will likely be followed. If there are no shoes inside, less dirt and dust will be tracked in, and floor scratchers like high heels and melted ice from snow will be eliminated.
  • Add furniture leg pads before the party. Guests will inevitably move furniture around to create small circles of conversation. So, help protect your floor from scratches by adhering pads to the bottom of your furniture legs before guests arrive.
  • Asks your guests to inform you of spills on the floor immediately. This will allow you to clean up the fresh mess before it seeps into the wood.
  • Clean up after the party. You may be tired from partying, but it is good to at least sweep the floor before you go to sleep, so dirt and food crumbs don’t settle into the wood.
  • Add mats and rugs. They help shield your floor from food crumbs, spills, and heavy traffic.
  • Coat your floor with a floor finishing product such as Bona-Kemi to protect your floors

For a reliable hardwood floor finishing products, such as Bona-Kemi for your reclaimed hardwood floors, Superior Hardwoods offers one of the best products on the market called Seal Once. It is a water-based coating for your wood flooring that will protect it from mold, mildew, and water.

Superior Hardwoods & Millwork of Montana
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