by Claudia Johnson, Director of Marketing, Honest Abe Log Homes
If you take a stroll through our galleries, you’ll notice that most of Honest Abe Log Homes’ customers have chosen real wood flooring for their log cabin or timber frame home.
The formal definition of real wood is “the hard fibrous material that forms from the main substance of the trunk or branches and beneath the bark of a tree.” Therefore, a wood floor is “any flooring product that contains real wood as the top-most, wearable surface of the floor.”
- Solid wood flooring is a solid piece of wood from top to bottom.
- Engineered wood flooring is real wood from top to bottom. Normally made using multiple wood veneers or slats of wood glued together at opposing directions.
- Composite engineered wood flooring contains real wood on the wearable surface only. The backing and core material may be made up of any type of composite material.
- Flooring Type: solid, engineered or composite
- Plank Width: wide, narrow, mixture of widths
- Plank Length: full span of room, various lengths of long boards or various lengths of short boards
- Special Treatments: hand hewn boards, distressed or aged new boards, re-milled antique or vintage wood; decorative inlay
- Species: softwoods (generally lighter in color) or hardwoods (generally darker woods)
- Finish: natural wood with protective finish only or colored or tinted stain; coordinating with other interior wood finishes such as walls and cabinets; prefinished or finished after installation
WHO installs your flooring is vitally important. Your floor will be there for a very long time, and it will get a lot of traffic during the life of your home (or commercial project). A good installer will advise you through acclimating the wood to your specific environment before it is installed. He or she will be mindful of the fact that every square foot of flooring costs money, and as a result they will keep waste to a minimum.
It’s best to get recommendations from others who have used an installer you are considering. Some installers do not mind traveling great distances, so don’t limit your options to only those who are nearby. This may be a little extra expense (travel), but in the long run an excellent installation professional can make the difference in the look, stability and durability of your floor.
As unconventional as it sounds, the “asking for recommendations” feature on Facebook can be very helpful. People tend to be VERY passionate about those they’ve used, whether it was a good experience or a bad one.
Protecting a hardwood floor can be accomplished by choosing a durable finish in the first place, but taking reasonable precautions will prolong your floors’ beauty and preserve the value of your home.
For instance, before you move your furniture into the home, affix felt pads to any area that will come in contact with the floor. This is especially true of pieces that may often be moved around like chairs, small tables and dining pieces. It is NOT rude to tell your movers that you expect care to be taken when wheeling in heavy pieces. We know of at least one story in which a piano was improperly moved, leaving deep, permanent ruts where the wheels of the trolley on which it was transported “sunk” into the hardwood under the tremendous weight of the piano.
Many of our customer have created “spaces” in great rooms by using large rugs and arranging furniture on them. Not only does this protect the flooring, carefully chosen rugs can enhance the wood, provide warmth and offer small oases, like a dining “room,” conversation spot or office area, in a cavernous great room.
Other places to consider using area rugs are kids’ rooms, hallways and powder rooms, all of which tend to see more wear and tear.
Really, what is more beautiful than a wood floor in any house, but especially in a log or timber home? It actually is possible to have those floors you’ve dreamed about as you browse our galleries or read log home magazines.
Your contractor may be able to help you make some the decisions discussed above, and if you retain an interior designer, the decisions about the flooring for each room can be guided by a professional who sees the big picture. Don’t hesitate to ask for the help you need. If you don’t know a designer you trust, call Honest Abe’s Molly Cooper, designer at Cooper & Co., whose experience with log and timber home interior design may be just what you need.