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T H E R I C H E S T, M O S T B E A U T I F U L F L O O R I N G I N T H E W O R L D … SPRING 2007

A

Ask most people how old a piece of furniture

must be to be considered a

true antique, and most will tell you at least 100 years old. If only it were that simple with genuine antique heart pine wood floors.

OLD-GROWTH

DEFINING YOUR DREAM FLOOR

Once upon a time when the terms old-growth, original-growth and antique were bandied about, people knew that the trees were from America’s first forests and provided denser, superior lumber. Today, as antique floors become trendy, the marketplace is buzzing with more choices, making it harder for consumers and flooring pros to understand the distinctions. The term “old-growth,” in particular, is becoming ambiguous. With true old-growth material, the wood is denser, tighter-grained and stronger. It will also bear an obvious difference with the appearance of today’s pine. Perhaps the most straight-forward definition comes from the USDA Forest Service, which says that in the case of longleaf heart pine, it takes at least 200 years for the tree to become even 2/3rds heartwood. They call any longleaf pine less than 200 years old new heart pine. The term “heart pine” can represent various definitions, typically referring to freshly cut wood, instead of actually referring to the strong “heart” of the tree. Antique heart pine does not come from standing trees. As such, the process to locate, carefully reclaim and mill this limited treasure requires more labor and time. Here are a few differences involved:  Discovery – whether old buildings are dismantled or logs are raised from river bottoms, a great deal of effort is expended to save this wood as well as the environment from which it came.  Sawing – because the logs are hundreds of years old, it is critical to examine and manually turn each one many times to render the highest quality timber possible.  Kiln drying – careful air drying and then kiln drying is critical to enable the wood to acclimate correctly to your project setting.

 Milling – the meticulous process of creating a tight fit and smooth surface or other milling pattern when done well can save a great deal on installation.  Grading & Packing – This is where the professionals stand apart from the amateurs. True grading begins immediately after sawing the logs or beams and occurs again multiple times throughout the previous steps to ensure that the product you receive meets the grade you ordered and is 100% useable. With so many choices available today, antique heart pine floors offer beauty, warmth and history not found from other wood floorings options. While the process might seem a bit confusing, rest assured that the final product will truly be the wood floor of your dreams.

Questions to Ask

Because vast differences exist in terminology, grades, pricing and quality, the following questions can be helpful in making sure your dream floor comes true.

• Is the wood from the longleaf pine? • Is it truly antique? Or how old was the tree when harvested? • Is it at least 95-100% heartwood? • Are there at least 6 growth rings per inch? • What size and type are the knots? • What about pitch pockets, checking, nail holes and other ‘characteristics’? • How much extra wood should I order? • Is the wood kiln dried? • What milling standards do you use? • Do you guarantee you will deliver what is specified?

C O M E V I S I T U S I N PA L M C O A S T, E X I T 2 8 9 O F F I - 9 5 !

We are more than glad to help with any samples you might need if you do not find what you are looking for on our website. Best wishes for the wood floor of your dreams.

River-Recovered Specialists

CALL FOR ANY ASSISTANCE | 1-800-336-3118 | 1-352-466-0339 | www.heartpine.com


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