Colony Woodstock

 

If you follow Excelsior on social media, you may recall the stream of photos we posted this March documenting the fabrication of the popular Reclaimed Oak Pub Tables.  As of May 30th, Colony in Woodstock opened their doors, and pulled out the chairs, for you to take a seat at these charming pieces yourself!

Proprietors, Lex and Neil Howard, have done an exquisite job bringing Colony’s historical grand room back to life in a modern age. As shared on their new website, Colony was established in 1929 as a relaxing stop for visitors to dine, listen to big bands, and relax before traveling up to Overlook Mountain House. At one time, Colony was considered the tallest building in the town; hard to imagine with the monstrous structures we see today.

Closing its doors as a result of WWII, and struggling to reopen to its former glory since, the restoration of the Colony this Spring was an exciting event for the Woodstock community. Following the goal to bring more nightlife back to their hamlet, Lex and Neil have created a truly magnificent venue for residents seeking an evening full of casual dining and eclectic music.

As individuals who love the restoration of historical buildings, Excelsior was proud to provide furniture pieces equally packed with character and history as the home they were meant for. To recap this project, let’s take a look at how these tables came to their new life…

 


Reclaimed Wood 

Constructed from Reclaimed Oak upcycled from old barn timbers, the material used for this project came with an abundance of circular saw kerf, nail holes, old tool marks and various other natural defects we have come to love with reclaimed wood. After processing, these boards were cut to size, glued up and prepared for shaping into the circle, half circle, and square table tops needed for this magnificent space.

 


Pre-finished Naturally

With the desire to maintain the rustic tone of the wood, a natural VOC free oil was applied after a light hand sanding to maintain as much patina as possible. VOC free oils are a superior choice for food, pet, and kid surfaces where it’s important to avoid harmful chemicals in your home. These oils soak beautifully into the wood; in this application leaving a glowing amber color to the oak.

 

Copper Rims 

To give these tables an industrial chic attire, our fabricators edged each table with copper strips. Aging the copper with a mix of dyes and pairing the design with copper hardware, these tops could easily be mistaken for antique pieces without a closer look!

 

Cast Iron Bases

To finish off these stunning tables, the designers at Colony provided elegant cast iron bases to attach to each table. These footed beauties were the perfect match for the pub tables, both sturdy and show stopping pieces.

 

New Home

And now, here they are! Serving as resting spots for the plates of hearty dishes, the glasses full of spirits, and the elbows of admirers, these tables appear to have settled beautifully into their new Colony home.

 

With two levels of seating, you have the option to get personal with the band on the main floor …


… or experience the acoustics in the romantic upper balcony.

 

Alongside the pub tables of many shapes, Excelsior fabricated a super wide piece of Reclaimed Heart Pine to be used on the top deck as bar seating. This top was made from one gigantic beam, split in two and joined back together on the ends for a never ending appearance.

 

The atmosphere of the grand room when the candles begin to light sparks pure anticipation of what magic the night will bring. A line up of featured artists, open mic nights and late night entertainment are set weekly, leaving you with few excuses for not buying a ticket to a show.

 

 

Excelsior was so grateful for the opportunity to lend a hand in this beautiful restoration.

Visit Colony today for your elegant night out, accompanied with pretty fancy seating!

 

For the love of wood…


Flooring 101: How to Make Your Flooring Fit Your Climate

Flooring 101: How To Make Your Flooring Fit Your Climate

Living in the New York and New England regions comes with the benefit of experiencing a four season climate. Though undoubtedly beautiful, changing seasons can be accompanied by challenges. Knowing the weather is volatile, most residents of these areas are experts in preparing for the unexpected elements. But how many people consider the change of season when in the market for buying wood floors?

As a manufacturer of flooring for over 15 years, Excelsior knows the benefit of an educated customer. In finding an alarming number of homeowners unaware they should consider climate when designing their flooring, we have outlined some significant reasons as to why they should start. Combining our knowledge of wood, with the professional recommendations of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), here are some important variables to keep in mind when purchasing flooring in a seasonal climate region.


Wood is a ‘Living Product’

This statement may sound a bit creepy, but in all honesty very true! Wood is a natural material with hygroscopic properties, meaning: a substance that absorbs and retains moisture directly from its environment. Unlike human-made materials, wood flooring derives from a living organism that preserves these organic properties, even after being cut down.

After manufacturing into flooring, wood continues to absorb moisture from its new environment causing the ‘expanding and contracting’ phenomena we often hear. When humidity levels are high, wood absorbs the excess moisture in the air expanding as a result. The opposite occurs when the air is dry, causing the wood to contract with a lack of moisture to consume.

Preventing wood from absorbing moisture is little to impossible. But by using techniques to limit or stabilize the moisture level in your environment, your home environment can be prepared to accommodate the natural variability of a wood floor.

Established Internal Climate

Knowing the climate conditions you expect your flooring to survive in is essential upon finding the ideal wood product. Moisture levels in your home will vary based on both internal and external elements. Methods used to heat, cool, and insulate your home, as well as the nature of the room you wish to install the flooring (ex: kitchens vs. bedrooms), can all contribute to a rise and fall of moisture.

It is always wise to be aware of the climate controlling systems used in your home, as they will directly impact your wood floors success in acclimating to its conditions. The functionality of these systems is equally important in establishing a pattern of your homes seasonal climate. The National Wood Flooring Association (2007) suggests:

“If heating and/or air-conditioning is in operating condition, it needs to be operating. If it is not possible for the permanent heating and/or air-conditioning system to be operating before, during and after installation, a temporary heating and /or dehumidification system that mimics normal temperature and humidity conditions can enable the installation to proceed until the permeant heating and/or air-conditioning system is operating,” (Section I, p. 1).

If you are in the midst of new construction and not sure what systems you will be using, waiting till these systems are active before finalizing an internal climate is the best practice, but not always practical. Using devices such as dehumidifiers, portable heating/cooling systems, and moisture meters to measure progress, the National Wood Flooring Association (2007) highlights a variety of tips of the trade to keep your project schedule flowing (Section I, p. 1-7).

Quality Grade Materials

You hear time and again, ‘quality over quantity’; we are not going to suggest anything less. A growing number of homeowners are opting for bargain wood flooring from warehouse sales and box stores. With the promise of high quality at a low cost, these materials tend to fit smoothly into a tight renovation budget. But not all wood flooring is created equally or manufactured with the same care.

Often, the low-cost floors are made of sub-quality materials, sometimes of unknown composition or undesired grades of common species. Though these products are classified as solid wood, their performance does not compare to legitimate solid wood products. Some pre-finished options have even recently been reported to contain harmful chemicals, resulting in an uproar of possible health concerns from installing cheap flooring.

Excelsior only mills solid wood flooring of quality grades from reputable suppliers. We customize flooring to your particular space, keeping in mind your budget, lifestyle need, and aesthetic design. Our products are manufactured using materials and coatings safe for your home, with specific maintenance instructions provided to extend the life of your flooring. Excelsior has an open door policy allowing for customers to reach out with any ongoing questions they might have on their orders; benefits not comparable to just a bargain price.

Flooring Acclimation

In our industry, the majority of customers have time sensitive projects. When on a strict schedule, some are tempted to consider the acclimation process as more of an option rather than a necessity. However, those who skip this step pose the risk of unintended defects in the flooring due to increased movement after installation.

Acclimation is the process by which the wood becomes accustomed to a new environment. By allowing your material time to adjust to the moisture level of your space, individual pieces will expand and contract prior to installation to decrease the chance of gaps and cracks.

The National Wood Flooring Association (2007) suggests always follow specific manufacturers recommendations for acclimating your wood flooring to your environment, as every species and style will behave differently when exposed to moisture. Standard practices for multiple wood floorings include (Section I, p. 5-6):

  • Installing flooring last in a home improvement project.
  • Establishing the internal climate of your home.
  • Operating heating/cooling systems five days prior to installation.
  • Checking material upon delivery for moisture level with a meter.
  • Comparing the moisture level with the sub flooring.

Acclimating your wood flooring may sound quite technical, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Using recommendations from the NWFA, communicate with your subcontractors on what information is still needed to make sure the acclimation process is successful. If you need to reach out for specific details on your flooring, Excelsior product specialists would be happy to help! Discussing the procedures for acclimation with your subcontractor will help to ease your mind prior to the grand finale; installation day.

 

Proper Installation

Perhaps the climax of any project is the excitement of seeing newly installed flooring in your home. However, nightmare installations do occur, and most of the times they can be prevented. If you have taken all of the above suggestions into consideration (climate, quality wood, acclimation) you have most of your bases covered, but not all!

Prior to the actual date you wish to install your flooring, it’s important to establish a step-by-step installation plan. If you are subcontracting the service out, finding the best installation assistance for the job is the first step in ensuring your material is properly installed. Requesting referrals from trustworthy sources, or using online search engines geared towards marketing well-known vendors, is a valid place to begin your hunt for the best subcontractor for your project.

Knowledge of your product and popular install methods for your material can also be essential tools in ensuring a smooth installation process. The National Wood Flooring Association (2007) dives deep into installation practices specific to various styles of flooring: parquet, engineered, solid strip and plank, and installations over existing flooring (Section III, p. 1-15). All floors are different, as every home is unique. A quick scan of general suggestions or just any friends advice will not do the job for gaining the proper knowledge of your product. Always do your research and refer to the professionals suited for your specific project when planning for install of any wood flooring.

 

Knowledge Over Chance

If there are variables you or your subcontractor are unsure of during any step of the flooring process, wait. Don’t take a chance on a product that may not be suitable for your environment. The last characteristic you want to see on your new flooring is unintended cracking and large gaps resulting from a rush decision.

Sometimes our wish for an authentic ‘wood look’ can be greater than our will to accept that our climate may not accommodate the material. For instance, houses built over running water may never have the ability to control moisture enough for a wood floor to set properly. The key to any successful flooring purchase is communication with the right professionals and complete transparency about the climate of your home.

At Excelsior, our service is as organic as our materials; we care about how our products affect our customers. In a fast paced industry, knowledge and patience are still fundamentals in our business. Nature is unpredictable, climates vary, but with a little time, Excelsior will guide you through the variables you can control to create a final product you will love.


References:

National Wood Flooring Association. (2007). Installation Guidelines. Section 1: General

Guidelines. Retrieved from http://fermaflooring.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/NWFA-

Installation-Guidelines.pdf