Deck with a View

Deck with a View

 

Now that summer is here…at least on the calendar. It’s time to get out on your deck. This deck was built by the homeowners. They decided to tackle this project themselves.

KUDOS!

 

 

They used one of our favorite decking materials, Red Balau. It is favored by many because of its unique elegance and its affordable price. Red Balau is a product most recommended for decking and exterior uses. Offering superior qualities, such as natural resistance to rot and decay, this product stands the test of harsh weather conditions.

 

 

The deck is surrounding a beautiful pool perfect for enjoying the sun on your face with a drink in hand, lemonade with the kids or a cocktail with friends, a family BBQ, or just relaxing…

We always recommend applying coatings on decking for protection. We are now using ExoShield wood stain which offers superior protection for exterior wood applications such as decking, siding and outdoor furniture. It is marine grade, low VOC and long-lasting.

 

We love helping our customers get the deck of their dreams and now have another way to help…We distribute the ONLY Hidden Deck Fasteners that allow wood to expand and contract naturally. They are perfect for Hardwoods like Ipe, Red Balau and others.

Let us help you put together a package that includes the decking (stained and protected on all sides), clips, and screws so you can get that deck you’ve been dreaming about done this summer!

And congratulations to our customer on a job well done! Enjoy the summer on that fabulous deck!

Welcome to Our New Showroom

Welcome to Our New Showroom

 

 

Open your doors and your windows: Let’s welcome in the sunshine and spirit of Spring!

This year spring is going to be awesome. We are excited and we want to share that energy with you.

We are finally prepared to open our doors and windows and present our recently updated showroom.

It took us some time to find out what it would take to change the look of our showroom to make it work better.

And we are now at a point where we can proudly say we are happy with a really inviting place that serves for information gathering, some education, a meeting place to talk about your project over a cup of coffee and of course a place to see many of our samples of wood.

Do you feel the energy radiating from the warmer spring weather, too? Do you want to get those projects started that you’ve been dreaming of all winter?

 

Whether you want to start with an exterior project because you can already see yourself sitting on that deck you envisioned, or you really want to increase the value of your house by getting the new siding done that you’ve needed for years, we have fabulous options available.

 

Our EXTERIOR SECTION in our showroom has many samples for you to choose from. You’ll be able to find a solution for every taste and every budget.

Make sure the DECKING you get is the perfect wood for you. Do you want it to last long and just look absolutley beautiful? We have some gorgeous options that will make you never want to leave your deck again. Have a look for yourself!

 

 

Find the right SIDING for your home. Different species, different profiles are here to see, touch and choose from. Siding is much more than a pleasing facade.

 

And did you know, that getting the right protection (COATING) on your wood makes your exterior project even more attractive and last so much longer? So, don’t skip that. We can help you get it done right here at Excelsior.

 

And what about freshening up the INTERIOR of your house and dusting off those winter blahs? Go ahead and give it the new FLOORING or PANELING you’ve been waiting so long for.

 

Need inspiration or are still too undecided to make decisions? Good! Let us help you here! We have much more to offer than just some sample boards in our showroom. We also offer many more products and services and are happy to help you get a clearer idea of where you want to go.

Let’s sit down, grab a cup of coffee and figure it out.

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

5 Reasons for Exterior Factory Coatings this Spring

5 Reasons For Exterior Factory Coatings This Spring

So, you ordered your siding, decking, or other beautifully dreamy Exterior Wood Product for your home. Now it is time to make the decision regarding a coating.

Your budget and initial thought might be telling you to stick with just the raw material and to do the coating on-site.  As much as we support our builders and DIY’ers in the field, let’s just say there are some VERY good reasons why you might want to reconsider a factory finished, custom coating for your exterior products this season.

1. Space for Drying

When coating exterior products, it is best practice to apply a coating to each individual board to ensure all sides are protected and completely cured before installing. When coating materials on-site, it can be hard to find enough space to lay out each board. Most new construction sites are full of machinery and materials, and not all properties have an abundance of flat ground available to lay out each board.

(image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pacific,_WA-5E2%80%94_New_house_under_construction_%E280%94%_01.jpg/ license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode/ crop and text added)

 

Excelsior’s Custom Coating’s Department is equipt with optimal space and drying racks to ensure each board is coated and cured according to manufacturer’s instructions. Designed to store 1000’s of LF of material, you can save space on-site by allowing us to store your material on our racks until it is dry enough to deliver to your job site.

 

 

2. Avoiding Debris and Inclement Weather 

In the case that you DO have enough space on your site to lay out each board to dry, other factors can affect the final finish of your product coating on-site. Dirt, debris, and bugs often found on job sites can easily blow around and stick to wet material. In addition, unpredictable weather-related damage such as rain, wind and sun exposure, can disrupt the coating process altogether.

(image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/wood-fibre-boards-timber-parquet-1819483/)

By allowing Excelsior to take over the task of coating your material, you can avoid the stress of rushing a paint job prior to a rainstorm. Your products will be coated and dried in a covered, temperature controlled environment away from the elements, resulting in a beautiful finish your customer (or yourself) will be proud to show off.

 

3. Decreasing Blistering and Bubbling

As stated above, to coat exterior products effectively, all sides must be coated to protect the material from weather-related wear-and-tear. That includes the face of the board, the back, two ends and two edges, all needing optimal time for coating and drying. Most people on-site choose to forgo this recommendation and coat just the face of the boards to save time.

 

(image credit:  http://www.proconstructionguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/iStock_000005396820Small.jpg)

…not recommended, especially with wood products. Wood that is not protected on all sides will absorb more moisture through the unsealed back and ends of the boards, creating an undesired blistering effect on the painted face of the boards.  Luckily, Excelsior has the ability to provide a fully coated product to ensure your wood is sealed. You will not regret allowing us to take this extra step to ensure a professional finish that will not have to be recoated in the near future due to short cuts.

 

4. Saving Time and Money

As far as budgets are concerned, labor costs to coat materials in the field (correctly) can really add up. It can sometimes take on-site workers twice as long to do the same work as it does for a properly applied factory finish by a machine. Plus, if you do not have a connection with a reputable coatings supplier, you may end up paying double for just the actual coating…this is not sounding better for anyone’s wallet.

 

 

Excelsior’s machine sprayer will definitely save you time and money on your project by eliminating the need for additional machinery and laborers on-site. Our machine coats every board evenly, quickly, and up to the high-end standard expected of a factory finished product.

Using quality products, such as Benjamin Moore and Randolph Products, Excelsior is able to prime, paint, stain, or oil a variety of your exterior product needs. Partnering with reputable suppliers, we have the ability to color match a custom order or use a specified product to meet your exterior vision.

 

5. More Business!

The last reason for choosing a factory finished coating from Excelsior is simple…more time for more jobs! With the help of Excelsior’s Custom Coating Department, you can take on more work knowing you will have a quality finished exterior product ready for installation, minus the time it takes to do it yourself. Whether you are supplying your own material for coatings, or you want us to provide a start to finish product, Excelsior has you covered. Click below for a quote on your exterior project this season!

For the love of wood…


Reclaimed Redwood for Exterior Solutions

Reclaimed Redwood for Exterior Solutions

If you are looking for a unique exterior product to bring character to your home, Reclaimed Redwood may be your solution. Our redwood is reclaimed from the iconic New York City water towers. These legendary structures have dotted the skylines of the city since the 1800’s. Built to be durable and clean, each tank was held together solely by steel straps to eliminate any possibility of adhesive impurities from leaking into the drinking water. Beginning as a clever method of accessing water on the top floors of the skyscrapers, these towers have proven to be far more resilient than the expected 40 year lifespan.

Material harvested from dismantled tanks is straightened and reused in a number of our favorite exterior projects. Redwood has a fantastic reputation of being resistant to water, rot, and insects, making it perfectly suitable for decking and siding material. We can mill this product into T&G, shiplap, pre-grooved decking, and more. With the choice to maintain a grey exterior patina, or to plane into a new amber colored vertical grain, you cannot go wrong with the historical beauty this redwood will bring to your home.