What’s Going to be “Hot” in 2017?

Sherwin-Williams forecasts its “2017 Color of the Year.” It’s part earthen brown and part conservative gray. It’s the new neutral. What do you think about it?

Flooring Moisture Management

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Wood is an organic material that reacts to its environment. It is hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs and loses moisture in reaction to its surrounding environment. In humid environments, wood gains moisture and swells. In dry environments, wood loses moisture and shrinks. This is completely normal and happens at all stages of the wood life cycle, even as the tree is growing in the forest.

If wood gains or loses too much moisture, problems can occur.

Wood that gains too much moisture can cup. Cupping occurs across the width of a floor board, with edges that are raised on each board and centers that are lower than the edges. Cupping always happens due to a moisture imbalance through the thickness of the board.

Wood that loses too much moisture can gap. Gapping occurs between floor boards. Gaps can vary in size and are considered normal if they appear and disappear during seasonal changes in humidity. Gaps are not considered normal if they are large or do not close during more-humid months.

Both of these issues can be minimized by maintaining an environment that is consistently between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and 30-50 percent humidity. Significant fluctuations outside these ranges can result in cupping or gapping.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association



Trends in Hardwood Flooring

Photo: Lauzon Every hardwood floor opens up a remarkable range of style and design options. There are floors that harken back across the ages and continents to exotic times and places.

That means you can create a completely different ambiance in every room of your home inspired by nature’s extraordinary diversity.

Smoked Neutrals

Midway through the decade, designers are moving away from overusing stainless steel, chrome and brass in favor of the smooth natural elegance of smoked woods. A soft palette of grey, taupe, white and cream tones offers a lovingly lived-in look and a subtly rich texture that changes with the light.

Au Naturel

With “Au naturel” you find the raw beauty of wood in all of its finishes. What catches the eye is the intricacy of the grain. Nature’s patterns are revealed to soften any décor. Isn’t that the appeal of a seaside resort—an invitation to reconnect with the natural world?

Rich Vintage

Part of the contemporary scene is built on a healthy reverence for the past. Rich Vintage evokes ancestral grandeur as easily as it does the simplicity of the homestead. Not surprisingly, rugged and warm browns dominate here, from deeply hewn to honey golden.


Who said flooring has to stay in the lines? Intricate patterned wood floor installations were the hallmark of wealth and status back in the day because it meant you could afford the artisans. With state-of-the-art technologies, you can create easy-to-install elegantly patterned hardwood flooring. You can create a truly original space that plays with grain, line, light and texture.

Source: Lauzon Flooring

Bring Out the Potential in Your Home

Photo: NARI Atlanta Tour of Remodeled Homes

Photo: NARI Atlanta Tour of Remodeled Homes

Since Fall begins this week, we are sharing six of our favorite Home Tours. What a great way to get inspired for undertaking all those projects around your home!

  • Serenbe Designer Showhouse (Through Sunday, Oct. 2) Tickets: $20. You will see the work of 15 designers in this three-bedroom penthouse.
  • Historic West End Tour of Homes (Saturday, Sept. 24) Tickets: $25. The 11 homes on this tour vary in style, from Victorian to Craftsman to mid-century modern.
  • Candler Park Fall Fest Tour of Homes (Sunday, Oct. 2) Tickets: $20 (advance) or $25 (tour day). Featured on this tour will be inspiring residences, backyard farms, chicken coops, restored historic homes, and other imaginative and enchanting garden spaces.
  • Castleberry Hill Loft Tour (Saturday, Oct. 22) Tickets: $20. Eight lofts in this industrial Atlanta neighborhood are included.
  • NARI Atlanta Tour of Remodeled Homes (Saturday, Oct. 22) Tickets: $20 (advance) or $25 (tour day). These five projects spotlight the latest in bathrooms, kitchens, offices, multi-purpose areas and exteriors.
  • Virginia Highland Tour of Homes (Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4) Tickets: $25 (advance). Although different in style and design, the eight properties are all equally representative of the neighborhood’s character.

What ideas did you take away from the last home tour you attended?


Is an Area Rug Right for Your Home?

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Area rugs are an excellent option to accent a room, protect hardwoods from excessive wear, and help with sound reduction.

Area rugs are more often made from carpet, which provides options for choosing the size, shape, color and pattern that will work best in your home. Your custom rug can be available within three to six weeks after placing your order.

Here are three things to consider before placing your order for a custom rug.

  1. Stain resistant fibers like nylon and polypropylene are best for spaces with heavy traffic, children and pets. Wool is a very durable and luxurious option. Sisal and Seagrass are natural choices that can be accented with fabric borders.
  2. The size of the rug can be determined by the room or the seating space. Dining tables should always be 18-24 inches larger on each side to permit easy movement of chairs.
  3. When shopping for an area rug, take fabric swatches, pictures of the space and rough dimensions of the room. This will help the designer or sales person make informed suggestions.

Rugs can be used to create a neutral canvas for a bold room or as an accent in a monochromatic design. Would you like a custom rug in your home?

Source: Leslie Waller, Project Consultant/Designer, MODA Floors & Interiors

Beetle Infestation: What to Look For

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Insect infestations are not common in wood floors, but they can occur. Many people know that termites are often associated with the destruction of wood products, but beetles can infest wood as well.

The most common destructive beetle associated with wood floors is called the lyctid beetle. It is often referred to as the powderpost beetle because the damage it causes reduces wood to a powder-like consistency.

A powderpost beetle is a wood-boring insect that is reddish brown to black, about 1/32”-1/8” in length, and has an elongated, flattened body. Because this beetle is quite small, the damage they can cause is much more likely to be seen than the beetle itself.

Powderpost beetles also may not originate in wood flooring. They can be introduced into the structure in wood furniture, cabinets, paneling, moldings, firewood, and even picture frames and small decorative grape vine wreaths, so identifying the primary source is necessary to alleviate the problem and keep it from spreading.

Infestation occurs long before the wood floor is installed. Female lyctid beetles lay their eggs within the pores of the wood. The larvae feed on the wood, creating tunnels that fill with a powdery substance called frass. Later, when the larvae mature, they exit the wood, creating small pinholes, generally measuring 1-3mm. These exit holes will often be surrounded by frass. This frass material is very fine and will feel like talcum powder when rubbed between two fingers.

This infestation typically occurs in hardwood lumber. Kiln drying lumber will eliminate powderpost beetles, but infestations can occur at any point in the supply chain, including production, storage and transport. U.S. wood species are not prone to powderpost beetle infestations due to the industry standards utilized for drying and storing lumber, but imported wood species do not necessarily following these stringent requirements and may be more prone to infestations.

Not all pinholes in wood flooring indicate that powderpost beetles are present. Small pin holes in the face of wood products are a natural characteristic of wood, and will not damage the floor or affect its performance. In addition, any wood product that has been in use for five years or longer is very unlikely to have powderpost beetles as the starch content of the wood, which the beetle needs to survive, declines as the wood ages.

If powderpost beetles are suspected, a wood flooring professional can evaluate the floors and recommend a course of action for repairs.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association