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HARDWOODS FAQS

What are the advantages of solid hardwoods?
     Solid hardwoods, as building and furnishing materials, go against the grain of a mass-produced, throw-away age. Although every hardwood board will predictably share the characteristics of its species such as – oak, ash, alder, maple, cherry, hickory and poplar – each board displays a face which is uniquely its own, having been formed over the long lifetime of the individual tree from which it came.
      Solid hardwood stairways, flooring, built-ins, and fireplace surrounds offer the potential for many generations of hard use. Their beauty is not skin-deep. They can live with nicks and scratches, are easily repaired and refinished, and their value is lasting.
      When you're choosing for a lifetime – and maybe two or three – you should choose wisely. Solid hardwoods are genuine, not imitations. They are natural, not synthetic. They are classic, not artificial.
      What may look at first like solid hardwood may be something else. It pays to ask questions and take a hard look at materials. Aside from aesthetic considerations, substitutes can't compare to solid hardwoods when it comes to holding nails and screws and withstanding the stresses, loads, shocks and abrasions of daily life.

How does hardwood compare to other materials?
      Hardwood will outperform and outlast any other flooring material without any additional care or attention. And, of course, nothing can compare to the elegant beauty of a Boardwalk hardwood floor.

Is hardwood expensive?
     The price of hardwood can vary depending on what type and material grade you select. Since most hardwood last a lifetime, there is no question about their value.
      It’s lasting beauty will be enjoyed by you for many years to come and the impact on future owners will be similar. In general, hardwood adds three times the purchase price of your new hardwood floor to the value of your home.

Is hardwood easy to care for?
     Yes, a hardwood is just as simple to care for as any other covering. Unlike hardwood of the past, no waxing or stripping is required. Dusting or vacuuming is usually all that is required. Your Custom Interior specialist is happy to review proper care for your specific hardwood after installation is complete. Please go to our sister site for our hardwood care products.

Can hardwoods be used in a bathroom area?
     Absolutely. Builders, architects and designers are taking advantage of durable new finishes to bring hardwood beauty to bathroom applications they never would have considered before. Recent gains in wood treatment and homebuilding technology make it easy to install and maintain hardwoods in the bathroom, all but eliminating any problems with cracking, peeling, warping, buckling and water marks.
     These advances include:

  • Catalyzed Sealers. We can pre-finishing cabinetry and millwork with durable, baked-on finishes that chemically bond with the wood to prevent moisture penetration.
  • Quick-Curing On-Site Finishes. This new generation of wood finishes can withstand moisture, while maintaining the flexibility to accommodate wood's natural expansion and contraction.
  • Improved Environmental Controls in the Home. Controls and ventilation systems have dramatically reduced fluctuations in relative humidity in the bathroom.
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HARDWOOD FLOORING FAQS

Where can I have a hardwood floor?
     Hardwood flooring can be installed almost anywhere in your home. Solid wood, such as site-finished and pre finished flooring, can be installed on or above ground. It is not recommended to install hardwood flooring in moisture prone areas of your home, such as the wet areas of a bathroom.

When should hardwood floors be installed?
     If you're having a home built or making some renovations it is highly suggested to have the hardwood flooring work scheduled very near the end. Unfortunately too many times, builders rush hardwood flooring projects and don't realize the consequences until it's too late and major repairs become necessary or moisture problems caused by other work rears it's ugly head.

How should hardwood floors be cared for?
     Too many times consumers are led to believe Murphy's oil soap and wet swiffers can be used on hardwood floors. Having seen the effects both can have on pre finished and site finished floors we recommend you stay away completely . Unfortunately wet swiffers can cause damage to wood floors as we've learned through the many inspectors we know. Murphy's on the other hand, will leave a residue build up and dull any hardwood floor surface appearance.
      Hardwood flooring care and maintenance is just as important as making that decision to invest in one. Over the years we've seen some that were maintained beautifully and it shows. On the other hand we've also seen those that were abused and no attention to preservation was considered. Not only does cleaning play an important role to the longevity of your investment, but attention to damage prevention as well. Here are several items to be considered that some salespeople may overlook.

  1. Place bristle type mats at all exterior door entries. These will collect larger pieces of grit or small stones that may damage your new floor.
  2. Place area rugs at all entry points inside the home.
  3. Felt pads are a great idea for placing under furniture legs, but keeping them free of grit is just as important. Each time the floor is swept or cleaned check for any grit that may collect under a chair or furniture leg.
  4. Place area rugs at all water areas. Kitchens are most important in this case. One may not be enough and we suggest others in front of the refer/ice maker, dishwasher, and kitchen sink area.
  5. Speaking of appliances: Any time they are moved please use some kind of protection to prevent scratches and gouges. Appliance delivery guys are notorious for not taking the necessary precautions. Our suggestion is to use 1/8" masonite board making sure the surface and the floor is very clean when any appliances are moved. One small piece of grit will make any efforts worthless.
What is the most durable hardwood floor available?
      Remember it is the hardness of the floor that will give the best indication of durability. Refer to the Janka Hardness rating for a true indication of hardness for a selected species:
American Black Cherry 950
American Black Walnut 1010
Yellow Birch 1260
Red Oak 1290
White Ash 1320
White Oak 1360
Hard Maple 1450
Santos Mahogany 2200
Brazilian Cherry 2345
Brazilian Teak 3540
Brazilian Walnut 3680
Ebony 3692

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HARDWOOD STAIRWAY FAQS

I have small children. Are there any special ordering considerations to keep in mind?
      Custom Interiors roomy treads and dual handrails make staircases accessible even for small children. Baluster spacing, however, is an important consideration. Also consider using half or full risers in lieu of open risers.

I have pets. Are there any special considerations to keep in mind?
      Some dog-owning customers whose stairways have open risers say their dogs are afraid to use the stairs. Cats, on the other hand, will probably think a stairway was built just for them.

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HARDWOOD BUILT-IN FAQS

Do you help plan a built-in if I am unsure of what will work in my home?
      Yes, but the first steps in a hardwood built-in project are design and space planning. Most wall recesses are intentionally designed for built-ins, but full-length walls, corners, and other nooks and crannies also can become ideal locations for the creative craftsman. Every built-in is a custom project and many combine a variety of materials and features including shelving, work space and cabinetry.

Are there special hardwoods that should be used for built-ins?
      Yes and no. Once you've chosen your space for the built-in it's time to specify a hardwood for the job. The first item to consider is how the built-in will be used. A bookcase, for example, must be able to accommodate both heavy reference books (a complete Encyclopaedia Britannica set weighs 133 pounds) and lightweight paperbacks. Therefore, looks as well as load-bearing capacity must be taken into account.

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HARDWOOD FIREPLACE SURROUND FAQS

I have a picture of a fireplace surround, which I saw in a magazine. Can you create a custom fireplace surround like it?
      Yes! We have created many fireplace mantels from photographs.

Am I limited to the types of hardwoods ina fireplace surround?
      No. Our wood fire surrounds can be designed in a wide variety of hardwoods. Whether your taste is contemporary or traditional we can design a range of wood fireplace surrounds to suit your needs.

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MILLWORK FAQS

What millwork services do you offer?
     Planing, ripping, molding, wide belt sanding and re-sawing.

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ORDER AND SHIPPING FAQS

Will you ship hardwoods and hardwood supplies?
     Yes, via UPS or Common Carrier.

What if a customer receives a damaged shipment?
      We have always replaced any damaged items in a prompt fashion. Very, very rarely are any issues unless an item is damaged in transit. Almost never as long as UPS is not involved. We do not encourage ordering from us if you are unsure of what you want. We are fast in response to all issues. Problem situations take precedent over new orders.  We do ask that you inspect shipments thoroughly upon receipt and prior to signing. Damaged shipments should be refused or received with notation of apparent damage. Details of damage is helpful, but most importantly, noting that damage is recognized helps all parties when settling claims.

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PAYMENT METHODS FAQS

What are your methods of payment?
      Cash, Check, Visa, American Express, Discover, or Mastercharge.  

How do you protect the privacy of a customer?
     We do not share your information with third parties for commercial purposes, we do not run banner ads, pop ups, pop unders, or any other kind of third-party commercial ads, and we communicate with you only on an "opt-in" basis.

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