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5 min read

Choosing Your Hardwood Floors: Characteristics 

By: Karine Dutemple


5 min read

Choosing Your Hardwood Floors: Characteristics 

By: Karine Dutemple

FlooringInterior renovationsChoosing Your Hardwood Floors: Characteristics 

Once you know which type of wood you want to install, the following step will be to determine which are the desired characteristics. One of the main things to do is to choose which type of essence you are looking for. Different options are available for all tastes and budgets. 


Hardwood Floor Wood Types or Essences 

Amongst the most popular essences are oak, maple and birch wood. Wood coming from deciduous trees will give off a more conventional look. For their part, coniferous trees, such as fir trees, will work for a look that is more associated with a rustic style.

Other wood essences that are available: Cherrywood, walnut tree and ash tree, to name only a few. If you have a generous budget, exotic woods are the way to go. For example, Mahogany flooring is a very classy option. Of course, it’s all a question of taste. Another interesting option, and eco-friendly to boot is bamboo.

Even though bamboo is not considered a tree, its resistance level is on par with that of other types of wood. It is also allergen-free. 

Practical advice: If you’re having a hard time deciding, ask the manufacturer if you can take floorboard samples back home. This way, you’ll be able to get a better idea of the final results, testing with natural and artificial lighting.

Plancher de bois foncé_dark wood floor

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Hardwood Floor Grades: What You Need to Know

Wooden floorboards are usually categorized by grade. Each type of wood has its own natural colour and even when it has been treated or coloured, wooden knots or stains can still appear. Manufacturers will grade the wood according to the uniformity of the colours, as well as the presence of knots. 

Since this is a natural material, no two boards will end up being identical. These details end up giving the floor a more authentic look. If you’re looking for a rustic style, which is especially suitable in a cottage, hardwood floors with lots of knots will fit well with this type of look.


How to set up the floorboards

Depending on the length of the room, the way that the floorboards are oriented can give the impression that the room is either smaller or larger. Therefore, one should not underestimate the importance of finding the best way to set up the flooring. For example, in a room that is long, boards should not run across the room’s width. There would be too many boards and the result wouldn’t look as nice.

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Don’t hesitate to ask for the opinion of an expert in order to make the right choice! Hardware and decoration stores often have qualified staff. The width of the floorboards itself affects the final appearance of the room. Boards that are too small or too large can have a considerable impact on the way the room is perceived.

Plancher de bois franc_hardwood floor

The finish

Depending on personal tastes or the amount of foot traffic passing through the area, different types of varnish are recommended. This part of the process is important as it allows for a longer life cycle for the floor. To get a floor surface that is very shiny, a glossy finish is a way to go.

This option works best for rooms which already have a good amount of lighting, as the ground will reflect the light more than with any other type of finish. Somewhere between a glossy and a matte finish is the semi-gloss finish. This is a type of finish that is most commonly used on pre-varnished floorboards. For a room which sees a lot of traffic, or for homes which include children and pets, the best option is the matte finish.

As implied by the name, the surface is not as shiny as with the other types of finishes. However, in the long run, it will look nicer and will be more durable. In other words, it will not tarnish quickly. And since in normal homes, people tend to move furniture around, walk or run, scratches are bound to happen. On matte-finish floors, these scratches will be much less apparent.


Hardwood floor maintenance

Even if a floor is very durable, proper maintenance will help keep it looking good for as much time as possible. Ask the manufacturer if they recommend any specific product to clean it. Normally, vacuuming should be enough. Also: avoid using a wet mop directly on the floor. In the end, changing floors is a long and complicated process.

That’s why it’s so important to make the right choices and to pick the right people for the installation process. Whether you will be hiring directly through the manufacturer or finding your own floor specialist, make sure you get all the information you can about how the floor will be installed, as well as the warranty. Don’t hesitate to carry out quality control by taking out a few floorboards from the box to make sure that they have a certain level of uniformity. This could avoid a few bad surprises.

Cost of installing, restoring & purchasing hardwood floor materials

Hardwood floors have a long lifespan and therefore, are generally worth the investment that occurs during the installation process and in periods when they need to be restored. Here is a general look at how much you should expect to pay: 

- Installing a hardwood floor: $4 to $12/square foot

- Removing an old hardwood floor: $2.50/ square foot

- Restoring a hardwood floor: $2.50/ square foot

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Last modified 2023-05-09

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6 min read

Karine Dutemple 21 Feb 2022

Oak flooring : installation and maintenance

The choice to install hardwood floors in your home is positive, as wood floors are considered a timeless classic: elegant, durable, and sleek. Specifically, oak flooring is a wonderful option for those interested in a long-lasting and versatile material. Of course, it’s important to know the process of installing and maintaining this material so you have an idea of what’s involved before opting for them. Installing and maintaining oak floors isn’t overly complicated. This article will offer an overview of the installation process as well as information about oak floors including the necessary tips for caring for them properly. Oak flooring: installation and maintenance Photo: Pexels Oak floor installation: the basics As with any installation or renovation project, being prepared will allow you to complete this task with success. First, we’d recommend starting with a sketch of the area or room where you’ll be installing the oak floors. The sketch should include the direction with which the wood slats will be placed. Another important note is that hardwood must acclimate to the room temperature and humidity for 3 to 5 days before installation. We’d recommend laying the slats down and getting a feel for how you’ll want them laid out for installation. Make sure to check if there are any misshapen wood pieces and choose the straightest ones for the first 2 rows. Here’s a list of materials necessary for this project: mallet; nail setter; drill and drill bits; pry bar; tape measure and level; ¾ inch spacers; tapping block; chalk reel; flooring nailer (optional). A level subfloor is essential for a smooth installation, with the hardwood installed over ¾ inch plywood on or above grade. Hardwood cannot be installed over concrete. To begin installing, bear in mind that the first and last rows will need to be secured through the face of the board, where all other boards will be nailed through the tongue. Lay the first board with the groove toward the wall. Set ¾ inch spacers for the expansion gap along the length and at the end where the board and wall meet. Now, you can drive the nails through the pre-drilled holes in the boards. Tap the next board in place using a tapping block and mallet, then countersink the nails. To begin the second row, push the board groove into the tongue of the first row and tap together. You can continue this process with the rest of the boards, remembering to stagger joints and maintain the extension gaps. To finish, you’ll need to cut the excess underlayment. Sand and stain if this is necessary. Fill the nail holes with wood putty. Cover the expansion gap by replacing the baseboards and shoe moulding. Source: Pexels Looking for specialists for your flooring renovation project? Fill out the form so that we can put you in contact with certified contractors from our network! Oak floor maintenance tips Now that your new hardwood has been installed, you’ll need to know how to best care for it in order to prolong its beauty and lifespan. Here are our top tips for your oak floors: 1) Use felt pads One of the best ways to keep your oak floors safe from scratches and defects is to use felt pads beneath every piece of furniture. This is an especially important tip in terms of any furniture that’s moving around a lot: chairs especially. These can be found in most hardware and big-box stores. Make sure to check out the different sizing options in order to choose the right ones for you! 2) Learn how to gently clean oak floors Cleaning your oak floors should be done with a careful approach, as this material is different from those of stone, porcelain tile, ceramic tile and laminate. Although oak is a durable material, it needs to be cleaned in a specific way. Our advice is as follows: Clean away dust, dirt and debris using a vacuum or soft-bristled broom before moving onto wet floor cleaning methods like mopping. If you’re using a vacuum, make sure to choose a high setting, as this will allow you to avoid scratching the floor. When mopping, we’d suggest getting a mop that’s been specifically designed for hardwood floors. String mops are not the best choice, so look for additional options on the market. Make sure to use cleaning products that have been specifically designed for natural wood. Using a hardwood-specific cleaner will provide the proper protection without damaging the finish. 3) Know how to deal with scratches Scratches happen and on an oak floor preventing them isn’t impossible but can prove difficult. If you find yourself with a few scratches on the surface of your oak floor, we have some tips to suggest on how to deal with them: Consider using blending markers and pencils to touch up visible scratches. These are easy solutions and will work on most wood floors. Bear in mind that for certain types of oak, such as red and white, you may need to use more than one to get the colour combination right. Coconut oil is another fix for any unwanted scratches on the floor. While it won’t remove it, it will help conceal the scratch to the naked eye. This is a cost-effective way to hide the scratches without damaging your floor. There are commercial products on the market that work to cover and repair scratches. If using these products, it’s important to match the colour of the floor with the available options. In most cases, these products can be applied with a microfibre cloth. Photo: Pexels When should I refinish my oak floors? Although oak floors are strong and resistant, time may still wear them down. This is especially true for the top coat. So, if your oak flooring has been installed for a while, you may be wondering about the right time to add a new coat of finish. Here are some signs that the time has come: There are plenty of visible scratches: As mentioned, a few scratches can be fixed simply and quickly, but when several appear on the floor it may be time to consider refinishing. This will offer your floor a uniform and beautiful finish. Discolouration: It’s normal for there to be minor discolouration when it comes to a wood floor, but when you notice a heavy amount of gray and black spots, it’s time to refinish. Water damage: Water damage is another common issue with oak floors, leaving them looking dull and dingy. If you want to remedy this, refinishing is an excellent option. This can restore the natural lustre and elegance of your floors. Not to mention, it can work to prevent further water damage from spreading to other areas of the floor. Caring for your oak floors is not as difficult as it may sound. In fact, putting a minimal amount of love and attention into this earth-born material will allow for a long-lasting and beautiful flooring option. Would you like to continue reading on this subject? We have a few articles for you: Hickory hardwood floors: installation and maintenance advice Kitchen Floor Price Guide Price Guide: Flooring Materials Would you like to have an estimation of the cost of your flooring project? Try our cost calculator!

4 min read

N/A 19 Jan 2022

Everything You Need to Know About Walnut Flooring

Are your floors no longer up to par? Time does take its toll on hardwood floors, oftentimes resulting in a dull finish and scratches that are difficult to hide. Walnut flooring is known for its rich tone, which is visually appealing and quite striking, but it also has other desirable qualities. Has walnut flooring piqued your interest? Keep reading to find out more. Walnut Flooring: 4 Must-Know Facts 1) Very resistant It is worth noting that walnut flooring is very resistant, scoring 1010 on the Janka hardness scale. Although there are higher scores, walnut flooring ranks ahead of cherry and red maple woods, and most notably, density guarantees durability. Its robustness as well as its resistance to impact make for beautiful, long-lasting floors. Not only is this type of flooring exceptionally resistant and durable, but it is also a viable choice for spaces with high levels of humidity. In fact, its robusticity lessens the chances of warping in humid environments over time. 2) Rich tone is aesthetically pleasing One characteristic that definitely sets this type of wood flooring apart from the rest is its colour. The warm tone matches a multitude of decors, such as modern, Scandinavian and industrial. Therefore, this type of wood can be used to create a contrast between metallic elements and light or bold shades and furniture. It creates a visually striking effect that is bound to draw attention to any setting. Also, its normally rich tone tends to better conceal minor scratches that may appear over time. It goes without saying, but scratches or markings are often more visible on light-coloured flooring. 3) Particularly smooth texture While this feature is not often mentioned, keep in mind that some wood flooring can have a texture where the inherent knots and imperfections are more apparent. Given the rugged feel, it is especially fitting for rustic decors, although the same cannot be said for modern designs, which favour smoother, unified surfaces. As walnut flooring has a finish of the same texture, aesthetically speaking, it is an ideal choice for renovation projects in which this decor style is prevalent. Its smooth finish is also appealing to those who prefer to walk barefoot on their floors. Looking for specialists for your flooring renovation project? Fill out the form so that we can put you in contact with certified contractors from our network! 4) Available in various widths and finishes The available widths vary, meaning that the flooring can be adapted to the particularities of your renovation project. Here is an idea of what you can find when shopping for flooring: 2 1/4 in or 57 mm; 3 1/4 in or 83 mm; 4 1/4 in or 108 mm; 5 in or 127 mm. In addition to the variety of widths, walnut flooring is available in the following finishes: gloss, semi-gloss, satin, and matte. However, note that the satin finish is most commonly used to enhance the sleek appearance of walnut. Benefits of Walnut Flooring Beyond the above-mentioned advantages, it is worth mentioning that walnut floors have the unique benefit of offsetting the effects of cooler surfaces such as marble, granite, or concrete. Moreover, it blends beautifully with stone and dark leather furniture. Combining these elements will create a warm, elegant and luxurious setting. Last but not least, note that walnut flooring can be placed over a heated floor. Need more information on other flooring options for your next renovation project? Check out these articles: Floor Renovation Project: Checklist of the Steps to Follow Price Guide: Flooring Material 5 Flooring Materials for the Basement Are you looking to get a cost estimate for your flooring project? Try out our cost calculator!

8 min read 24 May 2023

Wall and Floor Tile Materials

Tiles are crafted with different materials. Having a clear understanding of said materials means choosing aesthetic and hard-wearing wall and floor coverings. Here are 6 of the most used types of tiles, whether indoors or outdoors. What are the different types of tile materials? Source: Canva Yanick Dupré, Dupré Carrelage Inc., mentioned that tiles are effectively made using many different types of materials: Aluminum; Ceramic; Terracotta; Glass (enamel and glass paste); Natural stone; Cement. 1. Aluminum tiles Aluminum is a luminous tile material that reflects light, thus enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the room in question. It’s perfect as a kitchen backsplash or to protect the area right beneath your range hood, said material is increasingly used inside. Average cost: $5 - $16/sq. ft. 2. Ceramic tiles Tile materials that are best known as “ceramics” are plentiful: Sandstone; Tin-glazed; Natural terracotta. These can be added during the manufacturing process: Quartz; Kaolin (China clay); Feldspar. Clay is what gives tiles their final shape and volume. Materials such as quartz and feldspar then add strength and uniformity to it. Essentially, there are two types of ceramic tiles: Red body tiles; White body tiles. Red body tiles are made up of fibre-rich clay. The latter is both cost-effective and extremely porous. To the extent that, if red clay tiles were to be laid outside, they would shatter at the first frost. White body tiles aren’t much less porous. Their white clay or kaolin base simply allows for a high-end and resilient tiling, especially to impacts when dual-fired (first without enamelling, then a second time with enamelling). Average cost: $3 - $25/sq. ft. So, does this mean that ceramic tiles can't be laid both indoors and outdoors? Actually, no. That's where porcelain stoneware ceramic tiles come in. Porcelain Stoneware Among porcelain stoneware, two types can be distinguished: full-body ceramic stoneware and glazed ceramic stoneware. In both cases, the tiles are: Especially resistant to impacts; Highly resilient; Impervious to chemicals; Non-abrasive; Impervious to cracking when frozen over. The only difference is that the former has a similar-coloured surface to that of a biscuit porcelain, while the latter is heat-coated with a layer of enamel. Finally, "stretched" sandstone tiles consist of stoneware that has been stretched rather than pressed during the manufacturing process. Laying stretched stoneware is generally done directly on the ground, whether indoors or outdoors, provided the porous nature of the product allows it. 3. Terracotta tiles Source: Canva Made of clay and sand, terracotta tiles get their pale yellow to dark brown colour from the earth. Terracotta is among those highly porous materials used for tiling. Once the tiles have been laid, and before the tiles are grouted, a hydrophobic treatment should be applied to the surface. A waterproofing agent is then added to fully protect the tiles. Terracotta has many interesting qualities: Moisture resistant Easy maintenance; Doesn’t feel cold to the touch; Ideal for indoor or outdoor use; Anti-slip. However, while terracotta is easy to lay indoors and outdoors, whether on walls or floors, certain types of terracotta are especially susceptible to impacts. As is the case with glazed terracotta, and should be limited to wall installations (bathroom, kitchen backsplash, etc.). Average cost: $20 - $30/sq. ft. 4. Glass tiles Glass tiles are made up of two materials: Glass pastes; Enamels. Glass pastes are tiny, iridescent, plain or metallic tiles that are glued together to make mosaics. Their main benefit is that they're highly resistant to impact, heat, and scratches even. Unlike terracotta or natural stone, glass mosaics don't require any water or chemical treatments. Glass tiles are easy to clean and ideal to fit in with the lines and curves of any surface, making them the perfect finishing touch in any kitchen or bathroom. Another glass medium could be Émaux de Briare tiles, which can be installed indoors and outdoors. They're wear-, shock-, and UV-resistant, fully impervious to chemicals, and waterproof. By adding a flux to the mixture of calcine, crystalline rock, and sand, the resulting enamel becomes more easily vitrified and tinted during the firing process. Since they're extremely thin, they can be glued directly onto an existing floor. It's the exact opposite approach to natural stone tiles, which we’ll now delve into. Average cost: $10 - $60/sq. ft. 5. Natural stone tiles Natural stone tiles are smooth and raw, with white, black, brown, or blue nuances, thus lending the space in question a unique, charming look. Whether inside or outside, natural stones adorn both floors and walls, with two major advantages: Wear- and impact-resistance; Don’t fade over time. The only downside to using natural stones is their maintenance and weight. Laying natural stone tiles not only requires the use of a hydrophobic treatment to render the porous surface water-repellent but also regular maintenance to preserve its gloss. This is especially important for highly porous limestone. Without crystallization treatment, such tiles are stain- and scratch-prone. Natural stone tiles are thicker than tiles made of other materials and are typically between 0.8 to 2 inches thick. Hence, they’re made heavier to provide identical mechanical resistance. As such, when picking out your tiles, if you land on natural stone tiles, note whether: The tiles add too much height to the floor; And if they can withstand the intended load. Once you’ve answered these questions, you can choose the tile material that you prefer: Igneous rock (granite, basalt, porphyry); Sedimentary rock (sandstone, travertine, white rock); Schist (slate); Metamorphic rock (marble). Average cost: $5 - $30/sq. ft. 6. Cement tiles Cement tiles are made from mortar and pigmented marble powder, and are now trending again. Like natural stones and ceramics, cement needs to be well protected by a triple-action treatment: Hydrophobic; Waterproof; Oil-repellent. Although wax is also used during this treatment, never clean your cement tiles with bleach or acidic household products. The only acidic product you can apply to cement is one that can remove any leftover laitance from the installation process. One last piece of advice: If you notice signs of efflorescence on the tiles you were shipped as a result of laitance during the in-plant drying process, all you have to do is gently sand the tiles with water to remove the efflorescence. All you need is sandpaper. Average cost: $5 - $20/sq. ft. Are you looking for experts for your flooring project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Best Tile Options Source: Canva Choosing the right material depends on the room you want to tile. Tiling materials come in all sizes and styles: Enamelled or glazed ceramic; Aged or bumpy material; Pearlescent colour; Contemporary factor; etc. Indoor tiles Ceramic tiles; Mosaic; "Stretched” sandstone; Terracotta; Glass tiles; Natural stone tiles; Tin-glazed. Outdoor tiles Porcelain stoneware; Terracotta; Glass; Cement; Natural stone tiles. Tiling Ideas Source: Canva Wall treatment Tiles can be laid in several areas throughout a home. However, wall tiling is mainly done in wet areas (bathrooms and kitchens). It protects walls and makes them easy to clean. However, you can also lay tiles outdoors, notably along your patio, swimming pool, or on walls specially designed to create a lounge area. Bear in mind that ceramics can also be used to design beautiful mosaics. Floor tiles In a home, certain areas must have easy-to-clean flooring. Notably in the kitchen, in which cooking and food splatters are a daily occurrence (especially if you have young children). Tiles aren't merely an ally when it comes to cleaning, they're also a durable flooring material, even in high-traffic areas (kitchen, stairs, entryway, basement, etc.). For outdoor use, tiles can be laid across your patio or walkway. Your garage and driveway can also be tiled. And many materials have the mechanical strength to withstand the load of a car. What’s the best bathroom tile? Source: Canva Porcelain stoneware is the perfect material to tile your bathroom since it meets one crucial requirement: it's easy to clean. After all, hygiene is the most important aspect of a bathroom, to prevent germ proliferation and mould growth. In this respect, porcelain stoneware comes out on top. Not only can it be easily cleaned, but it's also really hard-wearing. And, because it’s available in a wide range of formats and sizes, porcelain stoneware can be adapted to all bathroom sizes. What’s the best tile size for a bathroom? Some industry experts still recommend using small tiles for smaller-sized bathrooms. However, it's simply outdated wisdom. It's merely a preconceived notion that large tiles weigh down smaller bathrooms. It’s quite the opposite, really. Large tiles convey a feeling of spaciousness that small tile surfaces lack. So, why is this belief that small tiles are best for smaller bathrooms? This trend can be traced back to long ago when large tiles were first developed. It was customary to lay small tiles in the bathroom, especially as large tiles required specific cuts for the patterns to be aesthetically pleasing. Let your imagination run wild, choose tiles of various sizes and of different colours, whether as borders or murals, laid straight, at 45°, herringbone or offset. That said, choose and lay your tiles as you wish.

8 min read 04 Apr 2023

A Quick and Easy Build with Floor Trusses

Back in the day, dimension stock was the material of choice used to build floor systems. However, through the years, building techniques have significantly evolved to allow for innovative engineered wood products on the market, such as floor trusses. These can be shaped in various ways and are especially valued for their many advantages by building professionals. What are floor trusses? Source: Canva Floor trusses are a product of engineered wood used as a dimension stock alternative. They’re designed to support static and dynamic loads imposed on floor systems. In other words, they’re load-bearing floor parts. Spanning anywhere from 9 ¼" to 24" tall, trusses limit the use of beams, bearing walls, and columns. They facilitate installation and allow for a 2 ½" or 3 ½" nailing surface. Also, floor trusses are designed to ensure mechanical systems such as plumbing, electrical wiring, and heating can be routed through the width of the floor. Trusses can be fitted on all floor levels, whether it's a ground floor, upper floor, basement floor, rooftop terrace or crawl space floor. Although floor trusses are typically shipped individually, some manufacturers will package them in pre-assembled floor sections. They can even include plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) structural sheathing. Types of Floor Trusses and Their Advantages Source: Canva There are two types of floor trusses: I-joist and open-web trusses. Both types are commonly used as part of lightweight, wood-frame floor system construction. However, each has specific characteristics and advantages that we’ll delve into in the following section. The I-Joist The I-Joist is made up of two parallel, finger-jointed flanges of lumber that are typically manufactured from 2x3 and 2x4 composite wood (LVL, LSL). The web is a 3/8” to 7/16” thick OSB panel that joins the two flanges. The latter are glued to the web’s width, thereby making an I-shape thanks to a patented assembly method. For clarity, the web is the vertical part of a joist. I-joist floor trusses can be manufactured in various lengths, grades, and depths to cater to all spans. The most commonly used depths are 9 ½”, 11 7/8”, 14”, 16”, and up to 24”. As for length, it typically ranges between 12’ and 36’. However, lengths can reach 48 feet or even more sometimes. There are many advantages to using I-joist floor trusses. In fact, this product’s large web provides a nailing and glueing surface for the structural floor sheathing. Another advantage is that its shape gives it great strength-to-weight and quality-for-price ratios. Drill holes can be made according to the manufacturer’s instructions to allow pipes and ducts through, particularly in the middle third of the span where the shear resistance is low. Another benefit that can be said of the I-joist floor truss is that it can be cut to exact specifications. However, note that though it’s a material that offers building flexibility, floor trusses do, at times, require rim boards and face mount joist hangers. On top of that, they need blocking panels, made of I-joist sections, mid-span between the floor trusses. Its installation does require more time and is more technical than that of the open-web wood trusses. The Open-Web Wood Trusses Source: Canva Open-web wood trusses are made with two lumber flanges that are often linked with diagonal webs and available in a triangular shape that reduces the quantity of lumber required while also having interesting and precise mechanical properties. These are made with 2x3 or 2x4 chords that are laid flat to have a large nailing surface for the structural floor sheathing. The advantage of this type of floor trusses over that of I-joists is that it allows for plenty of space for the building’s services to pass through the diagonal web openings. As a matter of fact, the trusses are made with strategically placed tunnels and openings to facilitate household plumbing, electrical wiring, or ventilation duct installations. These trusses are also available in a range of spans, depths, and lengths. They can be laid against the upper chord, which limits the number of joist hangers needed and conceals the trusses within the structure. Most manufacturers offer various models that can be adapted on-site thanks to their web ends (end posts), which allows the builders once on-site to adjust the trusses perfectly. The open-web truss is a great alternative to more expensive, lightweight steel structures. The truss’ lightweight renders it easy to manoeuvre and install. Moreover, its installation process is rather quick compared to that of standard floor joists. Another advantage of the open-web floor system, one can note the innovative building techniques used to enhance the strength and efficiency of the floor trusses. Also, their interior triangular structure is a considerable asset since it reinforces the floor system against long-term damage like floor squeaking or deflection. It’s best to choose open-web floor trusses that are tailored made and done so according to the National Building Code of Canada and vibration measurement, control, and standards. There are two types of open-web floor trusses that are most commonly used for commercial constructions: open-web metal-pin connected trusses and open-web wood joists. What’s the maximum span of trusses? There is a wide range of depths available on the market. Here are some of the most sought-after measurements: 241 mm (9 ½ in); 302 mm (11 7/8 in); 318 mm (12 ½ in); 356 mm (14 in); 406 mm (16 in); 457 mm (18 in); 508 mm (20 in); 559 mm (22 in); 610 mm (24 in). Lumber floor trusses can reach spans that range between 6.1 m and 7.62 m, so 20 and 25 ft respectively. However, they can measure beyond the 9 m (30 ft) mark depending on the dimensions and type of wood used for the chords and bearing loads. To create a truss diaphragm (solid sheet), lumber floor trusses are used with structural floor sheathing, like plywood or oriented strand board. They can be shipped individually or in pre-assembled floor sections. Do you have a floor renovation project in mind? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! How to Install Floor Trusses Source: Canva Before installing your floor trusses, you absolutely must choose the right materials. Choose according to the use you want to make of your floor. We recommend favouring sturdy materials if it’s intended for a living space. However, opt for lighter materials when it concerns less frequented areas like an attic. Here’s a bit of information to help you understand how floor trusses are installed. Note that the steps detailed below are solely for reference purposes. It's entirely dependent on your contractor to adapt them according to the specificities of your construction project site. Step 1: Level load-bearing walls and mark off the layout of the trusses Before doing anything, make sure that the walls supporting the joists are horizontal and level. To do so, measure all sides, both length and depth. If necessary, lay a base course to then get a horizontal, level surface. Once that’s done, allow it to dry before moving on to the next step. Step 2: Install floor joists Laying the floor joists is done according to a plan elaborated by computer software by taking into account the load-bearing ability of the floor trusses. To begin, square the house’s perimeter to ensure it’s 90 degrees. Then, go forth by laying the floor joists according to the markings. Using a tape measure, determine the layout of the floor joists based on the blueprint. Then, unfurl a layer of foam sealant to achieve a capillary break between the footing and concrete. Now proceed by installing your joists. Make sure the hanger face mounts are well screwed into the joists as indicated on the plan. Then, spread construction glue on the hangers to prevent cracking as the joists are affixed. Properly screw in the joists where needed and fasten the rim joists according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once the floor joists are secured, stabilize them by fastening pieces of lumber between them. For longer areas, some construction requires steel beams. A few installation recommendations Avoid cutting, grooving, or drilling into open-web lumber joist chords and connectors. Aside from the adjustable end post that can be cut on-site to then obtain the desired joist length. Avoid loading the joists beyond the structural design loads, even if only temporarily. Make sure concentrated loads are applied where needed and according to the blueprint. Follow the installation details provided for double joists to ensure there’s an equal load distribution between the two. Remember to secure the brace trusses to prevent the floor from tipping or moving sideways. The building contractor must be sure that the non-load-bearing walls aren't transferring loads from the upper floors. The trusses shouldn't be left in areas that are permanently exposed to the elements. They should be stored in a dry environment. Floor Truss Pricing Examples Source: Canva The cost of building a floor truss system varies depending on the type of truss chosen, as well as its composition. That said, it’s best to inquire with manufacturers to be sure of the exact cost of the material suited to your needs. Here are a few examples of different brands of joists available on the Eastern seaboard: TRIFORCE: This brand specializes in timber open joists (open-web design), which are made according to the National Building Code of Canada in terms of vibration and sound transfer performance and fire resistance. The TRIFORCE open joist is a high-end product that offers excellent floor system performance. Vulcraft joists: These are made with steel according to the latest edition of the CAN/CSA S-16 standard. Whether it’s a standard, composite, or girder joist, this brand has a complete line of joists that’s a sure value added to your structure. Lanoix et Jeanson’s trimmable wooden joists: These are ideal if you want a sturdy floor, devoid of creaking. They have the added benefit of making the system installation easier.

4 min read

Cynthia Laferrière 14 Aug 2022

What's Acetylated Wood?

Who wouldn't like to add a hint of wood to their decor or integrate it as part of a construction project? Wood suits almost every aesthetic, it's available in countless different finishes, can be used for just about anything, is derived from a renewable source, and is perfect to scaffold zero-carbon buildings. Yet, some are uneasy about using it, not knowing what type of wood to use, and considering that wood and water are foes, and often, long-term maintenance routines are enough to ward you off. Also, wood frequently ends up either splitting, rotting or being damaged by critters. Now, there’s a product available in North America that puts all these problems at bay, and that’s acetylated wood. What’s Acetylated Wood? For starters, note that the harvested wood comes from forests that are already being exploited while respecting the established standards in regard to the exploitation of natural resources. Furthermore, the trees used are resinous, and most often, a type of pine known as Monterey or Radiata. Even though the manufacturing process has been in use and approved worldwide for over ten years, acetylated wood is still a rare find in Quebec hardware stores. It’s rather easy to make, but, for now, solely on a small scale. Although, in early 2010, a company in the United States attempted to market the product. Unfortunately, the company was caught off guard by the product’s popularity and high demand so, in 2014, they were forced to cease all activities. A few years later, one other industry jumped in line with the same project, and now offers this revolutionary product: Accoya® wood by Accsys Technologies. Therefore, to purchase this product, one must request it through the Toronto-based company, Upper Canada Forest Products. Source: Wikimedia Commons - Charles & Hudson, Accoya®, Exhibitors at Greenbuild 2010, Chicago Are you looking for experts for your green renovation project? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Acetylated Wood: Process & Modification Wood that is sawed into planks must first be completely dry to reduce its level of humidity as much as possible. Then, the dried wood is processed with a waterless product that closely resembles vinegar: acetic anhydride (acetylate). Just like your grandparents used to preserve vegetables in vinegar to prevent them from spoiling in the long run, this technique gives the wood unparalleled strength, permeability, and durability. There's no need for additional sealants, maintenance, or protection! Basically, the molecules found in the wood react with the non-toxic chemical down to the wood's core to render it immune to decay and undesirable to any type of vermin (mould, termites, etc.). Note that, prior to selling the planks, the product must be checked to ensure that the cellular structural modification has been completed throughout all the wood's various layers. Furthermore, it’s essential that the amount of residual acid found in the product is controlled. Although wood naturally contains acid, the percentage of such substance shouldn't exceed a certain level, otherwise, the final material will be problematic with various sidings, adhesives or others. Although the process seems to be nothing short of revolutionary, it isn't exempt from scrutiny to ensure its quality. Source: Flickr Acetylated Wood: Advantages EcoHome estimates a 75 to 80% decline in naturally occurring problems after acetylation since this technique substitutes those elements responsible for the wood's expansion and shrinkage, which result from temperature changes and humidity level variations. Despite UV rays, the appearance of the wood will be preserved for a long time, thereby reducing upkeep and the need to, over time, apply numerous finishing coats. Its strength is further enhanced and made even more suitable for heavy-duty use. It even exceeds the properties of Ipe wood. Since acetylation makes the wood structure really stable, it can be used for just about anything: doors, floors, patios, decks, countertops, siding, framework, etc., and can be subjected to all kinds of weather. As it's no longer edible, it withstands mould, insect infestation, bacteria, or any biological vermin. It’s versatile and entirely recyclable. It offers excellent performance and extended durability outdoors (50 years minimum above ground and 25 years underground). Unlike most current wood processing methods, acetylation has no negative impact on the environment. In fact, acetylated wood is certified in several ways, making it ideal for contractors who want to make their construction sites eco-friendly and obtain a LEED rating. Source: Flickr As you can imagine, its scarcity and exportation have economic impacts: It can be up to 20% more expensive than some other hardwoods and its price range starts at $6.50 per linear foot. Obviously, the industry is evolving and continuously working to make this wood, modified by acetylation, more accessible, since its positive aspects are clearly beneficial, and it's in line with the steps that must be taken to save our planet.

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