The floors in each of the three bedrooms are made with a different type of wood.The trees were grown on this property, rough sawn here and then kiln dried and milled into flooring by Kiln Works in North Haverhill, NH.The flooring is a solid one inch thick leaving us ample room to resand the floors over the years so it will last towards our 200 year goal.The floor board width and length varies in order to use as much of the material as possible from a tree.
Most flooring that is commercially purchased is what is considered Grade A clear floor boards.We purposely used a variety from Grade A down to Grade C to be able to get the natural character including knots, color variations, heart and sap wood combination and imperfections like worm holes and barb wire marks.The floor board width and length varies in order to use as much of the material as possible from a tree as well.This variation incorporates a character into the flooring that would be missing if we just top graded the wood selection.Making this choice did have a drawback or a benefit of requiring the finish carpenters to really use their artistic and craftsmanship skills, luckilythe craftsmen that worked on the floors took this as a challenge as opposed to a chore and really brought out the beauty in the wood. Romeo Dubreuil and James McClelland labored over each and every piece of flooring creating more of an art piece rather than just a floor.
The floor is then screwed into sleepers and glued using DriTac solvent free, Zero V.O.C. and solvent free adhesive.Since all of the floors have radiant heat under them the gluing and screwing should help with the natural movement of the wood accentuated by the radiant floor heat.
Floor Sealant and Finish
The amount of research and time put into the selecting of products for this area was way beyond our expectation.Many options abound and then we get into the chemical composition of Stains, Shellac, Oil Based Polyurethane, Water Based Sealers, cobalt, manganese, mineral spirits, naphtha, paint thinners and on and on.We will cover our selection process at another time but bottom line we did not want to coat our solid wood floors with a layer of Petrochemical Based Plastic.We used two very natural products, 100% Tung Oil and Citrus Solvent mixed 50/50 to seal the floors.We got both products and the very helpful advice from the Real Milk Paint Company.The Real Milk Paint Company does a good job at describing their product so I am going to take the liberty of cutting and pasting from their website www.realmilkpaint.com.The other benefit is while the floors were being sealed the building did not have a paint or sealant odor but the aroma of orange juice.
"Citrus Solvent" is 98% pure citrus peel oil extracted from the peel of the orange fruit. The other 2% is water."Citrus Solvent" is not the same as Citrus Solve or Citri Solve or any of the host of other cleaning products on the market.Citrus Natural Solvent is a direct replacement for mineral spirits, paint thinner and odorless mineral spirits. Citrus Solvent can be used wherever mineral spirits is required as a natural, safer alternative."Citrus Solvent" does not contain any emulsions, surfactants or any other additives. Our brand of Citrus solvent is "Water Clear" and not deep orange like lower grades. "Water Clear" means that it will not add more amber color when mixed with Pure Tung Oil. Our "Citrus Solvent" does not contribute to depletion of the upper ozone or to smog like mineral spirits but is gently returned to earth with the rain. Actually it is continuously being released into the air in every orange grove.
Pure Tung Oil comes from cold pressing of the seeds or nuts of the Tung tree. Tung trees mainly grow in the mountainous regions of china away from industrialization and pollution. Climate, soil and air quality are essential for a high quality oil. Real Milk Paint Companys 100% Pure Chinese Tung Oil or China wood oil is a all natural finish manufactured by pressing the tung nut, no petroleum distillates or other additives - just Pure Tung Oil.
The bedroom closet doors are solid pine made from wood from the property.We are happy with the construction of the doors but not with how they were sealed.After delay after delay some of the doors arrive and when they were installed it was kind of strange because they felt like they were still wet and they smelled different than the other material in the building.Repeatedly I and other people asked the person who made the doors what he used to seal it and did he use the BioShield product we told him to use.Well the answer was yes I used the BioShield product.As he delivered the next batch of doors the same issue, they were sticky and had a smell to them.This did not make sense because he was suppose to use the same exact product that the kitchen furniture cabinets were using and they did not have a smell to them and there was no stickiness to them.Finally when pressed to tell us exactly what was used he said yes he used BioShield Floor Finish on them.Oh %^$^FSGT he used the WRONG product, the BioShield Floor Finish had a VOC level that was rejected by us as unacceptable to use in this building, why the person that made the doors used this we have no idea.Now each and every closet door will need to be taken off, resanded and resealed with the correct Bioshield product.Moral of the story, if you smell something that does not seem right keep on asking until you absolutely get to the answer.I guess this paragraph will go into the lesson’s learned section about the need for micro management until a contractor proves themselves.
It makes sense that since you spend a large portion of your day sleeping that paying attention to the health benefits of the bed, sheets, blankets and pillows should be a no brainer.I confess, until we started down this path of coming up with the greenest house possible my top priority was how comfortable was the bed and that usually meant laying on a mattress for 30 seconds at a store, looking at the price tag and saying ok, I’ll take it and that was probably ten years ago.With Meridith’s assistance from Your Home Your World a “Green” store in ConcordNew Hampshire we chose a really well thought out bed system called, Green Sleep (greensleep.com).The brochure is quite informative about every product and how it is harvested and manufactured in an organic, sustainable and healthy manner.