Ten Tips and Tricks to Immortalize Your Hardwood Flooring

High quality hardwood flooring materials when treated properly can be immortalized. The most efficient treatment methods comprise preventive maintenance tailored to secure your hardwood flooring from moisture and scratches that destroys your hardwood flooring.

The National Wood Flooring Association began almost twenty (20) years ago for hardwood flooring specialists’ portal of ideas, enhance their knowledge and hone their skills. At this point in time, with almost four thousand (4000) members all over the globe, it is an extraordinary source for training, technical know-how and more importantly, industry information. Listed below are several tips and tricks to maintain your hardwood flooring with the help of hardwood flooring specialists:

 

·         Do not over wax your hardwood floors. Instead of over waxing it; just buff a dull hardwood floor.

·         Use rugs to avoid scratches on your hardwood floors. Position them in high-traffic areas to aid in preventing dirt, small debris that causes scratches, and grit.

·         Stay away from using tile floor care products and sheet vinyl on hardwood flooring. There is a tendency that products like acrylic waxes may lead to a dull and slippery hard wood.

·         Stay away from using wet-mop. There is a great chance that improper amount of water can make the floor finish dull and has a tendency to damage the wood.

·         Spills can cause discoloration specially when there is high chemical content. So you have to wipe up any spills immediately.

·         Glides can aid you in preventing scratches on your hardwood floor. These are beneficial in avoiding scratches and scuffs. Put glides under the legs of all your furniture especially if it is prone to produce scratches.

·         Do not walk across your hardwood floors in sport shoes, cleats, or even high heels. This type of impact produces friction that can leave a dent on the surface of your hardwood floors.

·         When moving furniture and re-designing your interiors, you have to be extra careful by not sliding it. Instead, pick your furniture up to prevent from touching it when moving.

·         IN order to secure your wood kitchen floor from possible moisture, put an area rug in front of the kitchen sink. This will prevent water and moisture from spreading all over the kitchen. Rugs can easily absorb moisture. Replace them from time to time, depending on the use.

·         Humidifier can be a best way to battle wood shrinkage and movement which is very prone during dry seasons and in countries with arid climates; these places are prone from wood warping and discoloration, depending on the climate and temperature. No matter how good your adhesives are, there is still a possibility or wood warping, so humidifiers can counter that trauma.

Truly indeed, hardwood flooring does not only make you home the center of attention. Hardwood floors can play a very important role in the value of your property. If maintained and secure properly, hardwood floors become classier over time. And at the end of the day, you will surely realize significant increase in the value of your property.

Hardwood flooring with finishing

Hardwood flooring with finishing

 

 

 

 

Source:NWFA,"PreventiveMaintenance", www.woodfloors.org/consumer/maintReg.aspx

 

 

Reinventing Materials: See through the Wood

A French architect managed the Tour de force to make translucent wood. A feat obtained by removing the lignin from the fiber and injecting into its micro cavities a bio-monomers. This hybrid material is also three times more rigid than its natural equivalent and, icing on the cake,  at the same time can't rot. Currently in pre-industrial research phase, this treatment proposed by the company Woodoo opens up new perspectives to the use of wood in construction as in decoration. Especially since it can be applied to essences considered as "non-noble".

Looking forward to see through Ulin ironwood in 2018!

Translucent wood

Translucent wood

Rate of deforestation in Indonesia overtakes Brazil

Indonesia lost 840,000 hectares of forest in 2012 compared to 460,000 hectares in Brazil, despite its forest being a quarter the size of the Amazon rain forest.

 

Palm oil land clearing in central Kalimantan

Palm oil land clearing in central Kalimantan

 

Deforestation in Indonesia involves the long-term loss of forests and foliage across much of the country; it has had massive environmental and social impacts. Indonesia is home to some of the most biologically diverse forests in the world and ranks third in number of species behind Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

As late as 1900, Indonesia was still a densely forested country: forests represented 84 percent of the total land area. Deforestation intensified in the 1970s and has accelerated further since then. The estimated forest cover of 170 million hectares around 1900 decreased to less than 100 million hectares by the end of the 20th century. In 2008, it was estimated that tropical rainforests in Indonesia would be logged out in a decade. Of the total logging in Indonesia, up to 80% is reported to be performed illegally.

Large areas of forest in Indonesia have been cleared by large multinational pulp companies, (you can get some pulp companies names on Wikipedia) and replaced by plantations. Forests are often burned by farmers and plantation owners. Another major source of deforestation is the logging industry, driven by demand from China and Japan. Agricultural development and transmigration programs moved large populations into rainforest areas, further increasing deforestation rates.

One of the many victims of deforestation - Sumatra.

One of the many victims of deforestation - Sumatra.

Indonesia has greatly under-reported how much primary rainforest it is cutting down, according to the government's former head of forestry data gathering.
UN and official government figures have maintained that the country with the third biggest stretch of tropical forest after the Amazon and Congo was losing 310,000 hectares of all its forest a year between 2000 and 2005, increasing to 690,000 hectares annually from 2006 to 2010.
Exact rates of Indonesian deforestation have varied with different figures quoted by researchers and government, but a new study, which claims to be the most comprehensive yet, suggests that nearly twice as much primary forest is being cut down as in Brazil, the historical global leader.
Belinda Arunarwati Margono, who was in charge of data gathering at Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry for seven years and is now on secondment at South Dakota university, calculates that nearly 1m extra hectares of primary forest may have been felled in the last 12 years than was recorded officially.
In a paper in the journal Nature Climate Change, Margano says primary forest losses totaled 6.02m hectares between 2000 and 2012, increasing by around 47,600 hectares a year over this time. Because previous estimates of forest loss have included the clearing of pulp plantations and oil palm estates the real loss of primary forest has until now been obscured.
In 2012, she calculates, Indonesia lost 840,000 hectares of its primary forest, compared to 460,000 hectares in Brazil, despite its forest being roughly a quarter the size of the Amazon. This, says Margano, was the most lost by any country.

The new figures are significant because Indonesia is the world's third-largest producer of greenhouse gases behind China and the US, with 85% of its emissions coming from forest destruction and degradation. Primary forests are the largest above-ground carbon stores in the world.
Margano said that the discrepancies between the figures were due to technical and bureaucratic problems in Indonesia and better information becoming available. "Government cannot share data fully because of laws. There is no transparency", she said.
But the figures are potentially embarrassing because they suggest that a 2011 moratorium on granting new licenses for clearing or logging of primary forests and carbon-rich peatlands could have been a driver for deforestation.
Margono and co-author Matthew Hansen said the new data from remote sensing showed that the extra losses came largely from the felling of primary forest in wetlands and in government-protected areas.

 

Forest clearing, step by step.

Forest clearing, step by step.

 

Source: the guardian, wikipedia, forest studies and other online articles.

The super powers of Aloe vera

The planet's craze for this plant with many virtues is explained by the two hundred nutrients it contains. In our previous article we talked about the Aleo Vera as a very effective plant in the purification of our interior. To consume or to apply in the form of cream, here are some highly beneficial effects of this magic plant.

  • Soothing: Calms the skin with burns or irritations,
  • Anti-Fatigue: attenuated fatigue marks,
  • Regulatory: in beverage to facilitate digestion and soothe gastric reflux,
  • Retexturizing: To moisturize in particular hair
  • Plumping: To restore volume to the skin

But also nourrisante, anti-inflammatory, regenerating, moisturizing, remineralizing, energizing, etc...

Aloe vera, when nature loves you more than you think!

Aloe vera, when nature loves you more than you think!

Indoor plants, a green anti-pollution weapon?

What do you do to improve the air quality of your home? First answer: Air! On the other hand, some plants can absorb pollutants that are present in the air. But what about in real life conditions, in the habitat?

Formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, toluene, etc. are chemical compounds that pollute your dwelling year-round, without you being able to realize it. They are found in commercial specialties that you commonly use such as paints, detergents, cosmetics and maintenance products. Some of these substances would be responsible, according to specialists, for allergies, respiratory diseases, chronic fatigue and they may even be suspected of being carcinogenic.

However, work has shown that most of our indoor plants have the ability to transform said unwanted substances into clean particles! However, let us not be mistaken: to improve indoor air quality, it is especially important to ventilate and ventilate the rooms.

The Ademe (Agency for Environment and Energy Control) considers: the argument "cleansing plants" is not scientifically validated with regard to the levels of pollution generally encountered in homes and new Scientific knowledge in the field. In terms of improving indoor air quality, the priority remains the prevention and limitation of sources of pollution (maintaining water heaters and boilers, reducing the use of household chemicals...) accompanied by a ventilation or more generally a ventilation of the premises (maintenance of the ventilation system, do not block the ventilation openings, open the windows a few minutes every day...) ». Anyway, the culture of some of these plants will bring a lot of charm to your different rooms...

 

plnate et jardin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article by Michel Caron published on January 18, 2018 on futura-sciences

Your beneficial friend the forest: Shinrin-Yoku

The Japanese practice of forest bathing is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production (cortisol), boost the immune system, improve overall feelings of wellbeing, lowering anxiety and anger, increase of natural killers (specific cells fighting cancer), positivie regulation of heart rate, etc...

Forest bathing—basically just being in the presence of trees—became part of a national public health program in Japan in 1982 when the forestry ministry coined the phrase shinrin-yoku (meaning Forest bathing or Forest showering) and promoted topiary as therapy. Nature appreciation—picnicking en masse under the cherry blossoms, for example—is a national pastime in Japan, so forest bathing quickly took. The environment’s wisdom has long been evident to the culture.

Forest bathing works simply: Just be with trees. You can sit or meander, but the point is to relax rather than accomplish anything.

From 2004 to 2012, Japanese officials spent about $4 million dollars studying the physiological and psychological effects of forest bathing, designating 48 therapy trails based on the results. Qing Li, a professor at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, measured the activity of human natural killer (NK) cells in the immune system before and after exposure to the woods. These cells provide rapid responses to viral-infected cells and respond to tumor formation, and are associated with immune system health and cancer prevention. In a 2009 study Li’s subjects showed significant increases in NK cell activity in the week after a forest visit, and positive effects lasted a month following each weekend in the woods.

This is due to various essential oils, generally called phytoncide, found in wood, plants, and some fruit and vegetables, which trees emit to protect themselves from germs and insects. Forest air doesn’t just feel fresher and better—inhaling phytoncide seems to actually improve immune system function.

Experiments on forest bathing conducted by the Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences in Japan’s Chiba University measured its physiological effects on 280 subjects in their early 20s. The team measured the subjects’ salivary cortisol (which increases with stress), blood pressure, pulse rate, and heart rate variability during a day in the city and compared those to the same biometrics taken during a day with a 30-minute forest visit. “Forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do city environments,” the study concluded.

In other words, being in nature made subjects, physiologically, less amped. The parasympathetic nerve system controls the body’s rest-and-digest system while the sympathetic nerve system governs fight-or-flight responses. Subjects were more rested and less inclined to stress after a forest bath.

Trees soothe the spirit too. A study on forest bathing’s psychological effects surveyed 498 healthy volunteers, twice in a forest and twice in control environments. The subjects showed significantly reduced hostility and depression scores, coupled with increased liveliness, after exposure to trees. “Accordingly,” the researchers wrote, “forest environments can be viewed as therapeutic landscapes.”

City dwellers can benefit from the effects of trees with just a visit to the park. Brief exposure to greenery in urban environments can relieve stress levels, and experts have recommended “doses of nature” as part of treatment of attention disorders in children. What all of this evidence suggests is we don’t seem to need a lot of exposure to gain from nature—but regular contact appears to improve our immune system function and our wellbeing.

Beneficial effects from a onetime exposure can last for up to 30 days. Time in 2018 to plan some forest trips!

Your beneficial friend the forest.

Your beneficial friend the forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many articles are available online regarding that subject. Le Point from November 2, 2017 offers a wide range of article in relation to forest intelligence and Forest bathing.

How plants are cleaning soils

Some plants are able to participate in the depollution of contaminated soils on which they grow. It's the phytoremediation. To achieve this, they implement different strategies.

In France, several hundred thousand industrial areas left fallow have polluted soils. In order to extract toxic substances, the use of mechanical or physico-chemical solutions is mainly used. They are relatively efficient and fast. On the other hand, they reduce the fertility and productivity of the treated soils.

A more environmentally friendly method of trying to eliminate pollutants through living organisms can also be used. And when we exploit the properties of certain plants, we talk about phytoremediation. The process is 100% natural. Its cost is more than reasonable and it is suitable for large areas. However, treatment times are long and decontamination can remain superficial.

Phytoremediation: Several modes of action

Depending on the situation, it is a particular plant rather than another one that will have to be used.

So some plants act by phytoextraction. Their roots extract pollutants from the soil. Pollutants that are then stored in the stems and leaves. This is the case with the culture of sunflower which can absorb metals as well as radioelements.

Other plants also act through their roots. These sequester the pollutants (arsenic, radioelements, etc.) in the soil, preserving the food chain and groundwater. This method of phytostabilisation can be implemented using Poplars for example.

The Weeping Willow, for its part, tends to accelerate the degradation of organic compounds (hydrocarbons, pesticides, etc.) through specific enzymes or live micro-organisms in the environment of its roots. It's the phytodegradation.

In the case of Phytovolatilisation, pollutants, which have become less harmful after a passage through the roots and leaves, are released into the atmosphere by the plant. This is how tobacco can treat certain pesticides or metals.

 

Soil contamination

Soil contamination

 

 

 

 

A great video regarding soil contamination can be watched following this link.

Beauty in waste

Kaltimber is a hardwood decking and flooring specialist company which aim to provide high quality standards of production and finished goods. Our wood has been reclaimed or salvaged from ethical and legal sources. Hardwoods take thousands of years to grow and they deserve our utmost respect; as such we have a ‘full circle’ production, where we reduce waste and utilize our woods to the max.

With that in mind we aim to reuse as much as possible anything available. A good example is the piece in the picture here under. This a deco item made of a 4x15x20cm feet (leftover from a production - reclaimed from a bridge in East Kalimantan) and a 4x15x55cm board eaten by clams after many years serving as underwater structure of a harbor.

Wood inspires us with unique creations, we do not constrain wood to our ideas

 

 

papan kayu ulin

Installing countertops

Installing countertops is easy if you know what problems to avoid: unlevel surfaces, out-of-square walls, unfavorable corner conditions, and built-in equipment.

Countertops not only provide the main work surfaces (commonly in a kitchen but it can also be used in bathroom, bedroom and any other space where you feel like it!), but they also offer an opportunity to add a splash of color and materiality to the space. With the nearly limitless design options for countertops, choosing the material and color is often the most difficult part of installing new countertops. Depending on the type of material, fabricating a countertop can be a challenge for a do-it-yourselfer, but installing the countertop is a project almost any do-it-yourselfer can handle as long as you follow the steps.

Installing countertops seems like a pretty easy task – set the countertop on top of the structure (base cabinets, etc…) and secure it in place. However, installing countertops is a seemingly easy job that can quickly turn into a headache for those DIYers unprepared to deal with unlevel surfaces, out-of-square walls, unfavorable corner conditions, and built-in equipment. It is also important to understand the nuances of the various materials available for use as countertops, such as granite, concrete, wood (either hard or softwood), plastic laminate and synthetic solid-surface materials.

For our projects, we are building either Tongue in Groove countertops in reclaim Ulin Kalimantan or Javanese Teak. Kaltimber makes solid-surface countertops that use reclaim hardwood that is jointed together and glued then polished smooth for our S4S finishing, wire brushed for our S3S finishing or a mix of both for our unique semi-smooth finishing.

Fabricating the countertop

The first step is to fabricate the countertop. Solid hardwood countertops, like the type we are making, typically require specialized tools and materials, making professional fabrication a norm.

Planning the fabrication of the countertop begins with taking measurements and determining where to locate any joints, if necessary. Since rooms are almost never perfectly square or level, it is important to know where the countertop may need to be a little deeper or a little narrower to fit the walls as precisely as possible.

Rustic+Ulin+Erosi+Board+Decking

 

 

 

You can find a very interesting video and additional data on this original link.

Your decking is a great drug!

Ulin ironwood tree

Dayak ethnic group is the indigenous people of Kalimantan Island and mainly live in a remote area. Dayak ethnic group in West Kalimantan is divided into 151 subethnic groups and their languages are classified into 168 groups. Since their residential areas are isolated from other villages, they depend on their environment, especially, the forest. It functions as a place to meet their basic needs because they have the knowledge how to utilize natural resources. Especially, plants have been used as medicine to treat diseases. Therefore, medicinal plants are known as their local wisdom and survival knowledge related to environment. Nowadays, the utilization of medicinal plants is facing several threats due to the scarcity of this knowledge and forest condition. Generally, this knowledge of the utilization of medicinal plants is not well documented since it is orally transferred from generation to generation. While younger generation accepts new culture from outside of their village, the knowledge of medicinal plants is fading. Forest conversion also contributed to the decreasing number of medicinal plant species. Approximately 21.51% of 9,125,486 ha of forest that functions as the main habitat of medicinal plants in West Kalimantan have been lost since 2010. Therefore, to conserve the knowledge of medicinal plants, it is necessary for the Dayak people to use them continuously to treat diseases. The documentation of medicinal plants utilization of several Dayak sub-ethnic groups is already reported. Dayak Uud Danum means a Dayak sub-ethnic group who lives in the upstream areas of Ambalau and Serawai river of Sintang Regency. In Dayak Uud Danum community, people use 95 species of medicinal plants. One of them, Tebelion (Eusideroxylon zwageri) has been used to treat diseases such as diarrhea, fever and allergy as the decoction of leaves by hot water. These diseases often caused by infections induce inflammation. Therefore, these medicinal plant is suggested to have anti-inflammatory activity. Inflammation is one of causes of diarrhea and plays an important role in the allergic disease such as delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH). Diarrhea is difficult to be fully recovered in a patient with an inflammatory bowel disease. Prolonged inflammation of intestine may lead to the increasing risk of colon cancer. Not only in cutaneous skin infection, but also in patients bearing transplanted tissues and tumors, DTH must be considered. Since both IFN-γ and TNF-α are involved in the inflammation of DTH and colon epithelial cells, it is useful to examine the anti-inflammatory effects of medicinal plants on DTH and the inflammation of colon epithelial cells. E. zwageri has anti-melanogenesis activity (Arung et al. 2009). The activity of their plant extracts was reported.

Medicinal plants have been used to treat diseases caused by the malfunction of the immune system. Many reports have been published to prove that chemical compounds from medicinal plants have immunosuppressive effects. Currently, it is well known that secondary metabolites from natural products such as medicinal plants have a broad spectrum of biological activities, and the anti-inflammatory activity is one of them. Flavonoid group, one group of secondary metabolites, has anti-inflammatory activity and is used to develop a new type anti-inflammatory agent. Recently, E. zwageri is identified to have bioactive compounds through phytochemical screening. It is reported to have alkaloid, phenolic, flavonoid, saponin and steroid compounds. Among these medicinal plants used in this study, there are various bioactive compounds that might contribute to the suppression of ear thickness in this model of DTH response. It is also conceivable that secondary metabolites of medicinal plants may have anti-inflammatory activities and affect to several pathways of various phases of inflammation. Presence of potent bioactive compounds such as phenolic and flavonoid compounds may contribute to antiinflammatory activities.

Inflammation has an important role as one of natural protection mechanism and it has a dual nature like a double edged sword. Over production of several inflammatory mediators leads to a chronic disease. Therefore, in order to explore anti-inflammatory reagents from natural products, various criteria must be applied to screen medicine. It is well known that many indigenous people around the world use medicinal plants as anti-inflammatory medicine to treat several diseases. In West Kalimantan Indonesia, although government has been providing adequate health facilities and modern medicines, some people who live in poverty or in remote areas from government health facilities still rely on traditional medicinal plants to treat diseases such as fever, allergy, and diarrhea. Dayak Uud Danum, indigenous people of West Kalimantan, Indonesia is one of the communities who still use and preserve knowledge of medicinal plants as their local wisdom. Through an ethnopharmacological approach, activities of many bioactive compounds from plants will be determined. Although E. zwageri has anti-inflammatory activities in term of suppressing delayed-type hypersensitivity, further experiments are necessary to determine the mechanisms of potential plant extracts to regulate the inflammation.

 

Additional info;

Although the seeds are poisonous, the fruit and seeds have medicinal uses, and are used locally to treat swellings. Seed extract was shown to have anti-melanogenetic properties, indicating a potential for use in skin-whitening cosmetics. The screening methods used were melanin formation inhibition assay using B16 melanoma cells. The extracts of Eusideroxylon zwageri (seed), showed DPPH radical-scavenging activity of more than 70 percent at 100 microg/ml and extracts of E. zwageri (seed, 100 microg/ml) strongly inhibited the melanin production of B16 melanoma cells without significant cytotoxicity. These findings indicate that this plant from Central Kalimantan are potential ingredients for skin-whitening cosmetics if their safety can be confirmed.

 

 

Source: Kuroshio Science, CABI Encyclopedia of Forest Trees, Journal of Natural Medicines v. 63(4): p. 473-480, 2009.