reclaimed wood

A look beyond the promise and assurance of wood flooring - Part 1/2

Adherence to expectations is equally essential with huge purchases like flooring. This is quite true when dealing with hardwood floors. It is without a doubt that a new hardwood floor will incorporate a facet of aesthetic and warmth to your home. A lot of customers do not have an idea that wood flooring possesses extraordinary features that make it not the excellent choice for everyone.

Scratch on flooring

Scratch on flooring

This article, which is based on two parts is by no means meant to discourage you from purchasing a hardwood floor, but you do require taking into considerations these four excellent facts in relation to hardwood floors before buying it:


I. Wood Floors are prone to scratches.

There are several finishes that manufacturers put on wood flooring in order to make them scratch resistant. The most famous finish to this date is Aluminum Oxide. Wood Flooring also pairs with a wear warranty ranging from five to fifty years. Wear warranties, however, basically only guarantee that the veneer of wood will not completely wear through. You cannot find ant-scratch warranties in the wood industry. All wood floorings, regardless of what the finishing or the wood quality is, will be prone to scratch. That being said, you have to ensure to prepare your home for a wood floor prior to installing. It is an excellent idea to utilize furniture protectors, area rugs, floor mats in guarding your wood against scratches. To add, you might want to mull over installing tile in your passage ways, since it is the busiest area in terms of traffic. If there are huge children or pets in your house, you have to consider laminated flooring which is more resistant to scratches.

II. There is a guarantee that wood flooring will Indent.

Wood floors are regarded as soft product, but they are prone to denting from drops or heavy use. No wood flooring is dent-proof, but several classes of wood have several hardness degrees as well. The Janka test is utilized to know the hardness or softness of wood specie. Using this kind of test, wood species are supplied a score in terms of a force needed to embed a steel ball into the wood itself. It is known that the higher the score, the better the wood is in terms of resisting wear and dents.  Northern Red Oak, the standard class of wood utilized in flooring, is the basic to which all other classes are measured against. It possesses an all-time score of 1290. There are certain classes that have a score of more than 3000 and while they wear better in terms of everyday use, they will still dent at some time, subjected to a heavy drop of load. If you are really paying attention to your floors ability to withstand dents, you can resort to other options. There are “wood-like” porcelain and laminated products that are high-pressure and a lot more resistant to wear and tear. To add, a hand scraped or distressed wood floor will perform an excellent job at hiding dents and other types of wear on your floor.


Hardwood and Softwood, what is the difference?

red elm end grain

Hardwood is not necessarily a harder material (more dense) and a softwood is not necessarily a softer material (less dense).

Different types of construction projects call for different kinds of timber, both hardwood and softwood are used for everything from structural to decorative.

Softwood and hardwood are distinguished botanically in terms of their reproduction, not by their end use or appearance. All trees reproduce by producing seeds, but the seed structure varies.

Softwood trees are known as a gymnosperm. They reproduce by forming cones which emit pollen to be spread by the wind to other trees. Pollinated trees form naked seeds which are dropped to the ground or borne on the wind so that new trees can grow elsewhere.

A hardwood is an angiosperm. Angiosperms usually form flowers to reproduce. Birds and insects attracted to the flowers carry the pollen to other trees and when fertilized the trees form fruits or nuts and seeds.

The hardwood/softwood terminology does make some sense. Evergreens do tend to be less dense than deciduous trees, and therefore easier to cut, while most hardwoods tend to be more dense, and therefore sturdier. In practical terms, this denseness also means that the wood will split if you pound a nail into it. Thus you need to drill screw or bolt holes to fasten hardwood together. But structural lumber is soft and light, accepts nails easily without splitting and thus is great for general construction.

To sum up

Hardwood tend to be darker, heavier, more expensive, last several decades, naturally resistant to weather.
Softwood tend to be lighter in color, lighter weight, cheaper, last for a decade or so and can be weather resistant but needs to be treated.

Your floor and its reactions to greenhouse effect.

I have a vacation home and when we left our floors were fine. Now they are weird shapes and or are making noise when we walk across it. Why is this happening?

greenhouse and wood floor

This is known as the “greenhouse effect”. Your hardwood flooring will still react to moisture and humidity changes within the home even if you are not there for extended periods of time. Most of the time, a house has been closed off, its central air units and other humidity control devices, if any, have also been shut off during your absence. This causes the heat that is trapped by the house during the day to stay in the house. When the house cools at night, condensation will form in various places of the home and over time this constant “up and down” effect wreaks havoc on your hardwood flooring. Once you’ve entered the home and caused constant humidity levels to re-balance in the home, you’ll need to take measures on repairing cupping, crowning or even buckling if it has occurred.

When you leave the home again, leave some of the windows a bit open to allow for proper ventilation of the home. Use window blocking bars, sticks in the window sills or other security devices to prevent the windows from opening fully in your absence.






Text extract from

Cleaning and maintaining your hardwood floor

Remember, your hardwood flooring is designed to last decades and taking care of your hardwood floors will be different than maintaining your carpet or other types of flooring. It’s also important to know that historical hardwood floors were typically cared for differently (and still may be) than how hardwood flooring installed today should be cared for. We, at Kaltimber, will be able to help you obtain cleaning and maintenance kits that will help you properly maintain your new hardwood flooring.

    • Sweep your floors on a regular basis with a soft bristled broom or vacuum with a vacuum that is designed to work specifically with hardwood flooring. Consider making it a ritual and then always doing it again after events that involve lots of foot traffic such as family gatherings or entertaining.
    • Use only approved hardwood floor cleaning products on your hardwood floor.
    • If you run out of hardwood flooring cleaner that is made specifically for your type of hardwood floor, purchase a generic brand from a local hardware or home improvement store. Resist the urge to use any other type of cleaner even one time.
    • If you must spot clean stubborn areas, do so with a very slightly damp mop or rag with some hardwood floor cleaner. Dry the spot fully immediately.
    • Place throw rugs with cloth or felt backing down in front of the doorways that lead to the outside of the house to minimize dirt or debris from being tracked in. Clean underneath these rugs often to avoid trapped debris from scratching the floor.
    • Avoid using throw rugs with rubber backings as they can cause discoloration over time.
    • Place felt liners on the bottoms of all furniture pieces. Replace felt liners as they become worn.
    • When you move furniture, if you can safely do so, pick up the furniture completely to avoid scratching the floor or place carpet under it to pull.
    • Place an area rug on the floor in front of the kitchen sink to help catch moisture before it has it chance to sit on the wood.
    • Clean up all spills immediately.
    • Consider adopting a “no shoes” policy. If this won’t work, then at least avoid walking on the wood with sports shoes, cleats and boots with spikes or high heels. The pounds per square inch exerted by standing on the floor in one of these items are enough to cause dents or scratches in any floor surface.
    • Keep your pets nails trimmed. Some grooming establishments offer to “sand” or “grind” down your furry friends nails as a part of a pet manicure. For pets whose nails grow quickly, a combination of the two methods can be used to keep the nails shorter than normal (without harming your pet) and without the sharp edges that can come with recently clipped pet nails.
    • Avoid activities that you may have used the floor for in the past such as cutting down boxes with box knives or cutting fabric with sharp scissors when working with patterns, unless you purposely put a suitable barrier down first.
    • Do not use cleaners designed to eliminate or repel dust.
    • Do not use wax-based products on the floor as they can leave a dull finish over time.
    • Do not use ammonia based products on your hardwood floor.
    • Dry room such as air-con bedroom can overtime cause crack to appear on the wood. Prefer fan to air-con.
    • Light sanding / wire-brushing of your floor and re-coating should be done by a professional hardwood floor installer.

Always follow the manufacturer guidelines and consult your local authorized Kaltimber re-seller if you have any questions.

Teak vs Teak

Teak Grades

Teak wood is available in three different quality grades which play the key role in outdoor performance and durability of the furniture. It is therefore highly important to know what is the difference between teak grades and how to distinguish between the highest quality teak and inferior timber.

Grade A Teak

Grade A teak is the highest quality teak wood. It refers to timber that is taken from the very centre of the log (heartwood) of a fully mature tree. Grade A teak can be recognised by a uniform, golden brown colour, close grains and glossy surface that feels oily to touch. It is high in teak natural oils which play the key role in teak outstanding resistance to outdoor elements by protecting it from unfavourable weather elements and repelling insects. Unfortunately, it makes up only about a fifth to one quarter of the log and as a result, it has a high price.

Grade B Teak

Grade B teak refers to timber from the outer heartwood section, making up about one fourth to one third of the log. In comparison to grade A teak, grade B teak has a lighter colour, uneven grain and less shine. It contains only traces of teak natural oils and as a result, it is unable to withstand the exposure to the outdoor extremes without protective treatments. But even then, it doesn’t last even close as long as furniture made from the highest quality teak.

Grade C Teak

Grade C teak is an inferior quality teak wood. It refers to timber from the outer sections of a mature log (sapwood) and logs of immature trees. Grade C teak contains virtually no teak natural protective oils, has a very uneven colour and is easily damaged because it is very soft. Furniture that is made from grade C teak is even considered unsuitable for indoor use due to its softness that makes it highly susceptible to damage. Although it is taken from the very same tree species, grade C teak has no similarity to the highest quality teak neither in regard to outdoor performance, beauty or durability. Grade C teak garden furniture is relatively inexpensive but it has a very short lifespan even if it is treated with protective coating or periodically oiled.


Please note that grade B and C teak garden furniture is sometimes chemically treated to make it look as if it would be made from the highest quality timber. It can be recognised by a darker colour but most people can’t really see the difference between the two, unless seen next to each other. If you are after the highest quality teak garden furniture, you are recommended to buy from reputable manufacturers who offer an extensive guarantee on their products.


Rare wood spotted

kaltimber tropical wood

In woodworking hewing is the process of converting a log from its rounded natural form into lumber (timber) with more or less flat surfaces using primarily an axe. It is an ancient method still used occasionally to square up beams for timber framing.



Hew is a general term meaning to strike or blow with a tool such as an axe or sword; to chop or gash, and is used in warfare, stone and wood cutting, and coal and salt mining in this sense. Hewing wood is to shape the wood with a sharp instrument such as an axe, specifically flattening one or more sides of a log.



As an ancient method of timber conversion, different methods of each step in hewing have developed in history.


Prepare log

After a tree is selected and felled, hewing can take place where the log landed or be skidded or twitched out of the woods to a work site. The log is placed across two other smaller logs near the ground or up on trestles about waist height; stabilized either by notching the support logs, or using a "timber dog" (also called a log dog, a long bar of iron with a tooth on either end that jams into the logs and prevents movement). The hewer measures and locates the timber within the log on both ends and marks lines along the length of a log, usually with a chalk line.



The next step is to chop notches every foot or two, almost as deep as the marked line using a chopping or scoring axe, called scoring.

At least three methods are used in scoring:

1) Standing on the log and swinging an axe to chop the score

2) In Germany a method of two carpenters standing on the ground with the log on trestles and swinging downward to slice the scores

3) A chainsaw is used to notch the log, the sections created by the notching are then split off using a felling axe.


Joggling or juggling

The pieces of wood between the notches are knocked off with an axe, this process called juggling or joggling. This results in a rough surface pared down just shy of the marked line. Scoring and juggling remove a fair amount of wood, make hewing easier and prevent long shreds of wood being torn off.



Hewing is the last step in this whole process, which is also collectively referred to as hewing. Hewing is done on the logs sides with a broadaxe. Hewing occurs from the bottom of the stem upwards towards what was the top of the standing tree, reducing the tendency of the broken fibers to migrate inwards towards the eventual beam.


Further smoothing can then be done using a hand plane, drawknife, yariganna (an ancient Japanese cutting tool) or any other established or improvised means.

Modern uses

Although still used in niche modern building, salvaged hand-hewn beams are now commonly recycled as architectural details popular in new construction and renovation of homes. They are also popular as decor in commercial and restaurant spaces.

Even in Kaltimber we rarely come upon axe hewn Ulin (Kalimantan's ironwood) boards or lumber such as our picture above. It makes extra exclusive and high standing decking, flooring or architectural beams.



Source: Wikipedia – Kaltimber documentation


Reclaiming or not reclaiming

Indonesia is a treasure chest of biodiversity; it is home to between 10 and 15 per cent of all known species of plants, mammals and birds. Orang-utans, elephants, tigers, rhinoceroses, more than 1,500 species of birds and thousands of plant species are all a part of the country's natural legacy.

The mass destruction of Indonesia's rainforests and carbon-rich peat lands threatens this and is the main reason why Indonesia is one of the world's largest emitters of climate changing greenhouse gases.

The lives of millions of Indonesians who depend on the forests for food, shelter and livelihoods are also changing beyond recognition as the forest disappears.

This destruction also threatens our wider world; peatlands are perhaps the world's most critical carbon stores, and Indonesia's peatlands are vast, storing about 35 billion tones of carbon. When these peatlands are drained, burned and replaced by plantations, carbon dioxide is released and the conditions are set for devastating forest fires, which were responsible, for instance, for Singapore's "haze wave" in 2013.

In Kaltimber we aim to provide 100% reclaimed wood by knowing the origin of all our stock.

7 Bathroom Remodel Design Tips for a Healthier and More Eco-Conscious Home*

These seven simple tips will help make your bathroom greener

When you’re remodeling any part of your home, most of your concerns tend to revolve around the time, cost and effort required for the project. Making your home more eco-friendly doesn’t always top the list of priorities at this stage, but it really should. The planet (and your wallet) will thank you for it!

Bathrooms, in particular, are immense guzzlers of water and energy. A bathroom renovation is the best time to consider small changes that can add up to huge green results.

1. Low-VOC Materials

As you probably know, lead plumbing should be replaced right away, but that isn’t the only thing to worry about from a health perspective.

Many traditional materials emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that affect indoor air quality and pose a serious health risk for years. While choosing paint, grout, adhesives, caulk and sealers, opt for low-VOC or no-VOC materials as much as possible.

2. Better ventilation

In addition to foul odors, damp bathrooms offer the perfect breeding ground for mold, bacteria and a host of other nasties. Make sure you’ve got adequate ventilation and maintain good airflow to keep your bathrooms dry.

Installing a bathroom fan isn’t always enough to release trapped moisture and heat from the space. Check that the fan expels air out of your home instead of into the spaces between walls and ceilings. To reduce energy use, consider an exhaust unit with a timer switch, motion sensor or humidity sensor.

3. Water Conservation

Bathrooms are responsible for almost half of all water used in a household, with most of it literally going down the drain. Newer low-flow showers and faucets, low-flush toilets and high-efficiency heaters offer excellent water-saving features.

Adopt better bathroom habits (shorter showers, repairing leaks and drips, closing taps while brushing/shaving, etc.), but take a good long look at your faucets, shower heads, toilet flush units and heaters, too.

4. Energy-Efficient Lighting

Whether it’s a small bathroom remodel or a larger space you’re taking on, the right lighting choices can cut down energy use tremendously. There’s a wide range of LED lights and low-wattage lighting systems that use very little electricity and emit less heat, too, so look into your options.

These may cost more initially, but the energy savings can make up for the difference in as little as a year (and they last up to 20 years!). Use natural light to your advantage with skylights and windows.

5. Water-Resistant Surfaces

Wallpaper and carpeting are your worst enemies during a bathroom remodel, since they offer no resistance to water. In a damp space, these materials will become a hot spot for mold and bacteria faster than you’d believe, and they’re often high in VOC emissions, too.

Bathrooms need to withstand heavy use, cleaning and water exposure. Stick to low-VOC finishes and materials that are water-resistant, such as ceramic or recycled-glass tiles. These are stylish and eco-friendly, and available in various designs and colors to suit every interior space.

6. Sustainably Sourced Fittings

Natural materials like bamboo and wood are popular choices for bathroom cabinets and fittings, but make sure they’re from sustainable sources.

Particle board and MDF (medium-density fiberboard) surfaces emit a carcinogenic gas called urea formaldehyde, so seal them with low-VOC or non-VOC materials or avoid using them at all.

7. Natural Products

While this isn’t technically a bathroom remodel tip, we believe it’s important, especially since natural and organic products help improve indoor air quality. Using chemical-laden products in an eco-friendly bathroom makes no sense, does it?

Instead, opt for cleaning products (or body, skin and hair care products) that are fragrance- and chemical-free.

Taking all these considerations into mind before you begin renovating your bathroom is the easiest way to ensure you have a clean, green space. Happy remodeling!



Would you like to add a design touch to your new greener bathroom? In its classy latest article Top Reveal shares 20 elegant design for a new bathroom, for a new you.


As you're upgrading your bathroom, make sure to take into account how easy it will be to clean it in the future. shares a comprehensive article on bathroom cleaning to help you through it. 





*source - Earth911.



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