HDA Members to Gather in Nashville for Annual Meeting

The Hardwood Distributor’s Association is holding their annual meeting during the NHLA Convention. We have a number of events for HDA Members only.

The HDA Board of Directors will gather on Wednesday, October 9th. Followed by our General Meeting on Thursday, October 10 will include an update on HDA activities for the past year, new plans for the next year, regional reports and much more.

Networking with fellow members always on the agenda and what better way to develop ideas that to get outside the box that is your office. The strengths of this association is the membership and I look forward to speaking with all of our members in Nashville.

If you’re attending the convention, be sure to bring some of your younger employees and get them involved. The contacts they make at the HDA Meeting will prove invaluable in the years to come. Inquire how you can become more involved in the workings of the association.

Hardwood Distributor’s Association Annual Meeting Schedule

Wednesday, October 7, 2015        3 – 5 pm          HDA Board Meeting
in Mockingbird 4

Thursday, October 8, 2015            3 – 5 pm          HDA Annual Meeting
in Broadway Boardroom D 






Hospitality Suite hosted by HDA for our members. Be on the lookout for the room number in your email on Wednesday or ask a board member.



Friday, October 9, 2015             10 am – 3 pm  Yard Tour  (Clarksville, TN)  Transportation and Lunch provided

ah 1815







Is Thermally Modified Hardwood Lumber Here To Stay?

Thermally modified hardwood may represent an up-and-coming contender to compete with treated wood and composite products. Thermally treated wood boasts advantages over both.

The question remains whether this product will be adopted by consumers. The process is not well understood by those outside of the wood industry. There is even confusion and misconceptions among woodworkers. Lack of understanding is a major barrier to entry into the markets. The success of this product will be heavily dependent on overcoming that barrier and helping users interested in thermally modified hardwood.

The American Hardwood Export Council recognizes thermal modification as a developing market with great potential for American hardwood producers. There are various species that can be successfully treated such as – ash, soft maple, tulip poplar, red oak, yellow birch and hickory. Appearance of

Thermally Modified Hardwood Piques Consumer Interest

The darker wood tones created by the treatment process for thermally modified wood resemble some exotic hardwoods. Designers and consumers alike have been drawn to being able to obtain this dark mocha color without having to apply a wood stain. In addition, having a wood grain choice other
than spruce, pine, and fir, is a refreshing change.

Exterior Performance of Thermally Modified Wood Holds Up

Thermally modified hardwood has similar physical properties to traditional wood choices. Thermally modified wood strength is on par with the same species that has not been thermally modified. You can cut, drill, nail and screw thermally modified wood the same as traditional wood. There are also no special fasteners required with thermally modified wood, but you can use a hidden deck fastener system if you wish.
The story of thermally modified hardwood is a good one – now we just need to do a good job of telling it.
Learn More About What Thermally Modified Wood Can Be Used For.

What is Thermally Modified Wood?

Wood treated with thermal modification has been through a natural, non-toxic process that basically cooks the wood, changing the make-up of the wood. Wood is heated in 400+ degree heat in an oxygen-free environment.

How is Thermally Modified Wood Physically Different?

Thermal modification uses heat to remove organic compounds from the wood cells, so it will not absorb water, expand, contract, or provide nourishment for insects or fungi. The high heat produces a naturally durable wood that is permanently resistant to water, insects, and decay. Because the wood is not absorbing chemicals to be treated, but rather removing moisture, the wood is lightweight.

Thermally modified lumber is also more dimensionally stable because it is less susceptible to cupping and warping. The wood has increased heat resistance and weather resistance as well. When properly maintained, it will not chip, rot, or warp over the years. Many products offered in this category are rated for 20 or 25 years of exterior use.

How Does Thermally Modified Wood Look Different?

The high gradual heat process creates permanent reactions and gives the wood a rich, deep brown appearance. The darkened color brings an unexpected tropical look.


The chocolate color can be maintained in exterior applications by finishing the wood with a UV-inhibitor sealant on all sides and ends of the wood. If not finished, the wood will naturally weather to a shade of gray because of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

What Can Thermally Modified Wood Be Used For?

Since thermally modified wood does not absorb or hold moisture as it would prior to treatment, species that typically do not perform well in outdoor or wet environments can now be used in a variety of applications, such as decking, siding, or flooring. It can also be used in environments that are less stable in moisture content, such as basements (with proper sub-flooring).

The Benefits of Thermally Modified Lumber

This thermally modified wood is eco-friendly since harsh chemicals are never used in the development of this product. Unlike pressure-treated lumber, it will not corrode metals. As previously mentioned, it is also dimensionally stable with incredible durability.

A New Non-Toxic Product for Outdoor and Indoor Use

Thermally modified lumber is a green alternative to tropical hardwoods and pressure treated lumber for exterior uses and is an beautiful product to use in other applications where stability and durability are key variables.

Interested in learning more about thermally modified lumber? Visit our distributors list to find a distributor in your area.

Top Hardwoods for Carving

What is the best wood for carving?

Wood comes in many species and it is important to know each woods’ individual characteristics. Each wood has different texture and wood qualities that dictate how the wood will respond to wood carving.

Wood carving can be an incredibly rewarding and positive hobby, and it eventually can even become a career. It is one of the oldest crafts in the world and is both functional and artistically beautiful. Nearly every wood on earth can be used for carving, which gives the craft a huge abundance to choose from, and at times that can be overwhelming.

Basswood is the most popular choice wood for beginners. This is a white wood grows throughout Europe and the Americas. It’s been used in woodworking for centuries. Basswood has almost no grain and is very soft, making it ideal for new woodworkers. It is also popular in lower cost musical instruments, making up the bodies of some woodwinds, and electric basses and guitars. Basswood blanks can be found easily and are a great wood to start learning to carve on, since it is malleable and inexpensive.

Aspen is another white wood that is quite popular among woodworkers. It’s stronger than basswood but is still quite soft, so it is fairly easy to use for carving. Aspen is readily available and inexpensive.

Butternut is another good wood for beginner wood carving. It is browner than basswood or aspen and has a nice grain. It is related to walnut but is lighter in color and can be carved easier. Like black walnut, butternut polishes quite nicely, and is also a good choice for furniture. It is a much softer wood, so this wood is also friendly for beginners. Be prepared for wormholes when working with butternut.

       craftsman carving wood with a gouge


Black walnut is a popular choice. It is more expensive than basswood, aspen and basswood. It should be carved using sharp tools and a mallet for the best results. Walnut has a rich color and grain that has made it popular for a wide range of products, including furniture and gunstocks.

Oak is also a popular wood for carving, with a range of features that make it almost ideal. It is a strong and sturdy wood. The grain of oak is very defined and is also a favorite woods used for making furniture.

The type of carving you do will influence the type of wood which is best to use. A power carver will often use different wood than a hand tool carver. With power you can more easily carve a hard wood and get great detail while the same hard wood might be very frustrating for a hand carver. So choose accordingly.

What’s the difference between red oak flooring and white oak flooring?

Oak flooring is the most popular hardwood floor species in use for hardwood flooring. And with good reason – oak is readily available, affordable, durable and beautiful. What many don’t realize is there are two different species of oak flooring commonly available – red oak and white oak.

If you are installing new hardwood flooring, either species will likely work for your application. Which wood you choose will likely depend on the style and color you are looking for. Both are durable and rank well on the Janka hardness chart. The exact difference between the prices on red oak flooring and white oak flooring vary with the markets but prices are typically close to the same – unless you are interested in rift or quarter-sawn flooring (learn more about rift and quarter-sawn wood).

So, what are the differences between red oak flooring and white oak flooring?

  1. Color. With a natural finish, red oak tends to have a pinkish tint and is a bit brighter than white oak. White oak is more of a warm brown tone and is darker. When stained, red oak will continue to have a red undertone with lighter stains, while white oak will maintain a brown undertone. Dark stains cause the differences between the 2 species to decrease.
  2. Grain. Red oak can have a stronger grain pattern, with more variation. White oak has a bit of a smoother, more uniform look. Some people prefer the strong graining of red oak – both for the look and because the strong graining helps hide scratches and dents. Others prefer the slightly less busy look of white oak.
  3. Matching Existing Stairs. If you are trying to match existing stairs, knowing what wood they are should be important to your decision. Typically, you want to match any flooring to the stairs they will be butted into. Red oak is more common in stair treads, saddles, banisters and other transitions. If you already have oak stairs, they may be red oak. If you are building or replacing your stair treads, choose whichever oak species appeals to you.

Red oak or white oak, they’re both beautiful. When you look at a piece of oak the warmth and beauty just draws you in. 

American Cherry: Stunning for Centuries

Cherry has long been used for traditional heirloom furniture and other collectables. And these days, you can see cherry used in a wide variety of other applications as well. It is often used in architectural joinery, furniture, cabinets, flooring and musical instruments.

American cherry has superior woodworking qualities. It is light, yet strong, relatively stiff, and rather hard. Dimensionally stable once dried, Cherry turns well, is easily machined and also works beautifully with hand tools. The wood can be easily glued and holds screws well.

The smooth texture and satiny grain stains beautifully with exceptional results. Cherry’s color darkens with age and exposure to direct sunlight. A newly completed project may often be mistakenly identified as another wood because it appears much lighter than expectations.

To see some more beautiful ways that American cherry is used, you can view all of the cherry photos in the gallery of wood.



Basics of Hardwood Finishing: Part One

Finishing wood allows you to showcase the uniqueness of the wood you are using for a project. As you know, finishing can make or break a project.  Hardwood products are finished to enhance or alter the natural beauty of the wood, and to protect the wood from damage by moisture and handling. A quality finish must offer acceptable performance and also meet the project’s aesthetic requirements. A good finish prevents swelling and cracking, protects against stains and enhances the appearance of the wood.

Before finish ever comes in contact with wood, there is a great deal of preparatory work to be done.

PREPARE THE SURFACE PROPERLY  It should go without saying that almost no coating or finish can overcome a poorly prepared surface.  Prepare the surface with the desired finish result in mind. If an extra smooth surface is specified, then sanding, grain filling, and defect filling of some sort is indicated. The best finish cannot overcome an ill prepared surface.SandingWood

KNOW YOUR WOOD and how it accepts stain. Unlike metal or plastic surfaces, wood presents a substrate that varies in density, porosity, and stability. Not sure? Check our species guide for guidance. Some woods like hard maple and poplar have a tendency to stain unevenly and blotch. For those woods it is recommended you use a wood conditioner before applying any stain. Other woods readily accept stain and have to be carefully wiped off almost immediately after application.

DETERMINE THE TYPE OF FINISH   Although at least 10 varieties and more than a dozen brands of finish are available, all can be divided into two categories: penetrating finishes (those that dry inside the wood) and surface finishes (those that dry on the surface of the wood). Penetrating finishes are easier to apply and leave a more natural look. Surface finishes are more durable but don’t look as natural. Determine the look you want for your final piece and identify the finish that works the best for that application.

In our next blog – determining the right finishing process for you.

Viva Las Vegas – Annual HDA Meeting

The Hardwood Distributor’s Association is meeting for the third time this year in Las Vegas. As you know our Annual General Meeting is timed to coincide with the NHLA Convention and we have a number of events for HDA Members only.

Our General Meeting on Friday October 10 will include an update on the performance of our new website, a presentation from a national trucking firm, regional reports and much more. One of our local members, Peterman Lumber, has been gracious this year to host a yard tour and lunch on Friday.

Networking with fellow members always on the agenda and what better way to develop ideas that to get outside the box that is your office. The strengths of this association is the membership and I look forward to speaking with all of our members in Las Vegas.

If you’re attending the convention, be sure to bring some of your younger employees and get them involved. The contacts they make at the HDA Meeting will prove invaluable in the years to come. Inquire how you can become more involved in the workings of the association.

Hardwood Distributor’s Association Annual Meeting Schedule

Wednesday, October 8, 2014        3 – 5 pm                               HDA Board Meeting

Friday, October 10, 2014               8 – 10 am                             HDA Annual Meeting

Friday, October 10, 2014               10:15 am – 2 pm                 Peterman Yard Tour Lunch provided


Phone: (503)-691-7106
Email: klandwehr@hardwoodind.com

Common Questions About Cleaning Hardwood Floors

CAN I USE A STEAM MOP ON MY HARDWOOD FLOORS? Usually not. According to consumer reports tests on the various models of steam mops, steam mops may be safe for hardwood floors but should be approached with extreme caution. Despite many steam mop manufacturers indicating their steam mops can be used on sealed wood floors, manufacturers often warn against their use. Consumer Reports tests showed that all the tested models left residual moisture, some more than others. A wood floor that appears sealed might have crevices where water can seep in and cause damage. The steam is also forced into the joints and any incisions or cracks, which can cause cupping. The heat from the steam can also damage the floor’s finish and some wood finishes or older waxes might haze over. If you really want to stick to a steam mop, check with the manufacturer of your flooring to make sure a steam mop won’t void the warranty.

IS VINEGAR SAFE FOR CLEANING HARDWOOD FLOORS? Not with hardwood floors. Contrary to common advice, you should never use diluted vinegar or ammonia to clean polyurethane. The acid can etch the finish, making it dull. You will probably not notice this after the first couple washes using vinegar but the acid will slowly eat away at your hardwood floor finish over time. You won’t notice until the damage is already done.

ARE PADS REALLY NECESSARY UNDER MY AREA RUGS ON HARDWOOD FLOORS? You bet. Scatter rugs with rubber backs can discolor wood floors. Special rug mats can be purchased from a most carpet or wood flooring retailers. These mats or pads will protect the floors from discoloration.

HOW DO YOU SAFELY REMOVE SPOTS, SCUFF MARKS AND OTHER GUNK? Consumer Reports offers some handy tips for removing some of the toughest stains from hardwood floors.

Gum and wax. Cover the stain with a sealed ice pack to make it brittle enough to break off in pieces. Be especially careful when scraping it off. (Try a plastic scraper or a credit card.) Finish the job by wiping the area clean with a damp cloth to get up any residue and drying it well.

Oil, paint, marker, lipstick, ink, tar. If you’ve already tried a variety of other cleaners and a bit of elbow grease and nothing’s worked, there is one last resort. Very carefully, apply a small amount of nail-polish remover to a cloth, dab, and then lightly rub the stain. Be sure to follow up with a clean damp cloth to remove any residual chemical. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, steel wool, and heavy-duty scouring pads on any flooring.

Minor scratches and chips. Some hardwood-flooring manufacturers offer color-blended filler you can use to hide small scratches and dings. If a small area of hardwood flooring is worn, try sanding and refinishing the area. But heavily damaged pieces might need to be replaced. (The damaged piece will have to be chiseled out and a new one inserted.)

Scuff marks. Try to rub it out first with your finger. Many scuff marks will disappear.  An eraser may also remove shallow marks on most hardwood floors. Be sure to test it on a hidden area first.

The Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors

What is the best way to clean my hardwood floors you ask? The answer may sound perplexing… There is NO one best way to clean your hardwood floors. What’s best for your floor depends how old your floors are and what type of finish is on your hardwood floors. If you don’t know what type of finish is on your floor, do your best to find out.

To tell the difference in a pinch, just rub your finger across the floor. Be sure to do this on a clean floor. If no smudge appears, the floor is surface sealed. If you do create a smudge, the floor has been treated with a penetrating seal, oil finish, shellac, varnish or lacquer, and then waxed. Consider when your floors were installed as well. If you have a newer wood floor, it is likely surface sealed.

If you’re not sure about what kind of finish is on your hardwood floor, review our blog to help you identify what the floor finish is.

Use floor mats near your entry doors. You can reduce hardwood floor cleaning time and wear by adding mats at your entrances. Position mats both outside and inside exterior doors to lessen tracked-in dirt. Tiny particles, like dirt, can act like sandpaper and scratch your wood. By placing a floor mat at each entryway and encouraging family members and guests to wipe their feet, the majority of dirt and grime will remain on the mat.

In snowy or rainy weather, include a boot or shoe removal area to avoid damage from water and de-icers. Prevent marks by using floor protectors under furniture and by using rugs in play areas to ensure children’s toys don’t scratch the floor.

It might seem a little old-fashioned but the best way to clean your hardwood floor from day-to-day wear is sweeping with a high quality broom or using a microfiber cloth. If sweeping isn’t enough or those edges and corners need some attention, pull out the vacuum. Be sure to vacuum without the beater bar rotating which can scratch your hardwood floor finish.

When possible, use cleaning products recommended by the flooring manufacturer. In some cases failure to follow the recommendations can result in voiding your warranties. If the floors were finished on-site, talk with the installer for product recommendations. If neither is known, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner which can be purchased at a retail flooring store. Always test the cleaner first in some obscure corner, such as closet or pantry to make sure you are using the right product.

Never use anything with wax or petroleum-based products in it, unless you know for sure that your floor is a wax finish (this is no longer very common). Wax and oil will actually hold onto the dirt, and then when you step on it, it will scratch the surface. Also, if you use a wax or oil, it can eliminate the ability to buff and coat your floor–a full refinish could be required, because the finish won’t adhere and will peel off.Cleaning hardwood floor properly

Some hardwood flooring manufacturers now offer their own brand of hardwood floor cleaner. Flooring brands like Armstrong, BellaWood, Shaw and Bruce offer their own hardwood floor cleaners. Other hardwood flooring manufacturers and installers often recommend the following products: Bona, Method, Libman, Blanchon, EcoMist, Dr. Bronner Sals Suds or Wood Wash. Dust and dirt on your mop head acts like sandpaper and should be avoided. Be sure to use a mop with a removable mop head or microfiber mop for easy cleaning.

Wipe up any spills immediately, using a soft, dry or slightly damp cloth. Start at the edges of the spill and work toward the center. Allowing spills to remain on hardwood floors could damage the finish, as well as the wood. Be sure that the floor is dry after clean up.

When your hardwood floors need a more thorough cleaning, don’t grab a bucket of water and wet mop it! Use a damp mop on the floor and be sure to use a well-wrung mop. Do not over-wet the floor – this can change the moisture levels and, over time, cause a floor to expand, resulting in cupping.

Remember, every wood floor is an investment, and you want do everything possible to ensure your investment lasts for decades. Luckily, to keep wood flooring looking its beautiful best for longer, you simply need to give it a little regular care and maintenance.

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