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Selecting Sustainable Flooring That Functions Best. The Arch Can Help Guide You

The Arch has carefully considered sustainable flooring companies  to work with since opening in 2004 as we value health and our environment. We can help you select a sustainable floor that works best for you. The following discusses some considerations.  Though The Arch showroom offers only sustainable flooring selections,  what works in one home might not function as well  in a commercial setting. The first thing you want to do is to consider the function of the space when looking for a  flooring product  as well as  the durability, quality and environmental values of the company.

ECO Fusion Strandwoven engineered bamboo Sandstorm. Plant in fused dyes. All ECOfusion Flooring products exceed indoor air quality standards as tested to CARB2012 and EO thresholds.

ECO Fusion Strandwoven engineered bamboo Sandstorm. Plant in fused dyes. All ECOfusion Flooring products exceed indoor air quality standards as tested to CARB2012 and EO thresholds.

We have worked with many people that are building homes from the ground up, but also with those that are renovating an existing home or business. Basements are a popular area of the home to invest in  but a basement on a concrete slab might not accommodate your first hardwood choice for example.  A wise selection would be an engineered hardwood or engineered bamboo strandwoven floor which are both very stable selections  and can be “floated” over an underlayment.  We also work with two regional companies that offer engineered reclaimed flooring in addition to their solid products. An engineered reclaimed floor was not easily sourced in this area not too long ago so this is a tremendous new offering to the market. It may cost a little more for a reclaimed floor, but the investment and beauty of this time honored flooring with unmatched character might be what you are looking for.

Reclaimed Heart Pine with history and character

Reclaimed Heart Pine with history and character

Many new engineered floors are also warranted over certain radiant systems.  Another excellent and very affordable choice  is US floors COREtec Plus engineered vinyl. It is a natural vinyl that does not off-gas as many of the big box store sheet vinyl goods will.  COREtec Plus won’t expand or contract, does not require an underlayment (reducing material and labor costs further),  and can handle moisture without damaging the flooring.

US Floors COREtec Plus engineered luxury vinyl. Water proof!

US Floors COREtec Plus engineered luxury vinyl. Water proof!

We have a long list of testimonials of how tough this material is including success in a hot yoga center (a very high heat environment), and a COREtec Plus flooring installation that suffered no structural damage after being immersed underwater in hurricane Sandy. I recently had a conversation about a COREtec Plus installation for an animal care facility. This flooring receives a great deal of animal and public traffic and is routinely hosed down with water!

This material is an excellent choice for commercial high traffic areas and we have all the samples to choose from and one of the best prices in Asheville that we know of.

Conservation Grade white oak Asheville residence. Woodright is one of the most sustainable sources in the region.

Conservation Grade white oak Asheville residence. Woodright
is one of the most sustainable sources in the region. Designer Victoria Schomer

If you are looking at flooring for every day living in your home, the choices are many.  Cork planks are an option that provides comfort,  is quiet, and offers a warmth that ceramic tile can’t offer for example. If you spend much time in the kitchen you know how sore your leg muscles can get after standing on a very hard surface. A cork product may be the answer for your home. There are many attractive cork product selections to choose from. If a water leak  or individual cork plank were to be damaged, they can be replaced easily. The cork we offer has a commercial finish which stands up to a number of commercial settings as well.

Traditional Cork Plank floors provide uniquely beautiful, durable, comfortable, and sustainable option for even the most demanding home.

Traditional Cork Plank floors provide uniquely beautiful, durable, comfortable, and sustainable option for even the most demanding home. Shown here: USFloors Mondago

Not all cork products are the same. Look for density, a quality finish and reputation. If you are looking for a natural flooring with wood grain that only a long leaf pine can offer for example,  then you might want to consider a reclaimed heart pine floor as they are much harder than new pine material of this day and age and they are the ultimate re-use of materials. The Arch doesn’t compromise. We have never offered any flooring with added urea-formaldehyde or other toxic  chemicals.

This specie is considered rapidly renewable because the harvest cycle is less than ten years. Another benefit of eucalyptus is that the trees regenerates three times before the tree is replanted.

Another benefit of eucalyptus is that the trees regenerates three times before the tree is replanted.

Species such as Eucalyptus is new to the market and a rapidly renewable one. This specie is considered rapidly renewable because the harvest cycle is less than ten years. Because it is a strandwoven product it is about as hard as any flooring can get with a Janka rating of over 3000. The Janka Hardness test measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. The most common assumption that consumers make is that a high Janka Rating will prevent scratches on their new floor. This is not what the rating provides.

Eco Timber 7" Grey weathered white oak hardwood.

Eco Timber 7″ Grey weathered white oak hardwood.

It is true that the harder the wood is the more difficult it will be for that floor to be dented, but denting and scratching are two very different things. Even the hardest woods are prone to scratches, so no matter what type of hardwood you own, you should be cautious when moving heavy objects across your floor.   All floors require maintenance and care and the buyer should know how to best take care of their investment. A number of our customers have chemical sensitivities looking specifically for products that will not off-gass. Several have tested our products in labs or even slept with them before buying. It is a serious health consideration to purchase healthy materials that you live with every day.  Not only is the flooring choice a health decision but so is the finish.

Vermont Natural Coatings patented PolyWhey® technology has emerged as a new category of wood finish; delivering easy-to-use products that have established the highest performance and environmental standards. We use whey protein, a byproduct of cheese making, to displace toxic ingredients found in traditional finishes. Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey floor and furniture finishes and our new Exterior Penetrating Stain and Water Proofer Infused with Juniper, are the choice of professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike.

Vermont Natural Coatings patented PolyWhey® technology has emerged as a new category of wood finish; delivering easy-to-use products that have established the highest performance and environmental standards. A whey protein, a byproduct of cheese making, to displace toxic ingredients found in traditional finishes. Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey floor and furniture finishes and our new Exterior Penetrating Stain and Water Proofer Infused with Juniper, are the choice of professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike.

We offer Vermont Natural Coatings for unfinished wood, furniture, trim, and outside decking or siding. It offers a beautiful, healthy, durable finish and is easier to apply than many other sustainable choices. Most builders or home owners do not want to be out of their homes for a week or more waiting for a finish to cure so this is something to consider if finishing woodwork. Vermont Natural Coatings dries very quickly and offers one of the most durable finishes on the market. It will outlast a Bona finish and the coverage is greater. Timing is also something that needs to be considered when purchasing flooring. Though many of flooring products can be shipped within a few days, a floor that is specially selected from the Appalachian region that benefits our local economy  may take a few more weeks. Not always, but often. The wait is worth it though, so plan ahead!

Barn Doors. Reclaimed and popular in rustic as well as contemporary settings.

Barn Doors. Reclaimed and popular in rustic as well as contemporary settings.

For more information give The ARCH a call at 828 253 5455 or visit our showroom at 2000 Riverside Drive Unit 10, Asheville, NC 28804.

OR Complete our Flooring Contact Form online!

We can have samples and  flooring shipped anywhere in the country.

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Industrial Space Provides New Possibilities For The Arch!

December 12, 2014 1 comment

The Arch has moved once again!  We’ve moved into a space that at one time was the old power house of what long ago serviced the Burlington Industries textiles manufacturing plant but is now The Riverside Business Park.  We moved just  a few hundred feet from our previous location within the park so if you’re looking  at a GPS map, that famous little red arrow marker points to the same spot!

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How many layers of paint were here?

The building definitely presented us with some huge challenges, but with all the  meandering metal pipes and metal boxes- (most of which I have no idea of their functions),  they are now part of the overall “industrial look” that we simply work with..or around.

ceiling

Reminds me of an old greasy oven

Fortunately we have maintained the same contact address   as we simply moved “Unit 10” with us.
The space was clearly in very sad condition before we moved into it as you can see from these “before” photos. The many shades of paint and crumbling ceiling raised more than one eyebrow when we considered the space originally, in fact, at first, I for one, said ” NO”!
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Doors being installed

 Then gradually, with the help of the park, and a closer look at the space, we accepted the challenge and recognized that it is going to function well for us. The high ceiling, natural light, upper loft work area and the outside awning are positive attributes of the space. Front doors were added, zero VOC paint was sprayed throughout the space, we built in some upper loft half walls and Jim wasted no time applying American Clay on a few of the walls (..there’s always more walls to cover with this amazing clay!). We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re here and we welcome everyone!

Alan Tilson with Indow Windows is in the upper loft (come in and discuss these energy efficient interior window inserts),  and Roxanne’s  “satellite” location for Amazing Capes takes up the other wing. !!! Check out her website too!
We have easy parking and the same great sustainable products and some new additions such as this sweet small portable stainless steel wood fired outdoor oven shown below.
Some of what The Arch offers: American Clay Earth Plaster and workshop offerings, Forno Bravo  ovens and outdoor fireplace units for residential and commercial locations, Bella Outdoor Living wood fired ovens,  one of Asheville’s best selections of sustainable flooring, Vermont Natural Coatings for floors, furniture, decks and exterior siding,  home accents and art tile.
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Getting things into place. More finishes to apply!

Shown here are some home accents such as doorbells, switchplates, and natural beeswax candles.

Shown here are some home accents such as doorbells, switchplates, and natural beeswax candles.

sh6front copy

Under the awning there’s much to do, but soon we’ll be featuring an outdoor kitchen and hold demos with our wood- fired ovens! Benches and planters will be added.

Nano C 22 full 2jpg

Come in and see our newest oven featured: Bella Outdoor Living NanoC22 wood fired premium stainless steel oven!

In our next blog post we plan to share images of The Nano C22 in action, fired up under the outside awning. We’ll be  cooking some delicious appetizers! We are taking orders ( on the ovens), so come on in and take a look! There are larger units and drop-in options. Call us for details. 828 253 5455

Visit us at our new location at The Arch, 2000 Riverside Drive  Unit 10, Asheville, NC 28804    http://www.thearchnc.com  828 253 5455  cmsilver@thearchnc.com Visit our website for hours of operation.

Prevent Your Deck From Screaming: Help! I’m Thirsty!

Everything Looks so much better with a maintained, nicely finished deck

It’s funny how  every time you have a new product or personal interest, you start noticing that very product seemingly everywhere. You know the feeling; if you’re shopping for cars, you’ll start seeing the same model everywhere and certainly the blue ones. Whether you’re shopping for a new roof, in the market for a bike, or you’re looking at what color to re-finish something, you selectively notice just these objects, colors, and styles everywhere you look.

Deck Cleaning Services available at The ARCH

Well, it has been this way with decks and other outdoor wood surfaces for The ARCH.  It’s seems that we want to breathe new life into old, cracking, (deteriorating in many cases)  wood surfaces. They seem to be everywhere!

What a difference just cleaning it makes. Next comes the finish

So much wood out there is  thirsty for both attention and a new finish! Give the wood a drink I say!

Before cleaning! Dirty and slippery with mildew

One of my daughters  was visiting Asheville this weekend looking at houses to rent and several places we looked at seem to keep up the interiors, but many of the exteriors and decks needed a great deal of attention.

Investing in maintenance and finishes is important. The deck and all that surrounds the house definitely influences the person looking for a new place.

Finish helps protect feet as well as the wood

In need of Vermont Natural Poly Whey exterior finish

If the wood is maintained the renter or seller may actually make the sale, children may not need shoes every time they walk across a sorry-looking deck, years could be added to the life of a house  exterior, and, if someone would only notice,the garden bench might actually make it another decade.

Autumn Red Exterior Finish

Vermont Natural Coatings not only provides protection, durability, and beauty, but it’s healthy, non-toxic and so easy to apply.

Healthy finish required for Health Food bins

I read that a health food store coated vegetable boxes with a Vermont Natural Coatings finish and they’re loving the product because it is non-toxic as well as durable. Shown here are a few projects showing some happy decks and happier homeowners.

Hopefully, I’ll start noticing the details of islands and the varying shades of blue in the ocean!

For more information about Vermont Natural Coatings exterior, flooring and furniture finishes click here.

New Exterior color

New color just in! Exterior Finish Barn Red

All Vermont Natural Coatings products are available at The ARCH.  We also offer deck cleaning service.Free estimates in the Asheville area.

Vermont Natural Coatings- Great Choice to Restore Decks, Siding, and More

Available in Gallons, 5 gallon buckets, and quarts

Unless your deck is totally covered, the access to your deck is paved from all sides, you have no pets, and you wear slippers to walk across your deck- it’s going to get a mean work out- every year.

 Abrasion and the weather elements are going to take it’s toll. North Carolina’s  2010 winter meant frequent snow piled high on our deck- which meant c-o-n-t-a-c-t with the shovel from time to time. We work in the yard a great deal, so unless you have a “shoes off” policy for your deck,  (inside maybe- but the deck?), here again, comes a good bit of dirt,  sand, and  occasional gravel stuck in your soles. Then there’s the intense sun exposure- especially during the summer months. The list goes on… but don’t forget the dog racing back and forth in excitement.

Toenails the Dog

Your deck needs something tough and you need something non-toxic, and we highly highly recommend Vermont Natural Coatings Poly Whey Exterior Finish.  Just last summer  (before we carried Vermont Natural Coatings in our showroom),  we applied “a different” brand that was admittedly toxic-we thought we had picked a “relatively safe” choice among the  selection at a big box store (a very bad decision – and we know better).  Hey, we’ll be applying it outside right? Wrong. Evaporation is not a funny thing when it comes to toxins and I, for one, unfailingly ended up with a headache and this was just one symptom that I was aware of. As for cost? It wasn’t worth it for a minute. A year later our deck looked pretty bad once again, and what’s our health worth?  As dealers of Vermont Natural Coatings since the Fall of 2010, we are thrilled to have a product we have full trust in and continue to receive great feedback about.

Worn out deck refreshed with VNC's Exterior finish with Acorn Brown tint. Previously the deck had a brown stain, of which VNC can be applied over. Keep in mind, this deck has seen a decade of wear. Imagine the finish over a smooth pristine wood surface!

We can’t say enough good stuff about Vermont Natural Coating’s products- all of their products. It feels good knowing we’ve recently put down a really great product. It’s coverage is superb, it’s cost is very reasonable, and it’s a sustainable, durable product. Best of all- when we applied Vermont Natural Coating we experienced NO toxic fumes during or after the application and no headaches to worry about.

Detail of older deck with VNC Exterior finish- Acorn Brown tint

ALSO -great for decks, fences,siding, railings, and outdoor furniture!

We are very excited to now stock Vermont Natural Coatings at The ARCH. We also carry their non-toxic wood cleaner which is safe for all wood surfaces, vegetable-based, and safe for people and pets.

Exterior application instructions

Vermont Natural Coatings was  designated a Top-10 green building product at Greenbuild, the premier annual green building event.

Give us a call at The ARCH at 828 253 5455.  Also, please know we can have the product shipped to you! Hey, Northern Michigan friends- I know what your decks go through!

February Newsletter News

Etched Copper Switchplate detail

To view The ARCH February Newsletter click here

Taking a Closer Look At Selecting Healthy Flooring and Finishes

How intentional are your choices these days? What kind of building and finish materials do you live with? I watched a little girl  say “yes” to the CVS clerk when asked if she wanted a bag for her purchase the other day. The little girl had purchased a single pack of  (already) packaged gum. Out she ran with the bag around that oh so heavy and certainly awkward pack of gum. The store clerk didn’t get it and the little girl was taught absolutely nothing about conservation. From small purchases to larger ones the “compromise meter” should be leaning more towards “smart” than “stupid”  by now. Take the flooring industry for example.  By now most everyone knows that  toxic chemicals are present in many flooring products and finishes  on the market,  or perhaps we don’t want to wrap our minds around the fact that that “steal of a deal”  floor we’re interested in may have been manufactured where unjust labor practices take place, or perhaps lurking behind that “green” label is a company that is  wasteful and compromising on every other level. The ARCH chooses to work with companies with the highest environmental standards.   For more information about the companies and products we work with we invite you to check them out or give us a call and we will share what we know about sustainable practices. Whether you’re looking for a floor that is FSC- certified, LEED compliant, reclaimed or recycled,  whether the company maintains high standards for fair labor practices, high quality control, The ARCH has made an intentional choice to work with reputable flooring and finish companies.

Eco Timber Recycled Woven Poplar Flooring

Here are a few of the companies and their environmental standards that The ARCH is proud to be working with:

Eco Timber

Merida Meridan Natural Fiber Rugs

Vermont Natural Coatings

American Clay

January is a good month to think about detoxing your home. As noted in a LOHAS blog (Lifestyles of health and sustainability) the average home contains 500-1,000 chemicals resulting in indoor air quality that is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air

How about inviting more positive intentional changes into our environment?