Case STUDY of Wood and Wood Products
A client having a new house built wanted to create an “elegant and impressive library.” The designer was also the builder in this project. Steve Spanjer of Spanjer Homes in Fort Collins, Colorado, has over 30 years’ experience building custom homes for clients. To create an impressive look, the ceiling was raised from a normal residential level of 8 feet, to an impressive height of 14 feet. The library shelves, fireplace surround, and mantel were constructed of wood and wood products. Since different materials were used for construction, paint was applied to give the consistent appearance. In choosing the wood to be under the paint, care was taken to be sure the wood would not have a grain showing through. Poplar was chosen for some trim pieces because it shows little graining, is inexpensive, and is soft, which makes it easy to shape.
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Maple was chosen for the cabinet doors because it is stable (stable in the sense that it does not react to humidity, which would keep the paint from cracking). Also, maple is a dense hard wood with little graining, it holds screws better than MDF, and paint looks extremely smooth on it, adding an elegant feeling to the room. Intricate pattern trim was made from resin castings, but the long strips of molding trim were made of poplar wood. Medium-density fiberboard was used for structural pieces, such as the vertical sides of the fireplace opening, the mantel top, and the ceiling beams. The edge trim applied to these structures was poplar millwork. This one room was so intricate that it took three master carpenters one month to finish building. After that, it required a great amount of sanding to get every surface smooth enough for paint. The painting took another month.
To Create an Elegant and Impressive Library, Wood and Wood Products Were Chosen. Spanjer Homes
Wood is used in many forms in interiors. You will see pieces of solid wood used for ceiling beams, doors, stair railings, architectural mill-work, cabinet doors, and flooring. Wood veneers are used for wall paneling, cabinetry, flooring, and specialty ceilings. Wood chips are made into particle board or medium-density fiberboard for substrates in constructing floors, cabinets, and countertops. Wood is ground into a pulp to make paper that is used to cover interior walls or cover frames to become interior wall screens.
Wood has been used for interior surfaces in buildings as long as structures have been built. It is a natural resource from trees, which grow wherever they can get water. Trees are important to the earth’s atmosphere; they clean the air and absorb carbon dioxide. Therefore, it is important to harvest trees selectively, allowing for trees to be replanted and the forests to be regrown. Wood’s main disadvantage is that it will burn. When wood burns, it emits carbon dioxide and toxic chemicals into the environment.
New products from different types of plants are available that have many similar properties to wood. The newer products are from rapidly growing trees, which allows more products to be produced in a few years. The fast growth allows them to be considered renewable. As a result, they are more sustainable than hardwoods, which require many years to reach maturity.