Thursday, November 7, 2013

Study Confirms EU Wood Consumption Has Negligible Impact On Deforestation / Nova USA

Welcome back to novausawood.blogspot.com, the most in-depth hardwood species series on the web. Today's blog is about EU wood consumption and its impact on deforestation.

The European Commission has just released a report entitled "Comprehensive analysis of the impact of EU consumption on deforestation". The implications of the report for EU policy in relation to tropical forests and the wider forest products sector could be profound. Underlying the report seems to be a realisation that, despite years of political dialogue and funding of programs targeting deforestation, the problem remains profound.

The report takes a good hard look at just how much, and in what ways, European consumption of resources is contributing to deforestation. By doing so, it aims to ensure development of policy and legislative measures that might actually make a difference. The report is a serious piece of work, prepared with the support of the European Environment Council, the European Parliament, and the European Economic and Social Committee (although the EC is careful to point out that it is an independent study not necessarily representing their views).


The report is particularly significant because it considers, in exhaustive detail, the impact on deforestation of EU consumption of all products and services, not just those derived directly from forest management. It therefore captures, and puts into context, the large role of commercial cash crops in driving deforestation. The report uses the concept of “embodied deforestation” to link deforestation to consumption. Essentially it quantifies the area of deforestation associated with the production of any good, commodity or service. The report combines a detailed review of data on the scale and location of deforestation with an analysis of the various drivers of deforestation around the world. It then determines the volume and direction of trade flows of all commodities linked to the deforestation process. For all relevant traded commodities, the report considers both the direct (e.g. conversion of forest into agricultural land) and indirect impacts (e.g. pollution from mining activities leading to forest degradation and later forest conversion).

Working through the numbers, the report ends up attributing 200,000 hectares of total global deforestation of 232 million hectares between 1990 and 2008 to the EU's imports of wood products. This compares to 8.7 million hectares attributed to EU imports of agricultural cash crops and livestock products. The report also shows that worldwide only 33% of deforestation embodied in crops and only 8% of deforestation embodied in livestock products enters international markets.

The report confirms forcibly something that many people in the wood industry have long suspected, that policy measures in consuming countries targeting only the wood trade - whatever their merits in improving environmental and social performance in other areas - can play little or no role to prevent or slow deforestation.


Measures targeting consumption of agricultural commodities, which have long been neglected, would be more effective. But even here the value of trade-based measures in isolation is constrained by the fact that a majority of product remains within the country of origin. At the very least, the report might discourage European policy makers and environmentalists from presenting EUTR, forest certification and legality verification as a necessary and effective response to deforestation. Instead, they might be encouraged to present such mechanisms for what they are, as a demonstration of innovation and leadership by the wood industry with useful lessons that urgently need to be applied to other industrial sectors.

If you have any questions regarding this species, or any of our other products, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Asian White Oak Hardwood Flooring Spotlight - Exotic Hardwood Leader / Nova USA

Welcome back to novausawood.blogspot.com, the most in-depth hardwood species series on the web. Today's blog is a product spotlight on the beautiful hardwood, Asian White Oak.

Asian White Oak (Quercus Mongolica) is just one of over 600 oak species in the Quercus genus. This particular oak species can be found growing throughout the easternmost parts of Asia in countries such as China, Russia, Mongolia, Korea and Japan. The color, appearance and properties of Asian White Oak are very similar to our own North American White Oak flooring (Quercus Alba). The wood is a pleasant tannish to medium brown color and will exhibit a fair amount of variation. It’s not uncommon to see hints of green, gray and pink in many of the boards. Hardness (1360), stability, grain and texture are also very similar to standard North American White Oak, all of which are optimum for use as hardwood flooring.

Asian White Oak (Quercus Mongolica)

To say that Oak is prolific is an understatement. Its 600 different species can be found throughout the entire Northern hemisphere in the form of trees and shrubs as well as deciduous and evergreen varieties. Prior to the 19th century Oak was used in the construction of Naval war ships as well as many prestigious buildings throughout Europe due to its strength and durability.

Asian White Oak Hardwood Flooring

Today it’s still commonly used around the world in all types of construction including barrels for whiskey and wine, musical instruments, roof shingles and corks. Different types of Oak are the national trees of the United States, England, Germany and Poland. Additionally, Iowa, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Georgia have all adopted an Oak as their State tree. Bottom line, Oak is a dominant species in the world of wood and as far as flooring goes it is the benchmark for price, availability, versatility, hardness, stability and demand.

Nova USA currently stocks Asian White Oak in Solid 3.25” and 4.9” widths with lengths 1’-4’. The products are available either Smooth or Handscraped and only available Prefinished.

If you have any questions regarding this species, or any of our other products, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cumaru (Brazilian Teak) Hardwood Flooring Spotlight - Exotic Hardwood Leader / Nova USA

Welcome back to novausawood.blogspot.com, the most in-depth hardwood species series on the web. Decking season is just kicking in, so today's blog is a product spotlight on one of the most sought after decking hardwoods available, Cumaru.

Cumaru, also referred to as Brazilian Teak, is the lighter, color-sorted, pieces of regular Cumaru. Cumaru flooring is commonly sorted into Light and Dark shades. The Dark colored pieces are typically sold as Dark/Red Cumaru or Brazilian Chestnut while the Light colored pieces have assumed the name Brazilian Teak. In lower non-color sorted grades the species is simply referred to as Cumaru.

Light Cumaru


Dark Cumaru

Cumaru/Brazilian Teak is a beautiful tannish to dark brown color with shades of yellow and caramel throughout. The grain of the species is interlocked and wavy with a coarse texture. Cumaru is exceptionally hard with a Janka rating of 3200; 36% harder than Brazilian Cherry. From a stability stand-point Cumaru can be temperamental, especially in wider widths that are being installed in dry/arid climates. Proper installation procedures should be strictly adhered to when working with this species.

Cumaru Hardwood Decking

Of the five core flooring species imported from South America (Brazilian Cherry, Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood and Santos Mahogany) only Brazilian Teak offers that warm, neutral, tannish-brown color so many customers ask for. That’s not to say Brazilian Teak is more elegant, or better, than the other species, but aesthetically speaking it is in a category by itself.

Nova USA imports Cumaru/Brazilian Teak in 3/4" x 3”, 3-1/4”, 4”, & 5” widths. The product is Clear grade with 1’-7’ lengths and is available both Prefinished and Unfinished.

If you have any questions regarding this species, or any of our other products, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Massaranduba (Brazilian Redwood) Hardwood Flooring Spotlight - Exotic Hardwood Leader / Nova USA

Welcome back to novausawood.blogspot.com, the most in-depth hardwood species series on the web. Today's blog is a product spotlight on another beautiful exotic hardwood, Massaranduba.

Massaranduba, along with being somewhat of a tongue twister, is also commonly known as Brazilian Redwood. In a Clear grade this species has a very uniform red tone; hence the Redwood name. Nova USA imports Clear grade Massaranduba flooring in unfinished only.

Unfinished Massaranduba Hardwood Flooring

Our prefinished flooring, on the other hand, is graded as Select & Better allowing for a slightly wider range of color, which includes tans, yellows, & browns.

Prefinished Massaranduba Hardwood Flooring

As Massaranduba ages it will slowly darken to a warm brownish-red color with plum undertones. The grain of the wood is considered tight and somewhat wavy. Similar to Patagonian Rosewood, Massaranduba is an extremely dense & durable wood that will hold up to the highest levels of foot traffic. Massaranduba has a hardness rating of 3190, which is equivalent to Cumaru and 2.5 times harder than Red Oak. Stability for this species is average.

Nova USA imports Massaranduba in 3/4" x 3”, 3-1/4”, 4”, & 5” widths. Lengths are random 1’-7’.

If you have any questions regarding this species, or any of our other products, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Prefinished Wood Floor Warranties - What's Covered & What's Not / Nova USA

Welcome back to novausawood.blogspot.com, the most in-depth hardwood species series on the web. Today's blog is all about hardwood flooring warranties.

Similar to many products on the market nowadays, prefinished hardwood floors are typically accompanied by a warranty. The most common advertised residential warranty is 25 years, however, you may also find 35 yr, 50 yr, 100 yr, and Lifetime warranties. This difference in years covered begs the question, “What’s the difference?”.

The fact of the matter is, there really isn’t any difference when it comes down to what’s covered and what’s not.

In the wood floor industry there are basically two types of residential warranties offered on prefinished floors – a Limited Finish Warranty and a Structural Warranty.

Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

A Structural Warranty is only offered on engineered floors and generally extends for the lifetime of the product. That “lifetime”, however, typically only applies to the original purchaser. Most warranties, both structural and finish, are not transferrable to a second owner.

The Lifetime Structural Warranty generally guaranties that the engineered wood floors plies will not separate, warp, buckle, or twist “under normal household conditions”. These normal household conditions encompass proper year-round temperature and humidity levels as well as regular maintenance outlined by the manufacturer. Additionally, manufacturer installation procedures must be followed for the warranty to remain intact.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Any deviation from these “normal household conditions” may affect the ability to uphold the structural warranty. Structural warranties are never offered on Solid wood floors.

Limited Finish Warranties are regularly offered for 25, 35, and 50 year periods and sometimes even 100 year periods. The majority of solid and engineered prefinished wood floors will usually be accompanied by this type of warranty.  It is the most marketed and the most mis-understood of the two types.

All Limited Finish Warranties, regardless of length, do not cover normal wear and tear. This applies to scratches, scuffs, dulling, and dents as well as any other abuse, or abnormal conditions, the floor may be subjected to. What they do cover is separation from the surface of the wood, i.e. peeling, defects and/or flaws created during the manufacturer’s application process, and premature wear-through which in essence means wearing entirely through the finish to the raw wood.  Keep in mind, however, “normal household conditions”, as noted above, must be present at all times for the warranty to remain in effect.

Additionally, common post-installation complaints such as gapping and cupping are never covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. Industry protocol states that it is the installer’s responsibility, as the final inspector, to ensure the wood flooring is acceptable for installation. If the moisture content of the flooring is too high or too low for the given region/application then it should be allowed to acclimate further. If these procedures are met and the floor gaps or cups in the future, then that would be the result of improper environmental conditions or some job-site malady; i.e. unstable temperature and/or humidity levels, wet subfloor, hot spot, burst pipe, etc.

Prefinished wood floors are a substantial investment and their warranties can offer value and protection from catastrophic events when properly adhered to. Be sure to thoroughly read the manufacturer’s warranty, as well as maintenance requirements, when considering a wood floor purchase. Realistic expectations are the first step to a happy, long term relationship between you and your hardwood floor.

Nova USA Warranty Links

  • Nova Elemental General Flooring Warranty
  • Nova Elemental Solid Prefinished Flooring Warranty
  • Nova Elemental Engineered Flooring Warranty

  • If you have any questions regarding our warranties, this blog, or our beautiful collection of hardwood floors, please don't hesitate to contact us.  novausawood.com

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

    Nova USA Exotic Hardwood Flooring - Wood Flooring 101 / Nova USA

    Welcome back to novausawood.blogspot.com, the most in-depth hardwood species series on the web. Today's blog is an in depth look at Nova USA's Exotic Hardwood Flooring.

    Nova USA’s solid hardwood flooring program specializes in imported exotic woods. Wood flooring in its simplest format breaks down into UF (unfinished - sand and finish application) and PF (prefinished – no sanding and finishing required). One can find UF and PF flooring in both solid and engineered wood compositions.
    • Solid Wood UF – These products are primarily sold through wholesale distribution to licensed flooring contractors. UF exotic hardwood flooring is most commonly used in new construction and larger, more extensive remodels. Due to the level of skill required to properly install, sand, and finish a hardwood floor, these are typically not ideal for a DIY project.

    • Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

    • Solid Wood PF – These products come out of the box finished and ready to install. Because they don’t require the sand and finish skills of a licensed contractor they are readily sold through flooring wholesalers and retailers, home improvement stores, as well as over the internet.

    • Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

    • Engineered Wood UF and PF – These products are sold through the same channels as Solid wood floors and may or may not require the skills of a licensed contractor. The versatility, and added stability, of engineered wood floors allow for easier installation in below grade applications as well as over concrete slabs and radiant heat subfloors.

    Engineered Hardwood Flooring

    Nova USA South American Exotic Hardwoods

    Exotic wood floors are our specialty. All of the species we import are sustainably harvested and Lacey Act compliant.  These incredibly unique woods have gorgeous coloring and figure in every piece and tend to rate at the higher end of the hardness scale.

    Exotic Hardwood Flooring

    Nova USA’s hardwood flooring can be analyzed using a number of different variables which are important to consider when one is looking for the best wood flooring product for their specific application:
    • Hardness: All are harder than oak (except genuine mahogany). Our Janka scale (on website) gives a hardest to least hard range which can be used to sell when customer indicates that hardness and resistance to marking is important to them. Note that despite wood hardness, finishes will still scratch whether factory finish (PF) or site finish (sand and finish job).

    • Color - A common selling variable: From rich, dark colors heavy in natural reds and browns to lighter tans, yellows, and creams, there is generally a pleasing option for any customer looking for a certain color tone to match their project.

    • Grain/figure: Our exotic imported hardwoods range from a very figured and color-varied look with wild grain to more uniform color and consistent straight grain visuals. Defining this point can help to focus on the best category to meet the given needs/desires of the project.

    • Composition: Solid wood vs. Engineered. As mentioned, engineered products are the best choice for certain applications – glue-down to concrete slab for example. Nova is mainly a solid wood flooring company and has fewer offerings in engineered. It should be noted that solid wood flooring can be glued to a concrete slab and is done so more than ever now thanks to many improvements in the adhesive products industry.

    • Thickness: Is a certain thickness desired or required for a particular job? This will direct the sale. Nova is strongest in solid ¾” thick and has few offerings in thinner products, which in solid wood are not nearly as common.

    • Price: While our exotics are generally more expensive than domestic woods, we do still have a range of prices. Defining a specific budget, combined with other desirable characteristics, will help to identify a category of products to consider.

    • Origin/Environmental: Nova offers both FSC and non-FSC products. All of our wood floors are sustainably harvested from natural forests and/or plantation grown. For more specific environmental information about our wood species and the forests they come from, please visit our website at www.novausawood.com.

    • Exotic hardwoods vs. Domestic woods: Nova USA’s exotic hardwood flooring is harder, denser and generally more durable than domestic woods such as Oak, Maple, Cherry, Walnut, Ash, & Hickory. Additionally, their stunningly beautiful colors, graining, and figuring are unmatched when compared to domestic species.

    Many UF and PF domestics, especially Oak, have become commodity items that are primarily sold based on price and price alone. Nova USA’s exotic hardwoods are a unique, value-added, niche product, which will personalize and add special character to any installation.

    If you have any questions regarding our beautiful collection of Exotic Hardwood Floors, please don't hesitate to contact us.  novausawood.com

    Monday, January 28, 2013

    Timborana (Brazilian Oak) Hardwood Flooring Spotlight - Exotic Hardwood Leader / Nova USA

    Welcome back to novausawood.blogspot.com, the most in-depth hardwood species series on the web. Today's blog is a product spotlight on a beautiful exotic hardwood species that is extremely versatile, Timorana

    Timborana, also known as Brazilian Oak, is an elegant light colored exotic hardwood species, which can be found throughout Central America & Brazil. The wood ranges in color from a light tannish-yellow to a slightly darker golden reddish-brown. As the wood ages it will slowly develop moderate red tones, which only enhance its overall beauty. The grain of the wood is interlocked with a medium to coarse texture. Timborana has a hardness rating of 1570 making it just a little more dense than North American Hard Maple. Additionally, it has an excellent stability rating.

    Timborana (Brazilian Oak) Hardwood

    Nova’s Timborana flooring is the perfect choice for anyone who’s looking for something just a little different and unique. Its moderate tones and simple warmth make it an excellent alternative to pedestrian woods like Oak, Maple, and Cherry. Ironically, these same qualities also make it an extremely versatile wood. Unlike bold species such as Ipe and Morado, which can be a little intimidating, Timborana will seamlessly blend with almost any surrounding.

    Timborana Hardwood Floors With Dark Stain

    Nova USA currently stocks Timborana in a 3/4" x 3-1/4” width; lengths are 1’-7’. The product is Clear grade and only available Prefinished.

    If you have any questions regarding this species, or any of our other products, please don’t hesitate to contact us.