INSTALLING NEW WOOD FLOORING IN YOUR OLD HOUSE

INSTALLING NEW WOOD FLOORING IN YOUR OLD HOUSE

Wood flooring is a major, character-defining feature in a bungalow & I vigorously encourage their restoration. However sometimes, they are so worn or damaged that it requires installing new wood flooring in your old house to provide a surface that provides sufficient safety & functionality. Fortunately, more often, they require only patching. This article is about the types of materials available which you would choose for patching or replacement.

One of my followers is preparing to replace her floors so I have been answering many questions for her, which is what prompted this article, putting together all the pieces.

Here are  the basics, in more detail than I have provided in the glossary. I will link to the wood flooring glossary when using terms that are covered there. It’s a really long article, so stay with me!

I write for you (& for my younger self, desperate to learn all these things to do right by my house) so any questions that you might have, I want them! If I have been unclear or omitted needed information, please let me know!

THE BASICS OF INSTALLING NEW WOOD FLOORING IN YOUR OLD HOUSE

Wood flooring products are referred to as tongue & groove, or T&G because protruding tongue is cut in one side of the board & a groove is cut in the other at the mill, allowing the pieces to be fit together closely when installed. This was done so nails could be hammered into the tongue & hidden from view by the groove. Before the advent of T & G flooring, boards were nailed from the top and these nails were visible.

In unfinished wood, the area above the groove, the top or wear layer, is ¼” thick. If you purchase salvaged wood, you need to ensure that the top layer is at least 3/16″ thick.

HARD & SOFT WOODS

Woods are categorized as hard or soft woods. The hardness of a wood is determined by its ability to resist indentation. Hardwood comes from broad leaved trees such as oak, ash, cherry, maple & poplar. Softwoods come from conifers, such as pine, fir, or spruce. To learn more about the hardness of woods, read this article by the National Wood Flooring Association here. You’ll see that there is great variation amongst the resistance of each category.

In many bungalows more than one species is used, either in patterns or in different rooms. Often the public areas were a more expensive hardwood & the private were a locally sourced softwood.

Widths of bungalow wood flooringThe wood found in most bungalows is called strip flooring. Hardwoods are mostly 2 ¼” wide by ¾” thick. Softwoods can be wider, usually 3 1/4″.

LENGTHS OF FLOORING

Wood can be purchased in different lengths, with each gradation being more costly. Often, the boards used in public areas were longer than those used in private areas.  However, in homes which have hardwood flooring such as oak in the public areas, with pine or fir (softwoods) floors in the private areas, the softwood floors were always longer in length than those of hardwood floors.

ORIGINAL
Hardwoods: 2′-8′, with an average of 4′.
Softwoods: 6′- room length, with the max at 16.’ It was common that many pieces would be 10′-15′ long.

TODAY
Hardwood solid, unfinished- (standard) 9″-7′ with an average of 2 1/2′ to 2 3/4″ wide. You can get specially milled flooring that is longer for more $$$.

Hardwood engineered, unfinished- better brands offer 1′ to 7′. 2 1/4″ width may not be available unless you have it custom milled at a much higher price.

Hardwood prefinished, solid today- varies between 9″-7′ for better products.

Hardwood prefinished, engineered today- no data. Varies greatly by manufacturer.

HOW WOOD IS CUT FROM THE LOG DETERMINES ITS APPEARANCE & STABILITY

PLAIN SAWN

This cut utilizes the whole log, with the smallest amount of waste, making it the least costly of all the grain patterns. It results in a large, course, looping grain pattern. Plain sawn wood is less dimensionally stable (The degree with which wood shrinks & swells with changing moisture content) than quarter sawn or rift sawn so will tend to expand & contract more across the width of the boards than quarter sawn lumber.

Should you need to replace flooring in your house, I often recommend that oak be used because it is both reasonably hard and traditionally used. I suggest that this cut be chosen for the private areas because though it lacks the excitement of quarter sawn, it is still a workhorse.

Should you not be able to access quarter sawn or reclaimed, this is a fine type of oak to use in your public areas with all the beautiful rugs of the Arts & Crafts era. Unless you are a museum, your honoring the natural materials of the Movement counts with me.

QUARTER SAWN

This is the wood of the Arts & Crafts Movement. When you gasp at the beauty of a Stickley piece, much of your awe & admiration are your reactions to the beautiful flecked graining, the Tiger Oak wood.

To produce the intense flame pattern, each log is sawed at a radial angle into four quarters. Then each quarter is cut along the center angles, near the center of the tree. (To better understand tree anatomy, read this article.) The wood from this cut twists & cups less than plainsawn, making for a more stable floor. It also wears more evenly under traffic.

Quarter sawn is more costly than plain sawn because it wastes more wood & is also more difficult to cut. I recommend its use in public areas where you want to impress your guests!

RIFT SAWN

Rift sawing is similar to quarter sawing, with many of the same advantages. The way that it is cut accentuates the vertical grain but minimizes the tiger stripe effect found in quarter sawn oak.

Also a pricey option, it mixes beautifully with quarter sawn in a public area. I think that a floor of all quarter sawn looks whiskery!  Rift sawn flooring was not used in older homes by itself, but was usually mixed with quarter sawn in a cut sold as “rift & quarter sawn” flooring. Today, standard milled oak flooring is sold as rift & quarter sawn as a mixed grade. You get more rift, usually 70% of the bundle, than quartered boards. This is much more economical than purchasing, from a specialty mill, all quartered or all rift cut oak. Place the boards strategically so that it is varied throughout the floor.

GRADES OF LUMBER USED IN WOOD FLOORING

There are more grades, but none that are appropriate for use in a bungalow. Some of the omitted grades are lacking in character (considered imperfections) & lose the look of real wood & some have too much character & appear too rustic.

Here’s straight from the big guys, the National Wood Flooring Association:

SELECT OAK

Contains all the variations in coloration produced by the contrasting differences of heartwood & sapwood. Also included are minimal character marks, such as small knots, worm holes, & mineral streaks, as well as slightly open characters.

The combination creates a floor where the light sapwood & dark heartwood are combined with small characters & other small color interruptions.

Should you be unable to access reclaimed wood or quarter sawn, in newly harvested wood, this grade, in plain sawn, is a good choice for your public areas. Arts & Crafts patterned rugs are perfect accents for bungalows & this grade of flooring will look beautiful with them in your home. Honest. View some beautiful ones I have collected for you on my Pinterest board, here.

#1 Common oak

#1 COMMON OAK

A flooring product characterized by greater color variation than Select, that also contains prominent characters (with size limits) such as knots, open checks, worm holes, along with machining & drying variations.

#1 Common is a tasteful floor where prominent variation is expected. I think it looks fine in private areas, but you need to make sure that the colors are well placed, so that the floor doesn’t look like a study in color-blocking! You can use the shorter, knottier pieces, or ones with more blemishes in your closets.

#2 Common oak#2 COMMON OAK

#2 Common may contain sound natural variations of the forest product & is suitable for homes, general utility use, or where character marks & contrasting appearance is desired.

I like this choice in finished attics because I like them to look like what they are! In unfinished products, this is a material that you can paint without feeling bad about it. And don’t try to hide the character marks. It’s an attic!

THE BEST CHOICE IN AN OLD HOUSE- RECLAIMED OR SALVAGED WOOD

This is your first choice. Reclaimed, old-growth wood is milled from lumber harvested from ancient forests that is either rescued as logs from the bottoms of rivers & milled into lumber for various uses, or is removed from old buildings & re-milled for other purposes. Sometimes old flooring is salvaged & employed again as flooring which often does not require milling. You can see some cool videos about it here.

Recycled wood is available in solid unfinished, solid prefinished & also in engineered, unfinished or prefinished.

Should your site finished (as opposed to factory finished) floor require patching, this is the type of wood that you will need to use, especially if your floors are old heart of pine. You can read about its properties & its value here.

TYPES OF WOOD PRODUCTS

UNFINISHED WOOD FLOORING

Professional floor sanding machineThis is the type of wood that was installed in our old houses when they were built. It requires sanding & finishing on site after installation is completed. Today it is milled from newly harvested trees, generally grown on tree farms. It can also be milled from reclaimed material, or, salvaged as flooring from old buildings.

Unfinished wood flooring, either newly milled or reclaimed, is available in solid or engineered.

After unfinished wood is completely installed, it is sanded, sometimes stained, & then coated with a protective finish. This article explains many of the finish options available.

Unfinished flooring allows you to create a completely custom floor so that you can match or complement the other floors in your home.

PREFINISHED WOOD FLOORING

A prefinished floor is one on which the stain & finish (a clear, protective coating) are applied at the factory. There are many tough finishes available from oil penetrating finishes which provide a matte finish, natural look, to polyurethanes which coat the wood & are available in matte to high gloss. Most of the finishes you can use on a site finished floor are avail in prefinished. You can read about them here. You are going to want to choose one with a medium gloss which mimics wax or shellac. As far as choosing a sheen level, a matte floor shows dust, dirt & fur & a shiny one obscures the grain & shows scratches & dust, dirt & fur.

The factory/manufacturer applied finishes, especially products at the higher end, are very tough, & are more durable than those applied on the job to unfinished wood. Many prefinished products can be sanded at least once. If you do not have to match existing flooring, it can be a good option, with a few caveats.

Here’s where prefinished floors can have a drawback. In your old floor, after the raw, unfinished wood was laid, several passes were made over it with a sanding machine to fully level all sides of the boards where they join the next rows. This sanding is not done on a prefinished floor. The boards are sanded at the factory before the finish is applied. Consequently, there may be some differences in leveling from board to board. There are several ways in which manufacturers cut the wood at the factory (mill) to make the final floor appear flat.

BEVELED EDGE

These products have a very distinctive groove in them.

EASED EDGE

This is the most common. Each board is just slightly beveled. Some manufacturers add an eased edge to both the length of the planks as well as the end joints. Even this small groove helps hide uneven plank heights. Eased edge is also called a micro-beveled edge.

SQUARE EDGE

The edges of all boards meet squarely creating a uniform, smooth surface that blends the floor together from board to board, giving it the same appearance as an old floor. High-end mills offer this option at a higher cost because each board must be cut with great precision. This floor will still not be as flat as a floor that has been sanded on site.

CONSTRUCTION CHOICES IN WOOD FLOORING

SOLID FLOORING

Your traditional floor, which you would find as the original flooring in your historic bungalow. This flooring is cut from one piece of wood. When you look at a piece of it from the side, you see no striations/layers.

ENGINEERED FLOORING

This type is created in layers that are glued together. The veneer on the top is called the wear layer & can be of varying thicknesses.

The wear layer of engineered floors can be from 1/32″ to 1/4″ (1 mm to 6 mm) thick, again, affecting the price point.

This method of construction increases the stability of the boards. Especially in high moisture areas or situations, I think it can be a good choice. The majority of the time, these products are prefinished & have the 3 above edging characteristics. Square edged prefinished engineered floors are uncommon & at a much higher price point than are beveled ones.

Engineered wood can also be sold as square edged unfinished, but is more expensive than most prefinished flooring. Usually the wear layer is at least 3 mm on these products. I like this product in humid climates.

WHAT IS VENEER?

Engineered hardwood flooring is built up using layers of plywood or a high density fiber board then on the top a layer of wood veneer, to create the look of real hardwood. Veneer is a thin layer of wood or other material for facing or inlaying wood. Veneer is made of a particular material that is applied to a different material in order to create a more desirable surface appearance than that of the basic material of the object.

SAWN FACE VENEER

The dry-sawn face method creates a thicker layer (4 mm) of veneer than the other methods. This method creates a veneer with an appearance that is identical to solid hardwood in color, grain, & character. (See cut & grain examples above.) This method produces the least amount of usable veneer so it is more costly than the other two methods below.

SLICED VENEER

Slice-cut is the second most common way to create a wood veneer. The finished wood presents a lovely face, like the sawn face above, but is in thinner layers (2mm or less) & is generally less pricey.

Rotary veneerROTARY PEELED VENEER

In this method, the log is put on a spit & peeled in a long, thin layer. The wood is then flattened which is damaging to its integrity & wearability. This cutting & flattening process produces an unnatural, repeating, unattractive grain pattern. It does create the maximum amount of product from the wood, so it is sold at the lowest price point.

That’s why there’s so much of it out there. I hate it! Be aware that, because of its low price, it is often chosen by flippers. If you see a floor that almost looks like wood, & is touted as being wood, this is likely what it is. 

Engineered flooring has gotten a bit of a hit because the inferior products produced by this method. Engineered wood is a good, durable product & is quite suitable in a historic house- if- you choose the first method. I do not recommend the sliced veneer & do NOT choose rotary veneer flooring.

Porch wood floorPORCH FLOORS IN BUNGALOWS

We replaced a covered porch deck on a 1907 Folk Victorian that we restored & used pressure treated, 3/4″ by 3 & 1/8″ wide, yellow, T & G pine which at least in Florida, is available in a pressure treated product.

Pressure treated wood must dry 30 days before it can be primed & painted. We painted the bottom of the boards before installation & the top after. You might be able to get pressure treated decking which has been kiln dried after it is treated, so the 30 days can be omitted. Sanding is required to give you a smooth level surface, just like with any wood floor.

Porch boards are subject to much wear & water. It is really important to make sure that they are slightly angled so that the water runs off. It’s also a good idea to have a large squeegee on a long handle so that you can dry them after a rain.

MY TOP CHOICES WHEN INSTALLING NEW WOOD FLOORING IN YOUR OLD HOUSE

In answer to the Good, Better, Best question of my follower:

BEST: 2 ¼” wide, reclaimed wood or salvaged old growth wood flooring, (with a 3/16” or thicker wear layer for 3/4″ T&G flooring, whether it be solid or engineered) of whatever species & grade was in your house originally. In any single house, there could have been more than one species, generally a pricier hardwood in the public areas & a less costly softwood (usually 3 1/4″ wide by 3/4″ thick) in the private. (This is the wood that you need for patching.)

Hire a qualified pro to sand & finish it. Reclaimed wood is $$$$$ & you don’t want to waste it.

BETTER: Select 2 ¼” wide, newly milled, farmed quarter sawn oak, either unfinished or prefinished (squared edged, please see above) solid or engineered with a thick veneer, for public areas. For private areas, 2 1/4” wide, in Select or #1 common oak. You do not want to use farmed softwoods. They are ridiculously soft.

If you want to finish it yourself, I recommend that you ensure that the equipment that you use is the latest & greatest & dust free, well maintained & calibrated. Then study these videos.

GOOD: A Select plainsawn wood floor that is either prefinished or unfinished, solid or engineered. Just no heavy bevels & no rotary veneer. (All are covered above.) Same instructions for sanding & finishing.

CAVEAT

Installing it too, or farming it out to a carpenter or handy friend, make sure that they & that they wear the correct PPE & if you are living in the house, or even visiting, please understand the materials that are being used wear it too.  Read this!

OLD HOUSE RESTORATION VIDEOS- Wood Flooring for Your Bungalow

This is not a DIY site. There are plenty of such sites & I applaud them!

Personally, I am not handy. But, I do like a project done correctly & have hired & supervised many tradespeople. Should you be of a similar mind, the more knowledge that you have of construction, the better you can judge competency & oversee your flooring project. These videos focus on the subject of wood flooring for your bungalow.

From books, I have taught folks whom I hired to work on my homes, about the care & feeding of the materials in old houses. I wish that I would have had these videos at the time!

And for those of you who are doing it yourself, my cloche is off to you. I hope these wood flooring videos are helpful & that your floors are smooth & beautiful!

And because I think I’m everybody’s mother: Installing & finishing wood floors is not rocket science, but they have their own precision technology. To become truly proficient takes years. I watched my husband work at mastering the skill over a period of 45 years & at retirement, he still did not feel he knew everything is to know.

WATCH & LEARN ABOUT WOOD FLOORING FOR YOUR BUNGALOW!

How to Acclimate Hardwood Flooring (6:57)
RW Supply+Design

And don’t forget to acclimate your kitchen flooring in the kitchen! Yes, it will be a major pain, but cupping is more so!

How To Install Tongue and Groove Flooring (10:06)
Ask This Old House

An informative video that includes a written list of the tools & materials required.

Installing Engineered Wood Flooring (NWFA)
Greenleaf Floor

Because I’m a fan of some (not all!) engineered wood.

How to Repair a Tongue-and-Groove Wood Floor (4:53)
This Old House

Because a 100 year old floor always has some boo-boos!

How To Sand and Finish Wood Floors (28:03)
American Sanders

An overview only! Watch the rest of the one below.

Bona® Sand & Finish Training – Chapter 1: Preparation (17:29)
Bona Professional

A more detailed look at sand & finish. There are 4 chapters, each one automatically following the next. Watch them all!

How-to Restore Wood Floors (25:34)
About Your House with Bob Yapp

Another option from a master.

Visit Bob to see all the educational opportunities he offers here.

Should you have questions regarding wood flooring for your bungalow, visit my page of articles here. With 45 years in the trade, specializing in old houses, I have a lot to say!

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BUNGALOW HARDWARE RESOURCES

BUNGALOW HARDWARE RESOURCES

Bungalow HardwareThe Arts & Crafts Movement highly revered the dignity of labor & valued good design. These attributes were evident in their use of the humbler metals- the hand-hammered copper, molded bronze & forged iron- of our bungalow hardware. The abundance of natural materials, employed “honestly,” that is to say, not molded, painted or otherwise contrived to resemble that which it was not, is one of the hallmarks of the Movement & one of the most charming features of our homes.

Bungalows come to us with hardware in various conditions. In the Hare House, I was stunned to discover that the majority of the hardware that adorned my built-in sideboard was intact & I was even happier to discover that I could easily resource the missing pieces.

My Tampa house was not so fortunate. I had to replace almost every one of my doors & find hardware for them also. It took several months of combing salvage outlets & eBay but at long last everything was in place. I used reproduction hardware for the sideboard & colonnades that I created- a far easier task!

I am going to caution you once again to choose the hardware that is appropriate for your house. It is tempting to want to use the largest, most ornate accents in the attempt to embellish your home. However, making choices more in line with the charm it already possesses, be it modest or or mega, will be more more enhancing.

THE LIST OF BUNGALOW HARDWARE RESOURCES

Bungalow hardware resourceAntique Hardware Supply

An extensive offering of period-style lighting, interior, pocket & exterior door, window, cabinet & bath hardware. They have a page dedicated to Arts & Crafts for easy bungalow shopping.

Antique Hardware Supply provides consultations with experienced designers who are experts in period style hardware.

 

Bungalow hardware resource Bathroom Machineries

Antique plumbing fixtures, obsolete plumbing parts & faucet restoration. Many of their products are made or designed right in their own shop by plumbing experts.

They offer a huge choice of manufacturers & products.

 

Bungalow hardware resource HippoHippo Hardware

An eclectic building salvage store specializing in hardware, lighting, architecture & plumbing.

They also provide lighting and lamp repair with a fully UL certified lighting repair shop that can customize length, finishes, plating, & configuration. Their plumbing department will coordinate refinishing with local companies. The hardware department is able to customize with darkening, refinishing, cleaning & rebuilding.

 

Bungalow hardware resource Historic HousepartsHistoric Houseparts

Antique & new hardware & parts for doors & furniture, plumbing fixtures & hardware, lighting fixtures & parts, heat registers & grills & most everything else that you might need to restore your bungalow.

Their blog is very interesting & has some great images.

 

Bungalow hardware resource House of Antique HardwareHouse of Antique Hardware

Locksets & door sets, push & kick plates, window & cabinet hardware, lighting & electrical & more. They give you the opportunity to select Arts & Crafts in each category, making for easy shopping.

They are very knowledgeable & will give you great advice.

 

Bungalow hardware resource KennedyKennedy Hardware

A huge array of hardware for furniture, much of which you could use for cabinets. Some door hardware.

I’m just going to recommend that you visit the site & poke around their lo-o-o-o-ng list of products. They offer free shipping to anywhere in the U.S. for orders over $100.

 

Bungalow hardware resource KilianWm. A. Kilian

Door & window hardware including weatherstripping, cabinet, window & curtain hardware & myriad more items of many types & functions.

BTW, they also have the cutest stand-up clothes dryer I have ever seen!

 

Bungalow hardware resources Liz's Antique HardwareLiz’s Antique Hardware

Liz’s is chock full of old goodies & I loved visiting there when I lived in L.A. A great site feature is the history of hardware,  & an extensive hardware glossary.

I think that the best way to understand this store is to visit the Facebook page that has great photos of this hardware paradise.

 

Bungalow hardware resource Nostalgic WarehouseNostalgic Warehouse

I’m plunking you down right in their Collections section so you can easily navigate to the door hardware of your dreams.

They construct in solid-forged brass & offer 8 custom finishes.

 

Bungalow hardware resources Van Dyke's Restorers. Van Dyke’s Restorers
The Source for All Your Renovation & Restoration Needs

Once again, you’ll be landing in their A&C section of this massive catalogue of supplies. Van Dyke’s has a great reputation amongst restoration folks.

 

Vintage Hardware & Lighting

An enormous selection of products so this is the link to their Arts & Crafts section. They have a full menu on the left side of each page to you can get anywhere you want to shop easily.

Visit my Pinterest page to see some very cool hardware from many of these folks!

In addition to these vendors, Facebook Marketplace place can be a treasure for the old house owner as can eBay & Etsy. And don’t forget to check out salvage stores!

I implore you to send me any bungalow hardware resources that you might have that are not included my list. Hardware can be completely missing from an abused old house & it can be a major challenge to replace it.

MORE BUNGALOW RESOURCES!

Historic lightbulbLIGHTING
A series of article on lighting which includes sources for antique lighting as well as work by the modern masters & also reproduction fixtures.

WINDOW TREATMENTS
How to choose window coverings that will give you privacy & enhance the beauty & character of your home.

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THE BEST FRUIT OF A GARDEN.

THE BEST FRUIT OF A GARDEN.

Craftsman GardenTHE CRAFTSMAN
Volume 6
April 1904-September 1904

by Alice M. Rathboxe

Long and serious discourses upon happiness have ended without a word for the value of gardening as one of the very simplest means to that end. The truly wise, however, know full well this happy secret, and rejoice accordingly in the best of all the fruits of garden labor.

To Emerson’s, “Give me health and a day,” let us add a little garden. “The pomp of emperors” is indeed “ridiculous” compared with the bliss that comes from “a few and cheap elements”‘ within reach of almost all of us. One condition only is to be met if we would grow this fruit called happiness to perfection, and pluck it with unmingled joy. It must flourish in a garden not too large to be under its fortunate owner’s personal care. No factotum, be he ever so well disposed really to help should be allowed to invade the little garden after the turning of the earth accomplished in the spring, lest opportunities for happiness escape us. The sowing of the seed, the tucking comfortably away of the wonderful bulbs in the fresh earth, the staking and training of plants, even the weeding of borders and the sweeping of walks, are all so many means of grace to the garden-lover.

“IS A FIT OF BLUES IMPENDING?”

Then sally forth well armed with trowel, rake, hoe—all the needful weapons—and the demons will fly before you, quite dismayed by the variety of fresh interests to be found even in a garden reduced to its simplest terms.

A neighbor, transplanted from her maiden home into new and somewhat uncongenial surroundings, found unfailing relief from homesickness, in her garden, through the summer, among her window-plants, in winter. Resolutely would she turn to Mother Earth for the comfort denied her elsewhere.

Child in Craftsman GardenEqual to its efficacy as a mind cure, is its effect for good on physical ills. Yet gardening as a remedial proposition is, unfortunately, not half so popular among us as patent medicines.

“In half an hour,” says Charles Dudley Warner in “My Summer in a Garden.” “I can hoe myself right away from this world as we commonly see it, into a large place where there are no obstacles.”

That “large place” should be the inheritance of all who can compass the use of a bit of earth, and to this end a taste for gardening should be encouraged among children. Whoever succeeds in planting in a child’s mind a love for ‘”the green things growing,” deep enough to reach a willingness to work for them, makes for the greater happiness of one life throughout all its stages. Gifts of seeds, roots and tools will help the little Adams and the Eves to realize the delights of a Paradise which may lie, perchance, in some neglected corner of the back yard, and as the little folk cultivate, at the same time, their gardens and their tastes, they are providing themselves with a pleasant resource for their declining years.

“THE LITTLE ARTS OF HAPPINESS”

Woman in Craftsman GardenLady Mary Wortley Montague tells us “Gardening is certainly the next amusement to reading, and as my sight will now permit me little of that, I am glad to form a taste that can give me so much employment, and be the plaything of my age, now that my pen and needle are almost useless to me.”

In a garden, if anywhere, “the little arts of happiness” do certainly abound. As one goes out of a morning, the opening of a long-watched-for blossom may change the aspect of a whole day, and it is precisely this simple, natural coming of the garden pleasures that makes them never ending, while the happy garden hours last. Nowhere, however, does staid old Father Time allow himself to take on such flighty ways as in a garden—the pleasant hours are gone before one knows—and this trick of his is the nearest approach to a flaw in the joy of the summer-time.

Our good old Henry—factotum, philosopher and friend in one—summed up this question of the best fruit of a garden in his own wise way : “You don’t want a garden too large,” said he, “just large enough to make you happy. It’ll do that. I’ve tried it many a time. It makes you feel good when you feel bad.”

“Who loves his garden, still keeps his Eden.”

To learn more about Gustav Stickley, the publisher of The Craftsman magazine which featured this eloquent article, click here.

MORE ON CRAFTSMAN GARDENS

Please read my article on Native gardens, which I consider to be a perfect complement to any bungalow, as well as being very user & Earth friendly.

Treat yourself to more wonderful garden images on my Pinterest page.

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BUNGALOW TILE RESOURCES

BUNGALOW TILE RESOURCES

bungalow Tile

You are wondering about what tile is appropriate for your bungalow. So, what is bungalow tile & what are the resources available to obtain it?

The tile most appropriate & at home in a bungalow, is of the Arts & Crafts Movement, unsurpassed in beauty & variety. While the masters of the period, such as Batchelder, are long gone, there is a wonderful group of modern day artisans, working in the Arts & Crafts aesthetic. They produce tiles that could enhance your bungalow, either installed on your fireplace, in your kitchen or bath, or mounted in a tiger oak frame in your study. I have collected these resources & hope that I have included enough images for you to understand what each company offers. It’s a very extensive list, but I feel that each maker, from the well-known to the more obscure, is worth viewing.

A LIST OF BUNGALOW TILE RESOURCES

American Restoration Tile

Arts & Crafts tiles resource

ART uses modern manufacturing technology to exactly duplicate the sizes & colors of old ceramic tile, manufacturing to your design specifications, or suggesting colors and patterns to correspond with your era of restoration.

Their unglazed porcelain products have:
• flat tops (no cushioned edges)
• square edge (no rounded corners)
• impervious surfaces
• the style of the early 1900’s

ART’s Historical Color Palette is very informative about the tile colors that were used during different periods in design.

Historic tile colors for your bunaglow

Arts and Craftsman, LLC

Arts & Crafts Tiles

5/8” thick, Stoneware clay, hand glazed in lead free, food safe glazes. Suitable for all indoor applications. Each tile has a notch on the back for hanging.

Carreaux du Nord Fine Art Tile

Srts & Crafts tile resource

They feature made to order art, border & field tiles for fireplaces, backsplashes in the Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau & Prairie styles, in your choice of either a gloss or matte finish.

Emu Tile

Arts & Crafts Tile Emu

Beautiful, art tile by hand, durable enough for most household applications.

Heritage Tile

Arts & Crafts tile

Specializing in classic, traditional & authentic ceramic tile & stone, they include Design Guides on their website to assist you in choosing appropriate tile. Their Subway Ceramics collection, available in The Bungalow Series, offers satin glazes in a variety of historic colors, as well as many complementary accessories. They also carry mosaic tiles & field & border patterns.

Kuilema Pottery

Custom Handmade Architectural Ceramics & Tile
Handmade relief tiles available in many different, lovely colors & two different sizes. They also offer matching field tile & borders in all glazes.

L’Esperance Tile Works

Arts & Crafts Tile

Experts in the manufacture and restoration of Craftsman-era tiles. They offer a full line of tiles in 3 sheens.

Medicine Bluff Studio

Arts & Crafts tiles

These distinctive, nature inspired, handmade tiles are available in a beautiful palette of glazes.

Mission Tile West

A family owned tile business, their in-house designers will work with you to choose the right tiles to create history, in your own, personal style.

MonteVoepel Copper Art Tiles

Monte, the creator of these tiles, had worked as a potter for a number of years, when he was drawn to durability, warmth & beauty of copper, a material used by many other Arts & Crafts artists.

Moravian Pottery & Tile Works

This company is actually a history museum, owned by Bucks County in Pennsylvania, & operated by TileWorks, a non-profit organization. The tiles are reissues of original designs & are still handmade in a manner similar to those created by Henry Chapman Mercer, the founder, a major contributor to the American Arts & Crafts Movement. They offer workshops & an apprenticeship program to teach the art of handcrafting ceramic tiles & mosaics.

Motawi Tile Works

Motawi Bungalow tiles

Motawi makes handcrafted ceramic art tiles as well as designing larger-scale tile installations, including fireplace facades, bathrooms & kitchen walls.

Pasadena Craftsman Tile

Bungalow tiles from Pasadena Craftsman

Exquisite tiles, many inspired by Batchelder, are made to order by this mother-daughter duo, specifically for your project. They offer brilliant design services to make your installation perfect.

Pewabic Pottery

“We believe in the alchemy of earth and fire.”
Founded in 1903, Pewabic is one of the oldest continually operating potteries in the country. Shown above is a beautiful installation for a birthing center.

Terra Firma

Terra Firma Arts & Crafts Tile

Handmade Arts & Crafts high fired & frost resistant tile, suitable for use indoors or out-fireplace surrounds & hearths, kitchen backsplashes, walls, light use floors, stair risers, swimming pools, showers & bathrooms.

Tile Restoration Center

Bungalow tiles from Tiles Resource Center

Reproduction of American Arts and Crafts Tiles, Ernest Batchelder and Claycraft Designs for fireplaces, fountains, floors, wainscot, kitchen & bath.

Weaver Tile

Weaver tiles
High quality, high fire decorative tiles, most of which are are hand pressed in molds that are made from their original sculpted works. Inspired by gardening, wildflowers & nature.

To see even more wonderful tiles, visit my Pinterest page!

Old typewriter

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