You’re about to remodel, renovate, fix up, DIY or call a pro, and you’ve got questions! Get answers from design-build expert Mason Hearn, owner of Central Virginia’s HomeMasons.
Category >> hardwood

Jan 15

Old MacDonald Had Some Barnwood

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: safety, repairs, preservation, millwork, hardwood, exteriors


What are the pros and cons of pressure-washing old barn wood, versus using a scrub brush?




Good question.   The best method depends on the condition of the wood and your intent in regards its eventual use.

Pressure washing, in most instances, may seem the easiest, fastest way to clean the surface of old wood (whether you are trying to remove the aged patina, mildew, paint, etc).  If there is old paint on it, there may be concerns regarding the hazardous release of toxins from lead-based coatings (harmful to people and the environment).  Refer to the EPA RRP rule for handling

Oct 05

Floored by Squeaks and Groans, Oh, My!

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: repairs, hardwood, handyman, floors

Question for Mason : I don't know if it's the change in the temperature or what, but the former minor squeaks in my hardwood floor -- especially in the white pine in the kitchen -- are out of control. Is this something that your handyman folks can make go away?

I confess that I've tried fixing it myself. I read that you could rub graphite powder in the floor joints to fix. Can't tell you how %#@@ed-off my wife is about this now that there's black fill in the light floor that won't come out, and the floor still squeaks. (any tips on getting ground in graphite out of a light wood floor, while

Aug 11

Recycling Cedar for Flooring

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: renovation, hardwood, green, floors, DIY

We are buying a 1922 stick built home.  In the back two bedrooms the walls are tongue and groove cedar planks.  My question is if we can remove the planks and reuse them as flooring else where in the house??
Thank you



I certainly encourage all forms of recycling.  We should strive to make the most of our limited resources, and avoid waste wherever we can.

Generally, the most common forms of cedar, such as Eastern Red Cedar, may be used as flooring material.  Its color variation and grain patterns make it an interesting finish choice.

You should consider a few things regarding such

May 04

Patch to Match, This Way or That

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: renovation, hardwood, floors

 How do you repair hardwood floors after taking out walls? I want to take out a wall to open up my living space, but I don't want to redo or replace the existing flooring--it's not rare and important, but it is over 50 years old and in good shape. Can you patch the floor and make it look okay? The flooring runs perpendicular to the wall I want take out.

Amy O. Richmond, VA


I am reminded of a bit from The Honeymooners (I'm not that old, but we did have re-runs)... "Hire a doctor... Hire a lawyer...!" Actually, now, I'm not sure what that has to do with this, but it was indeed funny!

OK, back

Feb 06

Hard Time with Hardwood Floors

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: renovation, hardwood, floors

Our hardwood flooring was buckled in several areas, so we hired a flooring guy to sand and refinish all of it throughout our first floor. Two months later, those same areas have buckled again! What happened, and what do we do now?

Elsie M., Gum Springs

Dear Elsie:

There are several possibilities for this, but (without examining the before and after conditions), I can give you the “90% probability” response…

When the edges are higher than the middle of a wood board, this is known as “cupping”. This condition is typically caused by a higher moisture condition on the bottom of the boards, than

Latest News

HomeMasons introduces Whole Home Care service

Ask Mason

If you have a design, remodeling or home improvement question, all you have to do is ask. Click here!
© 2019 HomeMasons, Inc.