The Official Nova USA Wood Products Blog

Welcome to the Nova Blog. We have written many articles over the years about our hardwood products and we hope that we can help educate the hardwood flooring, decking and siding community about our beautiful, natural wood products. Our ultimate goal is help the customer make the right choices when using and specifying hardwoods. We have been importing and selling some of the most beautiful hardwoods on the planet - and now we also offer our proprietary Tung oil finish and patented decking and siding hidden fastener clips.

Our products are often sold as part of a system designed to perform at the highest level possible. Utilizing resilient clips and finishing off your project with the best exterior wood stain available is our solution to typical problems encountered with hardwoods used in exterior conditions. We are the first company to offer comprehensive Real Wood Solutions.

Biophilic Interior Design Article by Wood for Good

Bring Natural Elements into Your Interior Design

We often camp, hike or explore the outdoors as a way to feel calm and centered in our busy lives. Its not everyday we have time to make it outdoors, but there is a close second. By bringing nature indoors through design, that wonderful feeling can be obtained without leaving your home or office!

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Lower Your Blood Pressure, Increase Your Concentration, Reduce Stress - All with Wood!!

Nova Blog Photo

In a recent article by Wood for Good, Oliver Heath, founder of Oliver Heath Designs, is interviewed about Biophilic interior design principles. Research shows that using wood in interior finishes can have a stress-reducing affect similar to nature such as reduced blood pressure, heart rate, stress and pain perception and improvement in emotional states. Employees in workplaces with less than 20% wooden work surfaces are far less satisfied with their working life and physical workplace compared to those with a high proportion of wood (more than 60% visibility of wood). In those places with more than 60% timber, physical workplace satisfaction increased from 47% to 81% and optimism about future increased from 44% to 61%. The ability to concentrate also increases from 65% to 83%. And we see this evidence across nearly every sector, evidence that demonstrates this use of timber.

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By Katja Wahl, 09/21/21

ExoShield: Tips, Tricks and FAQ's

ExoShield: Tips, Tricks and FAQs

We receive many questions regarding the proper application practices of our ExoShield wood stain, so we thought it would be best if we answered many of the questions we've received in a comprehensive blog article.

First and foremost, we want to thank everyone who's purchased Nova's ExoShield wood stain and hope that you find the following information helpful.

ExoShield Rolling Angelim Pedra

There are several components that can affect the results when using ExoShield, but if you follow our advice below, you should be left with a beautiful and long-lasting result.

What's the best weather for applying ExoShield and how long after a rain should I wait to apply?

As many people know, dry weather is necessary for applying an exterior stain, but it's not as simple as just waiting for a single day of sunshine. It's important that the wood itself is also dry, so we only recommend applying ExoShield when it hasn't rained for 2-3 days and won't be raining for an additional 1-2 days after applying ExoShield. Ideal temperatures for staining are 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit or 10-30 degrees Celsius.

When staining in lower temperatures or high humidity it's important to note that ExoShield can take longer to dry, so you'll want to ensure there will be at least 48 hours of dry weather after applying. Likewise, in hotter temperatures ExoShield can dry faster. When applying ExoShield in hotter temperatures, we recommend wiping excess oil after only 10-15 minutes.

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By Keaton Smith, 09/14/21

How to Remove Water Stains from Wood: A Case Study Using ExoShield on Moso Bamboo

Water Stains on wood finished with transparent oil or water-based finishes are a common issue for home owners...

Keeping the wood at your household looking fresh and brand new can be difficult, especially when it's outside. The look of beautiful Cedar, Ipe, or Mahogany when finished with a transparent oil-based finish is absolutely exceptional. But this exterior-facing wood has to battle against much more than the occasional spill or that one nephew who never uses a coaster when they come over. No, the wood used for the siding of your house or on your deck faces the weather 365 days a year. That's a tough job! Without proper protection, wear and tear will begin to show up after a while and it is not pretty. The most common problem our customers come to us with is water stains. These pesky blemishes come from exposure to moisture. What happens is that the water will sit on the wood and gradually dissolve extractives and natural tannins - once the water dissolves, the edges of those wet spots show discoloration on the surface. Take a look at this gorgeous siding whose beauty has seriously diminished due to severe water spotting:

Moso Siding Before Stain

Moso Bamboo siding with heavy water stains before the application of ExoShield Walnut

Moso Gate Before Stain

Moso Bamboo wood gate with heavy water stains before the application of ExoShield Walnut

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By Steve Getsiv, 10/21/20

Tropical Hardwood Fencing - The Last Fence You Will Ever Need

Quality over Price: Is it Worth the Investment?

Longevity

Nova Blog Photo

Besides the simply stunning look of tropical hardwoods, natural durability is the best reason to choose tropical hardwoods over typical Cedar, Redwood, or Pine softwoods for your next fencing project. Tropical hardwoods are far less susceptible to rot and decay over time and they will continue to maintain better durability even if you allow them to gray out with weather exposure. Softwoods like Pine or SPF (Spruce, Pine, and Fir mix) will last around 5-10 years, perhaps a couple more if they are treated regularly. Cedar and Redwood can last up to 25 years with proper care. Hardwoods on the other hand will last you 50+ years even without a wood stain being regularly applied every two years.

Fire Safety

Additionally, most tropical hardwoods are Class A Fire Rated reducing the risk of flame-spread in states where forest fires are common. Fences built using tropical hardwoods also greatly reduce the chances of boards being broken or coming loose.

Size and Cost

Nova USA Wood supplies 7/16 x 5-1/2 fence boards by resawing 5/4x6 decking boards, which is an efficient and cost-effective approach for our customers. Having the boards re-sawn results in a smooth face and rough-sawn face, either of which can be used as the exposed side based on personal preference. When using 7/16 thick boards, the price of tropical hardwood fencing is affordable at around 20.00 to $25.00 for materials per running foot based on a 6 high fence. Matching hardwood posts and top rail can be used without worrying about the wood posts rotting while simultaneously avoiding the less-desirable look of pressure-treated lumber.

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By Keaton Smith, 09/25/20

Tips & Techniques for Preparing Your Deck for Annual Maintenance

Assessing the Condition of Your Deck

How to Start?

The first step with annual maintenance is to take a close look at the deck's condition so you can decide first, whether or not to refinish, and second, what steps are necessary. If you are using a very high end finish such as our ExoShield, you may be able to get away with finishing every two years instead of every year.

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This Cumaru hardwood deck shows some stains from where leaves sat on it over the winter - the deck was finished in August of 2018 with ExoShield Walnut. Color isn't horrible after almost two years but it clearly needs some cleaning. Photo taken in April 2020.

The key to this decision is how much color have you lost and do you have any serious dirt or stain left from leaves or other debris sitting on the deck over the winter. If the deck's color is still intact, a light rinse once all annual pollen has settled might be all you need to do. However, if the color is significantly faded, then you really should re-coat this year.

Nova Blog Photo

There's still decent color left on this deck and certainly no algae, moss or other unwanted growths. Again, this photo was taken in April 2020 and the deck was finished with ExoShield Walnut in August 2018.

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By Steve Getsiv, 05/08/20

10 Modern Deck Ideas for a Stand-Out Back Yard

Batu decking on a customers lakehouse

A deck adds comfort and serenity to a home. Coming home to your deck at the end of the day, or just spending all day out on the deck, means its not just an addition to the home, but its a place homeowners can create memories.

Nova USA Wood Products is fully committed to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of our employees and customers. This is our top priority as we continue to provide the support and service our customers rely on to keep their decks looking great. With so many people stuck at home right now, decks give us a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

Why Have a Wood Deck?

A wood deck is a versatile choice homeowners prefer for multiple reasons. Pairing the right modern wood deck with the perfect design can take an average deck to something truly beautiful. Unlike composite materials that try to mimic natural wood, real wood gives natural color variations that simply arent reproducible by machines.

With a choice between four- and six-inch boards, along with dozens of wood varieties, there are plenty of choices for modern wood deck designs. Weve compiled a few modern deck ideas to help get that inspiration flowing!

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By Steve Getsiv, 05/01/20

Refinishing a Cello with a Polymerized Tung Oil Ground Coat

Over the Winter, I did a complete rebuild on my cello which I originally purchased on craigslist for $250 in June of 2019. I'm an engineer by education and have been taking things apart and putting them back together my whole life.

After doing an initial set up, I wasn't happy with the sound, especially the D string which was kind of muffled and not open sounding. I started with carving a new bridge, and have since carved 4 more, always trying to improve my skills. I tried different sound post positions taking notes about how it affected the sound. I then researched fingerboard undercutting and tap toning of the fingerboard itself - I finally got up enough courage to pull the fingerboard and relieve the back side - originally it was very rough, carved by a team of beavers, most likely.

Nova Blog Photo
The instrument got better and better as I did this work but still wasn't even as good as some of the shop German cellos I played in local Portland shops. It became obvious to me that the plates were way too thick so I took a deep dive at platetuning.org and read every article I could find. After taking the instrument apart twice, I eventually came to realize that "free plate tuning" is not the final answer but fixed plate tuning (I ended up building a jig for the belly to hold the edges in place), worked really well and helped my focus on thinning the areas that needed attention. After my second regraduation session, the cello really started to sound great - better than anything I could find in shops up to $20K.

Fixed Plate Tuning of Cello on Subwoofer Shaker Table

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By Steve Getsiv, 04/28/20

Choosing a Better, Longer-Lasting Deck Stain

Anyone who entertains at home knows how inviting an outdoor space can be for parties and family gatherings. Many homes feature outdoor patio and deck areas because they’re appealing for large groups. But homeowners need to keep features like wood decks up to date on maintenance. With some stains, that can result in a lot of upkeep, so many homeowners are in search of the longest-lasting deck stain available.

Here are a few features to keep in mind when you’re choosing a high-performing stain for your wood deck.

Afternoon tea on the lookout

This 12 YEAR OLD Cumaru 1x4 Hardwood deck, located in Portland, Oregon, is sporting a fresh coat of ExoShield Walnut, Nova's own Tung oil deck stain.

ExoShield Gallon Cant

What to Look for in a Deck Stain

This Old House recently reported how “wood deck additions are one of the top remodeling projects for homeowner return on investment.” In fact, according to a 2018 Cost vs. Value report, installing a wood deck has an average ROI of over 80% percent.

Deck installations are also a popular DIY weekend project. But decks come with a considerable amount of upkeep and maintenance. Because it’s such a trendy feature, wood deck construction has given rise to a demand for quality deck stains … ones that last longer than a few months before fading and needing to be reapplied.

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By Chad Koehnen, 04/14/20

A Simple Guide to Choosing the Best Wood for Your Deck

Best Wood for Outdoor Decks

There is nothing more timeless than a wood deck in your backyard. But, the reality is, there are so many different things to consider: hardwood vs. softwood? What species of wood do you want? To stain or not to stain? All of the possible options can make the decision process overwhelming. With a little help, choosing which type of wood decking to go with can be a quicker, stress-free process.

Here is a guide to help you make the right selection of wood for your backyard deck.

The Difference Between Hardwoods and Softwoods

The first step in choosing the best wood for your outdoor deck is to know the differences between hardwood and softwood.

Unlike what you may expect, the classification of hardwood and softwood actually has nothing to do with the actual hardness of the wood (although there is a measure for that called the Janka Hardness Scale). Instead, to determine whether a tree's wood is hardwood or softwood, you have to look at the seeds that it produces and the type of leaf.

For a tree's wood to be classified as a hardwood, the seeds that fall from its branches need to be covered and protected by an outer layer, such as a fruit or shell. It also has leaves that are shed annually. Alternatively, for trees bearing seeds that have no protective shell coverings, the tree is classified as a softwood. Softwood trees also have needles and are generally evergreen.

Beyond having covered seeds, hardwood trees tend to be slower growing, broad-leaved species that come from various regions around the world and include species like Oak, Mahogany, Ipe and Teak, to name just a few. Softwoods, on the other hand, are fast-growing species and include Pine, Fir, Spruce, Redwood and Cedar.

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By Chad Koehnen, 12/05/19

The Importance of Deck Board Spacing

Example Spacing for the Pacific North West

Installing a new wood deck can be a bit of an involved process, and you want to be sure that its done correctly the first time. That means you want to be sure you buy the right type, size and amount of wood, as well as storing it properly before and during installation.

But thats just the start. Its also critical to remember that wood is a natural material that slightly expands and contracts depending on the humidity and moisture levels in the environment in which the deck is installed. As a result, you need to ensure you leave the proper spacing between boards when you install your wood decking.

Heres what you need to know about deck spacing, along with some tips to help you get it right.

What Does Deck Board Spacing Mean?

Spacing on a deck refers to the small edge-to-edge gap between decking boards, not the ends of the boards. While this gap is fairly small, it is still a crucial component to any good deck. Without the right deck spacing, the boards may expand, cup, and buckle out of place. As a result, you may have to replace broken decking, or reinstall the boards with wider spacing to prevent further cupping and buckling, which can be time consuming and expensive. Thats why it is essential to make sure you install the decking with the correct spacing between boards the first time.

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By Keaton Smith, 11/18/19

What Is Fire-Resistant Wood Decking & Why Do You Need It?

Nova Blog Photo

Usually, when people think of fire-rated decking, hardwood decking is not the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, it may very well be the farthest from their mind.

Now, companies like Nova USA Wood Products work hard to bring their clients beautiful, sustainable, fire-resistant wood decking. While they offer various fire-resistant decking options, the star product is their Batu hardwood decking. Here is what you should know about fire-resistant decking in general and why Nova USA Wood Products Batu wood decking is the best fire-resistant decking on the market today.

What is Class A Fire Rated Decking?

Essentially, a fire rating is used to denote how fire-resistant a product is. Products undergo rigorous testing to determine how well the product will hold up against high temperatures and real fires. Every product has a chance to earn anywhere from Class C (the lowest rating) to Class A (the highest rating).

In order to earn the distinction of Class A fire-rated decking, the deck material must pass several intense tests. During these tests, the decking product being tested is placed on a non-combustible surface and then exposed to a flame.

In order to receive their fire rating, products are tested to see how long they last prior to igniting into flames. For Class A fire rated decking, it would mean the material lasted 2 to 4 hours before finally igniting.

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By Chad Koehnen, 10/25/19

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