Monday, December 12, 2011

Don't Take Our Word For It...

Fact: We love our customers. Whether you're looking for hardwood flooring, natural tile flooring, exterior decking, cabinets, or any of our other high-quality products, we're excited to help you find just the right product for your home improvement needs. And not to toot our own horn, but that high level of customer appreciation doesn't go unnoticed. We often get great feedback from our customers, and today we'd like to share some of their kind words with you (as well as their beautiful finished project photos!). Enjoy!

hardwood flooring

"I wanted to send you some photographic evidence of how your great service paid off for the customer. We really enjoyed our experience and the advice you and the entire Stone Wood Outlet team provided in making our "do-it-ourselves" project a complete success. We will recommend Stone Wood Outlet to all our friends." - Mike

tile flooring

"These are some pictures of one of the apartments I have refinished. The tile on the floor and countertop and the laminate is from your store. The quality and prices of your materials are great. Everybody that has seen the apartments have liked them a lot. I have enjoyed working with you, since you always have taken the time to explain options and how to best use the materials. The persons at your other outlet have also been helpful and knowledgable about tile and flooring. I can easily recommend your store to my other associates and friends." - Bruce

tile countertops

"We had counters put in last April that we purchased from you. We love them and had a great experience start to finish with you. Thanks again! We recommend you to friends!" — Mo and David

Visit one of our three Portland-area locations to learn more about our great flooring, tile, and cabinet products, or give us a call at 503-222-9663.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

SWO Top Sellers: Acacia Hardwood Flooring

Welcome to a brand new series on the Stone Wood Outlet blog: Top Sellers! In this series we will take a look at some of the most popular products at our three Portland locations, explain why we think they're so popular, and make some suggestions as to how you might use them in your next home improvement project. This month's featured product is Acacia hardwood flooring. Enjoy!

Acacia hardwood is one of the most popular exotic imports we offer. With its origins in Australia and parts of East and South Africa, Acacia adds an exotic air to any room. Boards feature a beautiful array of colors, from dark brown heartwood to red-orange and yellow accents, that blend together in an eye-catching and sophisticated way. The wood has an air of romance, perfect for curling up next to a fireplace or having a candlelit dinner for two.

For all its beauty, Acacia hardwood flooring is also one of the most durable species of hardwood available. It is not photosensitive, meaning it won't lose its fantastic color over time. It has a very high Janka hardness rating and, with proper acclimation in the right environment, it experiences little warping. By properly installing an Acacia hardwood floor in your home you can rest assured that floor will be around for a long, long time.

Visit one of our three Portland-area locations to learn more about Acacia hardwood flooring, or give us a call at 503-222-9663.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Case for Natural Tile Flooring

We recently came across this great video on YouTube regarding the difference between vinyl flooring and natural tile flooring. The host, Donnie, makes many good points about natural tile flooring - it can be cold, it can be uncomfortable to walk on, and it's harder to replace if stained or chipped. However, we feel like Donnie leaves out many important features of natural tile flooring in this video. They are:

Natural tile flooring looks more ... natural.
That isn't to say that vinyl or laminate flooring is unattractive. Quite the opposite. We carry many varieties of laminate flooring and are proud to offer them. And while laminate and vinyl are great, affordable alternatives to natural stone, it's pretty obvious they aren't the real deal. Natural stone has a look and feel that is hard to imitate, and even the most state-of-the-art material can't compare.

Natural tile flooring lasts longer.
Natural tile is one of the longest-lasting flooring materials you can use. Tile and stone has traditionally been used for outdoor building projects because of its durability and ability to stand up to the elements. Today, designers and builders have realized the potential of natural stone and tile as a long-lasting flooring material inside the home as well.

Natural tile flooring is fancier.
Again, vinyl or laminate flooring is a great alternative to natural tile or stone, but let's face it - it isn't as upscale. Natural glass, tile, or stone flooring is a very classy choice for a bathroom, kitchen, foyer, or any other part of your home. As mentioned above, the beauty of a natural flooring material is hard to match, and as much as vinyl or laminate flooring tries, neither really come close to natural tile in terms of pure class.

Visit one of our three Portland-area locations to learn more about natural tile flooring, or give us a call at 503-222-9663.

Friday, November 4, 2011

This Just In At Stone Wood Outlet

Stone Wood Outlet is constantly receiving exciting new products at our three Portland-area locations. From flooring to decking to cabinets, we're always on the look-out for great new items we can offer our customers at rock-bottom prices. Here are just a few of the newest products we've got in at our stores. Enjoy!

Western Red Cedar Decking
We're pleased to announce the addition of Western Red Cedar decking to our extensive line of hardwood decking products. Our Western Red Cedar hardwood decking products are #1 select quality, Oregon grown, are usable on both faces, and come in 2" x 6" random lengths. We also offer a full range of posts and rails to go along with these great decking boards.

Glazed Porcelain Tile
The Pamplona collection of glazed porcelain tile from Emser is a beautiful new addition to our already huge collection of quality tile products. The Pamplona line comes in three versatile sizes, making it perfect for the home-owner with a knack for design. The natural stone graphics complement almost any design style and the tile is very abrasion- and water-resistant. 

Glass Mosaic Tile
Nothing adds beauty and visual interest to a bathroom or kitchen quite like decorative glass mosaic tile. The new glass mosaic tile products at Stone Wood Outlet are part of the De'Co Surfaces line and are as beautiful as decorative tiles come. The design experts at Stone Wood Outlet are always available to help you pick out the best glass mosaic choice for your home decor.

Glass mosaic tile from De'Co Surfaces, now
available at Stone Wood Outlet.

These are just a few of the many new products we have available at Stone Wood Outlet. Visit one of our three Portland-area locations for more information, or give us a call at 503-222-9663.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weekend Blowout Sales - Now through the end of November!

Good news, dear readers!

Stone Wood Outlet will be featuring all of our surplus items at blowout prices every weekend from now till the end of November!

Our prices have never been lower and we have plenty of great product choices, including tile, stone, and hardwood flooring, cabinets, counter-tops, and more!

Here are just a few of the great deals we have running right now:
  • Tile as low as 69 cents/SF
  • Hardwood starting at $1.99/SF
  • Granite counter tops (installed!) from $45/SF
  • Carrara marble from $6.99/SF
We also have the latest looks in high-end mosaic glass and decorative tile, perfect for that stunning kitchen or bathroom sink backsplash!

Don't miss out on these great deals! Hurry in to one of our three Portland locations today, or visit us online at

custom cabinets
Stone Wood Outlet offers the latest in high-quality cabinets, tile,
counter-tops, and flooring. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Product Spotlight: Laminate Flooring

Do you want the look and feel of hardwood flooring but without the cost or difficult installation process? If so, laminate flooring may be just what you're looking for!

Stone Wood Outlet is one of the Portland area's premier suppliers of laminate flooring materials. Laminate comes in many different sizes and styles, making it one of the most versatile flooring options around. Still unsure about laminate flooring? Here are three good reasons why it just might be the right flooring material for you.

1. Price and Installation
Laminate flooring is often much less expensive than solid hardwood flooring. It is also much easier to install, and can be installed over almost any existing floor.

2. Durability
Laminate flooring is tough. It's solid finish makes it perfect for high-traffic areas of your home. Laminate products from Stone Wood Outlet also come with at least a 25 year warranty, meaning you can feel confident in your purchase.

3. Resale Value
Most home buyers look for hardwood floors over carpet. By installing laminate floors instead of carpet, you get the look of hardwood flooring at a fraction of the cost.

Glacier Peak Laminate Flooring from Stone Wood Outlet

For more information about laminate flooring, visit us at one of our three Portland locations, or give us a call at 503-222-9663.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Stone Wood Outlet Top 5 Hardwood Decking Materials

Interested in exterior hardwood decking but unsure about which material is best? You’re in luck! The professionals at Stone Wood Outlet have years of experience helping customers choose the right hardwood decking material for their needs. When it comes to decking, there are only a few species of wood that are durable and beautiful enough to get the Stone Wood stamp of approval. Here are our top five favorite exterior decking choices and a little about each species. Enjoy!

1. Ipe
Ipe is one of the most popular exotic decking species available in the country today, and for good reason. It features rich, striking tones and an intriguing grain pattern. It is also one of the most durable, with extremely high hardness rating and density and a Class A fire rating. This species of exterior decking will certainly last a lifetime.

2. Cumaru
A little lighter in color and with a more visually interesting grain pattern, Cumaru hardwood decking is perfect for someone looking for a very exotic natural decking material. Like Ipe, Cumaru has a very high hardness rating and density, which makes the wood naturally resistant to decay and wood boring insects. Cumaru is also often used for finer applications such as flooring, making it easy to coordinate indoor and outdoor design schemes.

3. Tigerwood
Tigerwood decking features soft brown and yellow tones and incredibly eye-catching black striping that gives the wood its name. This unique decking material is of medium density and easily absorbs stains and oils. Tigerwood is also quite resistant to fungi and termites. If you want to Wow! your guests with one of the most unique exterior decking materials they’ve ever seen, Tigerwood is the choice for you.

tigerwood hardwood decking
Tigerwood Hardwood Decking
from Stone Wood Outlet
4. Angelim Pedra
This species of hardwood decking is known not only for its rugged good looks but also its coarse texture and straight, interlocked grain. Beyond decking, Angelim Pedra is also used for truck trailer decking, flooring, furniture, and heavy construction.

5. Massaranduba
Also known as Brazilian Redwood, Massaranduba hardwood decking is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after decking materials around. It features warm reds and browns, a varying interlocked grain pattern, and a very fine texture. If left untreated, Massaranduba will age to a distinctive silver-gray color, though you can easily retain its redness with a sealant or stain.

Still unsure about what kind of exterior decking material is right for you? Visit one of the three Stone Wood Outlet locations, or give us a call at 503-222-9663!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cabinet Types - What's the Difference?

When shopping for new kitchen or bathroom cabinets, Portland homeowners are faced with many different styles to choose from. There are stock cabinets, custom cabinets, RTA cabinets – the choices can be confusing and overwhelming! Never fear, friend – the experts at Stone Wood Outlet are here to clear up any confusion you may have.

The following are the four main types of cabinets available to Portland-area homeowners.

Ready-to-assemble cabinets, or RTA, are the least expensive and the easiest to install. These affordable cabinets are great for people that don’t have a lot of space, don’t have a big remodeling budget, or move frequently. The downside? They’re not available in a many styles or colors, some brands are cheaply made, and they can be hard to match with an existing design scheme. Our suggestion: If you can afford it, go with a higher-quality cabinet type.

Stock cabinets are exactly what they sound like. Manufactured in bulk, these cabinet types are available at low prices because of the sheer volume in which they are produced. The design options are limited when you choose stock cabinets, and you can’t install them in specialty kitchens are areas of the home with odd layouts. Still, they are affordable, and when paired with stylish furniture or appliances can result in a pleasing design scheme.

Semi-custom cabinets offer a greater range of sizes, shapes, styles, and colors, and involve you, the consumer, in a way stock and RTA cabinets do not. Most semi-custom ordering processes happen like this: You browse the different shapes, sizes, and styles of cabinets offered by the manufacturer. You pick the ones that fit your kitchen or bathroom style and size and order them. Because they are semi-custom, you can usually order them custom fit to your kitchen’s specifications. Semi-custom cabinets are a great way for Portland homeowners to get stylish, customized cabinets at a more affordable price.

Custom kitchen cabinets offer you the opportunity to control every detail of your cabinet purchase, including material, design, and color. This is, of course, the most expensive of the cabinet options, but for those that can afford it it is well worth the cost. Not only can custom kitchen cabinets really tie a Portland room together, but they can add to the resale value of your home, much like hardwood flooring. Be careful with custom cabinets, however – because they are designed and built specifically for your space, once they’re made you can’t return them.

We hope this helped clear up any confusion you may have had about the different types of cabinets available to Portland-area homeowners. If you still have questions, please visit one of our three Portland locations, or give us a call at 503-222-9663.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Preparing Your Deck for Winter – 5 Things to Do Right Now

Winter can cause some serious damage to your hardwood decking. Without proper preparations, winter cold, rain, and snow can cause major problems, like wood rot and warping. Even naturally resilient species like Ipe and Cumaru decking can be at risk. Luckily for you, it’s not too late to properly prepare your hardwood deck for the coming winter weather. The following are five steps you can take to make sure your wood stands a chance against the rain and cold.
  1. Clean it.
    One of the biggest threats to Ipe or Cumaru hardwood decking is dirt and yard debris. Organic matter like leaves and grass can decompose and cause wood rot. Thoroughly remove all fungus, dirt, mildew, leaves, dirt, and other yard waste. If your deck is particularly dirty you may want to use a formulated deck cleaner.
  2. Strip it. 
    It’s natural for a deck finish to peal a bit over time. Now is the perfect opportunity to strip away any deteriorating or unwanted finish.
  3. Refinish it.
    If you needed to remove any of the deck’s finish you will need to refinish the spots you stripped. This will help keep your deck protected and looking good throughout the winter.
  4. Seal it.
    Use a water repellant to ward off any excess moisture and prevent water-related damage like cracking or warping.
  5.  Cover it.
    If you live in a part of the country that has particularly nasty winter weather, you might want to consider covering your hardwood decking with a waterproof deck cover. Deck covers are designed to be installed over Ipe or Cumaru hardwood decking during poor weather months.
Cumaru hardwood decking

Visit to learn more about exterior hardwood decking and get advice from our decking experts!

Monday, October 10, 2011

How Laminate Flooring Is Made

If you’re a fan of Stone Wood Outlet on Facebook, you’ll know that we recently added a whole line of laminate flooring to our list of in-stock inventory. Laminate flooring is a great alternative to hardwood flooring for a number of reasons: price, ease of installation, durability, and resale value, just to name a few. But few people know what laminate flooring is actually made of. Even less know how it’s made. This post will take a look at the components of laminate flooring and how they’re put together. Enjoy!

Laminate flooring is made of four components bonded together. They are:

  • Wear layer – Designed for dimensional stability, stain resistance, and protection, most wear layers contain aluminum oxide, melamine resin, or another protective plastic.
  • Decorative Layer – A printed, high-resolution photo-reproduction of a wood grain, stone, or tile pattern, this layer is what gives the flooring its look.
  • Core Board – Usually made of high-density fiberboard or particle board, this layer helps improve moisture-resistance and dimensional stability.
  • Backing – This layer, made of melamine plastic, adds even more dimensional stability to the boards. It also helps prevent moisture from coming up from the sub-floor.

First, the four layers are assembled in large sheets. Each layer is stacked on top of each other and pressed together at temperatures reaching upwards of 400 degrees. The sheets are pressed with up to 600 pounds/square inch of pressure. The pressing usually lasts around 30 seconds.

Some laminate flooring varieties have a textured surface, a feature achieved with specialized plates that imprint a texture pattern on the outer layer of the board. This process is usually either included in the general assembly process or takes place immediately after, when the sheets are still hot.

After the sheets are cooled they are cut into planks of various sizes. Multiple precision saws are then used to cut the tongue-and-groove edges on the side of the planks, enabling the flooring to lock together during installation.

Last but not least, the cut planks are inspected for quality. They are checked for color, texture (if applicable), finish, size, and that they interlock correctly.

laminate flooring

Visit the Stone Wood Outlet website to learn more about laminate flooring, including the many varieties we carry and why it may be the perfect flooring choice for you.

Friday, September 30, 2011

3 Important Considerations When Picking Tile Flooring

Tile flooring is a great way to add beauty and value to your bathroom, kitchen, living area, or hallway. When installed correctly, a tile floor will last the lifetime of your home. Make sure to reflect on these three important considerations before installing new tile flooring in your home. They will help you decide what type and style of tile to use.

Not all tile is made equal. Some tile material is better suited for high-traffic areas. If you are planning on tiling a hallway, entrance-way, living room, or other high-traffic area, make sure you use Group V tile. Tile flooring is rated and characterized into groups; Group I - Group V. Group I tile is best suited for countertops, while Group V tile can endure heavy traffic and can be used almost anywhere.

If you're tiling an area of your house that will see a lot of water (read: bathroom, kitchen, etc), you want to make sure you're using a tile that is rated as "impervious", "non-absorbent", and "non-porous". If you opt for a more porous tile in a bathroom or kitchen area you may be setting yourself up for some expensive repairs or replacement projects down the road.

Not all tiles work best for artistic interior design projects. A creme porcelain tile might be just fine for a bathroom counter, but it might be a bit dull for an entranceway. Try livening up your tile flooring design with a textured or multicolor porcelian, or a patterned glass mosaic tile.

This glass mosaic tile would look stunning as a decorative entranceway or runner.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Product Spotlight: Tigerwood Decking

One of the most unique hardwood decking options available, Tigerwood features visually stunning black striping, soft brown-yellow tones, and a soft shine sure to add an exotic flair to any outdoor setting.

Tigerwood hardwood decking is a medium-density wood that is kiln-dried for maximum stability. It easily absorbs stains and oils, making it a very versatile decking choice for homeowners with a specific design scheme in mind. Since Tigerwood is naturally resistant to fungi, termites, and other nasty intruders, there is no reason for us to treat our wood with any harmful chemicals. This means you can use our Tigerwood decking anywhere - near a pool, along a boardwalk, as a balcony, etc.

tigerwood hardwood decking logs

Tigerwood decking is a very sought-after material, and the selection of Tigerwood at Stone Wood Outlet is some of the highest-quality you'll find in the Portland-Metro area. Visit one of our three locations to view a sample yourself, or go to the Tigerwood Hardwood Decking page on the Stone Wood Outlet website to learn more.

tigerwood hardwood decking

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Like A Look? Take It For A Test Run!

We understand that not everyone has the time to visit one of our three warehouse/showroom locations. That's why we bring our entire inventory selection to you with our Color Palette Design Tool!

With a simple mouse click, you can explore all the different color, texture, and pattern combinations we have available at Stone Wood Outlet. Once you have a combination you love, simply write down the various paint, flooring, and tile names and bring it in to one of our three Portland-area locations. One of our trained professionals will be able to help you gather all the necessary supplies.

Visit to unleash your inner designer!

room designer

room designer
With our Color Palette Design Tool, you can easily turn your kitchen or living room from drab to fab!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Laminate Flooring: What's New At SWO

We've recently added a whole line of new laminate flooring products to our flooring collection at Stone Wood Outlet. Here's a little info about them:

Laminate flooring is a great choice for homeowners who want the look and feel of hardwood flooring without the expense or difficult installation process. With many different sizes and styles to choose from, laminate is one of the most versatile flooring options on the market today. Here are just a few reasons why laminate flooring may be the right flooring material for you:

Price and Installation: Laminate flooring is often much less expensive than solid hardwood flooring. It is also much easier to install, and can be installed over almost any existing floor.

Durability: Laminate flooring's solid finish makes it perfect for high-traffic areas of the home. Our laminate products also come with at least a 25 year residential warranty, so you can feel confident in your purchase.

Resale Value: Most home buyers look for hardwood floors over carpet. By installing laminate floors instead of carpet, you get the look of hardwood flooring at the fraction of the cost.

laminate flooring

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hardwood Floor Maintenance: The Dos and Don'ts

Now that your new hardwood flooring is installed, you're probably wondering about maintenance. Luckily, hardwood floors require little upkeep aside from regular sweeping and vacuuming. That said, there are certain things you should do and certain things you should not do if you want your flooring to last as long as it can. The following are a few Dos and Dont's regarding hardwood flooring maintenance. Enjoy!

Do: Use ventilated floor mats and furniture pads to protect your floors from scratches and scrapes caused by heavy furnishings.

Don't: Use oil soaps or ammonia cleaners. They dull the finish and may make refinishing more difficult.

Do: Clean sticky spots and spills as soon as you notice them. Use a damp sponge or towel and wipe up any remaining liquid.

Don't: Wax a wood floor that has a urethane finish.

Do: Minimize sun exposure by using shades or blinds on large windows.

Don't: Wet mop or use too much water when cleaning your floors. Remember, moisture is the arch enemy of hardwood flooring, so keep it dry.

Do: Vacuum! Using a vacuum (without a beater bar) is a great way to get dirt, dust, and debris out of hard-to-reach places like between boards and behind furniture.

Don't: Freak out when your flooring starts to change color. All hardwoods fade or change shades over time. This is natural.

For more information on hardwood flooring maintenance, call a Stone Wood Outlet flooring professional at 503-222-9663.

Wet mopping can do more harm than good to your hardwood floors.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Room Measuring: A 4-Step Process

Whether you're installing hardwood flooring, bamboo flooring, or laminate flooring, one thing is certain: you'll need to know the size of the room in question in order to know how much flooring material you will need to order. But accurately measuring a room can be tricky business: Where do you begin taking measurements? Do you include doorways or moldings? And what about areas with fireplaces or cabinets?
Never fear, dear reader. Stone Wood Outlet has an easy-to-follow, four-step method of measuring a room that will ensure you end up with the correct amount of flooring materials. Now get those measuring tapes out and have some fun!

Step 1:
Measure the length of the longest distance of the room into the doorways. Measure the width of the room, also from the longest point and round up to the nearest foot. To determine the square footage of the room, multiply the length x width. For example, if your room is 10' wide x 20' long, multiply 10x20 to equal 200 square feet.

Step 2:
If you have areas in your room that won't be covered with flooring (for example, a fireplace or a cabinet) just multiply the length and width of these and subtract from your total square footage. For example, in the room above a 4' x 5' entry way will not need hardwood flooring. So multiply the width of the entry way by the length of the entry way (4x5) to equal 20 square feet.

Step 3:
Subtract the areas that are not going to receive new flooring (Step 2) from the total square footage of the room (Step 1). In the example above, subtract 20 square feet (the entry way) from the total room square footage of 200 square feet. This gives our example room a total of 180 square feet needed.

Step 4:
Add for waste. All hard surface flooring requires a percent of waste to be added for installation. The percents vary depending on how much material you are installing. The general industry rule is to add 7% for installations requiring 1000 square feet of material or more. Add 10% to installations requiring less than 1000 square feet. In our example above, we would multiply 180 x 10% to equal a grand total of 198 square feet. The common abbreviation for square footage is sf.

Hardwood floors come packaged in individual cartons on delivery day. You will either round up or down to the nearest carton when purchasing your new floor.

Call 503-222-9663 for more information, or visit one of our four locations to speak with a knowledgeable flooring professional.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Decking Installation Tips: 5 Things You Should Know Before, During, and After

Hardwood decking installation can be a fun, rewarding experience. Hosting a summer BBQ or pool party is just that much better when you're able to brag to your friends that you installed the new deck they're enjoying. The following are five helpful tips you can use to make your deck installation project a success.

The following information is taken from the article Decking Installation Tips on
Decking installation is difficult and should only be attempted by experienced DIYers. If you are unsure about your installation abilities, call a professional.

1. Acclimate, acclimate, acclimate!
If your are installing a wood deck, it is critical that your decking material is near the final moisture content before starting to install. Most of our hardwood products are kiln dried down to 10-12% moisture content (MC), which is ideal and does not require additional acclimation time on the job site. We also sell air dried (AD) Ipe which does require acclimation for up to two weeks, depending on the starting moisture content. Air dried products can range from 10% MC all the way up to 25% MC. Using a moisture meter is great way to determine starting MC.

2. Be wary of shrinkage.
Shinkage will be very minimal if installing kiln dried hardwood material or air dried material which has been fully acclimated down to 10% MC. Generally, only the dryest condition will cause shrinkage - such as installing in the high desert areas in Oregon. We generally recommend a full 1/4" between 1x6 or 5/4x6 boards, and 3/16" between 1x4 or 5/4x4 deck boards. If installing in a very dry environment, you should plan to use a 1/16" smaller gap between boards. If you are installing air dried material with a starting MC around 18%, then we recommend 1/8" between boards. Your will get shrinkage of up to to 1/8", possibly even 3/16", with air dried material. The longer you let it acclimate, the less movement you will get after installation.

3. Use the right finish.
The best finish we have found is Duckback from SuperDeck. We carry both the natural and walnut exotic hardwood oil finish. Our preference for ease of maintenance is the Duckback walnut oil, which adds some brown pigment to the mix in order to help protect the wood's natural color from UV exposure. We estimate that the walnut oil finish will outlast the clear finish by one to two years.

4. Straighten up that board, private!
When dealing with crooked boards, we recommend using a Bow Wrench. This tool allows the installer to easily take out up to 1" of side bend. We have these tools in stock.

5. Fasten the deck correctly.
Although there are many different hidden fastener systems which all claim to work well, we always recommend screwing through the face with 2 screws per joist connecion with each board. Screwing through the face is the most reliable and least expensive way to install a hardwood deck.

Hardwood Decking Fasteners

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5 Common Tile Terms (And Why You Should Know Them)

So you’ve decided to retile your bathroom or kitchen. That’s great. If you’re like most homeowners, though, you probably aren’t all that familiar with many common tile terms. Is that a problem? It could be, yes. Whether you’re doing research online or talking with a tile installation professional, it’s important to know basic tile terms so you can fully understand the product, the installation process, and proper maintenance techniques. The following are five of the most common tile terms, what they mean, and why they are important.

Visit to see all the beautiful tile products we carry.
1. Impervious
What it means: The degree to which tile can resist liquid penetration, usually measured with colored dye.
Why it’s important: Tile that is highly impervious is more resistant to water damage and mold, especially in the bathroom. Always ask about the imperviousness of tile before making a purchase.

2. Leaching
What it is: In short, leaching is when liquids ooze out of the joint between ceramic tile veneer and run down the entire tile surface.
Why it’s important: Leaching can be a big problem for homeowners, especially in rooms with high humidity, like bathrooms. Being able to recognize leaching as soon as it occurs means you can minimize the damage it can do to your tile.

3. Live Load
What it is: The amount of total weight a building can withstand, including people, furnishings, and other movable objects.
Why it’s important: Knowing your home’s live load is important for many applications, but especially when installing heaving floor coverings like tile. Some homeowners don’t take themselves, their families, or their furnishings into consideration when choosing flooring. If you choose a material that is too heavy, you will go over your live load limit and risk structural damage to your home.

4. Sealer
What it is: A film or adhesive used to fill voids and prevent the passage of liquids or gases.
Why it’s important: Not all sealers are created equal and, unfortunately, some tile installers will attempt to cut costs by using an inferior product. Knowing the different types of sealers and what they’re used for can be a big advantage during the installation process.

5. Shelf Life
What it is: Exactly what it sounds like – a product’s expiration date.
Why it’s important: All things go bad in time. If an installer is using caulk, grout, or any other necessary installation product that is past its shelf life, the chances of that product not performing correctly goes up dramatically.

These are just a few of the dozens of tile terms commonly used in the tile industry. For a complete list, visit the Stone Wood Outlet Tile Term Glossary.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hardwood Flooring and Allergies: Are You At Risk?

Just like peanuts or shellfish, domestic and exotic hardwoods contain oils and particles that can cause severe allergic reactions in some people. Most people who work in the wood industry don’t have wood allergies, and most hardwood flooring customers won’t be working so closely with the wood that it could become a problem. However, it is still a good idea to know exactly what kind of reactions wood allergies can cause, who is most at risk, and the different ways you can avoid a reaction.

Taken from Hardwood Floors Magazine’s Green Blog, the following are a few “common-sense concepts” you should take into consideration when working with or around wood.

If you believe you are having an allergic reaction, stop what you are doing immediately and call 911.

1. Take Reasonable Caution
With this tip, Green Blog author Elizabeth Baldwin emphasizes the “common-sense” steps all woodworkers should observe, such as wearing protective gear like masks, gloves, and long-sleeve shirts.

Something as simple as a paper mask can help reduce exposure to wood dust and other potentially harmful particles.

2. Stay Clean
Here Baldwin states that keeping a clean and well-ventilated workspace will keep dust from piling up and blowing into your and your coworker's face. Keeping a clean workplace will also cut down on the chances of having an unfortunate incident involving wood splinters.

3. Be Aware
Stay ahead of the game – monitor yourself and others around you for symptoms of an allergic reaction, including skin irritation and rashes, difficulty breathing, and difficulty seeing. If you notice any of these symptoms, clean yourself up, take any necessary medication, and go to a doctor.

As Baldwin explains in her post, the problem with wood allergies is that everyone experiences them differently. Saw dust and wood oil may be perfectly fine for one person and mean certain death for another. Even two people that are allergic to the same type of wood can experience that allergy in very different ways. And as Baldwin aptly points out, “just because something doesn't cause a reaction the first time you touch it doesn’t mean you’ll never have an allergic reaction. Your sensitivities can increase with exposure, just as lactose intolerance can suddenly afflict a long time lover of ice cream.”

So if you are beginning a woodworking project yourself, or have hardwood flooring being installed in your home, remember to take the necessary precautions: wear protective gear, don’t inhale wood dust, and get to a doctor if you start to notice an adverse reaction.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Spring Renovation Projects – Hardwood and Composite Decking

Welcome back to your favorite Stone Wood Outlet exclusive blog series, Spring Renovation Projects. Summer is right around the corner – June 21st, to be specific – and to celebrate the end of our spring blog series we’re featuring a home renovation project that is perfect for the beginning of summer: decking.

Most of you won’t attempt to build a new composite or hardwood deck by yourself. That’s fine – you probably shouldn’t. What you should do, however, is study up on the types of decking materials you can choose from before going to a decking supplier. The following are seven of our favorite decking products, ranging from exotic Ipe decking to tough composite decking. These are the best of the best when it comes to decking, and we carry all of them at deeply discounted prices. Enjoy!

ipe hardwood decking
Ipe decking is just one of the many beautiful decking materials Stone Wood Outlet carries.

Types of Decking Materials

Ipe Decking
This striking South American hardwood is world renowned for its natural beauty and inherent durability. It is one of the strongest decking materials you can buy and is visually quite versatile. If left untreated, Ipe decking will fade to a sophisticated silver-gray tone. If treated, it will retain its original rich reddish-brown coloring.

Tigerwood Decking
Tigerwood is a distinctive exotic hardwood that turns any backyard into a festive, visually-engaging area. This species is naturally durable and resistant to decay, making it the perfect decking material. It also features a unique grain pattern and is a great choice for many different decking styles and applications.

Cumaru Decking
This hardwood species has an amazing density and a class A fire rating, making it a perfect choice for anyone with a barbeque or backyard fire pit. The dense cellular structure also means Cumaru is naturally resistant to the elements. Its warm, honey-brown coloring and distinctive graining make it the perfect accent to many different home paint and design styles.

Meranti Batu Decking
The perfect choice for classic Mahogany decking, Meranti Batu features natural durability, a consistent brick-red tone, and is quite easily installed. Perfect for sun decks or beach houses, Meranti Batu creates a relaxed, laid back paradise.

Angelim Pedra Decking
If you’re looking for a more traditional looking decking material, look no further than Angelim Pedra. This beige-brown hardwood features red undertones and sophisticated graining. It has a medium density and is resistant to fungi and termites, especially when paired with an effective sealant.

Brazilian Redwood/Massaranduba Decking
Due to its incredible density and water-resistance, Brazilian Redwood is the perfect decking material to use near pools, lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. The rich red color and dark grain pattern give the wood a look that is both exotic and interesting as well as warm and comforting.

Moisture Shield Composite Decking
Our composite decking material is made from 95% pre- and post-consumer recycled content and carries a limited lifetime warranty against rot, decay, and termite damage. While most decking materials require some sort of lift, this composite can be placed directly on the ground. The wood and plastic work together to create a durable, attractive hardwood decking alternative.

Questions? Contact our knowledgeable customer service staff today at 503-222-9663, or visit us online at

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spring Renovation Projects – Countertops

Welcome back to the Stone Wood Outlet exclusive blog series, “Spring Renovation Projects”. This week we’re looking at an often unsung hero of the kitchen and bathroom design world: countertops. Countertop products are not something one can easily install themselves – they require professional installation. That’s why this week’s renovation post focuses on the thing that you can easily handle in the countertop installation process: choosing the type of material to use.

Countertops say a lot about a homeowner’s personal style, and choosing the right material is a big deal when designing a room. But unless you’re familiar with the ins-and-outs of countertops, knowing which material will work best for you can be difficult. The following are the most common types of countertop materials, a few of their pros and cons, and a final verdict on who should use which type and why. Enjoy!

portland countertops

Types of Countertop Materials

Easy to clean, inexpensive, durable and available in a wide range of styles, choosing laminate countertops seems like a no-brainer. There are disadvantages, though. If damaged, laminate always needs to be replaced. It also has a tendency to crack or separate from its backing, and some homeowners don’t care much for the way it looks.
Verdict: Great choice if you’re on a budget, though you get what you pay for in terms of lifespan and appearance.

Tile is a truly versatile countertop material. It comes in many different colors, styles, textures, and designs, is durable, and is very easy to clean. However, tile stains easily, may harbor bacteria if not sealed, and has a tendency to crack.
Verdict: Tile is a great choice for designers that want a lot of versatility and choice. It may not be the best choice for people that put a lot of wear and tear on their countertops.

Often used for pastry tables, this beautiful, durable countertop material does have a few downsides. It is porous, it stains easily, and it can cost you quite the pretty penny.
Verdict: A great choice for someone that cleans a lot – or has someone else clean a lot. If you tend not to clean up messes right away, or get upset when something needs to be professionally cleaned or repaired, you might want to pass.

At the same time tough and delicate, granite is a paradox. On one hand, it is heat resistant, very hard, and comes in a number of different colors and patterns of stone. Unfortunately, granite is also very susceptible to grease stains, requires periodic resealing, and is usually a fairly expensive countertop material to acquire and install.
Verdict: Very ornate and very expensive, granite countertops don’t fit with every kitchen design scheme. They work best with rich, polished decors. If your kitchen is more on the simple side, don’t choose granite.

One of the toughest countertop materials available, stone is heat-resistant, relatively scratch-resistant, and most damage can be easily repaired by a professional.
Verdict: The biggest drawback to purchasing stone countertops is price. If you are on a tight budget you might want to look elsewhere. However, if you are willing to make an investment in your countertop material, stone will keep you happy for years to come.

Stainless Steel
This sleek, stylish countertop material is easily cared for, waterproof, scorch proof, and can be personalized by etching custom patterns into the finished material. It can also be quite noise, expensive, and a pain to repair or replace.
Verdict: Perfect for modern room decors, stainless steel can look out of place in an old-timey kitchen.

Wood countertops are making a comeback lately, and for good reason. They add a soft, natural atmosphere to any kitchen and are easily sanded and refinished. However, they also are very susceptible to burns, water damage, scratches, stains, and can be home to germs if not cleaned immediately after use.
Verdict: Wood countertops have long been used in kitchens and homes around the world, so if you like an old-fashioned, rustic feel, wood is right for you.

New Home Sales Rise in April - Time to Renovate!

Think the housing market is doomed for all time? Think again! According to a recent report from the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, April saw sales of new single-family homes increase for the second month in a row.

The Commerce Department confirmed the report, stating that sales increased by 7.3 percent in April, with the highest rise - 15.1 percent - occurring on the West Coast.

Are you one of the many new homeowners in the Portland area? Visit Stone Wood Outlet for design and renovation tips and ideas!

What does this mean for the home renovation industry? Why, remodeling products, of course! As you well know, Stone Wood Outlet is the Portland area's largest source discount hardwood flooring, decking, stone, tile, and cabinet building materials. If you're one of the many new homeowners in the Pacific Northwest that this report is referring to, you can't afford not to visit one of Stone Wood Outlet's four convenient locations. Or, visit us online at

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dino-Friendly Floors, Only at Stone Wood Outlet

Are you a parent? Then you need hardwood flooring that can stand up to the worst kind of treatment - a room full of rowdy kids. You need Dino-Friendly Floors!

Visit one of the four Stone Wood Outlet locations to talk to one of our friendly staff members about what our tough, durable Dino-Friendly Floors can do for you!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Renovation Projects -- Cabinets

Welcome to the Stone Wood Outlet exclusive blog series, “Spring Renovation Projects”. This week we’re looking at one of the biggest kitchen, dining room, or bathroom remodeling projects a homeowner can face: cabinets. Cabinets are a versatile renovation project – they are a perfect first step for larger remodeling projects but can also be worked on singularly. The following is some basic information you’ll need when starting a cabinet installation or renovation project. Enjoy!

cabinets portland oregon

Types of Cabinets
The first step in a cabinet installation project is picking the type that best suits your home décor. When it comes to cabinets, Portland homeowners have many different options: ready-to-assemble, stock, custom, and semi-custom are some of the main choices. While ready-to-assemble and stock cabinets may be inexpensive, they can be difficult to match with existing design schemes. Custom cabinets, on the other hand, are created with your specific room in mind. They fit perfectly with whatever décor you have planned for the room. They are also made with a higher level of craftsmanship and care, meaning they will last much longer than the stock cabinets you can find at big box stores.
For more information on the difference between custom and stock cabinets, read “Kitchen Cabinets: Custom vs. Stock”.

Design and Installation Methods
Now that you’ve chosen custom cabinets you can begin the design process. There are many different cabinet features to choose from and each complements a different room style. The best way to decide on a design style is to meet with a professional, look at samples, and discuss the different options available. Not sure if you’re dealing with a professional? One way to be sure is to ask them about the technology they use to design their cabinets. Seasoned professionals use industry-leading computer aided design (CAD) software to help you design the cabinet system of your dreams. If the company you’re dealing with does not, look elsewhere.

Cabinets are one of the most neglected parts of the home. Dirt, germs, grease, and food particles can collect over time and lead to very unsanitary conditions. Once your new cabinets have been installed, you will need to make sure you keep them clean. Use a high-quality wood cleaning product and soft cloth, making sure to test an inconspicuous spot before washing visible areas.
For more information on cabinet maintenance, read “Tips for Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets”.

Of course, there is a lot more to cabinet installation or renovation than we can cover in one blog posting. For more information, or to view the different types of cabinets Portland has to offer, visit one of Stone Wood Outlet’s four locations or call 877-996-9663.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SWO Featured on KOIN 6 News

Spring is the perfect time to start planning your home renovation projects. Watch Tigard store manager John Lyons explain to KOIN 6 News all the wonderful hardwood flooring, tile flooring, cabinets, and decking products we have to help get you started.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

5 Reasons to Splurge on Nice Kitchen Cabinets

Sure, the economy is still in the dumps. Yes, we are still in a major recession. No, now may not be the best time to spend tons and tons of money on home improvement projects. However, there are certain instances when spending more money on high-quality products is the smart thing to do. Installing new kitchen cabinets is one of these instances. Cutting costs by buying cheaply made cabinets may save you money initially, but in the long run it can be a real pain. Here are the top five reasons why you shouldn't feel bad about splurging on nice kitchen cabinets in Portland.

1. Bragging RightsThis reason is less about long-term financial planning and more about boosting your own ego. It always feels good to show off your new home furnishing or installation to friends and family, and kitchen cabinets are no exception. New higher-end cabinets can make you excited to entertain guests and proud to have an attractive, functional kitchen. Aren't these positive feelings worth the higher price tag?

2. SpaceOne of the biggest reasons to invest in nice kitchen cabinets is space. Most cheap stock cabinets come in only a handful of sizes and may not fit well in your kitchen. High-quality custom cabinets, however, can be designed so that every inch of usable space in your kitchen is included in the design.

3. PersonalizationNothing ruins a great kitchen like a fixture that obviously doesn't match the design scheme. With custom kitchen cabinets, you can fit the look of the cabinet to the kitchen's current design scheme, or incorporate them into a design you are working on.

4. DurabilityLike most things in life, when it comes to cabinet quality you really do get what you pay for. Higher-quality cabinets are less likely to break, rot or warp than the cheaply made kind, which saves you repair or replacement money down the road. Think of kitchen cabinets as shoes: Would you rather spend $20 on a pair of shoes that you will have to replace every month, or $100 on a pair that last you a whole year? The answer is pretty simple.

5. You Deserve ItIf you've dealt with this recession like most people, you probably haven't treated yourself to something nice in a long while. Buying brand new custom kitchen cabinets is a great way to spoil yourself. They make you feel good about getting something nice for yourself, and they are functional and durable.

Unless budget restrictions are really keeping you from making the investment, there is no reason not to choose high-quality custom kitchen cabinets when planning a cabinet installation project. Not sure where to start? Don't worry. The experts at Stone+Wood Outlet can help you with any Portland cabinet design or installation project.

Monday, January 24, 2011

This Week's Blowout Specials: Bacana Chestnut

Don't miss out on this week's blowout special on Engineered Bacana Chestnut!

For a limited time only, Stone+Wood Outlet is featuring Engineered Bacana Chestnut flooring for $1.49/SF.

Bacana Chestnut is an attractive and sturdy flooring material, featuring deep reddish-brown tones and dark striping. The eye-catching, versatile look of Bacana Chestnut makes it perfect for both complementary design purposes or as an attention-grabbing room centerpiece. With a high Janka hardness rating and density, this wood species is as durable as it is attractive.

This blowout special on Bacana Chestnut won't last long, so stop by any one of Stone+Wood Outlet's four locations for more information.

3424 NW Yeon Ave., Portland
6777 SW Bonita Rd, Ste 120, Tigard
9907 SE 82nd Ave, Clackamas
5600 NE 122nd Ave, Portland.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tips for Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

You may not like to hear it, but your kitchen cabinets are probably a lot dirtier than you realize. By their very nature, cabinets collect more dirt, germs, food and grease than most parts of your home. Every time you or your family goes to open a kitchen cabinet and grab a snack, you are exposed to the dirt and grime inside. The solution? Clean! The following are a few tips for getting your nasty kitchen cabinets looking new again.

1. Get the right cleaning supplies.Not all cabinets are created equal, and the same goes for cleaning supplies. While metal, vinyl or laminate cabinets can be easily cleaned with soap and water, wood cabinets need special treatment. Invest in a high-quality wood cleaning product and follow the directions. Never use abrasive cleaners, as they can easily scratch and ruin a cabinet finish.

2. Always test first.Some cleaning supplies can damage the finish of kitchen cabinets. Make sure to test an inconspicuous area, like the inside of the door, first.

3. Be careful.Surprisingly enough, there are many ways to hurt yourself while cleaning kitchen cabinets. One way is to fall. Because cabinets are usually higher up, most people need to stand on a chair or step stool to clean hard-to-reach places. A tumble can cause serious injury, even from such a small distance.
Another way to injure yourself during cabinet cleaning is to improperly use cleaning solutions. When getting rid of heavy buildup of grime, grease or mold, it may be necessary to use a powerful solvent such as paint thinner. These solutions are often toxic to breathe and highly flammable. Make sure to open windows and doors, wear a mask, and turn off any pilot lights. Removing doors and cleaning them outside is another solution to reduce risk.

Feel free to call the professionals at Stone+Wood Outlet with any questions regarding cabinet maintenance, repair, or installation.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Excerpts from "The World's Most Stable Decking Materials"

Spring is only a few months away, and if you are considering building a new deck this year you will definitely want to choose the right decking material. But with so many options available, how do you know you're choosing the right one? The following are excerpts from the informative and helpful article, "The World's Most Stable Decking Materials", which should help you make a more informed decision.

Western Red Cedar
Although cedar is a softwood, it is still very structurally stable. Both the tangential and radial shrinkage are quite low, and the differential between the two is very small as well:
Tangential Shrinkage: 5.0%
Radial Shrinkage: 2.4%
Cedar's other mechanical properties - strength, stiffness and density - are also relatively high, making this a durable species good for most decking projects.

California Redwood
California Redwood is another very stable decking material. The tangential and radial shrinkage values are even lower than those of Cedar:
Tangential Shrinkage: 4.9%
Radial Shrinkage: 2.2%
Even though these percentages are lower than those of Cedar, the differential is 0.1% larger, meaning it is slightly less stable than the other species - but not by much.

The tangential and radial shrinkage percentages of Ipe decking are much higher than both Cedar and Redwood; however, the differential is much smaller, making it the more stable wood.
Tangential Shrinkage: 8.0
Radial Shrinkage: 6.6%
A 1.4% differential is great, and combined with Ipe decking's naturally high density, strength and stiffness, makes it naturally suited for decking purposes.

Merbau is another hardwood with excellent structural stability. The tangential and radial shrinkage percentages are:
Tangential Shrinkage: 4.6%
Radial Shrinkage: 2.7%
These percentages are quite a bit lower than those of Ipe, and even though Ipe's differential is only 1.4%, a 1.9% differential is still very good. The low percentages combined with the relatively low differential makes this the most stable exotic decking choice. However, Merbau comes with an unrelated and unfortunate downside - read on to find out what it is.

For more information, read the entire article here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Replacing or Refacing - Which Is Right for My Cabinets?

So you want to give your kitchen a facelift, and like any good Portlander you don’t want to spend too much money. Sounds like you’re in quite the pickle. Well, one good option for homeowners in Portland is to replace or reface your kitchen’s cabinets. Redesigning your cabinets can give your kitchen a whole new look without breaking the bank. But what’s the best route to take – refacing or replacing? Let’s look at the pros and cons of both techniques.


Simplicity – It’s easier to just replace doors and drawer fronts than to install brand new cabinets.
Cost – It’s much cheaper to reface cabinets than it is to replace them, even when you have a professional do it.

Lack of Options – Because the bulk of the cabinets are already in place, your design options are limited.
Structural Issues – If you have very old cabinets, refacing them won’t help solve structural problems.


Versatility – When starting from scratch, you have all the options in the world. Want a food cabinet right above the stove? Go for it! How about one long cabinet next to a dozen tiny ones? Not a problem!
Space Saver – Because you’re designing the cabinets for your own use, there is zero chance of there being any inaccessible or non-functional cabinets. This means more space for lighting, vents, and other essential kitchen fixtures.

Cost – Even in the DIY wonderland that is Portland, cabinet replacement can cost a pretty penny. If you have non-functional or structurally unsafe cabinets, you should consider replacement. If you’re simply looking for a kitchen make-over, then refacing them is probably a better way to go.
Time – Replacing cabinets can cost more than just your money. It is also a big time commitment. Make sure you understand the timeline before embarking on such a venture.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both replacing and refacing cabinets. Portland home-owners would do well to consider all the options before making a decision.