Wide Plank Pine Floors

How to get your new wide pine floors to look like old pine.

Figure 1: Newly sawn Eastern White Pine + a custom stain + pure tung oil for a matte finish = an antique looking wide pine floor, from $4.86/square foot. The homeowner used our premium grade wide pine, stained it with hoodfinishing.com's "burnt umber" wiping stain (that had been thinned with a reducer) then applied several coats of pure tung oil (from realmilkpaint.com) that was thinned 50/50 with mineral spirits. The result was this beautiful low-luster matte finish.

The first floors we milled at Hull Forest Products nearly fifty years ago were wide pine floors, and wide plank pine continues to be one of our best selling wood floors for kitchens and other rooms. New England homeowners (and many others with antique, farmhouse, or period inspired homes) love traditional wide pine. There is something about the width and length of the planks, the large sound red knots, and the patina that develops that makes a wide pine floor charming. The floor has an heirloom quality.

Customers often come to us looking for a floor that emulates the look and feel of old pumpkin pine or heart pine at a reasonable price, so we show them how our clients have chosen to finish their floors to mimic the look of an antique floor. See Figure 1 above for an example, and check out our pine flooring gallery for many others.

Some of you may be familiar with the living history museum, Old Sturbridge Village. They used our wide pine for the floor of their Oliver Wight Tavern Building. If you get a chance to visit there, be sure to check out this floor (shown in Figure 2 below).  It is an interesting example as it had no finish applied at all and has been left to weather the heavy public foot traffic in the buff.

Our wide pine flooring in use at Old Sturbridge Village in the Oliver Wight Tavern. OSV applied no finish to the floor, preferring to let it age naturally.

Figure 2: Our wide pine flooring in use at Old Sturbridge Village in the Oliver Wight Tavern. OSV applied no finish to the floor, preferring to let it age naturally.

We source our flooring grade pine from the historic Myers Pond and Yale University Forests in Connecticut, harvesting only during the cold winter months so we get the best color retention.  We mill our wide pine flooring from logs predominantly twelve feet and longer, selecting  for even growth and live red knots.

Wide pine flooring lovers are often history buffs, so you may be interested to know that the Eastern White Pine tree played a role in the American Revolution. Because it grows so tall, Eastern White Pine has long been used for the masts of ships, and the British Navy tried to reserve the tallest White Pines in the colonies for the masts of British naval vessels. When an act to this effect was enforced in New Hampshire, it outraged the colonists. Though forbidden to cut “any pine tree of the growth of 12 inches of diameter,” it became unfashionable to have floorboards in one’s home that were less than 12 inches wide.

In 1772 a sawmill owner in Weare, New Hampshire was arrested and fined when white pine logs with the king’s broad arrow mark were found at his mill.  He and a group of about 40 townspeople rioted, attacking the sheriff and his deputy and literally running them out of town in what became known as the Pine Tree Riot.  This act of rebellion against British authority was an inspiration for the Boston Tea Party, which took place the following year.

For those of you who appreciate the “story” that boards can tell, see figure 3, below. This is a truly unique pine board with a very old pruning mark  that was revealed when the log was sawn.  (Thanks to Tom Fletcher in our flooring shop for spotting this.)  The flat dark lines at the ends of the knots indicate where the tree was pruned.  As you can see, the tree healed quickly and went on to produce clear grain. This board is 24″ wide and comes from a tree with an estimated age of 125-175 years.

pine board with pruning mark visible in wood grain

Figure 3: This 24" Eastern White Pine board came from a tree with an estimated age of 125-175 years; someone pruned the tree around the turn of the century and you can see that in the straight dark lines at the ends of the knots.

Visit our gallery of wide plank pine floors for more information on the merits of Eastern White Pine and to browse photos showing how the application of stains and/or finishes can change the look of a pine floor.

Choosing A Wide Plank Wood Floor For Your Kitchen

 

Wide plank kitchen wood flooring in Red Oak, in a Soho Manhattan loft.

Figure 1: Light toned Red Oak flooring provides a pleasing contrast to the shiny dark cabinets in this Manhattan loft kitchen. The long plank lengths of this floor are especially well suited to the wide open spaces of the loft. (Hull Forest Products red oak wide plank floor #302)

Thinking about installing a wide plank wood floor in your kitchen? You’re not alone. Adding wood flooring is one of the most popular kitchen upgrades.  And homeowners adding wood flooring are likely to see a return on their investment. According to the National Association of Realtors, homes with real wood floors are easier to sell, sell faster, and sell for more money than homes without them.

Wood Floors Establish A Tone

Wood adds warmth and interest to a kitchen like no other floor covering can. Because floors are generally the largest visible canvas in your kitchen, they set the backdrop for your furnishings and the tone for the space. Wood floors connote quality and craftsmanship, and wide plank floors can be used to convey a sense of luxury or history. (Retailers know that customers associate wood floors with quality, so they will often upgrade stores by installing wood flooring in key areas.) Installing wood flooring in your kitchen immediately raises its profile.

Since durability is especially important in high-traffic areas like kitchens, we recommend the use of harder woods such as red oak, white oak, hard maple, hickory, and ash wherever wear is a concern. But some folks find wear charming and they want a wood floor that will develop a patina more quickly.  It really depends on your tolerance for dings, dents, and wear. In an old house you may want to choose a floor that looks like it belongs there, such as the wide pine kitchen floor shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: The homeowners chose wide plank pine flooring for their kitchen (Hull floor #418) for a period look and utilized an oil finish that would be easy to touch up and repair.

Figure 2: The homeowners chose wide plank pine flooring (Hull floor #418) for a period look and utilized an oil finish that would be easy to touch up and repair.

Try to pick a wood floor that will make your kitchen look its best. Love an all-white kitchen but don’t want it to look sterile? Use a warm toned wood floor to inject color and life  into an all-white kitchen.

Reddish toned American Cherry wide plank wood floors from Hull Forest Products

Figure 3: The homeowners used our warm and naturally reddish toned American Cherry wood floors to add color and life to their all white kitchen, making it a very inviting space that is anything but sterile. (Hull Forest Products American Cherry wide plank floor #616)

Choosing a contrasting tone floor is one way to go, as shown in figures 1 and 3.  On the other hand, if you love the wood tone of your kitchen cabinetry and want to build on that color, consider choosing a similar wood tone for your floor.

White Oak floors same tone as the wood in the cabinets of this kitchen.

Figure 4: These homeowners chose to coordinate the tone of their cabinets and wood floor. (White Oak select wide plank floor #231 from Hull Forest Products.) The matching cabinets and floor really put the emphasis on the red of the stove, the dark countertop, and the white of the ceiling paneling.

You can also add interest and character to your kitchen with rustic or figured wood floors.  The owners of the New England kitchen shown in Figure 5 chose natural grade Ash wood flooring  for its durability as well as for its character markings and color variation–then they stained the floor to emphasize the open grain and achieve a darker tone that suited their tastes.  The result was a kitchen wood floor with character that  proved to be one of our most popular wood floors in 2013.

wide plank ash kitchen floor from Hull Forest Products

Figure 5: Rustic grade Ash wide plank flooring with an ebony stain adds a cottage vibe to this coastal kitchen, contrasting nicely with the stainless appliances.

Looking to contrast darker cabinetry and finishes with a lighter colored wood floor? Check out the pale White Oak kitchen floor shown in Figure 6.  The homeowners chose a lighter tone floor to contrast with their cabinetry and trim and went with all five inch planks rather than random widths in order to emphasize the contemporary design of their home.

Figure 6: Light colored select grade White Oak (Hull wide plank floor #211) with five inch plank widths, finished with a water-based poly. The floors provide a pleasing contrast to the kitchen's darker cabinetry.

Figure 6: Light colored select grade White Oak (Hull wide plank floor #211) with five inch plank widths, finished with a water-based poly. The floors provide a pleasing contrast to the kitchen's darker cabinetry.

In case you need more reasons to choose a wood floor for your kitchen, don’t forget that wood floors have an exceptionally long service life, which makes them an attractive investment. Solid wood floors have a service life of 100+ years, and they can be sanded and refinished many times as homeowner tastes change. And that’s just one advantage.

Environmental Advantages of Wood Floors

Wood is a renewable and eco-friendly building and finish material. Solid wood floors require less energy to produce than any other type of floor covering, and they hold up to the scrutiny of life cycle analysis. Choosing responsibly sourced wood floors helps conserve working forests, which provide ecological benefits in the form of enhanced air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration. Learn more about what makes wood good.

Need more inspiration for your kitchen floor? Check out our pinterest board on kitchen wood floors and our  houzz kitchen wide plank wood floors ideabooks.

 

Five Things You Should Know When Choosing Wide Plank Wood Flooring

 

Wide plank curly Birch kitchen wood floor from Hull Forest Products

Figured Birch wide plank kitchen wood flooring from Hull Forest Products. Photo by Bowman Group Architectural Photography.

1. Know the size of your project. Estimate the square footage of  wide plank flooring you will need based on your room’s dimensions, then add 10 percent.   By knowing  your square footage needs, we can figure out whether we have enough material in inventory to process your order ASAP. Also be sure your site conditions are appropriate for wood flooring (for example, we don’t recommend installing our solid wood floors below grade).

2. Think about wood species. Spend some time browsing photos of different wood species, and learn about the properties of the woods. Does the wood you like make sense for your needs? (If you are a perfectionist who can’t stand the look of distressed floors, you probably want to go with a harder wood that won’t show wear easily, like Ash, Red Oak, White Oak or Maple.) Don’t get too hung up on the color of a particular floor you see in a photo, as the same wood can look very different depending on the finish you choose.  Applying a stain can also change the color of a floor dramatically.You may want to experiment with different finishes to make sure you get the look you like best. (Hull Forest Products offers free unfinished samples-just go into one of our species galleries, click on a photo, and select the “more details” button to order samples). Figure 2, below, shows the range of coloration between various types of clear satin sheen finishes. The finishes were applied to samples of our unfinished Select grade White Oak flooring.

 

White Oak floor boards labeled with different finishes applied for comparison purposes

Figure 2: Note the color variation between these different types of clear satin sheen finishes when applied to identical planks of our select grade White Oak. From the left: Bona Mega Waterborne satin finish, Lenmar polyurethane oil-based satin finish, Sutherland Welles tung oil satin finish, and Waterlox tung oil satin finish.

3. Consider grades of wood. Once you’ve decided on a species of wood, you’ll have a choice of grades within that species.  All of our flooring grades perform well; the grade is purely a matter of style and cost. We call wood with clear grain and few to no knots Select grade. Wood with natural character markings like knots or bark pocket is called Natural grade.  Premium grade is a midpoint between these two grades.

4. Consider plank widths. Plank widths affect the price of your floor and they have a big visual impact as well.  Choosing a range of plank widths (known as “random widths”) is less expensive than requesting floor boards that are all 7″ wide, for example.  This is because the material does not have to sorted as much or ripped to 7 inches. Figure 3, below, illustrates the look of a floor with random widths.  The planks are a mix of 5 inch, 8 inch, and 12 inch widths.

rift and quartersawn white oak wide plank floors random width

Figure 3: Rift and quartersawn White Oak wide plank floor with random plank widths from 5 to 12 inches.

Compare the look of the random width floor boards in Figure 3 above to the floor shown in Figure 4, below, which features plainsawn White Oak floor planks that are each 10 inches wide.  This gives you an idea of the visual impact of random widths vs. equivalent widths.

White Oak wide plank flooring, all 10 inch wide planks, from Hull Forest Products, www.hullforest.com.
Figure 4: Select grade plainsawn White Oak wide plank flooring, all 10 inch wide planks, with a satin sheen poly finish.

5. Do you want unfinished wood flooring or prefinished wood flooring? In some cases, such as an apartment in a high rise that doesn’t allow on-site wood finishing, this question may already be answered for you. It may depend on whether you are building a new home or already living in an existing one.  The up-front cost of prefinished flooring is higher, roughly $3.00-$3.75 more per square foot.  On the other hand, if you are hiring a professional to finish your floor on site, it may cost at least $3 per square foot. Some people prefer the look of a site-finished floor because it has a snug, square edge with no bevel, compared to a prefinished floor, which will have a slight microbeveled edge on the sides of the planks.  It’s up to you, so weigh your options.

Related posts:

Choosing a Wood Floor for Your Kitchen

Why Plank Length Matters in Wood Flooring

As always, we are here to answer your questions!  Happy browsing, and when you’re ready to find the perfect wood floor for your home, give us a call or send us an email.  1-800-928-9602  Browse wide plank wood floors anytime at www.hullforest.com.

 

Hull Forest Products Wide Plank Floors Debut at Architectural Digest Home Design Show 2014

 

Hull Forest Products is proud to exhibit for the first time at the 2014 Architectural Digest Home Design Show #ADHDS 2014. We’ve been sending a lot of floors to the NYC area lately, so we thought it was time to exhibit in this neck of the woods.  Thanks to the hard work of all our employees, we put together a great booth featuring our North American White Oak, Red Oak, Hard Maple, Walnut, Ash, Birch, and Curly Maple wood flooring.

Hull Forest Products Earns “Best of Houzz 2014″ Design Award

wide plank curly birch wood flooring from hull forest products

Wide plank figured Birch wood flooring from Hull Forest Products.

Pomfret, CT, February 4, 2014 – Hull Forest Products  has been awarded a “Best Of Houzz” design award by Houzz.com, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The family-run forestry service, sawmill, and wide plank flooring manufacturer was chosen by the more than 16 million monthly users who comprise the Houzz community. This award goes to those whose work was the most popular among Houzz users, who saved more than 230 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site, and ipad/iphone/android apps.

“We work hard to make wood floors like no one else, and we are thrilled that our American-grown and manufactured wide plank floors have been so popular with the Houzz community,” said Mary Hull, co-owner of Hull Forest Products.  “People feel good about choosing our floors because they are beautiful, durable, and sustainably grown products whose use helps protect working  forests here in the United States.”

With Houzz, homeowners can identify top-rated products like Hull Forest Products’s wide plank floors and find companies whose work matches their own aspirations for their home. Homeowners can also evaluate professionals by contacting them directly on the Houzz platform, asking questions about their work and reviewing their responses to questions from others in the Houzz community.

Follow Hull Forest Products on Houzz:  http://www.houzz.com/pro/hullforest01/hull-forest-products

Remodeling and Home Design

Why Plank Length Matters in Wood Flooring

length shot eastern white pine floorboard

Our floor salesman, Greg Anderson, stands 6' 5" but is dwarfed by this very long Eastern White Pine floor plank.

The lengths of the floor boards you choose for your room will have a big impact on the overall look of your floor.  Longer plank lengths create a clean visual line because there are fewer end or butt seams/joints (places where the ends of the boards butt up against each other). In fact, depending on the dimensions of your room, you might be able to eliminate butt seams all together by using long planks.  We frequently get requests from clients looking for long planks in order to avoid butt joints on their floor.

Red Oak wide plank flooring, Norwich, Connecticut

Figure 1: Wide and long board red oak flooring brings a sense of history to this reproduction colonial home. Longer planks create a cleaner visual line with fewer butt seams.

In contrast, using shorter planks will result in more end seams on your floor, and if you go with especially short boards, you will get a patchwork effect. See figure 2, below:

look of shorter floor boards is patchwork-like

Figure 2: Using shorter plank lengths (the ones shown are around one to two feet long) results in a patchwork effect. If this is not the look you are going for, you should consider longer planks.

At Hull Forest Products we offer two length classes: long and extra long.  Long is our standard length class, which features much longer average plank lengths than other manufacturers (generally 3 to 8 feet long), but at the most budget friendly price.  Extra long (generally 6 to 15 feet) is for those who want a truly luxurious long and wide plank floor.

To get long and extra long lengths, we have to start with very high quality timber so we can saw it full length off the log without having to cut around defects. Most wood floors out there today feature shorter lengths because they are made by cutting around defects in lower quality wood.

Long and wide floor planks are our specialty; please let us know what we can make for you. 1-800-928-9602.

Using Neutral Colored Wood Floors

Neutral colored "blonde" wood floors, in this case, select grade sapwood-only Ash wood, can provide a nice contrast with darker colored cabinetry and trim.

The homeowners selected neutral "blonde" colored wood floors made from select grade Ash sapwood in order to create a nice contrast with their darker colored Cherry cabinetry and Doug Fir timbers.

The owners of this New Hampshire timber frame home came to Hull Forest Products for select grade sapwood-only Ash wood flooring, which they chose for its hardness, beauty, and–most importantly–its neutral “blonde” color.  They did not want their flooring to compete or clash with the warm color of their Cherry cabinetry and Douglas Fir trim. To preserve the pale color of the Ash floor, they finished the floor with Arboritec 20, a clear water-based satin poly finish. A water-based poly provides a clear coat that will not amber with age, so it is a good choice for those interested in pale colored wood floors.

“We chose this product primarily because it is the clearest poly finish available,” said the homeowners. “We did not want to use an oil-based poly because we thought the yellow discoloration that an oil-based polyurethane finish acquires with age would obscure the blonde wood color and clash with the reds in the frame, trim, and cabinetry.”  And they have been very pleased with the results. The finish, which was put down in four coats, has proven to be very durable.

Select grade sapwood-only Ash wood floor.

The homeowners chose pale and clear-grained Ash wood flooring to carry out their vision for a modern Arts & Crafts home.

The husband and wife team behind this home first drafted a design for their dream timber frame, and brought it to Bonin Architects, who turned the idea into a beautiful home plan.  Next they called on Timberpeg to cut their home’s frame from Douglas Fir, and on builder Old Hampshire Designs to put up the frame and shell and make it weather tight.

Clear grained pale wood Ash floors contrast nicely with the warm hues of Douglas Fir timbers and trim.

Clear grained neutral tone Ash hardwood floors contrast nicely with the warm hues of the Douglas Fir timbers and trim and the Cherry cabinetry.

The couple joined forces to act as general contractors for their home, and also did much of the subcontracting (including the interior framing, electrical, and plumbing) while simultaneously holding down full-time jobs. Though challenged to find the time necessary to complete their home, the result  was a labor of love and a beautiful modern interpretation of an Arts & Crafts home.

You can view more photos of this home in the Hull Forest Products Ash Flooring Gallery and you can check out the photos at our profile on Houzz.com.

Looking for a pale or neutral toned wood floor? Check out our gallery of light colored wood floors.

 

Recreational Leases in New England Forests

Four coyote pups explore recently harvested woods.

Forests and wildlife go hand in hand. Forest thinnings bring sunlight to the forest floor, leading to new growth that attracts birds, browsers, and predators. Can you find all four coyote pups in this photo? They were exploring a recent timber harvest in Wales, Massachusetts.

To date we have permanently protected over 10,000 acres of our Massachusetts and Connecticut woodlands from development.  These working forests provide so many public benefits, including enhanced air and water quality, large unfragmented wildlife habitat,  critical wintering and staging areas for migratory waterfowl, carbon sequestration, and a steady supply of timber to meet society’s demand for sustainably grown, renewable building materials.

As part of our commitment to multiple use in our forestland (wildlife, timber, recreation), we lease some of these large forestland properties to individuals and groups interested in exclusive hunting leases and recreational access. The properties generally include access roads, gates, and miles of trails. Some even have warming cabins with wood stoves. Our clients include fish & game clubs whose suburban locations do not allow them to hunt deer;  bird dog trial enthusiasts; hunters; and outdoorsmen and women of all kinds. Some of our lease clients have been with us for over 30 years, allowing them and their families to develop a special connection with the land.

For more information on leasing forestland, visit us at hullforest.com and click on the “Forestry” tab.

Properties currently available for lease

Barn Destroyed by Hurricane Sandy is Replaced with Hull Timbers

For all you timber frame enthusiasts, check out this youtube video of the Laird family barn raising.  After their barn was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, the family hired Todd Mendes Woodworking to build them a new timber frame barn.  The timbers were milled from locally grown wood by Hull Forest Products.  It is so inspiring to see our timbers used in this way!

Laird Family Barn Raising with Timbers from Hull Forest Products

Connecticut Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring

 

Connecticut grown and manufactured mill direct wood flooring from Hull Forest Products.

White Oak kitchen flooring in a western Connecticut home. The homeowners wanted to incorporate as many local materials as possible when building their home, so they chose Hull Forest Products, CT's largest sawmill, as their wood floor supplier.

Hull Forest Products in Pomfret, Connecticut, is the state’s largest sawmill and has been offering  its CT grown wide plank wood flooring mill-direct to homeowners since 1965.

Connecticut is one of the most heavily forested states in New England, with over 60 percent forest cover, yet the majority of the forest products grown in Connecticut are sent out of state.  If you are looking for CT hardwood flooring or pine flooring, why import a wood floor from halfway around the world when you can buy local and save money and the local environment in the process?

In 2011 Hull Forest Products joined the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s  Connecticut Grown program, which identifies local producers of forest products and helps connect them with CT homeowners and builders who are looking for local mill-direct wood flooring, paneling, and millwork.

 

CT grown wood flooring logo

The Connecticut Grown logo helps consumers connect with local producers of wood flooring such as Hull Forest Products, a family-run sawmill crafting affordable wide plank wood flooring since 1965.

If helping the local environment and saving money are not reason enough for you to choose Hull Forest Products as your Connecticut wood flooring supplier, consider these reasons as well: 10 Reasons to Choose Hull Forest Products.

Read Reviews from Hull Forest Products Flooring Customers

Browse our Connecticut Wood Floors By Species and Style