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.
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.
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.
Looking for a pale or neutral toned wood floor? Check out our gallery of light colored wood floors.
Thinking about installing a wood floor in your kitchen? You’re not alone. Adding wood flooring was one of the most common upgrades during kitchen remodels in 2013. 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 sell faster than those without them.
Wood Floors Set the Tone for a Kitchen
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. Use warm toned floors to inject color into an all-white kitchen. Add interest and character with rustic or figured woods. Contrast darker cabinetry and finishes with a lighter colored wood floor. Wood is versatile: you can use the natural color or apply stain to achieve a wide variety of finish tones.
Environmental Advantages of Wood Floors
The exceptionally long service life of solid wood floors 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. Wood is also 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 at:http://www.hullforest.com/wood-good-i-7.html
Need inspiration for your kitchen floor? Check out our houzz ideabooks:
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.
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!
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.
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
1. Know the size of your project. Estimate the square footage of material that 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 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.
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.
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.
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 $2 per square foot. Some people prefer the look of a site-finished floor because it has a snug, square edge with no bevel. It’s up to you, so weigh your options.
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 wood floors anytime at www.hullforest.com.
The first floors we milled at Hull Forest Products nearly fifty years ago were wide pine floors, and wide plank pine continues to be our best selling wood floor. 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 Stubridge 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.
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.
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 this floor.
It’s hard to imagine a wood that conjures up the image of the American frontier more than Hickory, which has a distinguished American pedigree. Hickory trees are found throughout eastern North America, and “Hickory” is one of the few extant Algonquin words. Along with moccasin, tomahawk, and hominy, the word pawcohiccora, from which hickory derives, was among those recorded by the explorer John Smith in Virginia circa 1608. This word survived because the wood and mast of the Hickory tree were extremely important to both the Powhatan and the early English settlers.
The Hickory nut was a significant Algonquin foodstuff; pounded and mixed with water, it made pawcohiccora, or hickory milk, a nutritious butter-like substance so prized that a quart of hickory milk was the barter equivalent of twenty pounds of pork.
Recognizing Hickory’s strength, Native Americans used its wood for their bows. European settlers used Hickory to make wooden wheels, wagon axles, plows, and tool handles. Parents inflicting corporal punishment selected hickory switches because they did not break easily (ouch). Because of its high energy content, Hickory was also a favored fuelwood, used for firewood, charcoal production, and for smoking meats.
Hickory’s toughness was so legendary in early America that the word hickory became synonymous with “strength”: a hard-wearing twill cloth was known as “hickory cloth”, and General Andrew Jackson was dubbed “Old Hickory” by his troops when he demonstrated his toughness on the battlefield.
Hickory is the only wood with the quintuple attributes of toughness, stiffness, denseness, shock resistance, and hardness. Because of these attributes, Hickory’s more modern uses have included flooring, furniture, tool handles, golf club shafts, ski bottoms, lacrosse sticks, ladder rungs, drumsticks, and other demanding applications.
Hickory floors are a perennial best seller at our sawmill; here at Hull Forest Products we utilize Hickory species native to the Northeast to make our wide plank Hickory flooring in grades from clear to character. Our Hickory floors are tough and impact resistant, and we recommend Hickory for kitchens and other high traffic areas. If you have little tolerance for dings and dents, a Hickory floor may be a good choice for you.
The striking color variation in Hickory can be played up with a clear finish (see figure 1 above) or the color difference can be minimized with a brown or darker colored stain (see figure 2 below).
In Figure 2 the floor has been stained brown to make the color more consistent. This gives the floor a very different appearance from the floor in Figure 1, which shows the striated light and dark color variation typical of Hickory wood.
Many of our log and timber frame home customers choose Hickory because they appreciate the wood’s color variation, and these customers also tend to prefer natural grade Hickory for its character markings (see figure 3), sometimes opting for a skip planed surface to add to the rusticity.
As you can see, Hickory wood floors look different depending on your choice of grade and stain/finish, and Hickory is a wood equally at home in a traditional or a modern setting. American Hickory wide plank flooring is at once a utilitarian and an attractive wood flooring choice. To see more photos of Hickory floors and other wide plank flooring species, visit us online at http://www.hullforest.com.
White Oak. Quercus Alba. Considering a White Oak floor? You’re not alone. White Oak is one of the most popular species of wood flooring in the United States, though not as popular as its cousin, Red Oak. Renowned for its impact resistance and beauty, white oak flooring makes an eye pleasing and practical addition to your home and is available in a wide range of cuts, grades, and styles.
As a saw mill, we find that floors can sometimes be hard to describe to the lay person – but if you look at enough pictures you will quickly notice what you like and don’t like. The point of this post is to illustrate the different varieties of White Oak so you can make an informed decision when choosing a White Oak floor.
For reasons both practical and aesthetic, White Oak is among our top selling wide plank floors here at Hull Forest Products. White Oak floors hold up well to foot traffic and are durable enough to be used in the highest traffic areas, including your kitchen. Scoring a whopping 1360 on the Janka hardness scale, White Oak is among the toughest of the North American hardwoods.
White Oak is also extremely versatile – the wood takes stain very well and can be left natural, stained dark (Figure 1, above), or whitened to a pickled or bleached appearance.
The appearance of a White Oak floor also depends on the method by which the log was sawn. Common styles are: plain sawn (see figure 3 below), quarter sawn, and rift sawn. Let’s start with plainsawn oak first, since that style is the most common. Figure 3 below shows the traditional cathedral grain pattern of plain sawn White Oak, which most of you will recognize:
Notice how the grain in Figure 3 rises into peaks – those are what we call the “cathedrals.” This is how 90 percent of the oak floors out there today are sawn, and this method of sawing is the most efficient.
In contrast, when a log is quarter and rift sawn, the radial and vertical grain are exposed on the face of the planks, and the floor has both undulating and straight grain like the floor shown in Figure 4 below:
As you can see by comparing the White Oak floors shown in Figures 3 and 4, the grain of plainsawn White Oak and the grain of quarter/rift sawn White Oak look completely different.
Quarter and rift sawn White Oak was popularized by the Arts & Craft movement and remains a hallmark of Mission style. Quarter and rift sawn wood is also exceptionally stable, which makes it popular for use over radiant heating. When the planks are further sorted to contain only rift sawn grain, you get a floor with consistently straight grain like that shown in Figure 5 below:
Now let’s talk about grades of White Oak. The photos shown above all feature select grade White Oak, which is a clear grade with few to no knots or character markings.
White Oak is also available in other grades with varying degrees of character markings. Your choice of grade will have an impact on the overall look and feel of your floor. I’m making a generalization here, but IMO select grade floors tend to look more formal and modern, while character grade floors read as rustic and cozy, perfect for a mountain retreat or log cabin.
That being said, I must admit that with a little creativity, you can create a signature look within any grade. For example, if you take that same natural grade knotty White Oak floor shown above and give it a dark burnished stain (like the folks at the Frye Boot flagship in Manhattan did with our character grade White Oak – See Figure 7 below), you get a decidedly more urbane vibe.
Hopefully you’ve found these pictures and descriptions helpful in determining what kind of White Oak floor best suits your style. To check out other species of wide plank floors, price wide plank floors, or order wood samples, you can visit our sawmill’s web site at http://www.hullforest.com.