Wood Flooring Sets the Tone for the Contemporary Renovation of an Old House

White stained wide plank pine flooring adds modern flair to a lakehouse.

Clients came to architects David Burdett and Stefanie Werner of DAS Studio  in NYC with a design dilemma: their lakefront house did not take advantage of the property’s views. And the building was divided into many small rooms, creating awkward spaces that were not functional for contemporary living. The clients wanted a clean, light, and modern aesthetic, but they also wanted to pay tribute to their home’s rural setting and past.

The solution that DAS crafted involved gutting the house to create new, larger interior spaces that maximized the lake views.  To honor the homeowner’s modern aesthetic while simultaneously acknowledging the home’s rural location, they came up with the idea to use a very traditional wood floor, wide plank pine flooring, but to finish the floor with a white stain  for a light, clean, modern look. The homeowners, who were both actively involved in researching and selecting the products used in their home, turned to a local sawmill, Hull Forest Products in Pomfret, Connecticut, to make their wood floors.  Hull Forest Products, which ships its floors mill-direct nationwide, was able to supply wide pine floors up to 19 inches wide with plank lengths of 12+ feet.

Grain and color view of white stained Eastern White Pine flooring.

To achieve the look shown above, the floor was stained with one coat of Duraseal Country White. Then the floor was lightly buffed and sanded, and another coat of Country White was applied. The floor was then finished with four coats of Duraseal Traffic water based poly, satin finish. The grain pattern of the pine floors and the white coloring were a perfect match to the project’s design criteria.

To link the three floors of the house functionally and aesthetically, the homeowners commissioned custom thick stair treads from Hull Forest Products, who made them from the same wood used on the floors. The stair treads are a perfect match for the floors, and they create a seamless flow between the home’s three levels. The stairs function as a bridge between floors and time periods, for, as Burdett points out, “the stair design contrasts the chunky heaviness of the solid wood treads with the slender detailing of the [modern] steel stringers and balustrade.”

Custom stair treads from Hull Forest Products

The completed house, with work done by West Mountain Builders of Washington, Connecticut, displays the successfully executed design and vision in every photo. As Burdett says, “It is a contemporary renovation of an older house, working with existing proportions and heights to achieve a contemporary living space that is respectful of the original house.”  The home is a poster child for how to reconfigure an old house to be a gracious and suitable host for a whole new generation.

Resources:

Custom wide plank floors and stairs by Hull Forest Products, CT,  www.hullforest.com

Design by DAS Studio, David Burdett and Stefanie Werner,  www.das-studio.us

Construction by West Mountain Builders, Washington, CT

Photos by Michael Bowman Photography, CT

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Five Sustainable Forestry Events Fall 2017

Hull Forest Products, the largest sawmill in the metro NYC and metro Boston area, as well as New England’s biggest producer of White Oak products, is hosting a series of FREE and FUN events during the month of October that highlight the value of local working forests and the forest economy. Open to the public, these events are designed to foster a greater connection between people and forests, and we hope you can attend!

Sawmill Tour at Hull Forest Products October 7th – Pomfret, CT

Hull Forest Products sawmill, Pomfret, Connecticut.

A fascinating behind-the-scenes “how it’s made” tour of a modern sawmill facility – watch as we turn raw timber into finished forest products. Learn how sustainably harvested local wood is milled into lumber, flooring, post and beam timbers, and more. A must for builders, architects, contractors, and designers. Also recommended for families or anyone curious about how wood products are made.  Tours are an easy .4 mile walk  and take approximately 90 minutes. Tours will be offered on a drop-in basis from 8am – 2pm. Please note that this event was listed incorrectly in TLGV’s Walktober Guide. It is being held on Saturday October 7th.

Date: Saturday October 7, 2017 8am-2pm

Location: 101 Hampton Road (Route 97) Pomfret Center, CT 06259

Contact: (860) 974-0127 or info@hullforest.com

 

Woods Walk #1: The Man Behind the Yale University Forests October 15 – Union, CT

Participants walk a woods road during a guided tour of the Myers Pond Forest, Union, CT.

Join us Sunday October 15th for a 2-hour 2-mile guided walk of Hull Forestlands’ Myers Pond Forest, formerly the summer home of Yale University Forest founder George Hewitt Myers. Walk participants will learn about changes in the land over time since the days of the Nipmuck Indians, early farming in the area, and the man behind the Yale Forests, who worked to create this most remote of Connecticut’s forested areas. Walkers will tour the site of the Myers family summer home and cemetery. This tour also showcases sustainable forestry and the ways in which woodland management can improve and diversify bird habitat. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany hikers on this walk.

Date: Sunday October 15 1:30 pm (raindate October 22 at 1:30 pm)

Location: 159 Kinney Hollow Road, Union, CT. Look for the Hull Forestlands sign.

Contact: Hull forester Michael Bartlett (860) 377-0117

 

Woods Walk #2: Westridge Farm & Pachaug Forests Oct. 21 –  Stonington, CT

A 2-hour 1.5- mile guided tour over moderate terrain at the Westridge Farm Forest and the neighboring Pachaug State Forest. Led by foresters from both Hull Forest Products and the state of CT, participants will view and discuss recent woodland management activities, see beautiful old stone walls, and then cross into adjacent Pachaug State Forest to visit cultural artifacts including an old shingle mill site.

Date: October 21st 10 am (rain date is October 28th at 10 am)

Location: 611 Wyassup Road, North Stonington, CT

Contact: Hull forester Chris Casadei (860) 235-6550

 

Woods Walk #3: Historic Steerage Rock  October 22 -Brimfield, MA

On this 2-hour guided woods walk you will learn about historic Steerage Rock, once a favored camping site of King Philip, son of Massasoit, and a landmark on the old Indian trail that later became known as the Bay Path, which served as a landmark for the pioneer settlers of the Connecticut Valley. Participants will view actively managed woodland and enjoy a vista of Brimfield Common as well as a view of the path of destruction left by the the 2011 tornado. Bring binoculars. Leashed dogs are welcome.

Date: October 22 1:30-3:30 pm, rain or shine

Location: Steerage Rock Road, across from 1 Harnois Lane, Brimfield, MA

Contact: Hull forester Mike Bartlett (860) 377-0117

 

Woods Walk #4: Enhancing Wildlife Habitat, Improving Forest Health, and Creating New Opportunities at Worcester County’s Camp Marshall 4-H Center – October 28 – Spencer, MA

Join us for a guided woods tour over moderate rolling terrain to view and discuss recent woodland management activities on the 100-acre working forest at Worcester County’s Camp Marshall 4-H Center. Participants will walk new recreational trails created during a 2017 timber harvest and observe enhanced wildlife habitat, a young hard maple stand that will serve as a future sugarbush for the camp, areas where stump grinding has been completed to reclaim old fields, and areas that were once pasture land that have since converted back to woodland.

Date: Saturday October 28 9am rain or shine

Location: 92 McCormick Road, Spencer, MA

Contact: Hull forester Ross Hubacz (860) 576-1546

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Hull Forest Products Is Project Partner with This New House

Hull Forest Products Sabine Schoenberg This New House
Sabine Schoenberg of This New House chats with Hull Forest Products floor salesman Greg Anderson.

February 2016 – Hull Forest Products is excited to announce it is a project partner with This New House (TNH) and will be supplying wood flooring for the TNH’s Greenwich House!

Sabine H. Schoenberg, founder of TNH, was looking for healthy, sustainable wood flooring that would also be good for the indoor air quality in the home, so she turned to Connecticut’s largest sawmill, Hull Forest Products, known for its forest-to-floor wood flooring.

A family business since 1965, Hull Forest Products utilizes locally grown and sustainably harvested wood to mill custom-made wide and long plank flooring. Hull Forest Products ships its floors nationwide, making it the mill-direct wood flooring source for metro NYC and beyond.

Browse Hull Forest Products Wood Floors

 

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Four Events that Highlight Sustainable Forestry this Fall in Northeastern Connecticut

This fall Hull Forest Products is offering four free and fun events for the whole family that celebrate Connecticut’s working forests and locally grown wood products. We hope you can join us for one of these guided woods walks or for the Hull Forest Products sawmill tour, where  you can watch us turn locally grown wood into beautiful and durable wood flooring and lumber.

1.) Town Forest Provides Recreational Opportunity, Wildlife Habitat, and Forest Products

The North Brookfield Town Forest is being managed for multiple uses, including recreational opportunity, wildlife habitat, and the long-term production of forest products.

 

Join us for a walk on the 45-acre town forest owned by North Brookfield, Massachusetts, and learn how long-term forest stewardship can be applied to manage land for multiple uses and benefits, including recreation, income, and renewable energy. Hull Forest Products currently manages this land, and through the use of whole tree chipping, much of the low quality and traditionally non-merchantable timber has been removed and utililzed to produce renewable energy, while improving the conditions in the forest. The property is being managed for  recreational opportunity, wildlife habitat, aesthetic beauty, and the long-term production of forest products. Part of the forest is being turned into a woodland park for town residents to fish, walk, and picnic. This is a one-mile loop walk over moderate terrain. Leashed dogs are welcome.

Date/Time: Saturday October 3rd, starting at 10 am.

Location: 20 West Brookfield Road (Route 67) North Brookfield, MA, 01535. Signs will be posted.

Contact: Ross Hubacz (860) 576-1546

 

2.) This Was His Forest: George Hewitt Myers, the Man Behind the Yale University Forest

View of Myers Pond and fall foliage at Hull Forestland’s Myers Pond Forest, Union, CT.

Join us for a 2-hour 2-mile guided tour of Hull Forestland’s Myers Pond Forest, formerly the summer home of Yale Forest founder George Hewitt Myers and today the only private inholding in the Yale Myers Forest. Learn about the man behind the Yale-Myers Forest and how he worked to put together this most remote of Connecticut’s forested areas. See the site of the Myers home and family cemetery. This walk will be led by Hull Forest Products forester Mike Bartlett, who has received the “Mr. Walktober” award from TLGV for hosting over a thousand Walktober participants in his 15 years of volunteering for Walktober. The tour will focus on sustainable forestry, how woodland management can improve bird habitat, and the life and times of George Hewitt Myers. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany hikers. We hope you can join us!

Date/Time: October 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm (raindate is 10/25/15 at 1:30 pm)

Location: 159 Kinney Hollow Road, Union, CT. Look for the Hull Forestlands sign.

Contact: Mike Bartlett (860) 377-0117

 

3.) Timber! A Guided Tour of the Wilford Farm Woodlot

This purple trap is designed to attract and trap the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive pest that feeds on Ash trees. The Emerald Ash Borer is in Connecticut, and there is a now a quarantine affecting the movement of Ash materials and firewood out of Connecticut. Photo courtesy of USDA.

Join licensed forester Chris Casadei for this 2-hour 2-mile guided tour of the 170 acre Wilford Farm forest; participants will get to view and discuss recent woodland management activities including an improvement thinning and an Ash sanitation harvest designed to pre-emptively salvage Ash trees before the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive pest that has infected Ash trees across Connecticut. The Wilford Farm woodlands have a history of active forest management since the old farm was disbanded, and they comprise a rolling landscape with a vast network of streams and wetlands as well as excellent wildlife habitat. Moderate terrain. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany hikers.

Date/Time: October 3, 2015 10 am rain or shine

Location: Willington, CT. From Route 74 head south on Parker Road, take a left on Cowls Road, then left on Busse Road, and left on Meadow Lane. Follow Meadow Lane to the end. There is plenty of parking in the cul-de-sac.

Contact: Chris Casadei (860) 235-6550

 

4.) From Forest to Flooring: Making Local Goods from Local Woods at the Hull Forest Products Sawmill

 

Tour a modern a sawmill and lumber manufacturing facility and learn how locally grown trees are sustainably harvested and milled into lumber for flooring, furniture, post and beam timbers, railroad ties, pallets, and more. Watch as logs are transformed into lumber before your eyes. This is a great “how it’s made” type of tour that the whole family will enjoy. Tours take approximately one and a half hours and are an easy .4 mile walk.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes workings of a modern sawmill and lumber manufacturing facility.  Here’s what a past tour participant had to say about the experience:

“Many, many thanks for the wonderful tour of the Hull Forest Products facility. I was impressed beyond words. To see hardwood timber–right off the logging truck–being transformed with sophisticated computer-controlled milling machines into finished product right before my eyes was truly amazing. This process must be experienced firsthand to really appreciate the enormous effort required to deliver such a diverse array of wood products from railroad ties to wide plank flooring.
And to think that this family-owned manufacturing company is based right here in Connecticut at a time when sadly, very little seems to be made in our country any more. I will not only recommend your beautiful timber and flooring products, but will do so proudly and enthusiastically.Thank you for allowing me this exceptional opportunity. Keep up the good work! ”

Date/Time: October 17, 2015, tours offered from 8 am to 2 pm

Location: Hull Forest Products, 101 Hampton Road (Route 97), Pomfret Center, CT 06259

Contact: Hull Forest Products (860) 974-0127

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Five Things You Should Know When Choosing Wide Plank Wood Flooring

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 be 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, hullforest.managedcoder.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 hullforest.managedcoder.com.

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How Landowners Can Enhance Wildlife Habitat Through Forest Management

Black throated blue warbler, photographed in Hull Forestland's Connecticut woodland during a bird habitat assessment by Patrick Comins, Director of Bird Conservation at CT Audubon. This warbler prefers mixed woodlands with thick undergrowth, especially mountain laurel.

“Forest” is the largest land category in Connecticut, with approximately 60 percent of the state covered in forest.  Since the statistic began being tracked in 1952, Connecticut’s net growth of trees has exceeded removals, and today the ratio of growth to removals is more than 2:1.

However, there is a noticeable lack of diversity in the age classes of Connecticut forests.  The state’s forests consist of 69 percent mature stands, 25 percent intermediate stands, and just 6 percent regenerating stands.

There is a critical loss of young forest habitat (also known as early successional habitat)  in the state. When there are not enough young forest stands, then species that prefer low-lying vegetation are fewer in number. A diverse mix of forest age classes is beneficial because it provides the maximum range of wildlife habitat. Forest management is one way that landowners can  influence the future composition of Connecticut’s forests.

Woodland Management Can Diversify Habitat

Forests change constantly, with or without human intervention, and over time a new tree species comes to dominate another through a cycle called succession. Some people oppose intervention because they fear it might harm wildlife, but in the long run, doing nothing can lead to conditions that are unfavorable for the very wildlife they want to help. Woodland owners have an important opportunity to influence the type and quality of wildlife habitat on their land through active forest management.

Openings within a forest create edge habitat. “Edge” is the term for where plant communities meet, or where successional stages or vegetative conditions within communities come together. This is often the richest area in a forest in terms of wildlife abundance and diversity. Having a variety of habitat cover types and timber age classes is beneficial for many species of wildlife, including birds, because of the abundance of edges they create.

Working with a licensed forester, landowners can plan for timber harvests that not only provide income, but also create the desired timber age classes and habitat conditions favored by wildlife species.  If the landowner’s neighbors also own forestland and have similar goals, then the habitat management can be implemented on an even larger scale.

Check out this handy Foresters For the Birds guide produced by Vermont Audubon to see how you as a landowner can work with a forester to  promote habitat for specific bird species in your woodland.

Habitat Case Study: The Myers Pond Forest

In 2014 scientists from Connecticut Audubon and the CT Agriculture Experiment Station conducted bird habitat assessments on over 25 woodland properties in Connecticut. One of the most intensively managed properties they visited was Hull Forestlands’ own Myers Pond Forest in Union, CT, which has been actively managed for timber production since 1900, with a recent focus on hemlock removals and white pine regeneration.

Patrick Comins, Director of Bird Conservation for CT Audubon, personally photographed a wide variety of birds and habitats on the land, including sedge/tussock meadow, open water, riparian, and upland bird habitats. Comins hailed the property as “One of the crown jewels of forestland in Connecticut.”

Jeffrey Ward, Chief Scientist at the Dept. of Forestry and Horticulture at the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment station, said the Myers Pond Forest was the “best managed property he had seen” in their bird habitat assessments. In addition to a wide variety of birds, the Myers Pond Forest is home to many of the common woodland mammals of eastern North American, including white tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, coyote, bobcat, and beaver.

The Myers Pond Forest is an excellent example of how intensively managed forests provide a wealth of wildlife habitat while at the same time producing timber to meet the needs of society.

Learn more about woodland management for your property.

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Hull Forest Products Wood Floors Earn Houzz.com Best of 2015 Design Award

Pomfret, CT, January, 2015 – Hull Forest Products has been awarded a “Best Of Houzz” 2015 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 from among 500,000 remodeling and design home professionals by the more than 25 million monthly users who comprise the Houzz community. This award goes to those whose work is 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 proved 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 unique, beautiful, sustainably grown products whose use helps protect working  forests here in the United States.”

“We’re delighted to recognize Hull Forest Products among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes,” said Liza Hausman, vice-president of industry marketing for Houzz.

You can follow Hull Forest Products on Houzz.

Remodeling and Home Design
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Free Guided Woods Walks This Fall in Northeastern Connecticut

Hull Forest Products is hosting two woodland walks in October 2014 in conjunction with The Last Green Valley’s Walktober event. These guided walks are a great opportunity to get some exercise, enjoy the fall foliage, and learn how our licensed foresters help woodland owners manage their land for forest products, wildlife, and recreation. We hope you can join us and bring the whole family for these free, fun, and educational events!

Hull forester Mike Bartlett giving a tour of Hatchet Hill in Woodstock, CT.

1.) Hatchet Hill Hike, Woodstock, CT | October 11, 2014, 9 a.m.

Hull forester Mike Bartlett will lead participants on a 2-hour hike over 1.5 miles of moderate terrain (there are some steep slopes) to tour the Walker family woodland, which has interesting geological features and some of the best scenic vistas in the The Last Green Valley.

Participants will learn how much a tree can expand its crown in one year; how to age a pine tree by its branch whorls; the difference between even and uneven aged forests; which tree species are shade tolerant and which are not; and how foresters manipulate sunlight to promote desired seedling regeneration.

In the same family for over 160 years, the Walker family woodland has been managed for recreation, wildlife habitat, and forest products, and it is an excellent example of how working forests can meet the needs of society while simultaneously providing multiple environmental benefits.

Date/Time: October 11, 2014 9 a.m.
Address:#1914 Rte. 198 Woodstock, CT. This is the West side of Rte. 198, 2 miles north of the intersection of Routes 197 and 198.

 

Hull forester Chris Casadei
Hull forester Chris Casadei will lead hikers on a "Working Family Forest and Shelterwood Harvest" tour on October 19, 2014.

2.) Working Family Forest and Shelterwood Harvest Tour | October 19, 2014, 10 a.m.

Hull forester Chris Casadei will lead this 2-hour walk over 1.5 miles of moderate terrain that was farmed in colonial days, as evidenced by the beautiful stonewalls that still crisscross the land.

Participants will hike the 165-acre property to view and discuss recent forest management activities there, including areas of improvement thinning and a 17-acre first-phase shelterwood harvest designed to remove a declining stand of pine and low quality hardwoods and replace it with upland oak regeneration. This is a great opportunity for anyone considering a shelterwood harvest to get a firsthand look at a textbook example.

Participants will learn what forestry techniques are used to establish a new generation of seedlings from a particular species or group, giving the landowner more control over what regenerates. Other topics include how to protect the health of the residual stand and how income generated over time from the sale of timber can mitigate development pressures on family forestland owners.

Leashed dogs are welcome on this hike.

Date/Time: October 19, 2014, 10 a.m.
Address: From Rte. 138 in Griswold, head south on Bethel Road, take the 3rd right on Stetson Road and follow to cul-de-sac, plenty of on-street parking is available.

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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.

 

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