Hull Forest Products just earned the “Best Of Houzz 2018” customer service award – the company’s sixth award in a row from Houzz.com, the leading platform for home remodeling and design.
“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,” says Mary Hull, co-owner of Hull Forest Products. “People feel good about choosing our floors because they are unique, beautiful, sustainable 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.
Live sawn White Oak floors are a customer favorite, with good reason. This type of wide plank wood flooring has beautiful and unique grain, is extremely durable, and offers excellent value. Read on to learn more of what’s to love about the live sawn cut:
1. Live sawing is a traditional method of sawing wood flooring that creates a beautiful grain pattern.
Live sawn White Oak floors are also known as “European” or “French cut” Oak because this saw cut was popular in the old world. The saw passes straight through the log from the outside diameter through the heart, creating the widest possible boards.
Because each live sawn plank contains a mix of clear and natural grade wood, the flooring is an accurate representation of the inside of each individual tree. Wide live sawn planks include some of each of the grain styles: rift sawn, quarter sawn, and plain sawn.
2. Live sawn wood flooring is an extremely durable wide plank flooring choice.
Live sawn planks contain both radial grain (grain that runs perpendicular to the growth rings) and tangential grain (grain that runs parallel to the growth rings). This grain mix makes live sawn boards very stable – even at wider plank widths. We dry the floor boards carefully and mill the backs with stress relief to prevent cupping. As a result, we confidently offer our live sawn White Oak solid wood flooring in widths up to 14 inches.
3. Live Sawn White Oak floors are environmentally friendly.
The live sawn cut offers the best resource utilization of all the saw cuts. It conserves the majority of the log with very little waste. Superior resource utilization is one reason why this cut was so popular in the old days. Waste not, want not.
4. Live sawn White Oak wood floors work with modern and traditional interiors.
Live sawn White Oak floors offer one of the best values in wide plank flooring. They are an affordable luxury compared to their close cousins, rift and quarter sawn floors. (Rift and quartersawn floors result in a higher waste factor so they are more expensive.) Live sawn floors offer a very wide plank floor with the stability of quarter and rift sawn floors at a fraction of the price.
Wide plank wood flooring in the kitchen? Yes. Wood adds a warm and organic element to what is often the most modern room in the house. Wood also contrasts well with sleek or metal kitchen surfaces. On trend for 2018, more homeowners are choosing to add wide plank flooring as a way to put their unique imprint on kitchen remodels.
Here are a few examples of kitchens that created one-of-a-kind looks with our custom wide plank wood flooring:
Imagine the white kitchen above with a more neutral color floor – without the reddish floor, this room would have a totally different look. The rich red hue of the American Cherry plank flooring really warms up this kitchen’s color palette.
The wide plank hickory floor in the modern Boston kitchen shown above also adds warmth and interest to an all white kitchen, but in a very different way. In this case, rustic grade wood character and color variation between hickory’s pale sapwood and darker brown heartwood create the wow factor.
Another white kitchen, the California example (shown above) used figured Birch wood flooring to create a unique and contrasting interior.
Also be sure to check out more examples below from our Houzz profile. Hull Forest Products was voted Best of Houzz again – for 2018. This makes seven awards in a row now because our floors and and customer service are so popular with users.
For those of you interested in quarter and/or rift sawn wood floors, we’ve put together this post to show off some of the quarter and rift sawn wood floors we’ve made for clients lately.
We are always happy to send samples of our wood floors, but sometimes it’s hard to tell from a single board how that look will translate across an entire room. We find nothing helps people make up their mind about a floor more than seeing finished room-setting photos. [Note: If you have installed our wood flooring, we encourage you to send us a photo!]
There is something very classic and comfortable about rift and quartersawn White Oak that makes it work with many decorative styles, from minimalist (as show in the Greenwich Village studio (above) to this more traditional Long Island home (below).
At our sawmill, when we quarter and rift saw a log for flooring, we first quarter the log, then we slice into it, as show in second and third images of the diagram below.
As a result, the radial and vertical grain of the wood is revealed instead of the tangential grain. The rippled figure and flecks of medullary rays that you see in quarter sawn wood (second image from the left in Exhibit 1, above) are highlighted when the wood is cut this way. These ribbon-like cellular structures run perpendicular to the growth rings, and they are responsible for transporting nutrients to the tree via sap.
In contrast, the rift sawn cut delivers grain with a very straight, uniform appearance and none of the wavy fleck, as shown in the photo below.
We can make you with a floor that is all quarter sawn grain, all rift sawn grain, or a blend of the two, which is a very popular look. One of the benefits of quarter and rift sawn wood, besides the different grain pattern, is extreme dimensional stability. This makes quarter and rift sawn wood floors ideal for demanding installations, such as over radiant heat.
Another way to change up the look of a quarter and rift sawn wood floor is to use a grade with character markings like the floor shown below.
Visit our White Oak gallery and click on any photo to get specification and pricing information for any of our floors. Have questions about our floors? Give us a call 1-800-928-9602.
Each year hundreds of students from local elementary schools, high schools, and colleges tour the Hull Forest Products sawmill in Pomfret, CT to learn about forestry and wood products manufacturing. 2017 school groups included students from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Burrillville High School in Rhode Island, and the advanced environmental studies class from nearby Pomfret Preparatory School, where teacher Annie O’Sullivan has been bringing her students to the Hull sawmill for several years now. We asked Ms. O’Sullivan to describe what role Hull Forest Products plays in her students’ learning:
“Our students have had a fantastic time touring Hull each fall for the past couple of years. I first took a tour as a grad school at Yale Forestry, so was eager to connect once I started working at Pomfret. In the fall we have a unit on Forest Ecology, so the students spend time in the Pomfret [School] forest learning their trees and about forest ecosystems in general. They then learn a bit about forestry management and why landowners might cut trees to encourage growth.
I have them think about where their wood products come from (they don’t know, except from Ikea), so that’s why we take the trip to Hull Forest Products. It’s there that the students really grasp for the first time how this natural resource they are so familiar with (red oaks) are turned into the flooring we see towards the end of the tour. They are usually pretty into the debarker and seeing the saws operating with the lasers.
My course is really about educating students about sustainability. Thus, I am trying to get them to understand that we use natural resources like water and food and trees, and that’s okay – being an environmentalist is not about rejecting all commodities. It’s really about how we grow and use them that determines what our future will look like. Hull is an amazing place for the kids to see that process right in front of their eyes.”
In the fall of 2017 students from Burrillville High School had the opportunity to tour an active timber harvest with Hull forester Chris Casadei, seeing how and why particular trees are marked for harvest. The students also toured the Hull sawmill to observe the manufacture of forest products from local logs. Students were able to see the entire process – forests being managed sustainably for the production of timber, the breaking down of logs on on a band head rig, the flow of boards through the sawmill and its dry kilns, and even the secondary manufacturing of flooring from some of this lumber.
Public outreach is an important part of every forester’s job – and we encourage our entire team to help educate the public about the vital role that forests ad forest products play in our ecosystem and economy.
Want to learn more? You can visit Hull Forest Products at these upcoming events:
March 17, 2018: Connecticut Land Conservation Conference, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
March 22-25: Architectural Digest Home Design Show, Pier 94, NYC
March 23-24: JLC Show, Providence, RI Convention Center
March 27-29: New England Society of American Foresters winter meeting, Nashua, NH: New England Forest Stories – The People – The Management – The Technical Knowledge
July 10-12: NWFA Intermediate Wood Flooring Installation, NYC
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.
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.”
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.
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
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
Woods Walk #1: The Man Behind the Yale University Forests October 15 – 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
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.
Sabine H. Schoenberg, founder of SNH, 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.
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
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
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
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
Choosing wide plank flooring? Here are five points to keep in mind.
1. Know the size of your project. When choosing wide plank flooring, first estimate the square footage you will need based on your room’s dimensions, then add 10 percent. Your sawmill or supplier will need to know your square footage needs to determine whether they have enough material in inventory to process your order ASAP. Also be sure your site conditions are appropriate for wood flooring (for example, installing solid wood floors below grade is not recommended).
2. Think about wood species. Spend some time browsing photos of different wood species, and learn about the properties of the woods. Are you choosing a species of wide plank flooring that makes 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. At Hull Forest Products we offer free unfinished samples-just go into one of our species galleries, click on a photo, and select the “more details” button to order samples of any floor.
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 when choosing wide plank flooring. 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.
Compare the look of the random width floor boards in Figure 3 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. On the other hand, if you are hiring a professional to finish your floor on site, there is a cost and an inconvenience factor associated with that, too. 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.
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.com.