Wide Plank Wood Flooring In The Kitchen

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:

Warm colored cherry wood floors brighten an all white kitchen.
Our select grade American Cherry wide plank wood flooring brings color to a white kitchen.

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.

Warming up a white kitchen with a variegated wood floor.
Our  premium grade American Hickory wood flooring with grain and color variation enlivens an all white kitchen.

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, the wood character and the color variation between hickory’s pale sapwood and darker brown heartwood create the wow factor.

figured grain of curly birch wood flooring adds interest to a white kitchen
Our Curly Birch wide plank flooring in a coastal kitchen, Newport Beach, California.

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.

Browse wide plank floors

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Why You’ll Love Rift and Quarter Sawn Oak Floors

Comfortable as your favorite blue jeans, you’ll love our rift and quartersawn White Oak floors. This photo is from a customer  home in East Hampton, New York. The stain used on the floor was a Minwax blend – 6 Golden Oak to 1 Honey.

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.

florida beach house with white oak quarter and rift sawn wood floors.
White Oak select grade quarter and rift sawn custom wood flooring we made for a beach home in Key West, Florida. This floor has a clear poly finish.

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!]

Our rift and quartersawn select grade White Oak flooring in a Greenwich Village apartment,  featured in Dwell Magazine.

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).

Quartersawn white oak flooring from Hull Forest Products.
Our select grade 8″ wide quartersawn White Oak floorboards in a Setauket, Long Island home. This floor has a light brown stain and a Sutherland Welles Murdoch tung oil finish.

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.

Exhibit 1: Types of saw cuts and the look of the grain that is revealed on the face of the boards. Notice that the live sawn cut, which cuts straight through the log, contains all three grain types.

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.

Close-up view of our quarter and rift sawn blend wood flooring, select grade, with medullary rays visible at top and bottom and rift sawn grain visible in the center.

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.

Rift sawn select grade White Oak has grain that is mostly straight and uniform, with none of the wavy fleck.

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.

This Gramecery Park apartment features our rift/quarter sawn select grade wood floors, darkened with a Jacobean stain.
Upper East Side apartment with our rift and quartersawn select White Oak flooring.

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.

Rift and quartersawn White Oak with knots, character markings, and skip planing has a vintage look and feel.

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.

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White Oak Wide Plank Floors

Custom quarter sawn white oak floors from Hull Forest Products.
Figure 1: Select grade quarter and rift sawn White Oak in a Manhattan apartment. This floor features five inch plank widths and plank lengths of four to nine feet. The floor was stained with Minwax Special Walnut.

White Oak. Quercus Alba.

Considering a White Oak wide plank 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.

Pale White Oak wood flooring in five inch plank widths, from Hull Forest Products.
Figure 2: Select grade pale White Oak plank flooring, five inch plank widths. Because each plank is the same width, this floor has a more contemporary look. A water-based poly finish helped preserve the paleness of this floor.

The appearance of a White Oak wide plank floor also depends on the method by which the log was sawn.  Common styles are: plain sawn (see figure 3 below), quarter sawn,  rift sawn, and live 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:

Close up view of the grain in plainsawn White Oak flooring from Hull Forest Products.
Figure 3: Close up view of the grain in plain sawn White Oak select grade flooring.

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:

Close up view of the grain of quarter/rift sawn White Oak flooring.
Figure 4: Close up view of the grain of quarter/rift sawn White Oak select grade flooring. With this method,  both the undulating grain (shown toward the top of the photo) and the straighter rift cut grain (shown on the bottom of the photo) are visible on the face of the planks.

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:

Close-up view of the grain of rift sawn White Oak wood flooring.
Figure 5: Close-up view of the grain of rift sawn White Oak flooring.

Live sawn oak is another style that comes from a different type of saw cut, one that slices from the outside diameter all the way through the log. It results in a floor with all three types of grain: plain, quarter, and rift.

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.

Character grade White Oak flooring from Hull Forest Products.
Figure 6: Natural grade live sawn White Oak replete with knots and character markings.

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.

Natural character grade White Oak flooring - Frye Boot Store, Manhattan, NYC.
Figure 7: Hull Forest Products’s Natural character grade White Oak flooring finished with a dark stain, Frye Boot Store, Manhattan.

Hopefully you’ve found these pictures and descriptions helpful in determining what kind of White Oak wide plank 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  www.hullforest.com.

 

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Quarter, Rift, or Plain Sawn Wide Plank Floors?

Have you ever wondered about the difference between quarter, rift and plain sawn floors? Well, here’s a primer for your reference. The way a log is cut by the saw will determine the orientation of the grain in the wood. This post discusses the difference between 1.) plain sawn floors – the default way of sawing in the modern world and 2.) quarter and rift sawing.

Plain Sawn Floors

Plain sawn Red Oak flooring with cathedral grain pattern.
Figure 1: Plain sawn Red Oak showing cathedral grain.

The most obvious difference between plain sawn and quarter and rift sawn flooring is appearance. Most flooring today is plain sawn. In plain sawing, character markings and figure patterns resulting from the annual rings are brought out more fully, including the characteristic cathedral graining that is so prominent in woods like Oak (see figure 1). Plain sawn floors also tend to be available in wider widths than quarter and rift sawn floors.

The face appearance of a floor plank is determined by the way the wood grain is exposed by the saw. All logs consist of concentric annual growth rings of wood, beginning in the center and moving outwards. In plain sawing, a log is moved back and forth on a saw carriage and rotated with each successive slice until it is cut from the outside inwards. With plain sawn lumber, the growth rings, visible at the butt end sof the boards, will typically range from parallel with the surface of the board to a 30 degree angle or more from the surface of the board.

Quarter and Rift Sawn Floors

Red Oak quarter and rift sawn showing medullary fleck.
Figure 2: Red Oak quarter and rift sawn, revealing medullary rays.

Quarter sawn floors are a relative rarity today and as such they have cachet among homeowners looking for the unique.

Quarter sawing slices perpendicular to the wood’s annual growth rings, resulting in a straight grain appearance that also exposes the medullary rays, producing a unique figure or fleck that is highly sought after for furniture and cabinet making (see figure 2). Those familiar with the Arts and Craft and “Mission Oak” style of the early twentieth century will recognize this fleck.

In quarter sawing, the log is first quartered and then the quarters are cut again into slices. This method produces both quarter sawn and rift sawn boards. The center boards (true quartersawn) will have growth rings positioned at 60-90 degrees to the board’s surface. This is best viewed from the butt ends of the boards. As the cuts are made from the quarters, they become more rift sawn (growth rings at 30-60 degrees from the surface). When flooring companies refer to quarter sawn wood, they are usually referring to a specialty wood flooring cut that is a combination of quarter and rift sawn.

The straight grain of quarter and rift sawn wood is very consistent, making it desirable among furniture makers. Because quarter sawn lumber takes more time to produce and produces less yield (there is no boxed heart left over to market as pallet lumber), it costs more than plain sawn. There is also demand for quarter sawn lumber among furniture and cabinet makers, boat builders, instrument makers, and others.

In Figures 3 and 4 we have room photos to more clearly illustrate how the appearance differs in plainsawn and quarter/rift sawn wood floors.  Note how the grain in the floor shown in Figure 3, below, appears quite straight, with some waves of fleck.

Figure 3: View of quarter and rift sawn Red Oak floor.

 

The overall look of a quarter and rift sawn Oak floor is entirely different from that of a plainsawn Oak floor, which has the typical cathedral or flame-shaped peaks that are very prominent and broad in the grain.

In Figure 4 we have an example of plainsawn Red Oak in a room setting.  Here you can really see the beautiful flame-like peaks in the broad grain, which is what most of us think of when we consider Oak. Both floors are made from the same species and grade of wood.  The only difference is in the angle of the saw cut and the color of the stain and/or  finish chosen for the floors.

View of plainsawn Red Oak grain.
Figure 4: Plainsawn Red Oak grain, with the peaks in the grain quite prominent.

If you need to see the differences up close and would like to order samples of our flooring, we are happy to assist.  Call 1-800-928-9602 or email us today.

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