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The Hull Forest Guide to Styles of Wide Plank Flooring

By Mary Hull

white oak plank flooring quarter and rift sawn from hull forest productsd
White oak quarter and rift sawn solid wood flooring from Hull Forest Products in a Catskills timber frame home.
Photo credit: @grossanddaley

We custom mill all kinds of hardwood and pine wide plank floors to fit your look and unique style -whether the place you call home is a vintage farmhouse, a brand new home, or an urban apartment, we can make you the perfect floor. Use this style guide to inspire ideas for your next project.

Rustic

Wood with rustic character works well for a variety of spaces – it is a natural fit for log and timber homes, and it’s also great in modern interiors where it serves as the perfect foil for white spaces and sleek surfaces like glass, metal, and tile.

  • Wood floors are an essential design element, comprising the largest visible surface area in your home. Think of them as functional art.
  • Wide and long plank floors create a clean visual line because there are fewer visible seams on the floor. In contrast, shorter and narrower planks create a patchwork effect.
  • Wood with natural character adds a warm, organic element to any interior.
  • Our best selling rustic wood floors are in the natural character grades of live sawn white oak, ash, hickory, maple, and birch. Some people may think of character marks as imperfections, but we think they make the most interesting and beautiful wood floors.

Modern to Contemporary

From mid-century modern to the present day and future, if your interior is informed by modernism, we have some ideas for wood floors that will complement your style.

  • Planks of equal width lend a modern air compared to random width planks, which are associated with early homes and traditional milling techniques.
  • Long planks enhance flow in open floor plans, particularly when the same species and color is used throughout.
  • The angular lines of rift sawn white oak make it a popular choice for modern interiors. We also see our wide plain sawn white oak, red oak, ash, and maple going into modern and contemporary spaces.

Traditional

Have a vintage home? We can make floors to mimic historic milling techniques, and our random width /random length wide plank floors evoke an earlier time.

  • It doesn’t get any more traditional than old fashioned solid wood plank flooring.
  • Long and wide planks & random widths are associated with historic homes. In the old days, when all logs were sawn locally, people used the entire resource as it came off the log, and they would not have had floors that were all one width, or even all one grade. Rather, they had boards in a mix of grades.
  • We see a lot of our random width flooring, especially live sawn white oak, select red oak, and eastern white pine, going into antique, reproduction, and farmhouse style homes. Because these floors are each a mix of several grades and available in a wide range of widths, they are a good fit for a vintage look.

Classic to Transitional

Classic tried and true hardwood flooring enhances your home’s resale value, works with a wide variety of decorating styles, and will look just as timeless in the future as it does today. The transitional style is a classic look that appeals to those seeking middle ground – it is less formal than traditional style and less austere than contemporary style. Transitional style takes elements from the past and the present and mixes them together for a clean aesthetic that prioritizes comfort.

  • Red oak is a classic choice, available in select, premium, and natural grades with plank widths from 3-14 inches and very long plank lengths of 4-10 feet with an average plank length of 7+ feet. Red oak takes stain easily, allowing for a wide range of finish tones, and is less expensive than white oak. Red Oak is also rapidly renewable, making it one of the most environmentally conscious woods you can choose.
  • White oak is another classic choice, available plain sawn, live sawn, or quarter/rift sawn.
  • We see a lot of our select and premium grades of red oak, white oak , ash, and maple going into transitional style homes. When the design leans toward a farmhouse vibe, live sawn white oak is also a popular choice.

Browse more of our flooring photos to get inspired. Ready for your customized quote? Click below or call us at 1-800-928-9602 .

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Red Oak Flooring – Durable, Classic, and Rapidly Renewable

Hull Forest Products Oak flooring Yale University
Red Oak makes a durable, beautiful , and classic kitchen wood floor. Shown here in the quarter and rift sawn cut, select grade. Floor #317. Photo credit: Otto/Pete Aaron for RAMSA Architects.

Red Oak flooring is beautiful and durable, and Red Oak trees are the dominant hardwood species in the United States. Red Oak is also the the most rapidly renewable of all the American hardwoods: it takes U.S. forests just .57 seconds to grow one cubic meter of red oak! (That’s less time than it just took you to read these first two sentences.) Red Oaks do not grow in plantations – they grow naturally in forests throughout the eastern United States. If you are looking for a highly sustainable wood, there is no better choice than Red Oak.

Flatsawn (also known as plainsawn) Red Oak select grade wide plank flooring with Minwax Early American stain applied, floor #357, Norwich, CT.

Red Oaks are named for the color their leaves turn in fall. The wood itself has a distinctive grain and is exceptionally strong and durable. The sapwood is light brown and the heartwood is often, but not always, pinkish to reddish brown. American Red Oak takes stain and finish very well, making it a popular choice for flooring and furniture making.

Side by side, you can see the difference in appearance between these two unfinished flatsawn boards of Red Oak (left) and White Oak (right). The rays (the little dark brown streaks running with the grain) are shorter and less noticeable on Red Oak, whereas the rays in White Oak tend to be longer and more prominent.

There are significant regional differences to Red Oak. At Hull Forest Products we use northern Red Oak grown in New England within 100 miles of our sawmill. Because of the colder temperatures, Northern Red Oak grows slowly, giving it closer, tighter growth rings, finer grain, and a lighter and more consistent color.

A Northern Red Oak log sawn on our double cut bandmill reveals tight clear grain and consistent color.

Red Oak flooring is just as durable and beautiful as White Oak, but because it is so much more abundant, Red Oak is less expensive, making it a great option for those seeking solid wood flooring at a wallet-friendly price.

Learn more about grades and cuts of red oak flooring

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Board Edge Profiles

Edge profiles or treatments refer to the amount of “reveal” on the edge of each floor board. At Hull Forest Products, we can customize the edge profile of your wood flooring or paneling. We have a variety of edge profiles for you to choose from, and while the square (snug) edge is always the most popular option for unfinished floors, there are times when you might want (or need) to choose a different style. (Please note that for the sake of making the edge profiles visually clearer, the photos below do not show endmatched board ends; however, our flooring is endmatched unless otherwise requested). Read on to learn more:

A Square edge profile. The boards abut one another snugly.

The square edge profile is the most common edge profile for floors that will be finished on-site. With a square edge, the floorboards fit flush together, creating a completely flat surface. The floor boards abut one another snugly- there is no groove where the boards join together on the floor. The square edge profile is only available on floors that will be site sanded and finished.

The beveled edge, available as a microbevel or a larger bevel. A beveled edge is necessary on prefinished floors as it allows the floorboards to be installed without sanding.

A beveled edge is necessary on all four sides of the planks of any prefinished floors, as this allows the floor boards to be installed without sanding, accounting for any variation in milling tolerances. A micro-beveled edge is the smallest beveled edge available and will compensate for any minor differences in the thicknesses of the flooring boards, helping to make a smoother transition from one board to another. Because there is a tiny bevel, this can be felt when walking on the floor and the groove is capable of catching dust. A beveled edge also adds a subtle visual outline to the edge of each plank.

A V-match edge creates a deeper bevel, most often seen on wall paneling.

A classic for wall and ceiling paneling, a v-match or v-groove edge creates the look of a chamfered edge, where the edges of two adjoining boards slope downward toward the tongue.

A shiplap edge allows two boards to overlap via a rabbet cut into the opposite edges of the boards.

A shiplap edge is a traditional method of joining two boards that allows the profile of each board to partially overlap that of the board next to it, creating a channel that provides for weather protection and allows for some dimensional movement.

Other profiles not pictured above that we can do are beaded edge, bullnose edge, cove, and quarter round, which are popular on shoe or base molding. We can also make base molding to match your wood flooring. Give us a call today and let us know what you need. (800) 928-9602.

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2019 Sawmill Tour at Hull Forest Products

Join us for our sawmill tour! Connecticut’s largest sawmill, Hull Forest Products, will host free sawmill tours of its forest products manufacturing facility in Pomfret Center, CT on Saturday October 19, 2019 from 8 am to 2 pm. Learn about forest management, timber harvesting, and wood manufacturing, and watch as local timber is transformed into finished products before your eyes. Observe the forest-to-floor process and develop a greater understanding of where local wood products come from and how they are made. Participants will also learn how using local wood helps conserve local forests.

This is a great “how it’s made” tour for all ages, free and open to the public, offered in conjunction with The Last Green Valley’s Walktober.

Hull Forest Products sawmill in Pomfret, CT
View of the Hull Forest Products sawmill, located in Pomfret, CT.

Where: Hull Forest Products, 101 Hampton Road, Pomfret Center, CT 06259

When: Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 8 am to 2 pm.

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Wide Plank Wood Flooring Sawn Locally in CT – A New England Tradition

Hull Forest Products of Pomfret, Connecticut, has been making traditional wide plank wood flooring since the family sawmill got its start in New England over 54 years ago.  The company began as a tiny backyard mill and evolved  to become the largest sawmill in Connecticut, manufacturing over 10 million board feet of forest products each year.

View of the Hull Forest Products sawmill today, located in Pomfret, CT.

Today thousands of homes and buildings in New England and beyond, including storied institutions like Yale and Harvard,  feature custom wide plank wood flooring from this third generation family-run sawmill.

Hull Forest Products Oak flooring Yale University
Hull Forest Products made custom wide plank wood floors for Yale University’s newest residential colleges,  including flooring for the head of college houses. Photo credit: Otto/Pete Aaron for RAMSA Architects.

Wide Plank Wood Flooring Made With Sustainable Local Timber

Made with sustainable local timber coming from family forests in New England, Hull wide plank wood flooring adds beauty to your home and gives you the satisfaction of knowing where your wood comes from. The woodland management division of Hull Forest Products stewards over 50,000 acres of New England forests, providing long-term forest management to landowners and helping them keep their forests as forests.

Hull Forest Products has earned an Environmental Merit Award from the EPA for its role in helping to conserve the region’s working woodlands. When you choose a Hull wood floor, you are helping to conserve forests in the United States.

Dormitories and common areas at Yale’s Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray colleges feature Hull Forest Products flooring. Photo credit: Otto/Pete Aaron for RAMSA Architects.

Mill-Direct Wide Plank Wood Flooring – Lifetime Quality Guarantee

Hull Forest Products specializes in long and wide plank wood floors and custom matching stair components – all products are made to last for generations, and customers receive a lifetime quality guarantee.  Wood products are sold mill-direct to the public with nationwide shipping.

Shop the company’s  custom wide plank floors at hullforest.com  or visit the Hull Forest Products wood flooring showroom at 101 Hampton Road, Pomfret Center, CT 06259 (open daily 8-4, nights/weekends by appointment)  1-800-928-9602.

Hull siblings and business partners at the family sawmill.
Hull siblings Sam, Mary, and Ben (shown at the Hull Forest Products sawmill in Pomfret, CT)  carry the family business forward today.

 

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Hull Forest Products Makes Forest-to-Floor Wood Floors for Yale University

Hull Forest Products made custom Red Oak rift and quartersawn wood flooring for the new Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin residential colleges at Yale University in New Haven. Photo copyright Peter Aaron/Otto for Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

When Yale University new residential colleges architect Robert A.M. Stern  specified rift and quartersawn Red Oak floors from Yale’s own university forests,  Hull Forest Products  made that dream a reality.

Dorm rooms at Yale’s new residential colleges feature Hull Forest Products flooring! Photo credit: Peter Aaron/Otto for RAMSA Architects.

As a woodland management service and a sawmill, Hull Forest Products was able to plan and undertake a timber harvest in Yale’s CT forest. Together with Red Oak logs from Yale’s NH forest, this timber became the stock for the flooring. Hull Forest Products trucked the logs to its Pomfret, CT sawmill, sawed them on its band saw, then air and kiln dried the lumber before custom milling it into the 5 inch wide solid Red Oak plank flooring that now graces the Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray Colleges.  This wood helped increase the percentage of locally sourced materials used in the project, helping it earn Gold LEED certification.

Wood flooring was used throughout the common areas of Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin Colleges, including the head of college houses.

Hull Forest Products Oak flooring Yale University
Sustainably harvested rift and quartersawn Red Oak from Yale’s own forests was used throughout the project, including flooring for the head of college houses. Photo credit: Peter Aaron/Otto for RAMSA Architects.

Hull oak flooring at Yale University
Project: Pauli Murray College and Benjamin Franklin College
Architect: Robert A.M. Stern Architects; RAMSA
Location: New Haven, CT.

 

Project: Pauli Murray College and Benjamin Franklin College
Architect: Robert A.M. Stern Architects; RAMSA
Location: New Haven, CT.

In addition to manufacturing wood flooring, Hull Forest Products stewards over 50,000 acres of working forests in New England, helping to keep these forests as forests. Hull Forest Products has earned an Environmental Merit award from the EPA for its role in conserving forestland in New England.

For more info on our products and services, visit hullforest.com or contact us at 1-800-928-9602.

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Hull Forest Products Wood Floors at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show NYC

Figured Birch wide plank floors by Hull Forest Products in a Newport Beach, California home. Hull wide plank floors and the company’s forest-to-floor sustainable business model have been featured in the New York Times, The Boston Globe, Designer Pages, Apartment Therapy, and Dwell. 

Hull Forest Products will be exhibiting its show-stopping wood floors at the 2019 Architectural Digest Home Design Show at Pier 94, 55th Street at Twelfth Avenue, New York City, March 21-24, 2019.

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Five Reasons To Love Live Sawn White Oak Floors

Modern kitchen with wide plank live sawn wood floors
Live sawn wood floors are sawn straight off the log, allowing for wide planks with a variety of grain patterns.

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 center cut floors” or “French Oak floors” 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 and utilizing as much of each log as possible.

Oak log sits on log deck waiting to be live sawn
An oak log sits on deck at the Hull Forest Products sawmill in Connecticut. When we are making live sawn wood floors, our band mill makes a series of straight cuts all the way through the log.

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 (also known as flat) sawn.

Diagram of the four types of saw cuts
Illustration 1: This graphic demonstrates the different types of saw cuts and the resulting grain pattern of the boards.

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 wood floors in a new timber frame home
Live sawn White Oak wood flooring in a new timber frame home.

Live sawn oak floors are a classic flooring look that adds a welcome organic element of wood and warmth to any interior. Browse photos of our live sawn wood floors in a variety of interior styles. 

5. Live sawn floors offer excellent value

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.

Shop Live Sawn White Oak floors

Read Customer Reviews

We hope you’ll stop by the wide plank flooring showroom at our Connecticut sawmill, or have a sample mailed to you. We ship our floors nationwide.

Give us a call today at 1-800-928-9602 to order a sample and request a quote – or email us. You can also visit us online at www.hullforest.com.

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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.