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” 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.

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 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.

Learn more about 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.

Call or email us to order a sample or request a quote: 1-800-928-9602

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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  natural 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, rustic grade wood character and 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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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!

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.

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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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Hull Forest Products Is Project Partner with Sabine’s 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 Sabine’s New House (SNH) and will be supplying wood flooring for the SNH’s Greenwich House!

Watch the video

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.

Browse Hull Forest Products Wood Floors

 

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Warming Up a White Kitchen with Wood Flooring

Looking for a modern kitchen that’s also cozy ? Consider adding wood flooring.  For a primer on how to warm up an industrial space with warm wood tones, check out this white kitchen in Boston’s South End.  The cooler elements (white brick, white macaubus quartzite, white cabinets) juxtapose with the warm variegation of the Hickory wide plank floors, upping the cozy factor. The copper faucet and pot rail add another warm element.

The homeowners chose the natural Hickory wood floor because its character and color added a rustic element to their space. They also wanted a durable wood that would hold up well for their family, which includes two dogs. Photo by Matt Delphenich Architectural Photography.

Chris Greenawalt of Bunker Workshop in Charlestown, MA, transformed  the space’s quirks, including an old pizza oven and a triangular shaped alcove, into functional shelving (made from leftover hickory flooring) and extra storage space. With no upper cabinets, the space is open and filled with natural light.

Warming up a white kitchen with a variegated wood floor.
Natural American Hickory wood flooring with grain and color variation contrasts beautifully with the white elements, adding warmth and life. Photo by Matt Delphenich Architectural Photography.

The homeowners used Hickory flooring throughout to add a warm lived-in feel to an otherwise industrial and modern space and help pull the look together. The warm toned wood continues up the stairs with modern square edge and square ended Hickory treads and risers laid over white painted wood. The high color contrast between the light sapwood and the darker heartwood in the Hickory flooring and stairs adds texture and warmth–like a cozy blanket–preventing the space from feeling stark.

Hickory stair treads and risers with square edges and ends.
Hickory stair treads and risers with square edges and ends make a decidedly modern profile. Applied over a white background, they draw the eye up. Photo by Matt Delphenich Architectural Photography.

The original stairway in the home was traditional, and the homeowners wanted to modernize it, but due to building codes, they could not change the footprint of the original steps. Together with their c0ntractor, Michel Beaudry, and their architect, Bunker Workshop, they devised a zig-zag pattern that ensured each tread was the same size as it had been previously,  but with a modern line and no overhanging nosing. Hull Forest Products custom milled the Hickory treads and risers to their specifications.

The homeowners wanted to source their floors locally, which led to their decision to choose Hull Forest Products, the largest sawmill in the greater Boston area, and a producer of custom-milled wide plank floors and stairs from local wood.  “We absolutely love our floors,” say the homeowners, who completed their home renovation in 2014. “Their character is one of the favorite characteristics of our home.”

The wood flooring and stair parts shown in the photos above are Hull Forest Products’s natural grade Hickory, with knots and color variation, finished with a water based poly. No stain was used.

This apartment has been featured in The Boston Globe, Apartment Therapy, and The Anatomy of Design.

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Five Things You Should Know When Choosing Wide Plank Wood Flooring

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 10-15 percent, depending on the shape of the rooms.   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 our sawmill,  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.

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 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 plank widths are a mix of 9-14 inches.

Live sawn White oak flooring
Figure 3: Live sawn White Oak flooring from Hull Forest Products, in random plank widths of 9-14 inches.

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.

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 from Hull Forest Products, 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.  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 wood floor because it will have a snug, square edge with no bevel, compared to a prefinished floor, which will have a slight microbeveled edge on the long sides of the planks.  You also  have a greater range of finish options when site-finishing your wood floor.  It’s up to you, so weigh your options.

Shop Our Wide Plank Wood Floors

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.com.

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Hull Floors Used At Frye Boot Stores

Frye Boot’s Manhattan flagship store used ten inch wide floor planks of natural White Oak from Hull Forest Products.

If you have visited Frye Boot’s Manhattan or Boston stores, you’ve stood on Hull wide plank Oak floors. Frye Boot, the oldest continually operated shoe brand in the United States, wanted the design and visual merchandising of its stores to reference their long history of shoemaking, and they turned to “raw” ingredients like wood, leather, and metal to convey the company’s brand heritage.  Hull Forest Products provided ten inch wide live sawn solid White Oak flooring for the New York store and eight inch wide live sawn White Oak flooring for the Boston location. Both floors are rustic grade, with occasional knots and character markings, and both were given a dark multi-tonal stain to help create the “vintage workshop” feel envisioned by the Frye’s design team.

Learn more about our wood floors

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Wide Plank Pine Floors

wide pine floor custom finished to look like old heart pine
Figure 1: Newly sawn Eastern White Pine + a custom stain + pure tung oil for a matte finish = an antique looking wide pine floor, from $5.05/square foot. The homeowner used our premium grade wide pine, stained it with hoodfinishing.com’s “burnt umber” wiping stain (that had been thinned with a reducer) then applied several coats of pure tung oil (from realmilkpaint.com) that was thinned 50/50 with mineral spirits. The result was this beautiful low-luster matte finish.

The first floors we milled at Hull Forest Products nearly fifty years ago were wide pine floors, and wide plank pine continues to be one of our best selling wood floors for kitchens and other rooms. New England homeowners (and many others with antique, farmhouse, or period inspired homes) love traditional wide pine. There is something about the width and length of the planks, the large sound red knots, and the patina that develops that makes a wide pine floor charming. The floor has an heirloom quality.

Customers often come to us looking for a floor that emulates the look and feel of old pumpkin pine or heart pine at a reasonable price, so we show them how our clients have chosen to finish their new wide pine floors to mimic the look of an antique floor. See Figure 1 above for an example, and check out our pine flooring gallery for many others.

Some of you may be familiar with the living history museum, Old Sturbridge Village. They used our wide pine floors for their Oliver Wight Tavern Building. If you get a chance to visit there, be sure to check out this floor (shown in Figure 2 below).  It is an interesting example as it had no finish applied at all and has been left to weather the heavy public foot traffic in the buff.

Our wide pine flooring in use at Old Sturbridge Village in the Oliver Wight Tavern. OSV applied no finish to the floor, preferring to let it age naturally.
Figure 2: Our wide pine flooring in use at Old Sturbridge Village in the Oliver Wight Tavern. OSV applied no finish to the floor, preferring to let it age naturally.

We source our flooring grade pine from the historic Myers Pond and Yale University Forests in Connecticut, harvesting only during the cold winter months so we get the best color retention.  We mill our wide pine floors from logs predominantly twelve feet and longer, selecting  for even growth and live red knots.

Wide pine flooring lovers are often history buffs, so you may be interested to know that the Eastern White Pine tree played a role in the American Revolution. Because it grows so tall, Eastern White Pine has long been used for the masts of ships, and the British Navy tried to reserve the tallest White Pines in the colonies for the masts of British naval vessels. When an act to this effect was enforced in New Hampshire, it outraged the colonists. Though forbidden to cut “any pine tree of the growth of 12 inches of diameter,” it became unfashionable to have floorboards in one’s home that were less than 12 inches wide.

In 1772 a sawmill owner in Weare, New Hampshire was arrested and fined when white pine logs with the king’s broad arrow mark were found at his mill.  He and a group of about 40 townspeople rioted, attacking the sheriff and his deputy and literally running them out of town in what became known as the Pine Tree Riot.  This act of rebellion against British authority was an inspiration for the Boston Tea Party, which took place the following year.

For those of you who appreciate the “story” that boards can tell, see figure 3, below. This is a truly unique pine board with a very old pruning mark  that was revealed when the log was sawn.  (Thanks to Tom Fletcher in our flooring shop for spotting this.)  The flat dark lines at the ends of the knots indicate where the tree was pruned.  As you can see, the tree healed quickly and went on to produce clear grain. This board is 24″ wide and comes from a tree with an estimated age of 125-175 years.

pine board with pruning mark visible in wood grain
Figure 3: This 24″ Eastern White Pine board came from a tree with an estimated age of 125-175 years; someone pruned the tree around the turn of the century and you can see that in the straight dark lines at the ends of the knots.

Visit our gallery of wide plank pine floors for more information and to browse photos showing how the application of stains and/or finishes can change the look of a wide pine floor.

For quotes or samples, email us or call 1-800-928-9602.

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