Flooring Rock Elm Plank
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Rock Elm Plank Floor
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- Random width 3” thru 9”
- Most common widths will be 4” 5" 6" 7”, followed by 8” and 9”, and some 3”
- Our favorite characteristic of Rock Elm, unlike any other wood species, is that as light changes or moves through a room, the Rock Elm color shifts. Likewise, as the viewer sees the floor from different positions, the perceived color tone changes. It is truly amazing!
- Accepts stain color like a dream, though most prefer natural
- A GREAT do-it-yourself option, and we will gladly provide the tutorial for a successful installation!
This hand-selected Rock Elm salvaged plank flooring is produced from salvaged barn beams to flooring entirely by our company for one client at a time. We specifically search for antique barns for this rare wood species in areas the groves once grew, North of the snow-belt. After salvaging the entire barn, the carrier beams and sleeper beams are de-metaled by hand, then sawn into flooring blanks using antique circle head-saws and band-saws. Next, the selected blanks are transported to a kiln, then through the high precision mill machine where it is transformed into beautiful three-quarter inch full thickness tongue and groove flooring.
Interestingly, this wood species was rarely used in upright timber framing. When these giants grew they were so hard and dense that they were deemed by early settlers to be too difficult and heavy for uprights but were perfect for the carrier beams that the entire barn was built on. Additionally, through the aging process the beams have actually become harder. The unique nature of Rock Elm’s grain pattern makes it an extremely stable wood product, extremely resistant to water and moisture. For this reason, Rock Elm is an ideal wood option for kitchens and bathrooms, BIG dogs, too!
Rock Elm flooring is milled from salvaged barn carrier and sleeper beams, resulting in very few mortise pockets and peg holes. There are some rare occasions as the barn was being built that a mortise pocket, peg holes or nails were necessary for perhaps rungs of a ladder, hooks for tools, etc. AND on the very rare occasion, we'll be lucky enough to discover spalting during the cutting process. You'll notice these rare features are showcased and highlighted in the Winneconne home to celebrate the history, heritage and preservation of our American Midwest Barn.
Stylistically, our plank floor can be paired with fixtures and furnishings that span industrial and rustic to elegant and refined. While many of our customers, both residential and commercial, choose this style of floor for its strength, durability and visual appeal, no two can ever be the same! Your floor will have an undeniable history and becomes a personal work of art that cannot be duplicated. We often photograph the barn before dismantling and can provide provenance. And if you like, we will provide that photograph to you for artwork.
Flooring surface options include rough-sawn, skip-planed circle-sawn, and smooth-top. Rock Elm’s complex grain is best revealed through smooth-top.
A history of Rock Elm...
"Today, if you could find a rock elm (Ulmus thomasii) that was somehow passed up by yester-year's lumberjacks, you'd marvel at this species. Before the 1920s, you could readily find stands of trees 100' tall and 3' in diameter from southern Ontario to southern Michigan and Wisconsin. The rock elm's size, of course, made it attractive to lumbermen. Without a use, though, even the largest of trees won't spark logging activity. But the rock, or cork elm as it is often called, had many. Back when British shipbuilders scoured the Colonies' vast forests, they discovered rock elm. Its wood was nearly as tough as hickory, yet wouldn't split. And under water, rock elm outlasted any other North American hardwood. So the virgin stands began to fall, their logs sent overseas. Later, in the dawn of the auto industry, loggers again felled the rock elm to get shock-absorbing stock for wheel hubs, spokes, and frames. Wooden ice-box manufacturing also prompted rock elm's harvest. The wood stood up well to dampness, and scrubbed clean with little effort. Made into farm implements-and even furniture-it withstood abuse. In fact, lumberjacks preferred rock elm over any other wood for ax handles. And why is rock elm absent from today's commercial wood list? The species has been relegated to poorer soils, which produce smaller and more widely scattered trees. The large rock elm stands remain history." - Wood Magazine
Antique woods are a sustainable, ecological choice, using existing wood in your project and saving new living trees. Salvaged posts, beams and timbers are historical, centuries old, virgin growth timber making it fundamentally stronger and more durable than new wood. Naturally organic, and bursting with character without any effort, the collage of old wood is always a masterpiece, inspired by mother nature’s true beauty.
Often cost per square foot of new flooring vs. reclaimed wood is compared. There is a fundamental flaw in this comparison. Modern commercial flooring products have evolved so much that these products do not resemble real organic wood anymore. Luxury laminates are just that, a laminate, a high density fiberboard with a thickness of 2mm to 8mm. Our Rock Elm plank floor is virgin growth timber, aged wood, milled to a standard ¾” thickness. There is no comparing it to fiberboard veneer. Additionally, contrary to marketing ads, luxury laminate does dent and scratch. Cleaning and maintaining any floor, including our timber frame plank floor, is as easy as mild soap and water. There really is no comparison for the look and feel of natural, aged wood vs. modern commercial flooring products.
When incorporating reclaimed, salvaged wood into your project, the cost savings is long-term. Consider this - many of our new house construction customers amortize construction costs, including the flooring, over the life of their mortgage. The flooring you choose is an integral part of construction, much like framing materials, windows, insulation, roof, etc. Good decisions on the front end eliminate additional costs and inconveniences in the future. When you use our Rock Elm plank floor, it never loses fashion and fad, never needing to be replaced, timeless. You have created an heirloom that is valued by generations. An heirloom that appreciates in value is always the best investment!
With our commitment to preserving history and heritage, working with you, we will create your one-of-a-kind art floor. Some of the unique factors to consider as we work together are:
1) the percentage of timber frame characteristics
2) surface texture - the percentage of rough sawn, skip-plane, smooth
3) percentage of identifiable patina such as nail and peg holes, checking, staining, etc
4) board widths
5) creative patterns such as borders, inserts, full floor designs, etc
Your art floor will be timeless!
8 to 10 weeks is generally a safe production period, though under certain, specific conditions, the time frame can often be reduced.
When we make a floor for you, we become partners in preserving history and heritage. If you are considering our Rock Elm floor for your project but have budget constraints, please do not hesitate to reach out to us to discuss a more affordable Rock Elm option, 920-232-6666
It is expected that reclaimed material may include characteristic defects such as checking, hewn marks, wane, nail and peg holes, mortise pockets, powder post beetle holes, spalting, staining, circle/band saw marks, etc.