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The deVOL Journal

Douglas Fir

7th January 2020

By Sophie Mitchell

Great flooring is hard to find. Great wood flooring is even harder to find!

Paul, the founder of Floors of Stone and deVOL Kitchens, has been desperately searching for the perfect wood flooring to complement deVOL’s timeless kitchens for years. Something authentic and honest. Traditional Victorian pine flooring – that’s his ideal.

We love original wood flooring, like we have in our showroom here at Cotes Mill, but not everyone is lucky enough to have it in their own home. We briefly investigated the world of reclaimed flooring, but we decided it was too problematic and unreliable to offer to our customer, so we went searching high and low for a good alternative. We eventually came across a supplier of Douglas fir wood, and we fell in love!

This was Paul’s brief: “The boards I have always wanted are those that are closest to old pine boards. I think it’s OK to have knots if they are tight and small, and not too many. That’s what old pine has, I want something that doesn’t seem to detract too much from the look of old slow grown pine floor boards, and the old pine panels in Victorian and Georgian furniture.”

They were happy to work with us, to make Paul’s vision come to life. We’ve sourced two kinds of Douglas fir – Native (sourced from here in the UK, our current batch is from Redcastle in Scotland) and Canadian. The Native is a little wilder, with more figure and grain detail, but still a beautiful, subtle floor. The Canadian planks have a straighter grain and cleaner look. Both are sourced from sustainable, certified, well-managed forests.

Douglas fir is a softwood, an evergreen conifer species within the Pine family; fast-growing and extremely tall, the trees can reach up to 100m high. This means we are able to create wide and long planks, perfect for adding a luxurious feel to a space. The wood is generally a pale straw colour with pink undertones, and is popularly used in Scandinavian interiors as it works well bleached with Lye and Soap finishes. We also think it looks great stained a rich, warm colour.

After seeing samples of different cuts of the wood, we eventually settled on asking for the logs to be quarter sawn, which keeps the grain straighter and stops the wood from becoming too wild with pattern. We then gave the timber merchant strict guidelines as to how big we would like the knots and shakes in the planks, to ensure the highest quality wood flooring for our customers. None of the tree goes to waste, anything we don’t use will be used by someone else for a variety of things, including beams, cladding or wood chips.

The finest trees are selected, felled, and then sawn into planks of varying widths and lengths. They are then laid out with sticks separating them and weighted on top, to allow them to rest and settle to a nice, flat plank. They are left to air dry for up to six weeks and finally transferred to a kiln, where they continue to dry for another four weeks until they reach a moisture content of 6-8%.

Once fully dried, the planks are planed, tongue and grooved, and given relieving grooves on the back, ready to send out to customers to be used as their lovely new floor. The wood will be supplied unfinished, allowing customers to finish it exactly how they want to suit their interior. We’ve started experimenting with a few finishes, stains and waxes to give you some deVOL inspiration, which we’re excited to show you when they’re finalised!

The planks will be supplied in three different widths in the Native and two different widths in the Canadian and in random lengths of up to 3.7m. This helps you create a floor that looks authentic and original.

You can find the Douglas Fir on our website here: https://www.floorsofstone.com/our-tile-range/douglas-fir but please do get in touch with our friendly sales team if you have any questions, and they will be happy to help.

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