Engraining Passion into Wide Planks

Don and Dale standing on woodpile 1984

Passion is fueled by hard work — by working in below-freezing temperatures and grinding down wood planks to preserve every unique characteristic. This passion and desire to maintain the pristine uniqueness in each and every tree and piece of flooring is what led me to start William & Henry after spending a lifetime engrained in the flooring industry and working with hundreds of individuals around the world discussing our forests and trees.

When I was a young boy listening to conversations between sellers and buyers of wide pine floors, I became keenly aware of just how much people loved the look of these floors in their homes. For me, this flooring was all I’d ever known — we had wide boards for our floors, walls, cabinets, dining table, and practically ever other wood surface in my home growing up. In fact, some of my earliest memories are of driving around with my Dad finding wide pine boards at local sawmills and bringing them home to dry and season to eventually sell to restoration projects around New England. The raw beauty of each slab of wood contains always struck me and still does today.

By the time I was twenty years old, I’d seen 500,000 feet of wide pine a year since I was eight years old — handled it from drying it to sawing it to installing it. That’s over six million feet of wide pine. Once I took the reins of Carlisle over from my father in the early 80’s, I made it my passion to preserve that traditional style of early American architecture while supporting small, local sawmills. I set my mind on developing a plank flooring company that established wider plank floors in many north American hardwoods like Pine, Hickory, Oak, Walnut, Cherry and Maple. This was the beginning of the “true” Carlisle Wide Plank floors which later led to the creation of William and Henry Wide Plank Floors.

I’ve been lucky enough to spend my life being able to work with wood, nature, and homeowners who enjoy the wood as much as I do when they live on the floors. Building my old company, Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As we grew, the size and scale forced me to learn more about all the types of wood we could make floors from — this quickly became a new passion for me, too.

The most exciting part of this business to me is and has always been educating people about the wood we use, the forests we source from, and the importance of every piece the process — from cutting down a tree to installing in a home. Each and every step has an impact on our forests, tree regrowth, and our climate — all things that have become true passions for me. The more we can continue to learn about our forests, the more this passion will develop for others and the beauty within our unique floors can be preserved and admired.

The recipe is pretty simple as far as what we do — we enjoy teaching you about the trees your floors will be made from, working with the lumber mills, working with the wood, molding it into your floors, and creating a new relationship. At William & Henry, we don’t barter with pricing, and we aren’t looking to be the best price — it just isn’t our model. Instead, we deliver a floor designed for you and your space with a story, unique characteristics, and a passion for beautiful wood

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