In today’s hyper paced, digitally manufactured marketplaces, the basic human element of trust can easily get sideswiped by a whole lot of noisy marketing. So here at William & Henry we recommend that before making a substantial financial investment on a high end product like wide plank flooring, it’s wise to do a gut check – and really investigate the company producing your floor.
My family has been in the flooring business for more than 30 years. And I can tell you from experience that crafting a truly custom wide plank floor – from harvest to installation – is a painstakingly detailed, intricate process that requires a careful, step by step understanding of the people and places the wood travels to – and thru – along the way.
We can deliver an exquisite William & Henry floor in a four to six week period. But we don’t do it by cutting corners or buying planks from an indistinct warehouse then slapping a logo on the delivery package (unfortunately this is more common than you might think).
It’s only possible because the William & Henry team has exclusive working relationships with some of the most knowledgeable sawyers, sawmill owners and craftsmen in the United States. These relationship were built over decades. The trusted Carlisle family legacy began with my parents who were known for the warmth and integrity of their business dealings – and their deep respect for nature. It’s a tradition I proudly continued while growing my previous business Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, and now at William & Henry.
Relationships with highly qualified professionals like these are especially important because each tree species must be understood at an intimate level to reveal the necessary factors for a wide plank floor to emerge. I’ve spent the past 30 years of my life inspecting and studying millions of feet of flooring – comprised of every type of wood grown in North America – but it still amazes me every day how many steps must be aligned to ensure a wide plank floor arrives at your job site perfectly finished:
- The man cutting the tree in the forest has to be wise in how he fells the tree ensure minimal impact on the wood and forest; and where to cross cut each log from the tree to ensure the greatest use of the wood.
- The saw mill where William & Henry sources our lumber has to be a trusted, reputable operation that is committed to producing high quality artistic integrity over mass produced volume.
- Then drying the wood, probably one of the most critical (and least understood) steps. There is little margin of error for getting the water out of the wood without putting undue stress on the boards. Especially since each type of wood has its own science in how this has to be done, using a varying mix of temperature, dehumidification, and air movement to slowly extract water.
- Then at William & Henry’s finish mill, where we get to work and shape each piece of wood into the perfect floor by choosing each board face separately; deciding on the width and or lengths. Then milling the wood slowly, trying to minimize any mill marks and keep the fit of the flooring precise.
Each step in this highly efficient, exacting process is based on a legacy of shared trust that has passed from the Carlisle family to the William & Henry team – and is inherent in each sawyer, sawmill operator and craftsman behind the scenes. The result is a uniform, exquisitely handcrafted, hand selected wide plank floor – a work of art showcasing the beauty of nature.