My Field Trip… to the Saw Mill!

I went on a field trip this past week!

Yup, I drove over 90 minutes one way {and I hate driving} to look at wood floors — but not just ANY wood floors — these are floors made from old, reclaimed barn wood.

Floors that looked like this…

Aren’t They Fantastic!

These floors are the product of Creation Woodworks in Hubardson, MI. They are hand-crafted by husband and wife team, Ken and Ruth Gee, who’s woodshop and sawmill is literally ”over the river and through the woods”.

Their driveway is almost a mile long on a beautiful piece of property over-looking a river…

…hidden back behind acres and acres of trees…

…and “guarded” by their 2 cute dogs!

Ever been inside a woodshop before?

If not, you’re missing out!

The process required to turn old, OLD wood beams and other barn wood into beautiful wide-plank wood flooring is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!

The day I visited, Ken and his son just finished doing some rough mill work {see the pile below}.

The shop was really organized with different types and sizes of wood on different shelves.

And the equipment needed to turn a piece of rough barn timber into a beautifully smooth piece of tongue and groove flooring is pretty amazing. You can read about the entire process here.

Ken and Ruth  are two of the nicest people! They showed me around their home and their shop for over an hour, answering all my questions and giving me helpful hints so I could choose the best flooring for our farmhouse.

So what did I decide?

After my tour, I decided on 7″ yellow pine boards for our floors. Ruth gave me a few pieces of yellow pine so I could try different colors of stains and polyurethane to assure our floor will look spectacular.

I’m currently leaning towards Minwax’s Dark Walnut 2716 or Jacobean 2750 stain {see bottom row below} with a satin or semi-gloss polyurethane.

That combination will hopefully produce a floor that looks similar to this one below {minus the rug!}

What do you think?

Pretty cool huh! Now we just need to learn how to install it!

What color would you choose? Dark Walnut or Jacobean?

22 comments to My Field Trip… to the Saw Mill!

  • Oooh, I’m so excited for you! Dark wide-plank floors are my dream! Personally, I’d lean toward the Dark Walnut because I like its warmth, but the Jacobean is beautiful, too. You can’t go wrong!

    Andrea
    Twitter: FarmhouseLove
    Reply:

    Thanks for the input. My goal is for the floors to look “warm” {even though they might feel cold!}

  • oh my word! i love the idea of this shop!! i love old weathered barns & would love to (someday) have floors made of up-cycled, beautiful, weathered wood!!

    i’m soooo excited to see this project! and i bet the shop smelled lovely… love the smell of saw dust :)

    also, as far as the color… not to sway you away from the lovely molasses color, but darker flooring shows more dust and crumbs… so if it were up to me, i would go with the dark walnut :) just my two cents!

    Andrea
    Twitter: FarmhouseLove
    Reply:

    Thanks for your “two cents” Ann,
    We had dark floors in our first house and they did show a lot of dirt — so I totally agree with you. But there is just something about the really dark wood floors that I LOVE.

    We are planning to do all white trim so I feel the dark floors will really stand out. And maybe I’ll just have to heighten my tolerance for dirty floors!

  • Wow! Beautiful floors. Love the up-cycling! I love both colors you’re considering. I’d probably go with the Jacobean color because it looks a little more brown than red.

    Great idea!! Can’t wait to see the final product.

    Andrea
    Twitter: FarmhouseLove
    Reply:

    Thanks for your suggestion Megan…I don’t want the floors to look “red” or “black” just really dark brown! So many decisions!!

  • Love these floors and can’t wait to see what you do with your new house! My family has always been into woodworking so they would love to see this, thanks for sharing. I noticed someone else said it before me, but I would suggest that you think a shade lighter, maybe something in the English Chestnut range. We had wood floors that were about the same color as the Dark Walnut at our last house and they showed EVERYTHING. Every speck of dust, every stray fuzz, everything. We just built out house and went with a medium tone floor and they are so much easier to take care of, no more vacuuming and dusting the floor six times a day! (That was a minimum too) Just my two cents, go with your gut because it’s your house and you have to be happy with it!

  • I’ve always been in love with the look and warm wide plank flooring brings into a farmhouse! Instead of actual hard wood my hubby & I decided to go with porcelain tile that is a dead ringer for hardwood antique flooring. We could get the look and feel we wanted and the durability we desired with 4 kids around the house. We couldn’t find it local here where we are…but we found a place and they shipped us samples and then we ordered them and they were shipped directly to our house. (Which actually wasn’t as expensive at you might think). The “wood tiles” we did find locally were more expensive and not the look of OLD wood floors. We have not installed them yet but hope to start this week sometime. (I’m sure to show pictures of it on my blog when we get it in!) Just wanted to throw that out there as another option, and it might be easier to install and maintain.
    It love both the stains you picked. Can’t go wrong with either choice in my book. GOOD LUCK!!

    Andrea
    Twitter: FarmhouseLove
    Reply:

    Thanks for the advice! Porcelain tiles that look like wood floors??? Wow, sounds cool, but I can’t picture what that will look like! I guess I’ll just have to wait and check out your blog :)

    I think for now, we are going to stick with the “real wood” because that’s something I’ve always wanted — even if it is a little more high maintenance. But seriously, I can’t wait to see what your tiles look like.

    Good luck!

  • Deni

    There’s nothing like real wood flooring! When we had our red oak floors refinished, we decided on a color close to the Dark Walnut but once we saw the beautiful natural color of the wood, we knew we had to go natural with a satin finish. What a good decision!!! The natural color compliments any color of wood furniture, especially darker furniture. Any color you choose will be beautiful I’m sure. Can’t wait to see the results!

    Andrea
    Twitter: FarmhouseLove
    Reply:

    How cool! I bet your floors look amazing!

    The one thing about reclaimed barn wood is that when you leave it “natural” some of the wood planks can take on a very different color than other planks {b/c they might be from different barns, different trees, and different time periods} But when you stain it, the colors all blend together and look more unified — which is what we’re going for. So I’m not sure the natural look will work for us this time — but you have peaked my curiosity!

  • Sue

    Honestly.. I would go with English chesnut 233 or Red oak 215. The wood is so beautiful on its own, I would not go too dark to lose that.

    Sue in NJ

  • Rain

    That’s so amazing. I think it’s such a great idea to learn how things are made, the workmanship involved makes it that much more special. What a treasure! I went to a saw mill once and the fragrance of the wood just hooked me! And Ken is a cutie too, lol…sorry, can’t help myself!
    ;)

  • Krystal

    We stained our dining room table the dark walnut love love love the end result.

    Andrea
    Twitter: FarmhouseLove
    Reply:

    Thanks for the advice Krystal….so many choices!!

  • We’ve actually used the dark walnut on a few things…love it!

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  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrea Dekker, Dave & Andrea. Dave & Andrea said: Who wants to help me pick the color of our wood floors? http://ht.ly/3MXHo [...]

  • [...] Farmhouse Tour By Andrea, on 02/06/11 Remember my field trip to the saw mill a week [...]

  • [...] get me wrong, I’m super excited to have reclaimed barn wood for our new floors…I guess we just won’t be using our living room for the next [...]

  • [...] You can read more about our wood flooring here. [...]

  • [...] We purchased our reclaimed barn wood from Creation Woodwork, which is mill right here in Michigan. The mill is owned by a husband and wife team and they have all their mills, buildings, and equiptment right on their own property. So when I went to pick out my wood, I got to see all the gorgeous reclaimed barn wood in their house too! {You can read more about my trip to their saw mill here.} [...]