by Emmi Micallef September 10, 2022
In the image above, the top row left is an antique French limestone octagon with an antique Belgian Bluestone cabochon and top row right is Reclaimed Italian Limestone Flooring. The bottom row left is an antiqued French oak parquet de Versailles and bottom row right is an antique reproduction Belgian Bluestone floor.
Lately, I understand the lexicon François and I use to describe our materials - words that are second nature to us, are not always understood by others. Our materials could become more interesting when our clients comprehend our lexicon. So let's begin!
Antique, Reclaimed or Salvaged vs. Aged, Antiqued or Réedition (Antique Reproduction) French, Belgian, English or Italian Limestone Flooring
Antique Olde London English Reclaimed Limestone Flooring that is salvaged in and around London, England. These reclaimed English limestones are minimum 150 years old.
Antiqued Marie Antoinette French Limestone Flooring is a newly quarried French limestone from the Southwest of France. It is hand-finished which gives this limestone an incredible satin patina.
The two images above are examples of an antique, reclaimed or salvaged French limestone floor and an antiqued, aged or a réedition (reproduction) French limestone floor. Granted the colors of the limestone couldn't be more different - but both exude historic patina - a surface texture that only 150 years could create or exceptionally talented limestone artisans. There is so much to cover - so I will first begin with the geological nature of limestone.
Limestone is made up of calcium carbonate with a small percentage of clay, iron, magnesia, silica and fossilized organisms. This is why one can see seashells in limestone, especially making their appearance in Belgian bluestone due to the contrast of their white shells against the limestone's blue-black color.
Olde Antwerp Antiqued Belgian Bluestone Floors is one of our best selling reproduction antique Belgian Bluestone flooring. The reason is due to the technical work of aging the Belgian bluestone's surface where the patina is smooth yet historic.
Limestone has been popular over many centuries around the world due to it's hard-wearing properties, appearance and workability. For example, one of the great pyramids in Egypt has over 2,000,000 blocks of limestone to it's structure. The Romans made extensive use of different types of limestone and Belgium has quarried Pierre Bleu limestone since the 12th century.
The workability combined with it's hard wearing properties are what creates the possibility to have both reclaimed, salvaged or antique limestone and aged, antiqued or réedition limestone. A limestone's workability, meaning: cutting, drilling, carving, shaping, polishing, chiseling etc. are these "workability techniques" which have not changed for centuries. The difference today is technology. Centuries ago, limestone masonry was done by hand - today it's done by machinery - almost...and I will get to that in a moment!
Antique, Reclaimed or Salvaged Limestone Flooring
Customers often ask what is an antique, reclaimed or salvaged limestone floor. The words antique, reclaimed or salvaged all mean the careful recuperation of a limestone floor of at least 150-years old from an old, uninhabitable structure like that of a farmhouse, an outbuilding or even a church or monastery. Antique, reclaimed or salvaged limestone flooring can be beautiful for two reasons. One, the fact that it's be in use as a floor for minimum of 150 years means an historic patina has developed on the surface of the limestone floor. An historic patina is a softness, as well as a satiny sheen, that can develop from the friction of walking upon a limestone floor over time. One never knows what the floor has been through - but imagine a farmhouse with muddy muck boots walking across the floor, the mopping/cleaning of the floor, cooking where splatters of olive oil and old cheese rinds have fallen to the floor etc - over time this use does not destroy a limestone floor due to it's durability, but it actually makes the floor more beautiful, for it develops the floor's patina. To further it's beauty, we take a step back to when the limestone was first hand-cut from a limestone block and hand-hewn into a desired size, shape and thickness. These were the stone masons, artisans who hand-worked the limestone into tiles. The beauty from their artisanal craftsmanship was already present before the installation. This is why a beautiful, reclaimed limestone floor is cherished. At Historic Decorative Materials, we source antique limestone from France, England, Italy and Belgium for two reasons: the limestone colors are beautiful and the stone masons knew how to hand-craft these blocks of limestone into beautiful tiles.
The image below shows a recuperation of an antique Belgian bluestone floor called Noir de Mazy from a church in Amsterdam. This was an incredibly large lot of tiles all similar size and thickness. This is an important point, for finding antique limestone is challenging enough, let alone one lot of substantial square footage.
The images above and below show one of our limestone floors, here the Antique Belgian Bluestone called Noir de Mazy, being excavated from a church in Klundert, Amsterdam
Most often the lots are smaller. Thus, if someone wants 1000 sf of antique Dalle de Bourgogne French limestone flooring - they would probably have to settle for many different lots of the antique Dalle de Bourgogne. These different lots, found over time, would result in extensive color, thickness and size variations - creating a floor with large grout lines and no cohesiveness within the color palette. The large grout lines occur because in order for the limestone floor to be plumb or flat, the installer would have to space the tiles further apart (or open up the joint) and fill-in the void with grout. This is why - we present lots from a single source. We know the client will receive a beautiful color palette with elegant, tight grout lines once installed. The issue of not being able to achieve a certain large square footage of an antique limestone tile can be solved by using antiqued limestone tiles. I will get to that in a moment.
Returning back to the subject of a limestone's workability while retaining it's durability - this is clearly seen with a large lot we have at the moment of an Italian reclaimed limestone floor. Observing the nearly 200-year old Italian limestone tiles from the images below, one can see the hand-worked masonry. This stone was hand-split and hand-hewn or hand-chiseled into desired shapes and sizes. You can see the chisel marks, the straight edges worn by age and a satin patina on the limestone's surface. However - it is incredibly durable; it has been salvaged, cut to 1" thick, imported from Italy and now ready to install for another 200 years - that's a testament to limestone's durability!
The above and below images are of our 200-year old Antique 18th Century Italian Reclaimed Limestone Flooring - an in-stock lot at this present time (8/18/2022). Notice the hand-cut edges that are worn with time, the hand-hewn chisel markings and the satin patina.
The image below shows how it's necessary to cut antique limestone to a reasonable thickness for transport and installation. Here we are cutting this lot down to 1" thick.
After recuperation, we usually have to cut antique Italian limestone down to a minimum of 1" thick. This is necessary for ease in transport and installation.
Aged, Antiqued or Réedition (Antique Reproduction) French, Belgian, English or Italian Limestone Flooring
And now for the comparison. Aged, antiqued or réedition (antique reproduction) are all words that have the same meaning. This means manufacturers take blocks of newly quarried stone, cut them with machinery into slabs, then into tiles. From there they are worked again with machinery using a variety of techniques: cutting, drilling, shaping, polishing etc. However - there are only a few factories who have the ability and talent to elevate this process into an art form. Of course - we only choose to work with these artists in this industry. If you have perused our e-commerce site (pavehdm.com) - you will understand the niche or passion on which we focus. Historic Decorative Materials is laser-focused on materials that appear as authentic and beautiful as true reclaimed or antique limestone floors. The reason that we specialize in antique as well as antiqued limestone flooring, is what I touched on above - antique material can be difficult to source, not always conducive for install unless properly cut and cleaned - which we do - and limited to specific quantities that we find. As well, not all antique limestone floors are beautiful - it depends on the lot.
Our lofty goals are to recreate those specific beautiful antique limestone floors by working with the limestone artists of France, England, Italy and Belgium to develop limestone flooring collections that exude authenticity and are beautiful in surface texture and edge detail - as well as being consistent in size and thickness for easier transport and installation.
Marie-Antoinette Hand-Finished Antiqued French Limestone Flooring - This is a hand-finished aged French limestone floor befitting for a queen...hence the name!
How to Achieve Antiqued or Aged or Antique Reproduction or Réediton Limestone Flooring?
First, it starts with the limestone. There are limestone quarries all over the world, but the French, Belgian, English and Italian limestone quarries are known for limestones with not only exceptional color range - but these limestones have a workability that allow our limestone masons to recreate artistically and authentically antique limestone floors. Second, our European limestone masons, who live daily with historic antique limestone pavers, tiles and old cobblestone streets on a daily basis, use their familiarity with this material and their artistic eye to recreate the antique limestone tiles they see and know while living in these European countries. Knowing the workability and durability of limestone - they will essentially play with various techniques in order to achieve a likeness to authentic, reclaimed limestone floors - including hand-finishing (as seen above in our Marie-Antoinette Hand-Finished Antiqued French Limestone Flooring) as the masons did hundreds of years ago. This is why in our Antiqued and Aged Limestone Section of our e-commerce site - you see a variety of stone surfaces.
In the image below, I provided a screen shot of just one section of our antiqued and aged limestone flooring. Notice the surface variations and different edge details? This is due to the variety of artistic techniques our manufacturers perform on the surface and edges of the limestone tiles, including hand-finishing. Click on the link or the image below if you want to see the entire collection of our Antiqued Limestone Flooring Collections.
This is a screen shot from our Antiqued and Aged Limestone Flooring Collection. The purpose of this image is to show, at a glance, the various surface textures and edge details an artistic limestone mason can achieve with this building material.
What would French limestone, for example, look like without the artistry? Well - in my opinion - nothing I would want in my home. It could appear flat, less interesting in texture, no patina etc. The essential adjective when sourcing additional materials to our company is simply the question, "is it beautiful?". Beautiful by our definition must include not only the color and the texture, but the authenticity of the material. Does it look old? If it looks false - we won't accept it into our collections.
Recall how I said if someone wants 1000 sf of antique Dalle de Bourgogne French limestone flooring - they may have to wait 6 months in order for us to source it from various lots. The end result would be an antique French limestone floor with large grout lines and a variety of colors that may not feel cohesive, or even pretty for that matter. This is not a concern when choosing antiqued limestone floors - the quantity usually can be achieved. We stock our limestone floors, but for those homes needing 5,000 to 10,000 sf - please communicate with us in advance.
Here is another example below of an antiqued or antique reproduction French limestone floor that is a trompe l'oeil to antique limestone flooring. Called The House of Châtillon Antiqued French Limestone Floor, it took one of our most talented limestone artists one year to develop. The stone is not grouted here - but this French limestone floor has an historic presence that can easily be imagined in a French château. Click on link here or image below to view specs, pricing and to purchase for our House of Chatîllon Antiqued Limestone Flooring.
One of our most popular floors that sell out as soon as we put it up on our e-commerce site pavehdm.com, is our Antique French Limestone Octagon + Antique Belgian Bluestone Cabochon floor as seen in the image below:
Antique French Limestone Octagon + Antique Belgian Bluestone Cabochon Floor. This was a rare find for this type of material isn't too often available for recuperation. We also had to put many hours of labor in cleaning it as well as cutting and aging the cabochon tiles from antique Belgian bluestone in our Pavé facility.
Not only is this lot of Antique French Limestone Octagon + Antique Belgian Bluestone Cabochon floor rare, we had to put many hours of labor to clean it. We also had to hand-cut and age each cabochon from antique Belgian bluestone to fit precisely into the French limestone antique octagons. It's simply a one-of-a-kind floor. As well, rarely do we find a large square footage of this material to reclaim.
Henceforth, we offer an antiqued version of this French limestone octagon + cabochon floor where they arrive to us clean, the required square footage for a job is not a problem and they are consistent in size and thickness (which means a flat floor with elegantly aged, tight grout lines). Furthermore, the quality and beauty of our antiqued limestone floors in general, will eventually become true antique floors one-hundred years from now due to their durability with a proper installation. Click on the image below or this link to view specs, pricing and to purchase Beige + Black: Elégance Rustique Antiqued French Limestone Octagon + Ardoise Chabochon Flooring.
Beige + Black: Elégance Rustique Antiqued French Limestone Octagon + Ardoise Chabochon Flooring. We recreated the antique French limestone octagon by engaging our talented masons to fabricate an historic reproduction using a French limestone from the Southwest of France and ardoise noire - black slate.
Finally, my last point. Since we are working from the earth - limestone quarries formed thousands of years ago, the possibility of color variations once the limestone is excavated remains present. In general, a specific French, English, Italian or Belgian limestone quarry will remain the same - but there will be occasions when lots may be lighter or darker or have new inclusions and veining. This is one of the reasons why we will not provide samples of any of our limestone floors. It is best if you look for the overall feel and authenticity of a limestone floor and to visit our Pavé Tile, Wood & Stone, Inc. Showroom. You will see limestone tiles installed and grouted throughout the showroom and you may be able to see the in-stock lots we have available at that time. If we are ordering a limestone floor for you - it will be important to understand that yes - you will receive the general target you are hoping for - with the understanding there may be lighter or darker variations to your floor. It's the nature of the business and it's best for a client to understand the aesthetic and quality of our limestone floors versus locking into one specific color point.
Antique/Reclaimed vs. Antiqued/Aged French Oak Floors
At Historic Decorative Materials, we love French oak floors. The French oak floors we offer are either antique/ reclaimed or antiqued/aged French oak floors. Perhaps a question asked is, "why offer both?" We offer both antique and antiqued French oak floors for the same reason we offer antique and antiqued French limestone floors. Reclaiming authentic French oak floors are time-consuming with a large material waste factor. As well, it is rare to reclaim large quantities from one lot. Thus, combining lots is necessary and success arrives only when skilled woodworkers are salvaging and working the planks correctly to achieve a beautiful end product. Understanding the challenges of procuring antique French oak floors, antiqued/aged French oak floors are crucial for those who aspire to have the aesthetic of antique French oak flooring in half the time with a peace of mind that the floors will be hand-crafted from one lot. At Historic Decorative Materials, antiqued French oak floors are not taken lightly. The method our fabricators use to create our aged French oak floors are bar none, the closest reproduction antique French oak floors on the market. See for yourself in the images below:
The images above are of authentic reclaimed or antique French oak flooring. The images below are antiqued/aged French oak floor using one of our Kings of France 18th Century French oak floors. Both floors have a matte patina, a reclaimed surface texture and aged edge details. Difficult to tell them apart!
All three images below show our antiqued/aged French oak floors. The reclaimed matte surface texture, patina and edges are accomplished by a 7-10 step oxidation process that works with the oak tannins, aging the planks from the inside out.
To directly compare, the image above is from our antiqued French oak flooring collection in the ENGINEERED version (solid planks are also available) for a more stable floor, while in the image below shows original, solid wood antique French oak floors, (we offer engineered antique French oak floors - again for stability purposes). As you compare the antique vs antiqued French oak floors, you many understand why we offer both collections. These materials are either made to look historic or truly historic - but both are beautiful and carry great value in one's home.
French Reclaimed Engineered Oak Flooring
The process to reclaim an antique French oak floor is lengthy. There cannot be shortcuts, for one wants a reclaimed French oak floor that is as plumb as possible with beautiful color range and texture. To achieve the quality we demand of our antique French oak floors, we work with skilled woodcraftsmen where they follow a multi-step approach for success.
First, one needs to be wise when deciding to salvage a French oak floor - mainly will the labor involved to reclaim a French oak floor be worth the labor and time it will take to correctly repurpose the material? Antique French oak floors are not like antique French limestone flooring for French limestone floors remain durable even after 150 years of use. When reclaiming antique French oak floors, there will always be a material waste factor, for not all planks will be useable due to wear, weather, insects etc.
Before salvaging an antique French oak floor, on-site (a dilapidated barn, run-down farmhouse etc.) our surveyors will asses the floor using the catégorie 1 and catégorie 3 system. Catégorie 1 means 70-80% of the planks will be of top quality with wider planks and a smoother patina. Catégorie 3 are the planks that have smaller widths, a rougher texture and with a 50-60% waste factor. Most original antique floors have mixed widths, so combining catégorie 1 and catégorie 3 means an historically accurate reclaimed French oak floor with original patina - only needing a natural wax treatment to keep it's original appearance.
However, both categories have second cuts where the first layer, the layer with the original patina is removed and reserved for those seeking original patina antique French oak flooring. The second cuts are beautifully historic as well, but must be viewed like an artist's canvas for final installation. One can choose to hand-scrape second cuts after installation, fill-in worm holes and choose a natural wax or oil to bring out the beautiful depth of the wood.
After assessing the catégories of the antique French oak planks, we carefully salvage the material. The planks then go directly into kilns to dry the wood; this is a necessary procedure to lower it's moisture content and kill any potential bugs living within the planks.
Following kiln-drying, the planks are taken out to be denailed and then carefully measured. The goal is to maximize the width of each plank for the least material waste factor. Then, on the bandsaw, both catégorie 1 and 3 are cut to 6 mm thick. These top layers are then glued (restricted emission glue following EU regulations) onto birch plywood, then milled into tongue and groove that interlock. The total thickness for our antique or reclaimed French oak floors are 2 cm thick.
For the second cut, the process is the same and will result in a tongue and groove plank that is 2 cm thick - but the surface is smoothed out with a planer. Even though they are the second cut, they are still reclaimed French oak floors where the color is naturally darker due to age and worm holes.
Below are images of an antique French oak plank being cut on the bandsaw. Notice the dryness of the wood, the length and width of the plank, the exactitude of the cut, the deep colors of the original patina as well as the second cut's darkened oak colors.
The images below show how one plank is ripped into two planks both within the approximate range of 6 mm thick, a completed engineered antique French oak plank and a few installation images of an installed antique or reclaimed French oak floor.
Antique or reclaimed French oak floors, whether one choses the top patina or the second cut, appreciates the home not only in monetary value but historical authenticity. They are cherished for the stories that live within them and from a country, France, with a savoir-faire for beauty.
Reclaimed or Antique French Oak Flooring holds history and patina from the past. It adds incredible value to a home where new generations are enjoying living with this repurposed floor.
The other option of wood flooring at Historic Decorative Materials is our antiqued or aged French oak flooring. There are many positives to choosing an antique reproduction French oak floor vs. an antique French oak floor. With antique French oak floors - although the historical value is there - one must accept a variety of widths and lengths depending on the lots. With our antiqued French oak flooring, one can receive pretty precise lengths and widths as well as choose from a variety of colorways. Choosing a prefinished aged French oak floor however, is still a process that works with the tannins of the oak planks. Depending on the season or weather, there will be a different level of tannins within the oak planks. This means there is a target color - but one must accept the floor could be lighter or darker than expected. However, there is a continuous oxidation that occurs after an installation as the wood floor interacts with oxygen in the air and sunlight. Depending on the color chosen, the wood floor could become lighter or darker over time - but one can marvel that with every passing day, these wood floors will notably develop more characteristics of an authentic antique French oak floor.
Antiqued/Aged French Oak Flooring
The images above and below show our Kings of France 18th Century French Oak Flooring in the parquet de Château. The authenticity of these reclaimed reproduction French oak floors requires incredible amount of skilled craftsmanship. Since this process works with the natural tannins of the oak - this color in Natural will have ranges within this color way, dark to light, depending on the oak planks that the craftsman are working on at that moment. The goal of working with reclaimed or antiqued French oak floors is not to pinpoint one colorway - but to feel the aesthetic and authenticity of these floors.
Antiqued or aged or antique reproduction French oak floors is at the heart of our wood flooring collections. The collection is called The Kings of France 18th Century French Oak Floors in which we offer 4 different series. Our artisanal woodcraftsmen look at French or European oak planks like a fine painter looks at her canvas. Like French limestone, French oak planks can shapeshift within the talented hands of an expert woodworker. After having read about how we reclaim antique French oak planks, the effort and waste factor etc. antiquing French oak floors is probably even more demanding.
The image above is our antiqued French oak floors from the Country House Series within our Kings of France Collection. This collection offers mixed or fixed widths. This fixed width floor above is 11 3/4" W x 79" to 118" L.
To begin, we source French and European oak planks. There are three grades, rustic A, B and C and each series in our antiqued French oak flooring collection offers different grades or a mix of grades to achieve specific aesthetic effects. We also offer fixed or mixed widths from 3 1/2" to 11 3/4" wide and goal lengths range from 71" to 118" long. There are three series that use newly milled French or European oak planks. However, a special series called The Olde Oak Collection uses French oak planks that have been milled from fallen oak trees that can be up to 200 years old. I will first discuss this collection because it is so unique.
The Kings of France 18th Century French Oak Flooring in the Olde Oak Collection is neither a newly milled oak floor aged to appear like an 18th century wood floor nor is it a salvaged reclaimed French oak floor pulled from dilapidated homes and old farmhouses across France. This French oak floor is a combination of time, weather + techniques from one of the best methods to historically age wood floors. The process is called the oxidation method and advanced wood craftsmanship, that require both machine and hand-finishing, perform a 7-10 step technique to arrive at French oak planks that delight the eyes in authenticity.
Within managed forests in France, we search out fallen trees that have aged and weathered. Some trunks are 150-200 years old and are the foundation planks to the Olde Oak Collection. These planks, unlike newly milled French oak, are old oak growth planks that have naturally aged and weathered along the forest floor. Planks will already have character, knots, extraordinary grain, color variations, surface cracks, veins and worm holes - all of which make up the identity of this floor. As this foundation, woodworkers and technicians begin the 7-10 step oxidation method, with drying time in-between, that works within the tannin of the oak planks. This process changes the composition of the wood, aging the wood from the inside out. There are no reactive stains or colored oils used in this process and we offer The Olde Oak Series in five different color ways.
Olde Oak Collection: Dorest. Within managed forests in France, we search out fallen trees that have aged and weathered. Some trunks are 150-200 years old and are the foundation planks to the Olde Oak Collection.
The Olde Oak Collection has an historically rustic feel that I see in English country homes, wabi sabi minimalist interiors and industrial farmhouses. Their worm holes, imperfections, mottled textures, cracks and swirling grains are floors with presence that will be the anchor to these types of interiors.
Olde Oak Collection: Sussex. These planks, unlike newly milled French oak, are old oak growth planks that have naturally aged and weathered along the forest floor.
Olde Oak Collection: Nottinghamshire. Planks will already have character, knots, extraordinary grain, color variations, surface cracks, veins and worm holes - all of which make up the identity of this floor.
Finally, it is inspiring to live with the Olde Oak Collection, knowing these noble French oak planks have already lived centuries deep in French forests. Having been repurposed in the most artistic way, they now carry their presence and beauty fourth for new generations to enjoy.
Next up, the second series in the Kings of France 18th Century French Oak Flooring Collection - The Country House.
The Country House Collection: AUTHENTIC OAK. These pre-finished, wide-plank and long length oak floors carry a presence.
Handsome grand manors surrounded by forests and rolling hills, horses in the barn - this is where the Country House Collection could easily reside. These pre-finished, wide-plank and long length oak floors carry a presence. Unlike the Olde Oak Collection where our technicians use already 200-year old French oak planks, the canvas for The Country House Collection is newly milled French or European oak in heroic sizes, maximum being 11 3/4" wide x 118" long.
I marvel at these wood floors as well as the Great House Collection (which I will touch upon next) because going from a newly milled French oak plank that looks raw and new to wood floors that appear to be reclaimed - is the testament to the talent and craftmanship that our technicians possess. Not using reactive stains or oils, but performing the 7-10 step oxidation method aging the planks from the inside out, create colors and patinas that marry effortlessly in historic renovations.
The Country House Collection is weathered and highly brushed emphasizing the grain, and creating a patina with a smooth, undulating surface. This collection offers 11 colorways - beautiful hues that continue to patina as one lives with the floor. (Color targets are the goal, but expect every floor to vary in tone, value texture due to the nature of working with natural materials).
Hand-finishing is an essential step to all the Kings of France 18th Century French Oak Flooring Collections.
Below is the Country House in colorway Vintage Grey. It is difficult to achieve pre-finished French oak in gray tones - and the steps are many for success.
The Country House Collection: VINTAGE GREY. The unique texture and presence of the Country House Collection is that we begin with oak planks in varying grades of A, B and C. These planks have open knots filled, cracks, a larger range of color variation and sap.
The unique texture and presence of the Country House Collection is that we begin with oak planks in varying grades of A, B and C. These planks have open knots filled, cracks, a larger range of color variation and sap. These characteristics, when oxidized, highly brushed and hand-worked, manifest in textures and colors that are breathtaking. As well, the edges are rounded, which contribute to their worn, aged presence. With double grooves on the two long sides + false tongues and end squared - installations are completed efficiently. The Country House Collection is offered in wide plank solid and engineered flooring (TOP LAYER 6 mm), as well as herringbone, chevron, parquet floors and custom stair risers and treads.
One feels the presence of a Country House French Oak Floor due to their substantial widths, lengths and highly brushed surface patina.
The last French oak flooring I will discuss is the third series in our Kings of France 18th Century French Oak Flooring Collection called the Great House Collection.
The Great House Series exudes historic elegance for beautiful Parisian pied-à-terre living. The Great House is also known for reproduction reclaimed parquet de Versailles, parquet de Château, herringbone and chevron flooring - which is appealing when wanting the same material but looking for visual geometric interest.
The Great House in our Kings of France 18th Century French Oak Flooring Collection is a beautiful combination of reclaimed authenticity + elegance. It will be at home in a rustic, farmhouse setting but as well, in luxury glam, French pied-a-terre and traditional interiors. The widths, offered in mixed and fixed, can be as narrow as 3.5" W up to 11 3/4" W and goal lengths range from 71" L to 118" L. The Great House is available in solid and engineered with the top layer being 6 mm. And of course, The Great House is also known for reproduction reclaimed parquet de Versailles, parquet de Château, herringbone and chevron flooring - which is appealing when wanting the same material but looking for visual geometric interest.
The image above shows a parquet de Château in Natural and parquet de Versailles and herringbone in Cèpes. And like The Country House and The Olde Oak Series, the antiqued patina and colors of The Great House Series are achieved through the oxidation method.
And like The Country House and The Olde Oak Series, the antiqued patina and colors of The Great House Series are achieved through the oxidation method. This 7-10 step process is done by skilled woodworkers who age the planks from the inside out working within the tannin of the oak flooring. There are many colors from which to choose, understanding the color target varies depending on the natural tannins that are within the oak planks at that time. Colors could arrive lighter or darker, but know these wood floors continue to patina and will lighten or darken depending on the color one chooses. And unlike reclaimed or antique French oak flooring where one cannot choose color targets, lengths or widths, our antiqued French oak floors, like the Great House Series, have controls and expectations that can be met. What we ask, however, is to remember that these natural and artisanal wood floors will provide immense pleasure from their authenticity to reclaimed French oak flooring and will continue to age beautifully in one's home.
The quiet elegance of these antiqued French oak floors in the Great House Collection works beautifully contrasted with modern elements, high ceilings and large scale windows.
A French gray wood floor in the Great House Collection, color: Cepes. From the antiqued edge detail to the soft, matte patina, the authenticity of our French oak flooring arrives only by hard work and skilled craftsmanship.
Technically to take a newly milled French or European oak plank and age it into a weathered and time-worn material is only attributed to hard work, craftsmanship and decades of experience. Hand-finishing is also essential in order for our antiqued French oak floors to achieve mastery of the target goal - reproducing antique French oak flooring.
Hand-finishing our antiqued French oak flooring is essential to achieving antique reproduction French oak flooring.
Image courtesy of Greg Dutton, Midland Architecture. His family's home. Wood Floor: The Kings of France Great House Collection - color: Cognac
Kings of France 18th Century French Oak Flooring - color: Cognac. The rich colors of these antiqued French oak floors allow the saturated palette to be a presence but still remain a quiet backdrop for historic interiors.
Image courtesy of Greg Dutton, Midland Architecture. His family's home. Wood Floor: The Kings of France Great House Collection - color: Cognac
François and I have had a passion for antique and antiqued French limestone and French oak flooring for over 22 years. In our over two decades of working in this industry, we have respect and gratitude for the technical skills, artistry and hard work our artisanal masons and wood craftsmen exert on these natural materials - resources that today, are more cherished than ever. Living with historic decorative materials - whether one chooses a stone or wood floor, please know you are living with a legacy that not too many craftspeople can arrive at today.
François and I thank you for sharing your passion with us of our wood and stone flooring. I hope the goal of this blog will be met and you as a reader, and maybe a potential client, will have a better insight into our artisanal and historic decorative materials.
Thank you for your time,
Emmi Micallef, Co-Founder
Historic Decorative Materials, a Division of Pavé Tile, Wood & Stone, Inc. Showroom
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